Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Significant Moments: On Never Leaving Your Home

At the end of World War II hundreds of the Nazis who participated in the systematic murder of 6,000,000 Jews and 5,000,000 Gypsies, Poles, and other "inferior" peoples slipped through the Allied net, many of them by means of O.D.E.S.S.A., the SS contingency escape apparatus. For cautionary more than vengeful reasons — to remind humanity that human nature is actually capable of acts that strain credulity — one of the survivors of the Nazi death camps, Simon Wiesenthal, has dedicated his life to documenting the genocide that occurred in Europe under Hitler and hunting down the perpetrators of that crime who are still at large. . . .
In 1954 the [Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria] was closed and its files given to the Yad Vashem archives in Israel — except one: the dossier on Adolf Eichmann, the inconspicuous technocrat who, as chief of the Gestapo's Jewish department, had supervised the implementation of the "final solution." . . .
Wiesenthal never relaxed in his pursuit of the elusive Eichmann, who had disappeared at the time of Germany's defeat in World War II. Finally, through the collaborative efforts of Wiesenthal and Israeli agents, Eichmann was located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the alias of Ricardo Klement, in 1959.
Current Biography — Simon Wiesenthal 1975.
The fugitive had . . .
Grant Allen, Hilda Wade.
. . . had the misfortune to attract the notice of someone who was willing to go to any lengths to catch him out.
Janet Malcolm, In the Freud Archives.
Captured and brought to Israel for trial, Eichmann was found guilty of mass murder and executed on May 31, 1961.
Current Biography — Simon Wiesenthal 1975.
There is little to be added to what the reader already knows about . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . the person of the prisoner.
Franz Kafka, The Trial
He contrived to vanish . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . into the shelter . . .
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.
. . . of South America, . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . and worked his way from town to town . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . in Argentina . . .
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.
. . .until eventually he came to . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . find a suitable . . .
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
. . . place of refuge.
Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dante.
Here he established himself in the manner we have described, rendered himself both unassailable and inaccessible, and, with a conscience darkened by his past but in the knowledge that the second half of his life was a repudiation of the first, settled to live peaceably and hopefully with only two objects in mind — to conceal his true identity and sanctify his life, and to escape from men. . . .
Had anyone told him that a day would come when the name, the hideous words . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . Adolf Eichmann . . .
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
. . . would suddenly resound in his ears like a thunderclap, coming like a blaze of light out of the darkness to tear aside the mystery in which he had . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . disguised himself, . . .
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
. . . had anyone said this to him he would have stared in amazement, thinking the words insane.
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
Wiesenthal does not usually track down the Nazi fugitives physically. In fact, he rarely leaves Austria. His chief task is gathering and analyzing information. . . .
Painstakingly, Wiesenthal culls every pertinent document and record he can get his hands on and goes over and over the many personal accounts told him by individual survivors. With an architect's structural acumen, a Talmudist's thoroughness, and a brilliant talent for investigative thinking, he pieces together the most obscure, incomplete, and apparently irrelevant data to build cases solid enough to stand up in a court of law. . . .
According to some observers he looks something like a plainclothes cop; others note that his friendly, cheerful manner belies the fact that his full-time occupation is tracking down murderers. . . .
"When history looks back," Wiesenthal explains, "I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to . . .
Current Biography — Simon Wiesenthal 1975.
. . . slaughter . . .
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.
. . . 11,000,000 people and get away with it."
Current Biography — Simon Wiesenthal 1975.
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Like Simon Wiesenthal I rarely leave my apartment.  I simply pour over and analyze documents.

2 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

Don't tell the US Marshal that I mentioned South America. It gets them nervous.

haleigh said...

this was interesting, but very confusing....i still dont get it