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Nazi Hunter Wiesenthal Laid to Rest in Israel


Legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal has been laid to rest in Israel. He was eulogized as a hero who brought the perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice.

The mourner's prayer was recited, as hundreds of dignitaries, Holocaust survivors and admirers bade farewell to Simon Wiesenthal. He was buried in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, where his daughter lives.

Mr. Wiesenthal was interned at Nazi concentration camps during World War II. After the war, he dedicated his life to bringing Nazi war criminals to justice. He is best known for pursuing Adolf Eichmann, the mastermind of the annihilation of six million Jews. Israel's Mossad spy agency kidnapped Mr. Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, and brought him to the Jewish state, where he was tried and executed.

Mr. Wiesenthal was eulogized by Israeli official Mark Regev, who described him as the conscience of the Holocaust.

"He was a champion in the fight to bring to justice the 20th Century's worst criminals, who had escaped justice," said Mark Regev.

The funeral was overshadowed by complaints from mourners, and ordinary Israelis on radio talk shows, that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not send a Cabinet minister to attend. They said that was an insult to a hero of the Jewish people. The government was represented by Deputy Cabinet Minister Michael Melchior. He said Simon Wiesenthal …

"…was a person who came out of the camps, out of the hell, with a strong conviction that we have to educate future generations," said Michael Melchior. "He didn't do it out of revenge; he believed in justice."

From his small office in Vienna, Mr. Wiesenthal tracked down 1,100 Nazi war criminals. He died in Vienna earlier this week at age 96.

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