SWC Directors of Western Europe/Israel and Eastern Europe Participate in Vienna Wiesenthal Institute Conference

April 5, 2022

Paris - As part of the conference on “Nazis and Nazi Sympathizers in South America after 1945,” the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute sponsored a public event on “Legacies of Simon Wiesenthal: Wiesenthal Center and Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies - Looking Back, Moving Forward,” which featured Dr. Efraim Zuroff, SWC's chief Nazi-hunter and Director of its Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs and Dr.Shimon Samuels, Director of its Paris Office and International Relations.

L-R: Shimon Samuels (SWC), Brigitte Bailer (DOW), Alexia Weiss,(WINA), Efraim Zuroff (SWC) 

(photo credit: VWI)

Samuels, as the first to enter the Nazi archives of Argentina in February 1992, spoke of the missing documents on Eichmann and other war criminals. He also recounted the capture and extradition from Bariloche, Argentina - and the trial in Rome - of Erich Priebke. As an SS officer, he was responsible for the arrest and execution of 335 innocent civilians - including 75 Jews - at the Ardeatine Caves, outside Rome. This retaliation massacre for the killing of 33 Nazi troops by the Italian Resistance was ordered directly by Hitler - 10 Italians were to be murdered for each Nazi killed. Priebke had selected the victims and admitted to personally shooting two of them. He served a prison sentence that ended in his lawyer's apartment, dying at the age of 100. 


Zuroff presented a survey of the activities of his office, especially focusing on its assistance in providing survivors to testify in the ongoing belated trials in Germany, as well as the efforts being invested in combatting Holocaust distortion in post-Communist Eastern Europe. He also shared memories of his cooperation with Simon Wiesenthal, and he emphasized the Nazi-hunter's parallel role as an educator devoted to perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust and his concern in that regard for future generations.


For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at csweurope@gmail.com, the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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