Nazi hunter Wiesenthal dies at 96

Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal has died in the Austrian capital Vienna, aged 96. Wiesenthal was credited with helping to bring more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice in the decades following World War Two. His biggest disappointments were his failures to secure the capture of Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller and Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele.

Officials at the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre announced his death. Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home, according to Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the centre. “Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust,” Hier said. “When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of history’s greatest crime to justice. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted.”

Wiesenthal was a prisoner in the Mauthausen death camp when it was liberated by the American troops in May 1945. “When history looks back, I want people to know the Nazis weren’t able to kill millions of people and get away with it,” he once said.