from Betrayal: The Untold Story of the Kurt Waldheim Investigation and Cover-Up

[St. Martin's Press: New York, p. 463]

by Eli M. Rosenbaum (Senior Counsel, World Jewish Congress)

BOOK...If one can be guilty of malpractice in the field of Nazi-hunting, this was surely it. Actually, the atrocious error that [Simon] Wiesenthal had made in 1979 when he cleared [Kurt] Waldheim for the Israelis was hardly very surprising, given the extraordinary incompetence that has characterized the Nazi-hunter's biggest cases (and countless smaller ones) since the war. Indeed, if this blunder had been Wiesenthal's only offense in the Waldheim affair, it might have been forgivable.

  WiesenthalBut Wiesenthal's subsequent actions, at least those that followed Waldheim's initial exposure, were unpardonable, indeed unconscionable. He had used his "mandate" to help elect to Austria's presidency an accused Nazi war criminal--one whose campaign, moreover, reintroduced overt anti-Semitic parlance to the lexicon of major-party European politics for the first time since the Nazi era. He had given aid and comfort to some of the vilest hate-mongers in Austria, even adopting some of their code words in attacking the World Jewish Congress. By mid-1988, he was denouncing the WJC leadership in the Austrian press as "some psychopaths in America," telling an Austrian reporter that he had delivered the following condemnation to Singer and Steinberg in person: "When I look at you and see that you dare speak on behalf of world Jewry, I see what Hitler did to us." [17] Worst of all, he had resorted to the basest tactic of all: denying the undeniable facts about the Holocaust and other Nazi barbarities. This act of utter indecency--the ultimate betrayal of Hitler's victims--is one that none of us, even those who knew the truth about Wiesenthal's Nazi-hunting "record," could ever have imagined him capable of committing. But how could anyone ever have predicted that, in order to protect his own reputation, Wiesenthal would sink to embracing the hideous syllogism at the heart of Waldheim's campaign of lies: If there were no crimes, then there was no cover-up.

At last I had the answers, even if they gave me no real comfort. The nightmare of the past two years was finally over. Or was it? I knew now I had to see to it that the truth came out. That, however, would be a new and different kind of nightmare. It was one thing to take on Kurt Waldheim, a man who, in the words of WJC president had been part and parcel of the Nazi killing machine. But it was quite another to tell the truth about Simon Wiesenthal. Not only would the Nazi-hunter's many influential associates surely respond with daggers drawn, but there would be no joy for me in exposing the revered idol of my youth...

 Note by this Website: When the witchhunt against Kurt Waldheim was at its height, an international commission of jurists investigated the case and determined that there was no evidence whatever against him.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual states that it concentrates on the scholarly study of the Holocaust. "Our definition of the Holocaust in its widest context includes: Nazi Germany and the Final Solution, 1933-1945; European Jewry during World War II; refugees, rescue, and immigration; displaced persons and post-war trials; and modern anti-Semitism."

FOR THIRTY-FIVE years the international Jewish organisations like the SWC and the WJC have been harassing British historian David Irving. Again and again he has been shown examples of the furtive "backgrounders" and smear-sheets circulated by them in an attempt to blacken his name.

COURTESY LINK: Visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center Website.

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