The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is a Jewish human rights organization established in 1977 by rabbi Marvin Hier. According to its mission statement, it is "a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context. The Center confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations."
The Center closely interacts on an ongoing basis with a variety of public and private agencies, meeting with elected officials, the United States and foreign governments, diplomats and heads of state. The Center promotes the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, and fights against extremist groups, neo-Nazism, and hate on the Internet. The Center is also involved in Holocaust and tolerance education. Its "Campus Outreach" division is part of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC).
The Center is named after Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal; Hier's relationship with Wiesenthal deteriorated during the 1980s, and in 1993 Wiesenthal unsuccessfully petitioned the Board of Directors for Hier's removal.
|Simon Wiesenthal Center|
|Named after||Simon Wiesenthal|
The SWC is headed by Rabbi Marvin Hier, its dean and founder. Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean and Rabbi Meyer May is the executive director. The organization publishes a seasonal magazine, Response.
The Center's educational arm, Museum of Tolerance, was founded in 1993 and hosts 350,000 visitors annually. Some of the programs sponsored by the Museum include:
New York Tolerance Center is a professional development multi-media training facility targeting educators, law enforcement officials, and state/local government practitioners.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance is one of many partner organizations of the Austrian Service Abroad (Auslandsdienst) and the corresponding Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service (Gedenkdienst).
In April 2016, the New York City Council stopped funding for the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance following the arrest of a former board member who has been accused of raising $20 million from a city correctional officers' union through kickbacks. The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a statement saying that the member had resigned from its board on June 15, and that the Centre was unaware of any alleged unethical or illegal activities regarding its donors.
Moriah Films, also known as the Jack and Pearl Resnick Film Division of the SWC, was created to produce theatrical documentaries to educate both national and international audiences, with a focus on contemporary human rights and ethical issues and Jewish experience. Two films produced by the division, Genocide (film) and The Long Way Home (1997 film) have received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Moriah films has worked with numerous actors to narrate their productions. Including but not limited to Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Douglas, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Stewart, and Sandra Bullock.
The headquarters of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is in Los Angeles. However, there are also international offices located in New York City, Miami, Toronto, Jerusalem, Paris, Chicago, and Buenos Aires.
Through its national and international offices, the Center carries out its above mentioned mission of preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
The Library and Archives of the center in Los Angeles has grown to a collection of about 50,000 volumes and non-print materials. Moreover, the Archives incorporates photographs, diaries, letters, artifacts, artwork and rare books, which are available to researchers, students and the general public.
Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem, is the coordinator of Nazi war crimes research worldwide for the Wiesenthal Center and the author of its annual (since 2001) "Status Report" on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals which includes a "most wanted" list of Nazi war criminals.
In November 2005, the Simon Wiesenthal Center gave the name of four suspected former Nazi criminals to German authorities. The names were the first results of Operation Last Chance, a drive launched that year by the center to track down former Nazis for World War II-era crimes before they die of old age.
In 2013, the SWC released a comprehensive report on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is a global campaign promoting boycotts of several types against Israel. The report analyzed the campaign throughout its various outlets and asserted that the BDS movement is a "thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim 'rejectionists' who have refused to make peace with Israel for over six decades, and to pursue a high-profile campaign composed of anti-Israel big lies to help destroy the Jewish State by any and all means". The report also said that the BDS campaign attacks Israel's entire economy and society, holding all (Jewish) Israelis as collectively guilty.
On March 8, 2007, the head of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Stanley Trevor Samuels, was convicted (and later acquitted in an appeal) of defamation by a Paris courthouse for accusing the French-based Committee for Charity and Support for the Palestinians (CBSP) of sending funds to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
In its filing of the suit, the CBSP labelled the accusations "ridiculous", stating that its charitable work consisted of providing aid to some 3,000 Palestinian orphans. The court ruled that documents produced by the Wiesenthal Center established no "direct or indirect participation in financing terrorism" on the part of the CBSP, and that the allegations were "seriously defamatory".
The Wiesenthal Center appealed the court ruling, and the appeal was granted in July 2009.
After a Canadian newspaper reported upon the 2006 Iranian sumptuary law controversy (based on a report written by Iranian exiles on Iranian religious minorities being forced to wear badges identifying them to Muslims), the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier, wrote to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urging the international community to pressure Iran to drop the measure.
Numerous other sources, including Maurice Motamed, the Jewish member of the Iranian parliament and the Iranian Embassy in Canada, refuted the report as untrue. The National Post later retracted the original article ("Iran eyes badges for Jews: Law would require non-Muslim insignia") and published an article, to the contrary ("Experts say reports of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue"). However, the Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to admit any mistake on their part and insisted that the widely debunked allegations were true.
In January 2004, the Paris branch of the center asked the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, to suspend the 'Irish Museum of the Year Award' given to the Hunt Museum in Limerick, until the conclusion of a demanded inquiry into the provenance of a significant number of items in the collection. He argued that this was needed due to the close ties of the founders, John and Gertrude Hunt to the head of the Nazi Party (NSDP-AO) in Ireland, among others, and British suspicions during the war of espionage activity on the part of the couple. The center also claimed, 'The "Hunt Museum Essential Guide" describes only 150 of the over 2000 objects in the Museum's collection and, notably, without providing information on their provenance - data that all museums are now required to provide in accordance with international procedure.'
This essentially accused the Hunt Museum in Limerick of keeping art and artifacts looted during the Second World War, which was described as "unprofessional in the extreme" by the expert Lynn Nicholas that cleared the museum of wrongdoing. The claim was taken so seriously that the examination was supervised by the prestigious Royal Irish Academy, whose 2006 report is available on line. McAleese, who had been written to by the center, then criticized a Dr. Samuels of the center for "a tissue of lies", adding that the center had diminished the name of Simon Wiesenthal. The center said that it had prepared its own 150-page report in May 2008 that would be published after vetting by its lawyers, but had not done so as of November 2008. The report was finally made on 12 December 2008.
A branch museum in Jerusalem, expected to be completed in 2009, sparked protests from the city's Muslim population. The museum is being built on what Rabbi Marvin Hier described as "derelict land": a thousand-year-old Muslim graveyard called the Mamilla Cemetery, much of which has already been paved over. The complaints were rejected by Israel's Supreme Court, leading to a demonstration by hundreds of people in November 2008. On November 19, 2008 a group of US Jewish and Muslim leaders sent a letter to the Wiesenthal Center urging it to halt the construction of the museum on the site.
As of February 2010, the Museum of Tolerance's plan for construction has been fully approved by Israeli courts and is proceeding at the compound of Mamilla Cemetery. The courts ruled that the compound had been neglected as a spiritual site by the Muslim community, in effect not functioning as a cemetery for decades (while simultaneously used for other purposes), and was thus mundra, i.e. abandoned, under Muslim laws.
The Centre faults the Government of Canada's efforts to investigate and prosecute Nazi war criminals, and claims that approximately 2,000 Nazi war criminals obtained Canadian citizenship by providing false information.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center opposed the construction of Park51, a Muslim community center, two blocks from Ground Zero. The executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Manhattan, Rabbi Meyer May said it was "insensitive" to locate the centre there. The Jewish Week noted that the Center itself was once accused of intolerance when it built a museum in Jerusalem on land that was once a Muslim cemetery, after gaining approval from Israeli courts.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the news that the Vatican has demanded that Bishop Richard Williamson recant his views denying the Holocaust before being re-admitted to the Roman Catholic Church. Williamson was one of the four priests from the Society of St. Pius X who were excommunicated 20 years ago for taking part in the consecration of Bishops contrary to Canon Law.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Hugo Chávez for various statements, including his January 2006 statement that "[t]he world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendants of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendants of the same ones that kicked Bolívar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over there in Santa Marta, in Colombia. A minority has taken possession all of the wealth of the world..." The Simon Wiesenthal Center omitted the reference to Bolívar without ellipsis, stated that Chávez was referring to Jews, and denounced the remarks as antisemitic by way of his allusions to wealth. Meanwhile, according to Forward.com, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela defended Chávez, stating that he was speaking not of Jews, but of South America's white oligarchy. The Wiesenthal Center's representative in Latin America replied that Chávez's mention of Christ-killers was "ambiguous at best" and that the "decision to criticize Chávez had been taken after careful consideration".
The Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly denounced politician-journalist Soichiro Tahara for his remarks against former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and his daughter, former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka on his TV Asahi program "Sunday Project" in March 2009.
In the live broadcast, Tahara told Tanaka that her father, former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka was "done in by America, by the Jews and (Ichiro) Ozawa, (then-leader of the Democratic Party of Japan) too, was done in (by America and/or the Jews)." 
SWC's associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, condemned the Japanese band Kishidan for wearing uniforms resembling those of the SS, the armed wing of the Nazi party. The band wore military-inspired uniforms, adorned with the German medal Iron Cross and Nazi insignia such as the death skull and SS eagle on MTV Japan's primetime program "Mega Vector." Cooper said in a written protest to the band's management company Sony Music Artists, MTV Japan and the Japanese entertainment group Avex (Kishidan's label at the time being and also the current one) that "there is no excuse for such an outrage" and that "many young Japanese are "woefully uneducated" about the crimes against humanity committed by Nazi Germany and Japan during the second world war, but global entities like MTV and Sony Music should know better".
As a result, Sony Music Artists and Avex issued a joint statement of public apology on their respective websites.
On November 11th 2018, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced BTS with the following statement: “Flags appearing on stage at their concert were eerily similar to the Nazi Swastika. It goes without saying that this group, which was invited to speak at the UN, owes the people of Japan and the victims of the Nazism an apology.” 
The center is featured in the real-life-story-based Freedom Writers. An exterior view of the center is given, and there are scenes inside the museum, showing simulation entrances to gas chambers in death camps.
Alois Brunner (8 April 1912 – 2001 or 2010) was an Austrian Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who worked as Adolf Eichmann's assistant. Brunner is held responsible for sending over 100,000 European Jews to ghettos and concentration camps in eastern Europe. He was commander of the Drancy internment camp outside Paris from June 1943 to August 1944, from which nearly 24,000 people were deported.
After some narrow escapes from the Allies in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Brunner fled West Germany in 1954, first for Egypt, then Syria, where he remained until his death. He was the object of many manhunts and investigations over the years by different groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Klarsfelds and others. He was condemned to death in absentia in France in 1954 for crimes against humanity. He lost an eye and then the fingers of his left hand as a result of letter bombs sent to him in 1961 and 1980, reportedly by Israeli intelligence. The government of Syria under Hafez el-Assad came close to extraditing him to East Germany before this plan was halted by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Brunner survived all the attempts to detain him and was unrepentant about his activities to the end. During his long residence in Syria, Brunner was reportedly granted asylum, a generous salary and protection by the ruling Ba'ath Party in exchange for his advice on effective torture and interrogation techniques used by the Germans in World War II.Starting in the 1990s and continuing for two decades, there was periodic media speculation about Brunner's exact whereabouts and his possible demise. In November 2014, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that Brunner had died in Syria in 2010, and that he was buried somewhere in Damascus. The exact date of death and place of death are unknown, with recent information pointing to 2001 as the year of his death.Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service
The Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service (AHMS) is an alternative to Austria's compulsory national military service / alternative service founded in 1992. Since 1998 it is part of the Austrian Service Abroad. AHMS representatives serve at major Holocaust memorial institutions in 23 countries worldwide. The German name is Gedenkdienst (Memorial Service). The organization is interested in roots and results of the Nazism and takes care of victims of Nazism. Women can participate since 2013.Bali Holocaust Conference
The Bali Holocaust Conference was held on June 12, 2007 in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia. The conference aimed to promote religious tolerance and affirm the reality of the Holocaust and was attended by rabbis, Holocaust witnesses, and Muslim leaders, teachers and students. This event was convened by former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, and was sponsored by the Wahid Institute, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, and the Libforall Foundation. Wahid stated that although he is a good friend of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his views about the Holocaust are wrong and that it really happened.
Among the attendants were Abraham Cooper, a Rabbi and the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; C. Holland Taylor, the chief executive officer of the Libforall Foundation; American Holocaust survivor Sol Teichman; Indonesian Catholic priest Franz Magnis-Suseno; Indian religious leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; Tumini, a Balinese woman who was severely burned when al-Qaeda-linked militants targeted two nightclubs in 2002; and Rabbi Daniel Landes, director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Alfred Balitzer, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at Claremont Graduate University in the United States and a senior consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Ted Gover, of Pacific Research & Strategies,Inc., conference and media coordinator.Efraim Zuroff
Efraim Zuroff (born August 5, 1948) is an American-born Israeli historian and Nazi hunter who has played a key role in bringing indicted Nazi and fascist war criminals to trial. Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem, is the coordinator of Nazi war crimes research worldwide for the Wiesenthal Center and the author of its annual "Status Report" on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals which includes a list of "most wanted" Nazi war criminals.Frank Sinatra and Jewish activism
Frank Sinatra was a strong supporter and activist for Jewish causes in the United States and Israel. According to Santopietro, Sinatra was a "lifelong sympathizer with Jewish causes". Sinatra participated in Hollywood protests and productions supporting Jews during the Holocaust and the formation of the State of Israel. He actively fund-raised for Israel Bonds, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and helped establish two intercultural centers in Israel which bear his name. Due to his support of Israel, his recordings and films were banned by the Arab League and by Lebanon.Gayle Harris
Gayle Elizabeth Harris (born February 12, 1951) was ordained as Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 2003, succeeding Barbara Harris.
This was the first time in the Episcopal Church in the United States that a woman was succeeded as bishop by another woman.
Harris was born in 1951. She was ordained as a deacon in February 1981 and as a priest in June 1982.In 2018, Harris claimed that she personally saw Israeli security personnel arrest a 3-year-old on the Temple Mount for bouncing a ball that fell among worshipers at the Western Wall, and also saw Israeli soldiers respond to a comment by a 15-year-old boy by shooting him 10 times in the back. Harris was accused by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish organizations of fabricating "defamatory and incendiary" stories of "Israeli heartlessness and criminality" in support of an Episcopal Church General Convention resolution condemning Israel. The Simon Wiesenthal Center claimed that her "anti-Israel rhetoric borders on a 'blood libel'" Several weeks later, Harris apologized, stating that "I now acknowledge that I reported stories which I had heard and unintentionally framed them as though I had personally witnessed the alleged events." She added, "I did not take the opportunity to verify these stories. ... I was ill-advised to repeat the stories without verification, and I apologize for doing so."Genocide (1981 film)
Genocide is a 1981 documentary by Arnold Schwartzman concerning the Holocaust. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.Holocaust museum
The term Holocaust museum may refer to:
Ani Ma'amin Holocaust Museum (Jerusalem)
Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance
Florida Holocaust Museum
Ghetto Fighters' House (Western Galilee, Israel)
Holocaust Museum Houston
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre (Australia)
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
Simon Wiesenthal Center (Los Angeles)
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, D.C.)
Virginia Holocaust Museum
Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), Israel's national Holocaust Remembrance Authority
Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia in Skopje (Macedonia)List of most-wanted Nazi war criminals
Since 2001, Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has produced an Annual Status Report on the Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi war criminals which, since at least 2005, has included a list of "most-wanted" criminals who had never been convicted. The list was last updated in 2018.Marvin Hier
Rabbi Marvin (Moshe Chaim) Hier (מרווין האייר) (born 1939 in New York City) is the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, its Museum of Tolerance and of Moriah, the Center's film division.Museum of Tolerance
The Museum of Tolerance (MOT), a multimedia museum in Los Angeles, California, United States, is designed to examine racism and prejudice around the world with a strong focus on the history of the Holocaust. The museum was established in 1993, as the educational arm of human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center. MOT also deals with atrocities in Cambodia and Latin America, along with issues like bullying and hate crimes. The MOT has an associated museum and professional development multi-media training facility in New York City.National Front (Switzerland)
The National Front was a far-right political party in Switzerland that flourished during the 1930s. At its peak the group had at most 9,000 members, according to the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland,
and "may have had a membership of 25,000 or so", according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.Nazi hunter
A Nazi hunter is a private individual who tracks down and gathers information on alleged former Nazis, SS members, and Nazi collaborators who were involved in the Holocaust, typically for use at trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Prominent Nazi hunters include Simon Wiesenthal, Tuviah Friedman, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, Ian Sayer, Yaron Svoray, Elliot Welles, and Efraim Zuroff.Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005) was a Jewish Austrian Holocaust survivor, Nazi hunter, and writer. He studied architecture and was living in Lwów at the outbreak of World War II. He survived the Janowska concentration camp (late 1941 to September 1944), the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp (September to October 1944), the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, a death march to Chemnitz, Buchenwald, and the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp (February to 5 May 1945).
After the war, Wiesenthal dedicated his life to tracking down and gathering information on fugitive Nazi war criminals so that they could be brought to trial. In 1947, he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre in Linz, Austria, where he and others gathered information for future war crime trials and aided refugees in their search for lost relatives. He opened the Documentation Centre of the Association of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Regime in Vienna in 1961 and continued to try to locate missing Nazi war criminals. He played a small role in locating Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960, and worked closely with the Austrian justice ministry to prepare a dossier on Franz Stangl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1971.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Wiesenthal was involved in two high-profile events involving Austrian politicians. Shortly after Bruno Kreisky was inaugurated as Austrian chancellor in April 1970, Wiesenthal pointed out to the press that four of his new cabinet appointees had been members of the Nazi Party. Kreisky, angry, called Wiesenthal a "Jewish fascist", likened his organisation to the Mafia, and accused him of collaborating with the Nazis. Wiesenthal successfully sued for libel, the suit ending in 1989. In 1986, Wiesenthal was involved in the case of Kurt Waldheim, whose service in the Wehrmacht and probable knowledge of the Holocaust were revealed in the lead-up to the 1986 Austrian presidential elections. Wiesenthal, embarrassed that he had previously cleared Waldheim of any wrongdoing, suffered much negative publicity as a result of this event.
With a reputation as a storyteller, Wiesenthal was the author of several memoirs containing tales that are only loosely based on actual events. In particular, he exaggerated his role in the capture of Eichmann in 1960. Wiesenthal died in his sleep at age 96 in Vienna on 20 September 2005 and was buried in the city of Herzliya in Israel. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, located in Los Angeles, is named in his honor.Søren Kam
Søren Kam (2 November 1921 – 23 March 2015) was a Danish junior officer in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was wanted for murder in Denmark and listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals.The Long Way Home (1997 film)
The Long Way Home is a 1997 American documentary film directed by Mark Jonathan Harris. It depicts the plight of Jewish refugees after World War II that contributed to the creation of the State of Israel.
The film's emphasis is on the pitiful conditions for Jewish refugees in Europe after the war, as antisemitism was still rife and poverty was common. It also shows how emigration to the British Mandate of Palestine became a goal for many, but that British immigration rules often resulted in them being detained in camps in Cyprus. The eventual formation of the State of Israel is then shown, with emphasis on the debates in the White House between Palestinian Jews, President Harry S. Truman, and the United Nations.
The Long Way Home is narrated by Morgan Freeman and features the voices of Edward Asner, Sean Astin, Martin Landau, Miriam Margolyes, David Paymer, Nina Siemaszko, Helen Slater, and Michael York. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1998.Vladimir Katriuk
Vladimir Katriuk (1 October 1921 – 22 May 2015) was a Canadian man of Ukrainian ancestry, born in the village of Luzhany, near the city of Chernivtsi. Chernivtsi is situated in the region known as Bukovina, which in 1921 was part of the Kingdom of Romania. Katriuk was accused by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of having been an active participant in the Khatyn massacre during World War II. In 2012, Katriuk was ranked number three on the List of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Katriuk denied any involvement in war crimes.Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles
Founded in 1979 to serve the Greater Los Angeles Jewish community, Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA) is a college-preparatory, Modern Orthodox Jewish high school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It has no affiliation with Yeshiva University in New York City.
The school is financially independent of, and separately incorporated from, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, despite their juxtaposition.
As of 2018, YULA is focused on three main strategic goals: Primacy and Relevancy of Torah Studies, Uncompromising General Studies, and Character development. The school's tuition is approximately $35,000.
Antisemitic laws, policies
and government actions