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Nazi Hunter Wiesenthal Dead At 96

20 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal died today in Vienna at age 96.

Wiesenthal was a survivor of the Holocaust who helped track down numerous Nazi war criminals following World War II. He then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people.

Jewish leaders in Vienna said a funeral will be held in Israel on 23 September. They said there will be a farewell ceremony on 21 September in the Austrian capital and the body would then be taken to Israel.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, speaking today in Jerusalem, paid tribute to the Austrian-born Wiesenthal.

"Simon Wiesenthal's passing saddens us all," Regev said. "He was a champion in the fight to bring to justice the 20th century's worst criminals who had escaped justice, and in that effort Wiesenthal earned the respect and the recognition of the state of Israel, of the Jewish people and I think of everyone who supports the fight against racism and injustice."

Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said Wiesenthal had been a tireless fighter against forgetting the Nazi crimes and recalled his motto of "justice, not revenge."

(Compiled from agency reports)