The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Death of a monster hunter

Eli Weisenthal is dead at age 96.

“When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren’t able to kill millions of people and get away with it,” [Weisenthal] once said. [...] Wiesenthal was first sent to a concentration camp in 1941, outside Lviv, Ukraine, according to the Wiesenthal Center Web site. In October 1943, he escaped from the Ostbahn camp just before the Germans began killing all the inmates. He was recaptured in June 1944 and sent back to Janwska, but escaped death as his SS guards retreated westward with their prisoners from the Soviet Red Army. Wiesenthal’s quest began after the Americans liberated the Mauthausen death camp in Austria where Wiesenthal was a prisoner in May 1945. It was his fifth death camp among the dozen Nazi camps in which he was imprisoned, and he weighed just 99 pounds when he was freed. He said he quickly realized “there is no freedom without justice,” and decided to dedicate “a few years” to that mission.
One less speaker for the dead; one less witness to the depths of depravity and monstrosity of which humans are capable. And while he was certainly not without controversy, the world is now more dangerous with his passing. Exactly how dangerous remains to be seen; unfortunately, that degree depends entirely upon "the angels of our better nature". Analysis of the degree of danger has been left as an exercise for the reader.


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