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Old 09-20-2005, 06:47 PM   #16
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Seeking justice over revenge is certainly virtuous.

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Old 09-20-2005, 06:54 PM   #17
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He lived his life with passion and conviction, and for that, I salute him. Wonderful work was done by his centre.

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Old 09-20-2005, 08:23 PM   #18
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A true hero of social justice in the 20th century has just passed from our midst -

we should reverence his presence amongst us and live up to the challenge he leaves us.

That one person can MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR GOOD in our world.

Thank you, Mr. Wiesenthal. I won't soon forget you.
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Old 09-21-2005, 05:00 AM   #19
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Seeking justice over revenge is certainly virtuous.
Yes, and that is what he did.

I also give him big, big props for staying in Vienna.

The city and the people here did NOT always treat him good. This is the Viennese mentality you will not hear of in the multicoloured Mozart-brochures we are printing for tourism.

In the 60s, life in Austria was different. We saw ourselves like victims of the Nazis, when there were many people who had thought that Hitler was fantastic. Some who worked in concentration camps. Who sent the trains away. Sure, there was resistance too. When we got our freedom in the year 1955, ten years after the war had ended, there were ex-Nazis hiding in South America.

So, one could say up until the 80s, the "official" Austria had a lot of run-ins with Wiesenthal. This even led to a juridicial quarrel with our (70s) chancellor Kreisky, who had appointed a politician called Peter for his cabinet, who was an ex-Nazi.

Just in the late 80s, Austria was mature enough to recognize that in our own rows there were not only victims, but also people who helped the Nazi regime.

Without Wiesenthal, there wouldn´t have been some of the Nuremberg trials, like the one against Eichmann.

Wiesenthal´s wife, however, always wanted to return to Israel. But he always wanted to stay, saying that he couldn´t continue with his work if he moved there. In a way, he was right. I liked to have him right here. To be our conscience.

That´s not to say he was a perfect saint. There have been articles about the finances of "his" NGO etc.

However, he played such an important role. There are those "little" things people will not mention in their newspaper articles.. like when he pressed and pressed and pressed the Viennese politicians to put a statue on Judenplatz (Jew´s Place) in our central business district. It was designed by Josef Hrdlicka (another guy who conservative Austrians don´t like, because he is critical of politics and can be very provocative).

I think the art scene here admired him a lot. We have some good people here, who don´t give a fuck. I will always remember Hubsi Kramer, one of our actors: when the conservatives here made a coaltion with Haider (the right-wing politician who said that sending people to concentration camps was a "proper employment policy"), Hubsi came up to the yearly "Opera Ball" in Vienna (where all the rich elite, national, international, meets once a year to dance waltz and make business deals) - in a limousine, dressed in a Hitler uniform, complete with Svastika and all, and walked right in (it took the police half an hour to realize what was going on and get him out).
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:55 AM   #20
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Originally posted by yolland
People consumed by hatred aren't generally capable of achievements on a par with Wiesenthal's.

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I understand the consternation many feel towards those who devote so much time to preserving the past, when there is such suffering in the present. (This is why bleak jokes like "Remember the Holocaust and keep it holy" are common among Jews of my generation.) I agree absolutely that the most important lesson of suffering is to try to prevent it from happening to others. But that work only begins (and endures) by remembering how and why you arrived at this conviction--what it is in you that makes you feel connected to whichever cause, and where the sense of purpose driving your efforts comes from. And no matter who you are, the answer to that lies in experiences you had and the way they made you think and feel...NOT in abstract platitudes about good and evil, hearts and minds, or whatever. Those may be powerful words, but only as shorthands. Your life has to supply the meaning, or else there won't be any.

Also, there is a paradox to suffering where the more extreme and extraordinary in nature it is, the harder it becomes to adequately and accurately express it through words. This is where voices like Wiesenthal's, Elie Wiesel, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright or whoever else comes to mind for you are so important...they are able to elucidate particular sufferings in a way that is healing for those who have experienced it, and illuminating for those who have not. Once you can name those feelings, it is easier to recognize kindred ones in others and to feel connected to their fate.
That is an amazing post, thank you. I'd say you must have a definite understanding of this and of a man like him. What else can I say.. your parents must be incredible people.
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Old 09-21-2005, 05:03 PM   #21
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He found a meaning in life that I could never hope to equal. Amazing he kept a sense of humor after surviving a concentration camp.

"Pride" is now ringing in my head...

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