Students Learn About The Work of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre

The Tour for Humanity
Posted on 06/13/2016

On Friday, June 17 students in grades 6,7 & 8 will continue to learn about "acceptance". A mobile learning centre will visit our school in the form of a bus from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Here is an overview of the work done by the Centre:

Holocaust Survivor Simon Wiesenthal dedicated his life to documenting the crimes of the Holocaust and to ensuring that the perpetrators of those crimes were brought to justice. “When history looks back,” Wiesenthal explained, “I want people to know the Nazis weren’t able to kill millions of people and get away with it.” Wiesenthal’s goals were twofold: to educate future generations about the horrors that can arise from unchecked prejudice and intolerance, and to promote the vital importance of justice though accountability. Simon Wiesenthal was born on December 31, 1908 in Poland. He married Cyla Mueller in 1938 and worked in an architectural office until war broke out in September 1939. Despite their efforts to hide from the Nazis, Wiesenthal and Mueller were eventually found and arrested. Wiesenthal spent the duration of the Second World War being transported from one concentration camp to another, witnessing horrendous atrocities that were beyond comprehension. Liberation for Wiesenthal came on May 5, 1945 when Mathausen concentration camp was liberated by the Soviet army. As soon as his health was sufficiently restored, he started the search for family members. Wiesenthal was reunited with his wife; however, together they lost 89 members of their family at the hands of the Nazis. Unable to return to the life he had lived before the war, Wiesenthal began gathering and preparing evidence on Nazi atrocities for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army. By the end of his career, Wiesenthal had brought nearly 1,100 Nazi war criminals, including Adolf Eichmann, to trial in courts of law. Unlike the war criminals brought to justice at Nuremberg who were tried on counts of war crimes, those brought to trial by Wiesenthal were tried for crimes against humanity – a far more serious charge. In an effort to keep his ideals of justice, tolerance and the preservation of human rights alive, the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies was founded in November 1977. Today, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international center for Holocaust remembrance and the defence of human rights worldwide. Wiesenthal was the recipient of many honours from governments and associations around the world. On September 20, 2005, at the age of 97, Simon Wiesenthal died peacefully in his sleep at home.