The horrors of the Holocaust left a big mark on Simon Wiesenthal's life. He himself was a victim of the Nazis, but in the end he was also a famous Nazi hunter. He earned this title by being credited after World War II that numerous criminals were nevertheless brought to justice. He devoted most of his life to this task. However, his life story and love with his wife Sila are as spectacular as the fight for justice, and yet much less known!
Sila and Simon were married in 1936 in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which was part of Polish territory on the eve of the war. When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1941, this city was turned into a "Jewish ghetto" whose captives were also the Wiesenthal couple. They were both taken to a smaller labor camp. During that time, mass persecution of Jews continued throughout occupied Poland, and Silas and Simon knew that the whirlwind of death was approaching.
Love in the whirlwind of war!
Despite great difficulties, Simon managed to establish contact with the Polish resistance movement gathered in the form of the Army of Craiova. At the beginning of 1943, he was forced to work on servicing the railway and along the way had information about the events at the main hubs. Wiesenthal offered his knowledge in exchange for the life of his wife, who was saved by the Army of Craiova after the attack on the Nazi camp. She was given a false, Christian identity and soon moved to Lublin, a city 200 kilometers away from Lviv. As early as June of the same year, the Gestapo carried out extensive searches in Lublin for the remaining Jews, which forced the Force to return to Lviv. There she found Simon again after hiding for two days in the train station pantry. In 1944, Simon reactivated his connections in the resistance movement to find refuge for the Force in Warsaw. Lviv became insecure for Sila, so with the help of the Army of Craiova, she left this place again
A tragic misunderstanding!
Mentally shaken by the horrors of war, Simon Wiesenthal attempted suicide. Members of the Army of Craiova learned the details of the act and soon passed them on to the Force, believing that Simon was no longer alive. However, he survived, but after his recovery, the Nazis transferred him to another camp. There he met a certain man from Warsaw. Until the deportation, this man lived in the street where the Force was hiding. From him, Simon learned that the Nazis had burned the entire neighborhood and that none of the tenants had survived. Desperate, Wiesenthal was on the verge of surrendering and surrendering to death. The Nazis put him in the "death ward", a block for terminally ill detainees where he survived on only 200 calories a day. Still, it somehow survived. When the Americans liberated the camp on May 5, 1945, Simon weighed only 41 kilograms. After his recovery, he immediately turned to the Red Cross to try to find out the truth about his wife.
During the mentioned attack, the force was captured and immediately transferred to a camp that was liberated by the British a month before the American forces saved Simon. She believed that her husband was no longer alive until one of the members of the humanitarian mission informed her about Simon's search. I just got a letter from your husband. He is trying in every possible way to find your remains - he told her
An amazing turnaround!
However, Hitler's capitulation did not end the suffering of the Wiesenthal couple. Simon was in a camp liberated by American soldiers, and the Force found itself in territory that soon after the end of the conflict became part of the Soviet sphere of interest. Crossing the newly formed border was almost impossible, but Simon found a smuggler named Felix Weisberg who had the task of returning his wife. And then, in the march towards the Soviet territory, another incredible turn in the story happened - Felix lost information about the location where the Force was! In despair and hopelessness, the man hung a board that read: "Let the Wiesenthal Force come into contact with a man named Felix Weisberg. He will take her to her husband in Linz. ”Weiberg quickly found himself in trouble because three women responded to this call. They all claimed to be named after Simon Wiesenthal's wife. How to illegally transfer three women, across the border controlled by the Americans and the Soviets? At the moment, everything seemed like an impossible mission. The only thing Felix could do was talk carefully to each "candidate" and choose the one he thought was the most convincing. It turned out that he chose the right Mrs. Wiesenthal.
A life dedicated to the search for justice!
The Wiesenthal couple were together again, but it was difficult to overcome the horrors of the war. Sila and Simon lost 89 family members in the Holocaust. However, life went on and brought new joys. Nine months after the unification, their daughter was born.
Wiesenthal himself survived the Holocaust, but he did not forget it! In 1977, he founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Holocaust memorial center, as well as a documentation center dedicated to finding Nazi war criminals.
He and his Jewish documentation center, located in Vienna, were responsible for capturing and convicting the main organizer of the "Final Solution", Adolf Eichmann, as well as hundreds of other Nazi criminals.
All this time, despite the many threats they received, Simon and Sila stayed together. They lived in a modest apartment in Vienna raising a daughter, and later three grandchildren. They parted forever only on November 10, 2003. It was the day the Force passed away at the age of 95. Shortly afterwards, Simon announced his retirement from public life and the search for the Nazis. He passed away on September 20, 2005 at the age of 96.