Cover image for Justice not vengeance
Justice not vengeance
Wiesenthal, Simon.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Recht, nicht Rache. English
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Weidenfeld, 1989.
Physical Description:
xi, 372 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Recht, nicht Rache.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS135.A93 W53913 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS135.A93 W53913 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Author Notes

Simon Wiesenthal was born on December 31, 1908 in a small town near the present-day Ukrainian city of Lvov. He attended the Technical University of Prague after being turned away from the Polytechnic Institute in Lvov because of quota restrictions on Jewish students. He received his degree in architectural engineering in 1932 and opened an architectural office in Lvov. He was forced to close his business at the beginning of World War II. By September 1942, a total of eighty-nine members of both his and his wife's families perished. He was liberated from the Mauthausen death camp in Austria by the Americans on May 5, 1945. It was his fifth death camp among the dozen Nazi camps in which he was imprisoned during the war.

After the war, Wiesenthal began gathering and preparing evidence on Nazi atrocities for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army and other organizations. He spent more than 50 years hunting Nazi war criminals and speaking out against neo-Nazism and racism. His main function as a Nazi hunter was gathering and analyzing information and then passing it on to the appropriate authorities. According to him, his work helped bring about 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice; including Adolf Eichmann, Karl Silberbauer, and Franz Stangl. He died on September 20, 2005 in Vienna at the age of 96.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Wiesenthal is well-known for his lifelong dedication to hunting down Nazis guilty of wartime crimes against the Jews. Now, at 80, Wiesenthal has written his autobiography, recounting his liberation from Mauthausen; his capture of Adolf Eichmann; his dealings with Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka, and other Nazis. He devotes a whole chapter to Raoul Wallenberg, the Swede who saved thousands of Jews and was taken prisoner by the Russians in 1945, never to be heard from again. He includes chapters discussing Jews and Ukrainians, Jews and Poles, Jews and Gypsies, Jews and Palestinians, and the Waldheim controversy. He concludes with a plea to today's young people to remember the Holocaust and to pass on to the next generation the story of this tragedy. "Only in oral accounts does memory stay alive," he warns us. No index. --George Cohen

Publisher's Weekly Review

At 80, renowned Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal recalls his escapes from death in concentration camps where his family perished, and his career tracking down war criminals. The shattering account, as riveting as a spy yarn, concerns his ruthless global pursuit of hundreds of murderers and collaborators, including Adolf Eichmann, Joseph Mengele and the SS officer who arrested Anne Frank. Wiesenthal's guilt at having survived the Holocaust inspires thoughts about individual vs. collective guilt, forgiveness, expiation and other moral issues. The author expresses alarm over continuing anti-Semitism worldwide and the Neo-Nazis' denial of the Holocaust, and fears that the young's ignorance of the Jewish genocide could allow a recurrence. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Acclaimed Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal, now 80, recounts his life's work of bringing Nazi criminals to justice. His memoirs include chilling, representative cases pursued over the decades. He describes the painstaking detective work involved in establishing the identities of former Nazis and his dogged determination to ferret them out while working within the legal system. He shares his frustrations when legal authorities ignored his evidence, or refused to extradite. Embroiled in numerous controversies, Weisenthal vigorously defends his positions. In one surprising essay he staunchly defends the Poles. Haunted by his survival from the Nazi death camps, Wiesenthal has felt compelled to bear witness in order to perpetuate the memory of the victims. His obsession and zeal have won him worldwide admirers, so the book has a built-in readership.-- Carol R. Glatt, Northeastern Hosp . of Philadelphia correction: Edgehill Publications has in formed us that the prices given for Billy Car ter's Billy, reviewed in the December 1 is sue, were tentative. The set prices are $17.95 for the hardcover, and $8.95 for the paperbound. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Wiesenthal, whose life was recently the subject of a feature-length film, is becoming known as a survivor of the death camps who has spent his life tracking down major Nazis guilty of "war-crimes." His biggest success was locating Adolf Eichmann in Argentina, which led directly to Eichmann's abduction to Israel where he was tried, found guilty, and hanged. Wiesenthal also details in this book his unsuccessful search for Raul Wallenberg, who was responsible for the saving of thousands of Jews in Hungary. Wallenberg was imprisoned by the Russians and has been swallowed up by the Russian prison system. Wiesenthal's book is not a memoir, but contains a brief biography by his friend Peter Michael Lingens. In addition to accounts of tracking down individual Nazis, Wiesenthal discusses the help extended by the Roman Catholic Church to Nazi criminals in escaping to Latin America after WW II. This well-written work is informed throughout by Wiesenthal's vigorous ethical commitment to justice, illustrated by his insistence on recognizing the victimization of Gypsies. General and undergraduate readers. -G. M. Kren, Kansas State University