The SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER (often abbreviated SWC), with
Los Angeles ,
United States , was
established in 1977 and named for
Simon Wiesenthal .
According to its mission statement , it is "an international Jewish
human rights organization dedicated to repairing the world one step at
a time. The Center's multifaceted mission generates changes through
the SNIDER SOCIAL ACTION INSTITUTE and education by confronting
antisemitism , hate and terrorism , promoting human rights and
dignity, standing with
Israel , defending the safety of Jews
worldwide, and teaching the lessons of the
Holocaust for future
The Center is accredited as a non-governmental organization (NGO) at
United Nations , the
UNESCO , and the
Council of Europe
Council of Europe .
The organization aims to foster tolerance and understanding through
community involvement, educational outreach and social action. The
Center closely interacts on an ongoing basis with a variety of public
and private agencies, meeting with elected officials, the United
States and foreign governments, diplomats and heads of state. Other
issues that the Center deals with include: the prosecution of Nazi war
criminals, fighting against purported
Middle East Affairs; and extremist groups,
Nazism , and hate on the
* 1 Name and leadership
Museum of Tolerance
* 3 Moriah Films
* 4 Office locations
Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual
Library and archives
* 7 Search for Nazi war criminals
* 8 References in pop culture
* 9 Official statements
* 9.1 Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)
* 9.2 France
* 9.4 Ireland
* 9.6 Canada
* 9.8 Vatican
* 9.9 Venezuela
* 9.10 Japan
* 9.10.1 "Sunday Project" controversy
Kishidan Nazi outfit controversy
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 External links
* 12.1 Archival collections
* 12.2 Other
NAME AND LEADERSHIP
Simon Wiesenthal Center,
The organization is named after
Simon Wiesenthal , a Mauthausen
survivor, former architectural engineer and
Galician Jew who lost many
family members in the
Holocaust , and later pledged to hunt down Nazis
and bring them to justice. He founded and headed the Jewish
Documentation Center in
Simon Wiesenthal had nothing to do
with the operation or activities of the SWC other than giving it its
The SWC is headed by Rabbi
Marvin Hier , its Dean and Founder. Rabbi
Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean and Rabbi Meyer May is the
Executive Director. The organization publishes a seasonal magazine,
MUSEUM OF TOLERANCE
Museum of Tolerance
The Center’s educational arm, Museum of Tolerance, was founded in
1993 and hosts 350,000 visitors annually. Some of the programs
sponsored by the Museum include:
* Tools for Tolerance
* Teaching Steps to Tolerance
* Task Force Against Hate
* National Institute Against
* Tools for Tolerance for Teens
Simon Wiesenthal Tolerance Center in
New York City
New York City
New York Tolerance Center is a professional development multi-media
training facility targeting educators, law enforcement officials, and
state/local government practitioners.
Simon Wiesenthal Center and its
Museum of Tolerance is one of
many partner organizations of the Austrian Service Abroad
Auslandsdienst ) and the corresponding Austrian
Moriah Films, also known as the Jack and Pearl Resnick Film Division
of the SWC, was created to produce theatrical documentaries to educate
both national and international audiences, with a focus on
contemporary human rights and ethical issues and Jewish experience.
Two films produced by the division, Genocide (film) and The Long Way
Home (1997 film) have received the Academy Award for Best Documentary
Moriah films has worked with numerous actors to narrate their
productions. Including but not limited to
Elizabeth Taylor , Michael
Nicole Kidman ,
Morgan Freeman ,
Patrick Stewart , and
Sandra Bullock .
The headquarters of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center is in
Los Angeles .
However, there are also international offices located at the following
New York City
New York City ,
Paris , Chicago
Buenos Aires .
Through its national and international offices the Center carries out
its above mentioned mission of preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ANNUAL
Between 1984 and 1990 the Center published seven volumes of SIMON
WIESENTHAL CENTER ANNUAL, focusing on the scholarly study of the
Holocaust , broadly defined. This series is ISSN 0741-8450 .
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES
Archives of the center in L.A. has grown to a
collection of about 50,000 volumes and non-print materials. Moreover,
Archives incorporates photographs , diaries , letters , artifacts
, artwork and rare books , which are available to researchers ,
students and the general public .
SEARCH FOR NAZI WAR CRIMINALS
Efraim Zuroff , director of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center office in
Jerusalem, is the coordinator of Nazi war crimes research worldwide
for the Wiesenthal Center and the author of its annual (since 2001)
"Status Report" on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi
war criminals which includes a "most wanted" list of Nazi war
In November 2005, the
Simon Wiesenthal Center gave the name of four
suspected former Nazi criminals to German authorities. The names were
the first results of
Operation Last Chance , a drive launched that
year by the center to track down former Nazis for World War II-era
crimes before they die of old age.
REFERENCES IN POP CULTURE
The center is featured in the real-life-story-based
Freedom Writers .
An exterior view of the center is given, and there are scenes inside
the museum, showing simulation entrances to gas chambers in death
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BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS (BDS)
In 2013, the SWC released a comprehensive report on the Boycott,
Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The report analyzed the BDS
campaign throughout its various outlets and concluded that the BDS
movement is a "thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement
the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim
“rejectionists” who have refused to make peace with
over six decades, and to pursue a high-profile campaign composed of
Israel big lies to help destroy the Jewish State by any and all
means". The report also noted that the BDS campaign attacks Israel's
entire economy and society, holding all (Jewish) Israelis as
On March 8, 2007, the head of international relations for the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, Stanley Trevor Samuels, was convicted (and later
acquitted in an appeal) of defamation by a
Paris courthouse for
accusing the French-based Committee for Charity and Support for the
Palestinians (CBSP) of sending funds to the families of Palestinian
In its filing of the suit, the CBSP labelled the accusations
"ridiculous", stating that its charitable work consisted of providing
aid to some 3,000 Palestinian orphans. The court ruled that documents
produced by the Wiesenthal Center established no "direct or indirect
participation in financing terrorism" on the part of the CBSP, and
that the allegations were "seriously defamatory".
The Wiesenthal Center appealed the court ruling, and the appeal was
granted in July 2009.
After a Canadian newspaper reported upon the 2006 Iranian sumptuary
law controversy (based on a report written by Iranian exiles on
Iranian religious minorities being forced to wear badges identifying
Muslims ), the dean of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi
Marvin Hier, wrote to
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
urging the international community to pressure
Iran to drop the
Numerous other sources, including
Maurice Motamed , the Jewish member
Iranian parliament and the Iranian Embassy in Canada , refuted
the report as untrue. The National Post later retracted the original
Iran eyes badges for Jews: Law would require non-Muslim
insignia") and published an article, to the contrary ("Experts say
reports of badges for
Iran is untrue"). However, the Simon
Wiesenthal Center refused to admit any mistake on their part and
insisted that the widely debunked allegations were true.
In January 2004, the
Paris branch of the center asked the President
Mary McAleese , to suspend the 'Irish Museum of the Year
Award' given to the
Hunt Museum in
Limerick , until the conclusion of
a demanded inquiry into the provenance of a significant number of
items in the collection. He argued that this was needed due to the
close ties of the founders, John and Gertrude Hunt to the head of the
Nazi Party (NSDP-AO) in Ireland, among others, and British suspicions
during the war of espionage activity on the part of the couple. The
center also claimed, 'The “
Hunt Museum Essential Guide” describes
only 150 of the over 2000 objects in the Museum’s collection and,
notably, without providing information on their provenance - data that
all museums are now required to provide in accordance with
This essentially accused the
Hunt Museum in
Limerick of keeping art
and artifacts looted during the Second World War, which was described
as "unprofessional in the extreme" by the expert Lynn Nicholas that
cleared the museum of wrongdoing. The claim was taken so seriously
that the examination was supervised by the prestigious Royal Irish
Academy , whose 2006 report is available on line. McAleese, who had
been written to by the center, then criticized a Dr. Samuels of the
center for "a tissue of lies", adding that the center had diminished
the name of Simon Wiesenthal. The center said that it had prepared
its own 150-page report in May 2008 that would be published after
vetting by its lawyers, but had not done so as of November 2008.
A branch museum in Jerusalem-—expected to be completed in
2009-—sparked protests from the city's Muslim population. The museum
is being built on what Rabbi
Marvin Hier described as "derelict land":
a thousand-year-old Muslim graveyard called the
Mamilla Cemetery ,
much of which has already been paved over. The complaints were
rejected by Israel's Supreme Court, leading to a demonstration by
several hundred people in November 2008. On November 19, 2008 a
group of US Jewish and Muslim leaders sent a letter to the Wiesenthal
Center to halt the construction of the
Museum of Tolerance on the
As of February 2010, the Museum of Tolerance's plan for construction
has been fully approved by Israeli courts and is proceeding at the
compound of Mamilla Cemetery. The courts ruled that the compound had
been neglected as a spiritual site by the Muslim community, in effect
not functioning as a cemetery for decades (while simultaneously used
for other purposes), and was thus mundra, i.e. abandoned, under Muslim
The Centre faults the
Government of Canada
Government of Canada 's efforts to investigate
and prosecute Nazi war criminals, and claims that approximately 2,000
Nazi war criminals obtained Canadian citizenship by providing false
Simon Wiesenthal Center opposed the construction of
Park51 , a
Muslim community center, two blocks from
Ground Zero . The executive
director of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center's
Museum of Tolerance in
Manhattan, Rabbi Meyer May said it was "insensitive" to locate the
The Jewish Week noted that the Center itself was once
accused of intolerance when it built a museum in
Jerusalem on land
that was once a Muslim cemetery , after gaining approval from Israeli
Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the news that the Vatican has
demanded that Bishop Richard Williamson recant his views denying the
Holocaust before being re-admitted to the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church .
Williamson was one of the four priests from the Society of St. Pius X
who were excommunicated 20 years ago for taking part in the
consecration of Bishops contrary to Canon Law.
Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized
Hugo Chávez for various
statements, including his January 2006 statement that “he world is
for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the
descendants of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendants of
the same ones that kicked Bolívar out of here and also crucified him
in their own way over there in
Santa Marta , in
Colombia . A minority
has taken possession all of the wealth of the world...” The Simon
Wiesenthal Center omitted the reference to Bolívar without ellipsis,
stated that Chávez was referring to
Jews , and denounced the remarks
as antisemitic by way of his allusions to wealth. Meanwhile, according
to Forward.com, the
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Committee , the American Jewish
Congress , and the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela
defended Chávez, stating that he was speaking not of Jews, but of
South America's white oligarchy . The Wiesenthal Center's
representative in Latin America replied that Chávez's mention of
Christ-killers was "ambiguous at best" and that the "decision to
criticize Chávez had been taken after careful consideration".
"Sunday Project" Controversy
Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly denounced politician-journalist
Soichiro Tahara for his remarks against former Prime Minister Kakuei
Tanaka and his daughter, former Foreign Minister
Makiko Tanaka on his
TV Asahi program "Sunday Project " in March 2009.
"In the live broadcast, Tahara told Tanaka that her father, former
Kakuei Tanaka was “done in by America, by the Jews
and (Ichiro) Ozawa , (then-leader of the
Democratic Party of Japan )
too, was done in (by America and/or the Jews).”
Kishidan Nazi Outfit Controversy
SWC's associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, condemned the Japanese
Kishidan for wearing uniforms resembling those of the SS, the
armed wing of the Nazi party. The band wore military-inspired
uniforms, adorned with the German medal Iron Cross and Nazi insignia
such as the death skull and SS eagle on
MTV Japan 's primetime program
"Mega Vector." Cooper said in a written protest to the band's
management company Sony Music Artists ,
MTV Japan and the Japanese
entertainment group Avex (Kishidan's label at the time being and also
the current one) that "there is no excuse for such an outrage" and
that "many young Japanese are "woefully uneducated" about the crimes
against humanity committed by
Nazi Germany and Japan during the second
world war , but global entities like MTV and Sony Music should know
As a result, Sony Music Artists and Avex issued a joint statement of
public apology on their respective websites.
Los Angeles portal
2006 Iranian sumptuary law controversy
* ^ Rose, Binyamin (Oct 14, 2015). "It all Begins with Words".
Mishpacha (580): 24.
* ^ "SWC Home > About Us". Wiesenthal.com. 2013-07-18. Retrieved
* ^ "Moriah Films". Retrieved 22 July 2010.
* ^ "About Us - Moriah Films -Division of
Simon Wiesenthal Center".
www.moriahfilms.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
* ^ "Offices Worldwide
Simon Wiesenthal Center".
www.wiesenthal.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
* ^ "
Simon Wiesenthal Center Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ A B Nazi-hunting centre convicted for defamation. Agence France
Presse (March 8, 2007). Available here. Accessed 12 March 2007.
* ^ SWC news release.
* ^ Yossi Melman (19.05.06). "Iranian MPs deny report
Jews will be
forced to wear badges". Haaretz. Check date values in: date= (help )
* ^ "Experts say report of badges for
Iran is untrue".
National Post. Canada. 19 May 2006. Archived from the original on 28
May 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
* ^ Archived November 19, 2007, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Associated Press(IHT September 2007)U.S. expert condemns Simon
Wiesenthal Center\'s claims of Nazi loot in Irish museum Retrieved 29
* ^ "Lynn Nicholas links". Independent.ie. 2010-11-18. Retrieved
* ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on
2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
* ^ "RTÉ News - President criticises claims against museum".
Rte.ie. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ The
Irish Times 7 November 2008, p.15.
* ^ Patience, Martin (2006-02-17). "Row over Israeli tolerance
museum". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ Davies, Wyre (2008-11-08). "Row over
cemetery". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ Hier, Marvin (2010-02-12). "A proper site for a Museum of
Tolerance". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ Mertl, Steve (2011-04-20). "Ottawa agrees to revisit case of
suspected Nazi war criminal Vladimir Katriuk". Ca.news.yahoo.com.
* ^ Adam Dickter. Wiesenthal Center Opposes
Ground Zero Mosque. The
Jewish Week. 2010-08-06 .
* ^ "Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Vatican’s Call for Controversial
Bishop to Recant His Denial of the Holocaust". Wiesenthal.com.
2009-02-04. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
* ^ Wiesenthal Center (2006), "SWC Condemns antisemitic statements
by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - demands public apology",
Wiesenthal Center, retrieved February 15, 2006 .
* ^ Perelman, Marc. Venezuela's