Simon Wiesenthal Center (often abbreviated SWC), with headquarters
in Los Angeles, California, United States, was established in 1977 and
Nazi hunter 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
Holocaust for future generations."
The Center is accredited as a non-governmental organization (NGO) at
the United Nations, the UNESCO, and the 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,
neo-Nazism, and hate on the Internet.
1 Name and leadership
2 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)
9.7 United States
9.10.1 "Sunday Project" controversy
Kishidan Nazi outfit controversy
10 See also
12 External links
12.1 Archival collections
Name and leadership
Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles
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 Vienna.
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
Main article: 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 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
Museum of Tolerance is one of many
partner organizations of the
Austrian Service Abroad
Austrian Service Abroad (Auslandsdienst)
and the corresponding Austrian
Holocaust Memorial Service
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
Douglas, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Stewart, and Sandra
The headquarters of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center is in Los Angeles.
However, there are also international offices located at the following
cities: New York City, Miami, Toronto, Jerusalem, Paris, Chicago, and
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
This section possibly contains synthesis of material which does not
verifiably mention or relate to the main topic. Relevant discussion
may be found on the talk page. (July 2010) (Learn how and when to
remove this template message)
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
them to 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 of
Ireland, 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
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
Museum of Tolerance on the site.
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'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
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.
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 “[t]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, 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
^ "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.
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=
^ "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". Archived from the original on 2013-12-17. Retrieved
^ "RTÉ News - President criticises claims against museum". Rte.ie.
2008-01-22. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
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
Jerusalem Muslim 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 [Retrieved 2010-08-30].
^ "Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Vatican's Call for Controversial Bishop
to Recant His Denial of the Holocaust". Wiesenthal.com. 2009-02-04.
^ 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
Jews Defend Leftist President in Flap
Over Remarks. Forward.com, January 13, 2006, Accessed 01 December
^ "WIESENTHAL CENTER DENOUNCES JAPANESE TV NEWS PERSONALITY FOR
BLAMING POLITICAL SCANDALS ON AMERICA AND THE JEWS". Simon Wiesenthal
Center. March 9, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
^ Justin McCurry (2 March 2011). "Japanese pop group Kishidan's 'Nazi'
outfits force Sony to apologise". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 November
^ "Avex Group's Message of Apology to the
Simon Wiesenthal Center"
Avex Group Holdings KK. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 6 April
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Guide to the Courage to Remember: The Holocaust, 1933-1945 Posters.
Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine,
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Moriah Films on IMDbPro (subscription required)
Response Magazine Online Archive
Response - America Remembers: One Year Later, Remembering the Victims,
Pondering the Lessons Also in the Issue: International Community &
the Mideast; Tragedy of Palestinian Children; The Real Obstacles to
Peace; Global Terror Update;
Internet Used by Terrorists, Racists;
Museum of Tolerance
Simon Wiesenthal at The Jewish Virtual Library
Haaretz 11/03/05[permanent dead link]
Tour of the Wiesenthal Center
Archives for the C-SPAN
School Bus, February 9, 1999
Iran at the
Wayback Machine (archived May 28, 2006)
Coordinates: 34°03′14″N 118°24′07″W / 34.05389°N
118.40194°W / 34.05389; -118.40194
Persecution of Jews
the Nation of Islam
The International Jew
Ku Klux Klan
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Antisemitic laws, policies
and government actions
Pogroms in the Russian Empire
1968 Polish political crisis
Leo Frank trial (USA)
Dreyfus Affair (France)
General Order No. 11 (USA, 1862)
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
Racial policy of Nazi Germany
The Zionist Occupation Government conspiracy theory
The Daily Stormer
Institute for Historical Review
The Right Stuff
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Holocaust Oral History Project (BAHOHP)
Community Security Trust
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
Stephen Roth Institute