The September 2 issue of the New York Times has a very interesting piece on Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi-hunter. For too long he was considered the lone Nazi hunter having no connection with the Israeli government. But some of us always entertained doubt with that narrative. My view was that he worked intimately with the Israeli secret service - the Mossad. The NY Times article now confirms that suspicion.
Tom Segev, the author of the new book “Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends,” says that Mr. Wiesenthal was first employed by the political department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, a forerunner to the Mossad, and then by the agency itself. It financed his first office in Vienna in 1960, paid him a monthly salary and provided him with an Israeli passport, the biography says. Mr. Wiesenthal’s codename was “Theocrat.” His main task was to help locate Nazi criminals, including Eichmann, one of the architects of the Final Solution, and especially to watch out for neo-Nazis and provide information on the activities of former Nazis in Arab countries, the book says. Mr. Wiesenthal’s role in the 1960 capture of Eichmann has been a matter of dispute. Isser Harel, the former Mossad head, now dead, claimed that the Nazi hunter deserved no credit.