Freedom is Not a Gift From Heaven: The Century of Simon Wiesenthal (1994)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Law & Crime  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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By any standard, Simon Wiesenthal's life story qualifies as one of the most remarkable and inspiring of the 20th Century. An Austrian Jew, born in 1908, Wiesenthal fell prey to the atrocities and barbarities of the Holocaust camps along with millions of others of his generation. Though he landed in the Mathausen camp and nearly died of starvation, Wiesenthal encountered merciful deliverance at the hands of the Allies, coincident with the fall of the Nazis in 1945. The man had spent years of incarceration dreaming of release and establishing himself as an architect, but his period in the camps dramatically modified those plans; he held a secretly-compiled list of the Nazi torturers that he'd compiled in Mathausen, and upon release quietly declared it his mission to locate those who evaded capture and bring them to justice. Over time, Wiesenthal succeeded triumphantly in his goal, and played an instrumental role in arraigning over 1,100 of the Nazi war criminals. In this 1994 film, then 86-year-old Wiesenthal speaks candidly and openly of his life story and his guiding philosophies. The program includes footage of Wiesenthal's visit to a German high school and to Holocaust sites. Wiesenthal's story is also told in Richard Trank's 2007 film I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal.

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Keywords

Holocaust, Jewish, justice, mission [quest], Nazi-hunter