For more than 40 years, Simon Wiesenthal has been tracking hundreds of “Nazi criminals” from his “Jewish Documentation Center” in Vienna. For his work as the world’s most prominent “Nazi hunter,” he has been awarded several honorary degrees and numerous medals, including Germany’s highest decoration. In a formal White House ceremony in August 1980, a teary-eyed President Carter presented him with a special gold medal awarded by the US Congress. President Reagan praised him in November 1988 as one of the “true heroes” of this century.
This living legend was portrayed in flattering terms by the late Laurence Oliver in the 1978 film fantasy “The Boys From Brazil,” and by Ben Kingsley in the 1989 HBO made-for-television movie “Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story.” One of world’s most prominent Holocaust organizations bears his name: the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles.
Wiesenthal’s reputation as a moral authority is undeserved. The man whom The Washington Post has called the “Holocaust’s Avenging Angel”  has a little known but well-documented record of reckless disregard for truth. He has lied about his own wartime experiences, misrepresented his postwar “Nazi-hunting” achievements, and has spread vile falsehoods about alleged German atrocities.