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Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  94 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
With 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations

Now in paperback, the first fully documented biography of the legendary Polish-born Nazi hunter—a revelatory account of a man whose life, though part invention, was wholly dedicated to ensuring both that the Nazis be held responsible for their crimes and that their destruction of European Jewry never be forgotten.

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Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Schocken (first published January 1st 2010)
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Andy Miller
Jan 02, 2011 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biography of Simon Wiesenthal who spent time in Nazi concentration camps during World War II and later became famous for his efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.

The biography is largely was one of admiration but it does not ignore his flaws; according to this book, Wiesenthal could not maintain friendships, became embroiled in too many feuds and perhaps let his ego occasionally get in the way of his work. However, the book puts these flaws in context with the focus on his early life
Apr 11, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written biography of a fascinating and complex man. Segev sets forth all the triumphs, failures, and controversies that surrounded the famous Nazi-hunter and concentration camp survivor in well-documented form. I worried that the book would become less interesting after Wiesenthal's major accomplishments were explored, but it held my interest to the final page. When the world could not face the reality of the Holocaust, when it was caught up in the Cold War and trying to forget th ...more
Jason Walker
Simon Wiesenthal is a controversial figure in history. He invented his life after the Holocaust. At the same time he did many things to inspire others, but not everything about his tale is rosy. He was willing to compromise his integrity if he thought it would produce results. Even his arrival in Israel is marked with suspicion and his first government post is was something that he assumed even when the local leaders had nothing to do with him. This is a grand styling summary of a life well craf ...more
Niels Lodewijk
One of those 400 page biographies (by an excellent researcher/writer) about one of the most famous Jews after WWII. He was 'hot' last years, because of the Demjanjuk process (his last goal) and the nazi-hunter series on disovery channel. This man has brought a lot of justice. He found German war criminals, but also protested succelfully against the soft measures taken by German and Austrian government. It gives some insights in the behaviour of Israel after and before (then Palestinian Jews) WWI ...more
Philipp Wehmann
Jan 13, 2011 Philipp Wehmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eine interessante Biografie eines spannenden Lebens. Viele Dinge im Leben des Simon Wiedenthal erscheinen fragwürdig, können aber doch immer wieder mit seinen Erlebnissen der Verfolgung und Inhaftierung im 3. Reich erklärt werden. Diese Erklärungen unternimmt Segev in einem Buch, das gut zu lesen ist und viele Facetten des Nazijägers auslotet. Nebenbei erfährt man viel über die Verfolgung diverser Kriegsverbrecher (Eichmann, die "Stute von Majdanek", Mengele etc.), die Affaire um Kurt Waldheim e ...more
Karen Yelton-Curtis
I dug into this one because our freshman students read Night by Elie Wiesel and I was looking for some text to balance the gloom of Wiesel's memoir. My main quibble with this book is the disjointed flow of the narrative; it pings back and forth in time elements and lacks organization around the myriad elements of Wiesenthal's life. Clearly Wiesenthal was a complex person but the reader would benefit from structured information rather than the ramble that is presented here.
Dan Ackman
Oct 06, 2010 Dan Ackman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating treatment of the Holocaust and an interesting character. The book peters out a bit as it goes along, but is still a fascinating a readable window into many topics that touched Wiesenthal, including the Holocaust, the changing views of the Holocaust over time by Jews, Israelis and society at large; an the possibility of some sort of justice in the wake of that unfathomable event.
Gizella Czene
Layered account of Simon Wiesenthal, you come to appreciate his philosophy of justive versus revenge, individual versus collective guilt, redemption. Very interesting, informative and inspiring.

DOne, not that great but a few good thoughts inside; he stayed in Vienna because that's where all the anti-Semites are.
Craig Brantley
I enjoyed this book, very interesting subject, but I'm not sure it's one that will stick with me. I found it a bit hard to follow at times, with Wiesenthal such a contradictory person perhaps this fits.
Jill Delaney
Oct 27, 2010 Jill Delaney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good biography of the Nazi Hunter, although I will say, sometimes the author would add a thought to a paragraph that seemed out of place. Just a pet peeve of mine! The information was good though, should a question ever arise on Jeopardy.
Aug 19, 2015 Rieka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keine Frage: Simon Wiesenthal hatte ein bewegtes Leben und hat mit seinem Wirken viel erreicht - gerade für die deutsche Gesellschaft. Dennoch blieb bei der Lektüre bei mir das Gefühl, dass Simon Wiesenthal ein höchst unsympathischer Mann war.
Camille Willis
Startlingly objective as Segev does not allow us to see Weisenthal as only the hero and sufferer but also an interesting character while not pulling his punches about his subject just because Weisenthal is a Holocaust survivor.
Pamela Stadden
Jan 09, 2015 Pamela Stadden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biographies can be dry. This one is exceptionally good.
His story is told in events, with some chronological construction. Needless to say, there are some graphic passages.
Nov 08, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book left me with ambivalent feelings about Wiesenthal. On the one hand I applaud the work he did to bring Nazi War Criminals to justice. On the other I am not sure that I liked the man.
Dec 16, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good biography of Wiesenthal (although perhaps a bit too much editorializing by the author). I didn't know he had such a feud with Eli Wiesel!
Jul 29, 2012 K C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, well documented and well written and gives a fresh perspective on Weisenthal and his search for justice, not reventge, and focus on individual perpetrators, not collective guilt.
Diane rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2011
Barbara Eshom
Barbara Eshom rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2016
Bill Koenig
Bill Koenig rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2013
Thomas Boyle
Thomas Boyle rated it it was ok
Dec 19, 2011
Didia rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2012
Leon Perlman
Jan 01, 2015 Leon Perlman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads rating 68
Betsy rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2011
Jackie Isaac
Jackie Isaac rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2014
Spencer Mclean
Spencer Mclean rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2013
Torsten rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2014
Jessica Lont
Jessica Lont rated it did not like it
Aug 29, 2014
Peter Kavanagh
Peter Kavanagh rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2012
Gonçalo Santos
Gonçalo Santos rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2013
Joan rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2012
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Tom Segev (Hebrew: תום שגב) is an Israeli historian, author and journalist. He is associated with Israel's so-called New Historians, a group challenging many of the country's traditional narratives. ...more
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