Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal z"l & Me - 1987

As a teenager, I corresponded with Simon Wiesenthal for some time after reading his autobiography The Murderers Among Us. I finally got a chance to meet him during a family vacation to Europe when I was fifteen years-old. The above picture was taken in his office in Vienna in 1987.

23 Comments:

At September 20, 2005 at 9:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

That is cool and now I am trying to imagine what you look like today.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 9:38:00 AM EDT, Blogger Z said...

EXACTLY what I was going to say!

 
At September 20, 2005 at 9:40:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jack and Z: At 32, I have lost a good deal of my hair and now I have a big red beard and mustache.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 10:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

What a great picture! Welcome to the red-bearded 32 year old club....

 
At September 20, 2005 at 10:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: Yes, it is a great club..others who had red beards included Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk and King David.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 10:56:00 AM EDT, Blogger Hirshel Tzig said...

he reminds me of my grandfather and his brother, just a little shorter, Simon that is, not ASJ.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 1:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

BD"H
I see you were a pretty civic minded boy! We're about the same age, but in 1987 I doubt I had spent much time thinking about Mr. Wiesenthal O"H...
BTW, now that I've been thinking about him, I vaguely remember seeing an old B&W film titled "The Boys from Berlin" at my grandmother's house many years ago - was that supposed to be about Mr. Wiesenthal?

 
At September 20, 2005 at 1:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chabakuk Elisha: I think you are thinking about the Boys from Brazil.

See here:
http://entertainment.msn.com/movies/movie.aspx?m=62359

 
At September 20, 2005 at 1:18:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

Indeed! Thanks for the link.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 2:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I have flecks of red and blonde in my beard but for the most part it is really dark.

Thanks for the additional description, it is nice to have a visual.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 3:17:00 PM EDT, Blogger Stacey said...

Not only did you get to meet this wonderful man, but you also corresponded with him for some time? Wow, ASJ. I am in awe! Mr. Wiesenthal has always been a personal hero of my own.

On a side note, I am so stunned by your own photo because you look not at all as I expected....you look so Irish to me!! LOL.

MCAryeh, you are a red-head, too? My hair is coal black, but every now and then I find a bright red one and wonder where it came from. (Sure beats grey, though)!!

 
At September 20, 2005 at 3:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Stacey: Yes, I have about 15 to 20 letters from him. At one point I even asked him if I could become his "junior Nazi hunter". To this he responded that I was still young and should continue reading and educating myself about the Holocaust.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 4:16:00 PM EDT, Blogger Stacey said...

What a treasure trove you have in those letters. How awesome that this man took the time to correspond with you. I have always admired him, but he just jumped up another notch. Wow.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 6:09:00 PM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Stacey - I am a red-head, with a reddish-blonde beard. Both my parents have black hair, though...

ASJ, how long did you correspond with him?

 
At September 20, 2005 at 6:16:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: We corresponded for two years.

 
At September 20, 2005 at 7:27:00 PM EDT, Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear ASJ,


Have you read his The Sunflower?


Alan

 
At September 20, 2005 at 8:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger Tamara said...

I have goosebumps. I thionk you should do a weekly post of "Letters from Simon", and share. Would you be up for that?

 
At September 21, 2005 at 6:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Alan: Yes, I have read all his books.

Tamara: It is certainly a good idea, however the letters are now at my parents home. I will have to be sure to get them next time I visit.

 
At September 21, 2005 at 11:46:00 AM EDT, Anonymous yehupitz said...

The picture and the story behind it are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

 
At September 21, 2005 at 12:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

My pleasure. Thank you for your comment Yehupitz.

 
At September 21, 2005 at 4:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

That is an extremely cool picture. It's obvious that you were intense even back then.

I still think you look either Irish or Aryan.

Definitely post the letters.

 
At September 21, 2005 at 7:18:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Psycho Toddler: Yes, I was the only teenager in my city who only read books on the Holocaust. It was all I read from the ages 13 to 16. During the time I also corresponded with a few other survivors as well.

I will be sure to dig out the letters.

 
At September 22, 2005 at 11:13:00 AM EDT, Anonymous LazerBeams said...

B"H
SJ was a fine looking lad back then, and I can testify to all who want to know that he's a finer-looking young man today, with a neshoma that shines so bright that his eyes can illuminate a dark room. This post was poignant and moving, and shows the dedication of SJ to his people. "Kayn yirbu!" Warm regards and a ksiva vechasima tova from beautiful Eretz Yisroel.

 

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