Simon Wiesenthal, often referred to as the "Conscience of the Holocaust", passed away on September 20th, 2005 in Vienna at the age of 96. After being freed from a concentration camp at the end of World War II, Wiesenthal became the permanent representative for victims of the Holocaust. Over his lifetime, he helped to bring over 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice. In 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), international human rights NGO with currently over 400,000 members, was founded in his name. Below is a letter that the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) sent to SWC expressing condolences on the passing of Simon Wiesenthal.

October 3, 2005

Dear Rabbi Cooper and Friends at the Simon Wiesenthal Center,

On behalf of the Hindu American Foundation, we offer our condolences on the recent passing of Simon Wiesenthal. His dedication to human rights is an inspiration not only to the Jewish community but also to the Hindu community.

His merciless hunt for over 1100 Nazi war criminals has shown that one man, who often carried the burden of justice of the Holocaust alone, can change the world. His life has taught us that organizations, such the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Hindu American Foundation, must never let down their guard for the protection and safeguarding of basic human rights. He best expressed the need for constant vigilance when he said, "The only value of nearly five decades of my work is a warning to the murderers of tomorrow, that they will never rest."

We trust that his legacy and message of tolerance will be continued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and wish it the best in its efforts.


Mihir Meghani, M.D.
President & Member, Board of Directors
Hindu American Foundation

Pawan Deshpande
Member, Executive Council
Hindu American Foundation