Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wiesenthal was on Mossad payroll
Simon Wiesenthal, nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor, was on the payroll of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. That is what the renowned Israeli journalist Tom Segev reveals in a new biography. The revelation is based on documents and interviews with three people who were Wiesenthal’s Mossad handlers.
Segev, columnist for the newspaper Haaretz, is the author of half a dozen other books, mostly about Israeli history. He told the New York Times that he had been given unfettered access to Wiesenthal’s papers — some 300,000 of them, previously closed to the public — by Wiesenthal’s daughter, Paulinka Kreisberg.While reading through Mr. Wiesenthal’s correspondence, Segev came across names he did not recognize and discovered they were Mossad agents and handlers. He interviewed three of them and named two in the book.The book, “Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends,” is being published by Doubledayin the USA and simultaniously in seven other countries.
Segev said that Mr. Wiesenthal was first employed by the political department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, a forerunner to the Mossad, and then by the agency itself. It financed his first office in Vienna in 1960, paid him a monthly salary and provided him with an Israeli passport, the biography says. Mr. Wiesenthal’s codename was “Theocrat.” Wiesenthal died in 2005 at the age of 96 in his Vienna home.