Nazi hunter Tuvia Friedman, died on Thursday at the age of 89. Friedman
and another world famous Nazi hunter, Shimon Wiesenthal, worked together
fearlessly day and night for several years after the Holocaust and
succeeded in capturing and bringing over 250 Nazi criminals to justice,
before they could go underground and disappear. They found many SS
officers hiding their identities in Allied prison camps.
Some of the top Nazis captured by Friedman were SS Officer Konrad Buchmayer,
sentenced to 12 years in prison and SS Officer Richard Sheigel who
died awaiting trial. Brigadfuhrer Herbert Bottcher, head of the SS
in Radom, Friedman's home town, and his assistant Obershtumbanfuher
Wilhelm Blum, who sent 300,000 Jews to Treblinka. were both hanged
after Friedman found them and had them brought to trial.
Friedman's most famous accomplishment was his work
in capturing Adolph Eichmann, the man who organized the mass extermination
of the Jews of Europe.. The search was hampered by the lack of a
picture and Friedman found one of Eichmann's girlfriends, enabling
the police to raid her home and confiscate a picture that was corroborated
by Jews who had known him.
Friedman had lost his entire family in the Holocaust,
except for one sister. Towards the war's end, he escaped a death
sentence by grabbing the rifle of the German soldier who fell asleep
while guarding him and crossed to the Russian lines where he helped
their war effort.
The United States Army cooperated with the two tireless men who were
willing to put their lives in danger because they had decided to
see to it that the murderers who spilled innocent Jewish blood without
fear would begin to tremble at the thought of Jewish retribution.
However, after a three year period, the American army
stopped its Nazi trials. At this point, the two Nazi hunters parted
ways. Friedman moved to Israel in 1952 while Wiesenthal settled in
Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israel Wiesenthal Center,
told Arutz Sheva that Friedman continued fighting non-stpp to keep
the issue of bringing Nazi criminals to justice in the public eye.
“Friedman made sure to keep on reminding us that Adolph
Eichmann was still a free man and thus made certain that we continued
the efforts to locate him. He was mistaken about Eichmann’s whereabouts,
though, and a short time before the mass murderer was caught, Friedman
claimed in a press release that Eichmann was in Kuwait.” [Some think
this might been a way to keep Eichmann off guard, ed.]
Zuoff described how after the Holocaust, both Friedman
and Wiesenthal decided to drop everything else and devote their lives
wholly to one goal—bringing Nazi murderers to justice. Friedman wrote
a book "Nazi Hunter" describing their efforts.
“The fact that Friedman was a Zionist and decided
to make aliyah, limited his ability to continue physically searching
out and capturing Nazi criminals, but he continued to do invaluable
work by collecting data, finding documentation and engaging in educational
activities on the Holocaust until the end of his life,” Zuroff said.