On the eve of his N.Y. reading, questions about morality, concealment and truth.
Special To The Jewish Week
Ah, to live in a confessional age. The fever to publicly acknowledge past mistakes is the latest craze of popular culture. Contrition, apparently, is in. With the television box as the new confessional booth, celebrities rush to repent on Larry King, Oprah and even Tyra — all as a means of public expiation and shrewd career management.
Simon Wiesenthal, who tracked down Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and has earned the reputation as the world's foremost Nazi hunter, doesn't seem the shy and retiring type.
But he retires frequently.
The 94-year-old Holocaust survivor, who told a British newspaper two years ago that he was stepping down from his work at his Documentation Center in Vienna, was quoted by an Austrian magazine last week as saying again that his work is done.
Jerusalem — A visitor handed Teddy Kollek a book to autograph several years ago. Kollek, sitting behind his desk in the office of The Jerusalem Foundation, where he worked as international chairman after losing a race for re-election as the city’s mayor in 1993, looked at the cover — the book, distributed by the foundation, was a collection of writings and photographs from his career.
“Where did you get this?” Kollek asked.An assistant said she had given it to the visitor.
The plaintiff is British, a historian of World War II who has asserted that Jewish claims of genocide by the Nazis are exaggerated, that the Auschwitz gas chambers were built after the war by the Polish government as a tourist attraction, that Adolf Hitler did not become aware of the full extent of the Final Solution until 1943.
The defendant is American, a scholar and leading authority on Holocaust denial.