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Wiesenthal Criticizes Center's Swiss Report

June 15, 1998|Reuters

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center defended its latest Holocaust report Sunday after a backlash by the Swiss government and even by the famed Nazi-hunter for whom the center is named.

"We are not backing down. This is not a report about the Swiss people of 1942 or the Swiss government or people of today," Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said Sunday.

Hier said historian Alan Morris Schom's report was a survey of extremist groups. It also was very critical of the Swiss government's conduct during World War II, Hier said.

Schom's report has raised a storm of criticism in Switzerland, where Swiss President Flavio Cotti said it "insults an entire generation."

The criticism was joined by legendary Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, 89, who said in an interview in Sunday's Swiss mass-circulation newspaper SonntagsBlick that the report generalized too much.

Wiesenthal was quoted as saying: "Schom did not work like a historian. He only linked up facts in a one-sided manner and from there produced unreliable generalizations."

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