I’ve written previously (here and here) about the matter of posthumous baptism of Jews – ordinary individuals as well as Holocaust victims – and the continued violations of the Mormon-Jewish Agreement.
Is there a reader of Tracing the Tribe who does not know about famed Nazi hunter and Jewish Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal? The Simon Wiesenthal Center, headquartered in Los Angeles, is an important human rights organization named in his honor.
Born on December 31, 1908 in Buczacz (then Austria-Hungary or Galicia, now in Lvov Oblast, Ukraine), Wiesenthal died in Vienna, at age 96, on September 20, 2005.
Dedicated researcher Helen Radkey, who may be described as a thorn in the Mormon side on this issue, just discovered that Wiesenthal is now included in the International Genealogical Index (IGI), searchable online at Family Search. This is a database of individuals who have had posthumous church ordinances performed by proxy for them, including baptisms, sealings and other rituals.
"I have been checking the IGI since September, a year since his death, and knew that his name would appear and it did. Mormons are supposed to wait a year before performing ordinances for deceased parties," adds Radkey, who was preparing a long report on the Mormon-Jewish Agreement scandal when Wiesenthal's entry appeared around December 11, 2006.
This is not only a violation of the 1995 agreement between Mormons and Jews, claims Radkey, “because Wiesenthal would not have direct family ties with any Mormon, but it is an appalling indignity towards him, his family; the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jewish Holocaust survivors and the memory of all Jewish Holocaust victims.”
Wiesenthal was a Nazi death camp survivor, and he and his wife Cyla lost 89 family members. He spent his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice, documenting the Holocaust’s crimes and hunting down perpetrators still at large.
To see the Wiesenthal IGI entry, click here.
Radkey adds, “Schelly, please be aware that Simon Wiesenthal's name will probably immediately disappear from the IGI once the Mormons find out his name is in that database. So if you tell readers to look for him under Family Search, this may only be for a very limited time."
“What the LDS Church is doing to Simon Wiesenthal should not be tolerated,” stresses Radkey, “and even if Mormons decide to hastily remove Wiesenthal's name from the part of the IGI database that is visible to the public, they will forever keep private records of any LDS proxy temple rites that he may have already been subjected to.”
Radkey’s report will not appear for at least a month. Included will be reports on her extensive research since 1999, including findings on Jewish Holocaust victims of Rome, Italy, who are also listed in the IGI.
Here's the Weisenthal Center's outraged response, which JTA received an early copy of:
SWC CALLS ON MORMON CHURCH TO IMMEDIATELY REMOVE SIMON WIESENTHAL’S NAME FROM DATABASE
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Mormon Church to immediately remove Simon Wiesenthal from its online International Genealogical Index (IGI), which is the Mormon database of posthumous ordinances.
“We are astounded and dismayed that after assurances and promises by the Mormon Church that Mr. Wiesenthal's life and memory, along with so many other Jews, would be trampled and disregarded,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Center’s founder and dean.
“Simon Wiesenthal was one of the great Jews in the post-Holocaust period. He proudly lived as a Jew, died as a Jew, demanded justice for the millions of the victims of the Holocaust, and, at his request was buried in the State of Israel. It is sacrilegious for the Mormon faith to desecrate his memory by suggesting that Jews on their own are not worthy enough to receive G-ds’ eternal blessing, “added Rabbi Hier.
“We therefore urge the Church to remove his name and the names of all other Holocaust victims immediately,” Hier concluded.