After surviving the Holocaust, Simon Wiesenthal had two goals: to bring Nazi criminals to justice and to leave a historical record of eyewitness accounts of Nazi crimes. He set up offices in Linz, Austria. When a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank was staged in the city in 1958, it was disrupted by booing and assertions that the diary was a forgery and a fraud. Using his photographic memory and investigative skills, Wiesenthal set out to find the Gestapo officer that had arrested the Frank family. He interviewed people in Holland, searched telephone books, and asked friends for help. It took five years, but in 1963, Karl Silberbauer came forward as the officer who had arrested the Franks. Otto Frank had known his name, but withheld it because Silberbauer had treated the family with respect. The officer was cleared of any guilt because there was no evidence that he deported the Franks. Wiesenthal continued his investigative work until his death in 2005.
Bill Farnsworth’s illustrations, with the muted palette and shadowy effects, are a perfect complement to Rubin’s straightforward prose. A biographical note details Wiesenthal’s life before, during, and after the Holocaust. Depictions of Wiesenthal in concentration camps and Anne Frank and her family being arrested, as well as the descriptions of these events, make this illustrated book appropriate for readers aged 10 and up.