Mormons 'baptize' Simon Wiesenthal
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Mormon Church to remove its
Nazi hunter namesake from the church's online database of posthumous
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Wiesenthal Center, made the urgent
request after being informed by Salt Lake City researcher Helen Radkey
that Wiesenthal's name had been added about a week ago to the Mormons'
International Genealogical Index.
"We are astounded and dismayed that after assurances and promises by
the Mormon Church, Mr. Wiesenthal's life and memory, along with so
many other Jews, would be trampled and disregarded," Hier said.
Wiesenthal "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," he said.
"It is sacrilegious for the Mormon faith to desecrate his memory by
suggesting that Jews on their own are not worthy enough to receive
God's eternal blessing."
Hier also urged the Utah-based Church to remove the names of all other
Holocaust victims from the list.
Many Jews, including Holocaust victims, have been found on the index.
Mormon officials promised in 1995 to stop the practice of posthumously
baptizing Jews, but did not. They reiterated the pledge in 2000.