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Nazi hunter removed from Mormon index

Dec. 19, 2006 at 9:50 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter who died in Vienna in September, has been removed from a data base of people baptized posthumously as Mormons.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints maintains an on-line International Genealogical Index of posthumous ordinances or baptisms. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles demanded Monday that his name be taken out of the index, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Simon Wiesenthal was one of the great Jews in the post-Holocaust period," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center's founder. "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 God's eternal blessing."

Bruce Olsen, a spokesman for the Mormons, said Wiesenthal's name was removed. He described the church's policy that its members should put only their own ancestors on the index.

In 1995, the Mormons agreed to remove the names of thousands of Jews who had been killed during the Holocaust from the data base.

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