Last Living Nuremberg Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz Dies at 103

Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War Two, passed away at the age of 103 in the United States. Ferencz fought in Europe during the Second World War and helped liberate several concentration camps before turning to the courtroom.

Benjamin Ferencz was just 27 years old when he was named Chief Prosecutor for Nuremberg’s Einsatzgruppen trial and secured the convictions of 22 Nazi officers for crimes against humanity. Ferencz championed the creation of an international court that could prosecute any government’s leaders for war crimes. Those dreams were realized in 2002 with the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Ferencz died on Friday evening at an assisted living facility at Boynton Beach in Florida in the United States.

Confirming his death, the US Holocaust Museum said, the world had lost a leader in the quest for justice for victims of genocide.

Ferencz was born in Transylvania, part of Romania, in 1920, but his family emigrated to the US when he was young to escape antisemitism, later settling in New York. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1943, he enlisted in the US Army and took part in the Allied landings at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.

He rose to the rank of Sergeant and ultimately joined a team tasked with investigating and gathering evidence of Nazi war crimes. Shortly afterward, he was recruited to help prosecute Nazis at the Nuremberg trials, despite having no prior trial experience.


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