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Benjamin Ferencz

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Apr 9, 2023.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "The last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials - who charged 22 Nazis with murdering a million people in the largest murder trial of all time - has died aged 103.
    Ben Ferencz died Friday evening in Boynton Beach, Florida, an an assisted living facility according to St. John's University law professor John Barrett.
    Ferencz's death also was confirmed by the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.
    'Today the world lost a leader in the quest for justice for victims of genocide and related crimes,' the museum tweeted.
    Ferencz's passing has cast a light on his astonishing career, which saw him take on one of the worst Nazi war crimes as his first case at the age of just 27.
    Born in Transylvania, Romania, in 1920, Ferencz immigrated as a 10-month-old with his parents to New York to escape rampant anti-Semitism.
    He grew up poor in 'Hell's Kitchen.' After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1943, he joined the U.S. military and fought in Europe just in time to take part in the Normandy invasion before joining the U.S. Army's newly formed war crimes section.
    Using his legal background, he became an investigator of Nazi war crimes against U.S. soldiers as part of a new War Crimes Section of the Judge Advocate's Office.
    When U.S. intelligence reports described soldiers encountering large groups of starving people in Nazi camps watched over by SS guards, Ferencz followed up with visits, first at the Ohrdruf labor camp in Germany and then at the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp...
    ...After the war, Ferencz was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army and returned to New York to begin practicing law. But that was short-lived.
    Because of his experiences as a war crimes investigator, he was recruited to help prosecute Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials, which had begun under the leadership of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson.
    Before leaving for Germany, he married his childhood sweetheart, Gertrude.
    At the age of 27, with no previous trial experience, Ferencz became chief prosecutor for a 1947 case in which 22 former commanders who led mobile paramilitary killing squads known as Einsatzgruppen that were part of the notorious Nazi SS."
    Half Track and Biak like this.
  2. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

    Nov 15, 2009
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    Hopefully there will come a day when we will never see the likes of that we've seen.
    GRW likes this.
  3. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2017
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    Chambersburg Pennsylvania
    Thanks for that. 103, to live that long. And few do. My mom was tough, but I don’t know what kept her alive to 105.

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