Last living Nuremberg prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz, dies at 103

April 10, 2023

Sadly, Benjamin Ferencz, the last of the living Nuremberg prosecutors that brought Nazis to justice for their war crimes after World War 2, has passed away. 

Ferencz lived to be an impressive 103, Reuters reported.

The famous prosecutor "secured convictions of numerous German officers who led roving death squads during the war."

According to The New York Times, Ferencz passed away at an assisted living facility in Boynton Beach, Florida. His cause of death was not revealed at the time of this writing.

Background

Benjamin Ferencz was born in 1920 in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. As a Holocaust survivor and World War II veteran, Ferencz played a crucial role in the Nuremberg trials, which sought to bring Nazi war criminals to justice for their heinous crimes.

His commitment to upholding international law and human rights provided him a legendary reputation in legal and historical circles.

Ferencz's involvement in the Nuremberg trials began when he was just 27 years old. After earning his law degree from Harvard University and serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he was assigned to the War Crimes Investigation Team.

During the trials, Ferencz was appointed as the chief prosecutor for the United States in the Einsatzgruppen case. This trial focused on 22 high-ranking SS officers who were responsible for the mass murder of over a million Jews and other minority groups behind the Eastern Front.

Ferencz's prosecution led to the conviction of all 22 defendants, 13 of whom were sentenced to death.

Reuters noted:

"Today the world lost a leader in the quest for justice for victims of genocide and related crimes. We mourn the death of Ben Ferencz—the last Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor. At age 27, with no prior trial experience, he secured guilty verdicts against 22 Nazis," the U.S. Holocaust Museum said in a post on Twitter.

Tributes pour in

Given his distinguished, heroic status, his death was mourned across social media, with many pointing out the important role he played in the Nuremberg trials.

"RIP Benjamin Ferencz, Last Surviving Nuremberg Prosecutor and extraordinary advocate for international justice for more then 75 years," Iian Levine tweeted.

His family and friends can be assured that this hero will never be forgotten, and he will be well represented in the history books for generations to come.


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