Ben Ferencz: The Final Nazi Prosecutor From Nuremberg, Passes Away At The Age Of 103

The Nuremberg Trials prosecutor who convicted Nazis for war crimes of genocide and was one of the first outside witnesses to record the horrors of Nazi labour and concentration camps has passed away.

 Who Was Benjamin Ferencz?

In Nuremberg, Germany, on Sunday, November 21, 2010, Benjamin Ferencz, an American attorney of Romanian descent who served as head prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, talks during the opening ceremony. Ferencz, the final Nuremberg trial prosecutor still alive, passed away in Boynton, Florida, on Friday, April 7, 2023. As a U.S. Army officer, he was one of the first outside witnesses to record the horrors of Nazi labour and concentration camps.

Ben Ferencz, the final surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials, has passed away. He tried Nazis for crimes against humanity and was one of the first non-Nazi witnesses to describe the horrors of Nazi labour and concentration camps. In March, he had just turned 103.

According to John Barrett, a law professor at St. John’s University and author of a blog about the Nuremberg trials, Ferencz passed away on Friday night in Boynton Beach, Florida. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington also confirmed the demise.

Where Is He From?

Born in Transylvania in 1920, Ferencz moved to New York with his parents when he was a little child to escape the region’s pervasive anti-Semitism. Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Ferencz enlisted in the American Army just in time to participate in the invasion of Normandy during World War II.

Ferencz followed up with visits, first to the famed Buchenwald concentration camp and later to the German labour camp of Ohrdruf, where soldiers were said to have encountered enormous groups of famished individuals under the watchful eyes of SS guards.

Benjamin Ferencz
Source: CNN

About His Career

At the age of 27, Ferencz, who had no prior experience in courtroom proceedings, was appointed chief prosecutor in a 1947 case in which 22 former commanders were accused of more than 1 million Jews, Romani, and other Third Reich foes in Eastern Europe. Instead of relying on witnesses.

Later on, Ferencz promoted the establishment of an international court with authority to try war criminals in any country. These aspirations came true in 2002 with the creation of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, albeit its efficacy has been constrained by nations like the United States’ refusal to participate. Three girls and a boy survive Ferencz. He lost his wife in 2019.

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