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About Benjamin Ferensc

The Holocaust as a Call to Conscience

In 1945, Ferencz was a 25-year-old American soldier when he was transferred to the army's newly created War Crimes Branch, where he was asked to gather evidence of Nazi atrocities. What he witnessed on this assignment changed him and defined his life's work. He writes:

    Indelibly seared into my memory are the scenes I witnessed while liberating these centers of death and destruction. Camps like Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Dachau are vividly imprinted in my mind's eye. Even today, when I close my eyes, I witness a deadly vision I can never forget--the crematoria aglow with the fire of burning flesh, the mounds of emaciated corpses stacked like cordwood waiting to be burned. . . . I had peered into Hell.

Ferencz graduated from Harvard Law School in 1943, before he joined the army. After the war, he was asked to join the team of prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials. At age 27, he was the chief prosecutor for the United States in the Einsatzgruppen Case, in which 22 leaders of the Nazi mobile killing units were charged with murdering more than a million people. Using evidence Ferencz had gathered while working for the army's War Crimes Branch, the tribunal convicted all of the defendants and sentenced 13 to death.

Poland cancels Israeli officials' trip over Holocaust property restitution row | Times of Israel |
Yad Vashem invites Polish president to Auschwitz liberation event | JPost |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 17th, 2020 at 02:17:28 PM EST
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