The last Nuremberg prosecutor alive, Ben Ferencz now 97 years young, has recently been interviewed by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes. He was an adjunct professor for many years here at Pace Law School. He was only 27 when he was tasked with the impossible – to try the WWII war criminals for the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity in Nuremberg – and it was his first trial. He visited the camps and collected evidence that beyond any reasonable doubt showed guilt for perpetrating unimaginable atrocities during the war against populations of Gypsies, Communists, and Jews.
He shares his powerful memories as if it all happened yesterday, warns, and sends a powerful message.
War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
And he adds:
If it’s naive to want peace instead of war, let ’em make sure they say I’m naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don’t say they’re naive, I say they’re stupid.
- Interview by Lesley Stahl, What the Last Nuremberg Prosecutor Alive Wants the World to Know, 60 Minutes CBSNews (May 7, 2017).
- Nadia Khomami, ‘It Was As If I Had Peered Into Hell’: The Man Who Brought the Nazi Death Squads to Justice, The Guardian (Feb. 7, 2017).
- The Last Nuremberg Prosecutor Has Three Words of Advice: ‘Law. Not War.’, NPR (Oct. 18, 2016).
- Benjamin B. Ferencz, C-Span – Collection of Videos from 1994 and 2005.
- BenFerencz.org (A website dedicated to the work of Benjamin Ferencz, which has since 1945 focused on issues of international criminal justice and world peace.).
- The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court – Interview with Benjamin Ferencz, PBS (July 14, 2009).