In his oft-cited opening statement at Nuremberg, Jackson hailed the trial against the Nazi leaders as "one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason". READ Texas Bids President George H.W. Commencing the 2015 International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, Benjamin Ferencz provided a welcome address to the prosecutors and attendees. As an Army gunner in World War II, he was assigned as an investigator to help liberate the Nazi death camps which, according to his son Don Ferencz “lit a nuclear fire in the belly of this man.” Already a lawyer, he was appointed at the age of 27 to be chief prosecutor … Tribute to Nuremburg Prosecutor … As we first reported two years ago, Ferencz is the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive today. Ben Ferencz in court: The charges we have brought accuse the defendants of having committed crimes against humanity. This footage shows US prosecutor Ben Ferencz outlining the purpose of the trial during the opening of the case. 2000 - 2004 "Einsatzgruppen": The Blackest Page in Human History. In 1947, Ferencz was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, bringing to account 22 Nazi SS commanders for the murders of more than 1 million innocent people. About | The Nethercutt Amendment and the International Criminal Court. But it's a reality today. While he got the convictions, Ferencz made it clear in his opening statements to the court that “vengeance is not our goal.” Instead, he asked the court “to affirm by international penal action man’s right to live in peace and dignity regardless of his race or creed.” The case, Ferencz told the court, was “a plea of humanity to law.” I'm sitting here listening to you. Ben Ferencz in court: The charges we have brought accuse the defendants of having committed crimes against humanity. And I can't believe you're 97 years old. But he isn't content just being a part of 20th century history -- he believes he has something important to offer the world right now. The Greatest Trial … Proceedings, Nov. 21, 1945, 2 TRIAL OF THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL, NUREMBERG 145 (1947). We've had genocide since then. Lesley Stahl: Ben? March 1990. Ferencz had stumbled upon reports sent back to headquarters by secret SS units called Einsatzgruppen, or action groups. You know? Talking with Ferencz about his transformation from prosecutor to modern activist for world peace and Zelda Fuksman on surviving the Holocaust and her … This is Ferencz making his opening statement in the Nuremberg courtroom 71 years ago. Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that? You're not getting very far. November 2004. Defendants-- absolutely blank. Then a series of subsequent trials were mounted against other Nazi leaders, including 22 SS officers responsible for killing more than a million people -- not in concentration camps -- but in towns and villages across Eastern Europe. The Nuremberg Precedent and the Prosecution of State-Sponsored Mass Murder. Benjamin Ferencz: When I reached over a million people murdered that way, over a million people, that's more people than you've ever seen in your life, I took a sample. More than 70 years ago, Ben Ferencz became the chief prosecutor of 22 commanders of the Einsatzgruppen Nazi death squads at trial number 9 at Nuremberg. By DANIELLE ZIRI . Without calling a single witness, he entered into evidence the defendants' own reports of what they'd done. But during his first semester, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he, like many classmates, raced to enlist. Ben Ferencz of Delray Beach is the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. Transcript We are now ready to hear the presentation by the prosecution. From 1985 to 1996, he was adjunct professor of international law at Pace University. I am naive? Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. And look at you. So he finished at Harvard then enlisted as a private in the Army. Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. But Ferencz knew they were guilty and could prove it. And he said, "Can you do this in addition to your other work?" Ferencz had immigrated to the U.S. as a baby, the son of poor Jewish parents from a small town in Romania. But that didn't last long. Lesley Stahl: Did you look at the defendants' faces? He defines genocide at minute 2:13. 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