(UPI) — Benjamin Ferencz, a pioneering prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials who secured convictions for Nazi death squad commanders, has died at 103 years old.
Ferencz was born on March 11, 1920, in Romania, NBC News reported. His family moved to New York City at a young age. He would attend City College of New York, before joining the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Benjamin Ferencz was born on this day in 1920. Here he is in March 2023 reminding us to “Do something you love.” Let’s wish Ben a happy birthday!
As a present, please share some of Ben’s stories with someone in your life: https://t.co/RbhAMS5f1k#LawNotWar
– @danielrskinner pic.twitter.com/pD8OjIx0e6
— Benjamin Ferencz (legacy) (@BenFerencz) March 11, 2023
Ferencz was the last surviving prosecutor from the trials that resulted in convictions for 22 commanders of Adolf Hitler‘s death squads. The commanders were responsible for the mass killings of more than 1 million Jewish people.
He died on Friday in Boynton Beach, Florida, the BBC reported.
At 27 years old, Ferencz was named chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen trials in Nuremberg after Allied Forces defeated Nazi Germany in World War II in 1945. It was his first case. He earned convictions for war crimes and crimes against humanity for all of the defendants.
His imprint on history continued long after the trials following WWII.
Ferencz was also critical in establishing the International Criminal Court, an intergovernmental court system with jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Earlier this year, Ferencz was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal for “his service to the United States and the international community during the post-World War II Nuremberg trials and his lifelong advocacy for international criminal justice and the rule of law.”
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