Nuremberg chief prosecutor .. his motto is “law not war”..'

Posted by ProjectC 
'Ferencz said that his motto is “law not war” and that he’s worried about future generations.

“My concern is not with me. I’m a hundred years old, a five-star survivor of World War II,” Ferencz said. “I’m not worried about me. I’m worried about you.

“I’m worried about the young people because it’s much more dangerous today than it (has) ever been because of our capacity to kill,” Ferencz said. “Forget the idea of using armed force to settle any dispute. It’s much too dangerous, for you, not for me.” '

<h3>Nuremberg chief prosecutor says the world has not learned</h3>
By Adam Sennott
August 30, 2019

In 1947, Ben Ferencz prosecuted 22 Nazis for crimes against humanity in what The Associated Press called “the biggest murder trial in history.”

But in the 72 years since, Ferencz said, the world has not learned from the atrocities committed at the hands of the Nazis.

“Instead of spending the money to help the legitimate concerns and complaints of many people who cannot find employment, who need help in different ways, instead of spending the money on helping them, we spend the money on building better weapons to kill more (people),” Ferencz said. “That’s just crazy. It is insane. It’s genocidal, it’s suicidal, and it’s just plain stupid.”

Ferencz, 99, is the last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials. At 27, he served as chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen trial, which charged Nazi officers who led roving extermination squads responsible for killing more than a million Jews, Roma and other civilians with what The Washington Post described as “a banker’s efficiency.” He was also instrumental in the formation of the International Criminal Court, which was established in 2002 and is headquartered at The Hague, Netherlands.

His life story was recently the subject of the Netflix documentary “Prosecuting Evil.”

“I have dedicated all of my life to trying to prevent war-making because war makes mass murderers out of otherwise decent people,” Ferencz said.

Ferencz was born in 1920. His parents lived in Transylvania, which was dissolved after World War I, with the territory divided between Hungary and Romania. Ferencz and his sister were both born in the same bed, he said, but she was Hungarian and he was Romanian. Both countries persecuted the Jews, Ferencz said, so “it was prudent for my family to try to get out.”

Ferencz said his parents did exactly that and immigrated to New York City, where they were greeted by the Statue of Liberty and its call to “give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

“Those were the good old days when that had significance in this country,” Ferencz said.

His family settled into a basement apartment in the notoriously poor and crime-ridden Manhattan neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen, Ferencz said. His father was able to find work as a janitor to support his family.

“You could hardly have a lower start than what was my start and my parents’ start in the United States,” Ferencz said.

Despite their rough beginnings, Ferencz did well in school and was able to earn a scholarship to Harvard Law School. Although he grew up surrounded by crime, he said, he “wanted to be a lawyer rather than a crook.”

It was during his time at Harvard that he began helping a professor with research on war crimes, Ferencz said.

“I’d read everything that had ever been published on that subject,” he said.

While he was studying, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and Ferencz said he tried to enlist in the intelligence service but was rejected because he hadn’t been a citizen for the 15 years that was required to qualify. Instead, he enlisted in the Army.

During his time in the service, Ferencz landed on the beaches of Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

“I was given five battle stars for not being killed in any one of those major battles of World War II,” Ferencz said.

He was later transferred to George S. Patton’s war crimes branch, where one of his jobs was to go into the Nazi concentration camps as they were being liberated and collect evidence. The experience, he said, was “horrifying.”

“Dead bodies lying all around, pleading with their eyes for some help,” Ferencz said. “Everybody’s starving to death, grumbling in their piles of garbage, seeking for something which could be edible.”

At the crematorium, there were “bodies piled up outside like cordwood waiting to be burned,” Ferencz said. “The SS are trying to flee, and some of the inmates who could were chasing them, and the Army is also chasing them; inmates who caught some guards beat them to death.

“All of that I have seen,” Ferencz said.

He came back to the United States after the war but was quickly recruited to participate in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The International Military Tribunal was already in the process of prosecuting prominent Nazis, including German minister Hermann Goering, and Ferencz was charged with collecting evidence for the 12 subsequent trials that were led by Gen. Telford Taylor, the American attorney who served as counsel for the prosecution.

Ferencz was able to gather irrefutable evidence that the Einsatzgruppen, the SS death squads, had murdered more than a million Jews, Roma, communist functionaries and Soviet intellectuals.

“Their assignment was to go out and kill without pity or remorse every single Jewish man, woman and child they could lay their hands on,” Ferencz said. “They believed that the Jewish blood was inferior, and they didn’t want it mixing with the pure Aryan blood, and it was one of the justifications for this kind of mass murder.”

When Ferencz approached Taylor with his discoveries, he said, he was told that if he wanted these Nazis prosecuted, he would have to do it himself.

“I took that to Gen. Telford Taylor … and I said we have to try these guys. He said, ‘We don’t have any senior staff anymore, the Pentagon is not going to give us additional appropriation for this, they’ve lost some of their enthusiasm for it, and everybody’s already assigned.’

“And I said, ‘You just can’t do this. I have in my hand mass murder on an unheard-of scale,’” Ferencz said.

When Taylor asked him if he could handle the case in addition to his other work, Ferencz said yes.

“So I became the chief prosecutor in what was the biggest murder trial in human history,” Ferencz said.

Ferencz said it was the first case he had ever prosecuted.

“I rested the prosecution’s case in two days,” Ferencz said. “I convicted all of them, and 13 of them were sentenced to death.”

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.”

Ferencz said his goal was to get the court to recognize crimes against humanity.

“The victims (had) been murdered because they didn’t share the race or the ideology of their executioners, and I thought that was horrible,” Ferencz said. “And if we can get a rule of law which would protect everyone in (the) future, making it a crime, a crime against humanity, to do what they did, to kill people because of their color or their race, that itself would be a great step forward in the advancement of criminal law.

“And that’s what I asked the judges to do, (and) they followed my guide on that, and they did condemn the people for crimes against humanity,” Ferencz said.

After the Nuremberg trials, Ferencz went into private law practice. Then, as the United States became entangled in the Vietnam War in the 1970s, he began dedicating his efforts toward advocating for world peace. In the ensuing decades, he wrote several books on the issue and the need for an international criminal court.

In 2002, his goal became a reality when the Rome Statute, formally creating the International Criminal Court, was ratified in the United Nations General Assembly by more than 60 countries. The United States signed the statute, but Congress has never ratified it.

Since then, the U.S. relationship with the ICC has deteriorated. In March, the Trump administration imposed visa bans against ICC staff due to a potential investigation in Afghanistan that might have included the conduct of U.S. officials.

While the ICC’s relationship with the United States has been rocky, it hasn’t stopped Ferencz from criticizing U.S. officials when he believes they are violating the crimes-against-humanity laws he helped establish.

In 2011, Ferencz wrote a letter to The New York Times, questioning whether Osama Bin Laden was actually killed in self-defense as Seal Team 6 raided his compound in Afghanistan. The raid was ordered by President Barack Obama.

“Jubilation over the death of the most hunted mass murderer is understandable, but was it really justifiable self-defense, or was it premeditated illegal assassination?” Ferencz wrote. “The Nuremberg trials earned worldwide respect by giving Hitler’s worst henchmen a fair trial so that truth would be revealed and justice under law would prevail. Secret nonjudicial decisions based on political or military considerations undermine democracy. The public is entitled to know the complete truth.”

Ferencz has also taken issue with President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“The United States’ immigration policy today is a crime,” Ferencz said. “It’s absolutely criminal. What we have done in the name of the United States is shame.

“It’s a very narrow-minded inhumane policy, and I’m ashamed that it’s done in the name of the United States,” Ferencz said. “I hope that some of the other people will share my point of view because it’s a great country. We can air our differences of opinion – that’s as it should be – but if they get to be so inhumane that you’re taking it out on babies and on poor people that all they want to do is live in peace, that was my family.”

Ferencz referenced the poem at the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants, the same poem that once welcomed him and his parents.

“The light on that lamp went out with this administration,” he said.

He also took issue with Trump’s policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the U.S. southern border with Mexico, which he said is “a crime against humanity for which those responsible should be brought before a criminal court.”

Ferencz also said he was horrified after Trump stood before the United General Assembly in 2017 and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. He said that Trump was using self-defense as justification for making the threat, which is the same justification the Nazis used for their crimes.

“He threatened to do the same thing for which I as the chief prosecutor for the United States arranged to hang my top defendant, General SS man Otto Ohlendorf, father of five children,” Ferencz said. “That was his defense.

“He said, ‘Look, we thought we were going to be attacked, so we attacked first,’” Ferencz said. “And the judge said, ‘Hang him.’”

Ferencz said that his motto is “law not war” and that he’s worried about future generations.

“My concern is not with me. I’m a hundred years old, a five-star survivor of World War II,” Ferencz said. “I’m not worried about me. I’m worried about you.

“I’m worried about the young people because it’s much more dangerous today than it (has) ever been because of our capacity to kill,” Ferencz said. “Forget the idea of using armed force to settle any dispute. It’s much too dangerous, for you, not for me.”


'TO HELL WITH WAR!' - Major General Smedley Butler

'..Positive Peace as a holistic, systemic framework.'

'..skeptical of waging comprehensive counterinsurgency warfare in distant foreign lands.'

End the war

[Yemen] '..end this war' - Mattis

Benjamin Ferencz