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Last surviving prosecutor of Nuremberg Trials honored in Palm Beach County

County commissioners pay tribute to 101-year-old Benjamin Ferencz
Posted at 2:20 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 20:57:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Benjamin Ferencz is the last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials. He lives in Delray Beach and has devoted his life to pushing for peace, not war, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

He may be small in stature and 101 years old, but Ferencz still commands a room.

"Sir, you are a hero when we so need heroes in our society today," Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs told Ferencz earlier this week.

This week, Palm Beach County commissioners paid tribute to the man who holds a place in history and now lives in Delray Beach.

Ferencz is the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials after World War Two. He helped convict Nazi leaders who murdered more than one million people.

"The Germans were very methodical, they kept a record of which unit killed how many people in which time. The mistake they made, I found the record," Ferencz said.

Ferencz graduated from Harvard law school in 1943 then enlisted in the Army.

"Where he earned five medals after participating in numerous battles in the European Theatre that included D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge," said Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner.

Ferencz was only 27 years old when he was named the chief prosecutor in Nuremberg. And he was there as concentration camps were liberated.

"Seeing the horrors has traumatized me. I still see them and I can't talk about it much," Ferencz said.

But in the 76 years since the trials, Ferencz has made it his life's work to end wars and promote peace all over the world.

"If I can inspire enough young people to say, hell no, we won't go, perhaps we'll have a more peaceful future for the young generation that I'm concerned about," Ferencz said.

To honor the legend, Palm Beach County declared Nov. 5, 2021, as "Benjamin Ferencz Law Not War Day." And a street is being named in his honor at Canyon District Park in west Boynton Beach.

"I am touched by the fact that I'm not speaking only to myself, I'm speaking for all people who realize when they hear it that the guy is right," Ferencz said.

He isn't content on retiring and continues to push on.

"The legacy is never give up. Just never give up," Ferencz said.