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November 22, 2010

Benjamin B. Ferencz on losing “the spirit of Nuremberg”

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

Yesterday a Memorium commemorating the Nuremberg “Trials” opened in the courthouse where the “trials” were held 65 years ago.  (Trials is in quotes because these so-called trials were actually military tribunals.)

Deutsche Welle, a German newspaper reported on it and you can read their news article here.

Deutsche Welle reported this:

Benjamin Ferencz, a former US prosecutor in the war crimes trials, and one of the few people participants still alive to have taken part in the trials, returned to Nuremberg at the age of 91 to speak at the opening of the museum on the anniversary of the world’s first war crimes trial.


Ferencz bore witness to this at the end of the war, and on Sunday used his speech as an opportunity to criticize those countries who, he says, are not giving their full support to the ICC, those whom he believes, have lost the spirit of Nuremberg.

The Ohrdruf labor camp near Gotha, Germany

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the center of the photo above. The man to the left of General Eisenhower is Benjamin B. Ferencz, who is taking notes. The photo shows the partially burned bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf.   What is Ferencz writing down?  “Prisoners burned alive at an extermination camp”?  Or is he making a note that these bodies are being burned, instead of buried, to stop the spread of a typhus epidemic?

Ferencz is the soldier on the right with a note pad in his hand

The civilian in the dark suit is a former prisoner in the Ohrdruf camp.  The next day he was killed by a Russian prisoner because he was allegedly a Kapo who was helping the Germans.  The men in the photo are looking at a mass grave that has been opened.  The bodies of prisoners who died at Ohrdruf were buried before they started burning them instead.  Did the Germans get any credit for trying to stop the typhus epidemic?  No, that was not the “spirit of Nuremberg.”

The “spirit of Nuremberg” was to make up ex post facto laws and then present false evidence and make every innocent detail of World War II into a war crime perpetrated by the Germans.  The job assignment of Ferencz was to accompany the American liberators and take notes on the “atrocities” that the Germans would be charged with at Nuremberg.

Here is another quote from Deutsche Welle:

Speaking at the inauguration of the new museum, Ferencz said, “When I left Germany for the first time after World War II and left Nuremberg, my biggest regret was that I never heard from any German saying ‘I’m sorry.’ I would never have believed that I would come back 60 years later and would hear a completely different voice and a different plan in the same country.”

Yes, the Germans have a “different plan” (which was forced on them by the Allied occupation) but they have “taken the high road” and they have “owned” their “guilt.”  They don’t dwell on the fake gas chamber that was shown in a film at the Nuremberg IMT; they accept it.  I read somewhere (I can’t remember the source) that Hermann Goering laughed after seeing the film and said: “We made a few propaganda films ourselves.”


  1. I always thought that was Ferencz. The clearest photos of him are in the Merkers mine.

    Comment by Budham — November 22, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  2. At the age 27, Ferencz was appointed to be a chief prosecutor at so called “The Einsatzgruppen Trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Otto Ohlendorf, et al.)”
    What type of brilliance had he demonstrated to be appointed to such a high position at so young age? His last military rank was sergeant, which is not that impressive in that age. Why just a sergeant is hanging out with General Eisenhower at all locations in question?
    Normally, the American courts in the case of multiple defendants would use the alphabetical order such as (US vs. Valentin Bersin et al). So, why Ohlendorf’s name was chosen?
    Otto Ohlendorf was fooled at the main Nuremberg Tribunal and acknowledged the atrocities of people under his command. However, Ohlendorf was telling that his subordinates were receiving orders directly from Berlin and he was not aware of them, or he could not change them. This would be breaking the chain of command and such a testimony is merely laughable. Apparently, Ohlendorf was given an assurance that his life will be spared, if he testifies against Ernst Kaltenbrunner and others, but two years later he was charged with crimes based on his previous testimonies.
    Ferencz succeeded by sentencing 14 out of 22 defendants to death sentence. Only four were actually executed and only those, who needed to be silenced. For the other 10 the sentence was commuted to 10-15 years. Didn’t they killed a million of soviet jews just few years ago, or not? Why such a leniency out of the sudden?
    Obviously, executions of several SS first and second lieutenants was not a good idea in 1951, when USA tried to make future Germany a friend and an ally. But Otto Ohlendorf, Paul Blobel, Erich Naumann and Werner Braune must die in order to protect the lie.
    Sometimes, I wonder, how people like Benjamin Ferencz sleep at night? Oh well, they sleep just fine.

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  3. Well, here are some of the quotes of this brilliant upholder of the law and justice and who happened to be a Romanian/Hungarian jew:
    in a 2005 interview for the Washington post he revealed some of his activities during his period in Germany:

    “I once saw DPs beat an SS man and then strap him to the steel gurney of a crematorium. They slid him in the oven, turned on the heat and took him back out. Beat him again, and put him back in until he was burnt alive. I did nothing to stop it. I suppose I could have brandished my weapon or shot in the air, but I was not inclined to do so. Does that make me an accomplice to murder?”[8]

    “You know how I got witness statements?” “I’d go into a village where, say, an American pilot had parachuted and been beaten to death and line everyone one up against the wall. Then I’d say, ‘Anyone who lies will be shot on the spot.’ It never occurred to me that statements taken under duress would be invalid.”

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

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