Dimensions in Educational Certificates Interview statements with Nuremberg Prosecutor Ben Ferencz

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

Ben Ferenich, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials who died in Florida earlier this month, has given countless interviews over the course of his illustrious career.

But surely none was longer, or more technically challenging, than the three-day testimony he gave to the USC Shoah Foundation at the height of the Covid pandemic in July 2020.

The need for social distancing necessitated that filming take place remotely, with boxes of high-end equipment shipped to Furench’s modest home in Florida.

“There was an urgent need to film the interview in the midst of a pandemic,” said Ryan Fenton Strauss, interim director of media and archives at the USC Shoah Foundation. “We built this remote rig to try and continue to collect testimonials, and Ben was the first we met.

He was a giant of a human being, though he was small in stature. And there he was – this man who had dedicated his life to this humanitarian mission – speaking to us from his humble home in Florida. “

The result is USC Shoah’s latest Dimensions in Certificate (DiT) education interview, Released today, an interactive memorization tool in which students and teachers can ask prompts and elicit real-time answers from their pre-recorded interview. Previously only in museums, Dimensions in Testimony Education was designed specifically for educational use and is freely available in classrooms via computers or mobile devices.

In a DiT session, the distinguished lawyer and peace advocate spoke about a long career that included entering concentration camps during their liberation, prosecuting Nazi war criminals, and fighting for the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In one, from the late 1940s, he describes attending a meeting in Bonn with representatives of the West German Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs. The subject of interest was the upkeep and upkeep of Jewish cemeteries in post-war Germany.

At the time, German municipalities recycled burial plots every 20 years in order to free up space. Ferenich had been lobbying for Jewish graves to be excused from this practice and – in accordance with Jewish tradition – be left undisturbed in perpetuity. However, this proposal was opposed by Ferencz’s German counterpart (“he might be an old Nazi”) who told the young American lawyer, “Mr. Ferencz, you cannot expect us to do more for the Jews than we do for our own people.”

“It caused the explosion,” Ferenc recalled in his testimony.

“I had something in my pocket that I picked up when I visited Auschwitz. It was some bones [I had found in the] Ashes behind the crematorium…and when I came back to it [my] Frankfurt Hotel, I got an envelope from the hotel and put it in the envelope.”

“[So at the meeting about the cemeteries] I took the bones out of my pocket, slammed them on the table, and said: Whom do you want to pay? they? They would come to you if you didn’t kill them. You killed them, you told them who would pay.”

German officials agreed to Ferenc’s request.

Ferencz’s DiT is freely available to teachers and students anywhere in the world. Accompanied by a learning activity called Conversation with Ben Ferencswhich integrates interactive storytelling to help students explore the meaning and application of the “rule of law” in response to genocide.

His DiT will also feature prominently in a soon-to-be-released new unit in Echoes & Reflections, an educational program about the Holocaust developed in partnership between USC Shoah Foundation, ADL, and Yad Vashem.

Dimensions in Certificate was developed in 2014 in conjunction with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies and concept by Conscience Display. IWitness integration is made possible by generous support from the Snyder Foundation.

To date, more than 60 Holocaust survivors and witnesses have been interviewed for ABAAD in testimony. Debuting with a permanent installation featuring Pinchas Gutter at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in 2015, DiT’s installations are now on display in 11 museums around the world.