Friday, 20 November 2015

A Masterclass: Benjamin Ferencz


I told you earlier that apart from a crazy cat flap abusing Welsh terrier puppy little of note has happened today.
I was wrong.
For, when I was sitting in Fanny , waiting for the Prof to get off train, I turned on radio four to listen to Eddie Mair.
Mair was interviewing 96 year old Benjamin Ferencz.
Ferencz was a lawyer and is the only surviving member of the prosecuting council from the Nuremberg Trails.
He has been an advocate for global justice for half a century.
It was a sobering, and electrifying piece of radio.
Ferencz ,is still a force to be reckoned with.
His recollections of the Nazi war trail as well as the atrocities he witnessed at the liberation of the death camps  were eloquent, disturbing and incredibly honest.
He led Mair with all of the deftness of a great, good man.
I listened silently to the whole thing totally spellbound
If you get a chance to listen to it..do so see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p038mc2s



21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I will listen to it tonight.

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  2. Haven't listened yet but in light of recent events, do you think humanity has made much progress in the last 60 years?

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    1. The optimist in me says yes

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    2. The objectivist in me says yes.

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  3. May we all be a force for as long as we are

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  4. Wish I had better (more GB) internet. This sounds interesting.

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  5. my father was a liberator and my god the stories he told us.

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  6. What a wonderful face he has, both young and old.

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  7. Himself played hockey in the over 40 league nearly 10 years back, and one of the men was elderly. Hans had been a translator at the Nuremburg Trials. He confided in me that he was getting too old to play with 40-somethings and was going to stick to playing with only the over 60 league the next season. He never spoke about the Trials, but his eyes grew quite sad when I mentioned them and thanked him.

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  8. Thanks John I will get on the net tonight, good luck with that crazy puppy.

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  9. Some of my father's family were, we think, in those camps. He could never talk about it. Not surprised.
    Less we forget...

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  10. A man of great integrity, and with a scarcely-hidden contempt for those on trial. Thank you for sharing this. There are uncanny echoes in the Middle East today.

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  11. Yes, I'll come back and listen to this when I have more time than right now. I'd be very interested in hearing what he has to say.

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  12. It certainly holds your attention and I do hope he is right about the future. Thanks for posting this John.

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  13. I just listened to the interview. Powerful stuff!
    How awful though, that the world is once again having to deal with a group of people who are so convinced that their opinions and beliefs are all that matters, and that those of us who do not share their ideaology are deserving of death.
    Have we truly learned nothing from the past?

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  14. Thanks so much for this link. Can't wait to give it a listen. I had seen Ferencz in the news yesterday.

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  15. My late father was one of the first British officers to enter the camps. He actually can be seen with some of his men in the documentary Night will fall. One of the most noticeable things is that all his men have sten guns with the bolts locked open, that is ready to fire. This was despite them guarding German civilians burying the mny victims of the camps. The horror of it all can't be overstated!
    He met Mr Ferencz at the einstzgruppen trials, his men had captured some members of the SS fleeing west trying to avoid the russian army. He said that the hatred, and he did not use that word lightly, displayed by Mr Ferencz and his team towards the SS men was palpable. Considering the atrocities they carried out it was hardly surprising. There is much talk of ISIS but quite frankly as evil as they are their actions pale in comparison.

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  16. I had caught only the last half of this when it was broadcast, so was glad of your link to listen to it all today. It is easy to understand how anyone who was involved in the Holocaust and its aftermath can feel hatred; what was also clear was that Mr Ferencz had sought some sign of remorse, and had found none. This must have been just as embittering for him and his team as the terrible deeds he was investigating and prosecuting.

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  17. In reply to your mini diva footstamp in the subsequent post I will say I listened to the interview right away but did not comment because sometimes words are inadequate. But now I have commented, I feel slightly shallow for what I have said. The old man's words said it all.

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