On March 2, 2022, Sergiy Kyslytsya (@SergiyKyslytsya), Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, spoke to the U.N. General Assembly.
Ambassador Kyslytsya deplored Russia’s criminal aggression against Ukraine. He called for the U.N. to stand against Russian aggression. Then he pulled out his phone and played a video of Benjamin B. Ferencz.
Ben Ferencz, who turned 102 years old today, fought in World War II as a U.S. soldier.
Following the war, Ben was a prosecutor at Nuremberg of Nazi mass murder.
Ben Ferencz has been, ever since, a global teacher. His message, learned in the horrors of war fighting, as an investigator at liberated Nazi concentration camps, and as a Nuremberg prosecutor, is simple and profound. It is the message that is before all of our eyes, seeing war in Ukraine:
War brings only suffering and death.
War is the supreme international crime.
We must choose law not war.
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Here is video of Ambassador Kyslytsya’s March 2 speech at the U.N. He plays the video of Ben Ferencz starting at time counter 11:45:
For more information on Ben Ferencz, here are resources, including many that are Ben himself—
- From the Jackson List archive, three posts about Ben: https://thejacksonlist.com/?s=%22Ben+Ferencz%22+birth;
- video excerpts of Ben’s 1947 opening statement at Nuremberg in the Einsatzgruppen case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b67B-MoKG_o;
- a November 2005 interview of Ben: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-8m5YHt__4;
- a Ben Ferencz TED Talk from 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwa4zRWDsvI;
- the trailer of the 2018 documentary film, “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz” (available on Netflix): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meDbZemxuK4;
- on Amazon Prime Video, the 2019 film “Law Not War,” about Ben: https://www.amazon.com/Law-Not-War-Benjamin-Ferencz/dp/B082G8KCDV;
- Ben’s website, a treasure house of his writings and speeches: https://benferencz.org/; and, of course,
- you should follow @BenFerencz on Twitter.
Happy Birthday, Ben.
Thank you for being humanity’s lawyer and teacher.
Thank you for being a hero, dear friend, and permanent inspiration to me and so many others.