NEW YORK — The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative announced this week that Benjamin Ferencz, noted peace and human rights activist, has joined the Selection Committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity as its honorary co-chair. The well-known Romanian-born American lawyer, who has been promoting the establishment of an international rule of law for many years, will be a global ambassador of the Aurora Prize.
“We are delighted to welcome Benjamin Ferencz, whose persistent efforts to secure justice for the victims of crimes against humanity have made our world a better place. During his career he has defended human decency and our common humanity against persecution and genocide. We are happy to have him join the Aurora Prize Selection Committee as its honorary co-chair,” said Vartan Gregorian, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative co-founder and president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Ferencz was one of the investigators working to hold the Nazis accountable for the crimes committed during World War II and acted as chief prosecutor for the US Army at the Einsatzgruppen Trial held in Nuremberg, Germany.
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1943, he joined the Army and was deployed to Europe where he participated in the liberation of the German concentration camps. That experience profoundly affected Ferencz, determining the course of his future life and career.
Ferencz also helped develop and implement rehabilitation programs for people persecuted by the Nazi regime and played a role in the negotiations that led to the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany, signed in 1952. He has dedicated his life to fighting for human rights and global peace, making it his mission to promote the establishment of an international rule of law.
“I’m very impressed with the work Aurora is doing around the globe. We have a shared goal to create a more humane society under the rule of law, and I was pleased to accept the invitation to join the Aurora Prize Selection Committee as its honorary co-chair. My experience has taught me that creating a world of support and compassion takes a great deal of time, commitment and effort, so I’m excited about being part of a community who has made this its mission,” said Ferencz.