“I have witnessed holocausts and I cannot stop trying to deter future genocides,” Ferencz said. “You cannot kill an entrenched ideology with a gun. Compassion, tolerance and compromise must be taught at all levels.”
Ferencz, a Jew, was born in Romania, but moved to the U.S. as a baby with his family to avoid anti-Semitic persecution.
Ferencz successfully served as chief prosecutor for the U.S.-conducted Einsatzgruppen trial of former Nazi leaders in 1947-1948 despite this being his first criminal trial. He prosecuted 22 SS death squad members for their involvement in murdering over one million Jews and other minorities, and afterwards secured restitution for thousands of Holocaust survivors.
Ferencz received the museum’s highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, in 2015 for his long-time supporter of the museum.