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Commemorative plate to honor a lawyer for his work on behalf of Holocaust survivors

Object | Accession Number: 1994.97.3

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    Commemorative plate to honor a lawyer for his work on behalf of Holocaust survivors

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    Brief Narrative
    Decorative plate presented to Benjamin Ferencz in Warsaw by the Polish Committee of the Red Cross. It was given as a token of appreciation for his help in obtaining compensation from Nazi Germany for the Catholic women who had been victims of Nazi medical experiments while they were inmates in the concentration camp of Ravensbrueck.
    commemoration:  1962
    received: Warsaw (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Benjamin B. Ferencz
    Subject: Benjamin B. Ferencz
    Benjamin Berell Ferencz (1920-2023) was born in Șomcuta Mare, Romania (Nagysomkút, Hungary) on March 11, 1920 to Joseph and Sarah Ferencz. At the time, Șomcuta Mare was part of Hungary, but was occupied by Romania. The city was ceded to Romania under the Treaty of Trianon shortly after Benjamin’s birth, and the Ferencz family immigrated to the United States at the end of 1920 and settled in New York City. Ferencz received a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from the City College of New York in 1940, and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1943. Ferencz served in the United States Army from 1943-1945. During that time he held several positions, including with the anti-aircraft artillery battalion and the War Crimes Branch of the Army.

    After the war, the US Government recruited Ferencz to join a team working on the Nuremberg trials. Ferencz was sent to Berlin with a team to investigate official Nazi records, which would later be used in the trials, and was later appointed Chief Prosecutor for the Einsatzgruppen Trial. After the trial, Ferencz fought for compensation for victims and survivors and continued to dedicate his life to ending war and promoting Justice. He authored numerous monographs, articles, and commentaries, primarily on matters of international law, the need for an international criminal court, and world peace.

    Ferencz served in a variety of positions related to the Holocaust. Some of those positions included Executive Counsel, Office of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Nuremberg, 1946-1948; Chief Prosecutor for the United States in the war crimes trial against Nazi extermination squads, 1947; Director General, Jewish Restitution Successor Organization, 1948-1956; Director of Operations, United Restitution Organization, Ltd., 1954-1956; Special Legal Advisor at Hague reparations negotiations, Germany-Israel, 1952; Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 1953-1956; Counsel, International Council of B'nai B'rith, 1958-1961; Counsel, American Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants, 1959-1961; and numerous other councils and conferences related to the Holocaust. He held the position of Adjunct Professor of International Law at Pace University in White Plains, New York, and was the founder and Executive Director of the Peace Center.

    Ferencz married Gertrude Ferencz Fried (1919-2019) in 1946, and had four children: Carol, Robin Donald, and Nina. He passed away in Florida on April 7, 2023.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Plate bears the coat-of-arms of all of the provinces in Poland.
    overall: Height: 5.000 inches (12.7 cm) | Diameter: 13.250 inches (33.655 cm)
    overall : porcelain
    Reverse: "Chodziez / Made in Poland / 1962 2152"

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The plate was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1994 by Benjamin Ferencz.
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:11:15
    This page:

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