Ben Ferencz is the sole surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials, where Judges from various countries presided over the hearings of twenty-two major Nazi criminals. He also helped liberate the death camps in Europe when he was serving in the US military and is a Jew from central Europe. He is also hailed as the founding father of the International Criminal Court.
Mr. Ferencz was 96-years-old when he gave an address to the United Nations in 2015. Here is a quote lifted from around that same time, regarding some of the wisdom he has accumulated about war. The quote is a verbatim transcript from this clip: Ben Ferencz
It’s only just over one minute long, but his explanation about war speaks to my own experience as well. As the daughter of a displaced refugee, I saw first-hand the impact war can have on a life. My mother’s experience is what led me to my career as a peacemaker. I know the cost of war. I wanted to share with you his wise words:
“I learned that war makes murderers, mass murderers, out of otherwise decent people. And it applies to all wars, and all nationalities and I’ve seen it in all the wars. These are not wild animals who are out for blood. These are patriots who are trying to do their duty to protect either their religion or their nationality, or their economic security. These are the three major causes. We have not learned that you cannot kill an ideology with a gun. We still go at it with the same stupid approach of spending all your assets on building weapons, and more weapons, to kill more people, and depriving people of the things they need to eliminate the fears they have in their lives. A man who’s desperate because he has no job and has no money. If the money spent on weapons could be spent on eliminating the cause of his discontent, he’s not going to risk his life and go out and kill people the way they do today.”
If this moves you as well, check out Ferencz’s website at: http://www.benferencz.org/ – which is dedicated to world peace and “Law not War.”