Film to be made about Nuremberg Trials 99-year-old prosecutor Ben Ferencz

June 7, 2019 by JNS
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A film about the head prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials following World War II is to be produced.

Ben Ferencz, the lead prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II. Credit: Screenshot.

Producers Barry Avrich and Patrice Theroux have acquired the film and television rights to the life story of Ben Ferencz, now 99 years old.

“I am honoured to take this journey,” said Ferencz. “I never dreamed as a 27-year-old standing in a Nuremberg courtroom prosecuting Nazis that my life would be the subject of a film. I am now in my hundredth year; let’s get this done!!”

Ferencz, a Harvard University Law School graduate and a lifelong advocate of “law not war,” became lead prosecutor, at 27 years old, in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history, after witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation.

The trials lasted from Nov. 20, 1945 to Oct. 1, 1946.

In his first trial, all 22 Nazi officials who were tried for murdering more than 1 million people were convicted.

Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later assisted in the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

He was an adjunct international law professor at Pace University from 1985 to 1996.

This is the second collaboration between Avrich and Theroux with Ferencz. The documentary “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz,” which was directed by Avrich and produced by Avrich and Theroux, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and launched last week on Netflix last week.

“This is an extraordinary honour to tell the story; one of the most iconic and historic figures of our time,” said Avrich. “I feel a real responsibility to continue to bring this important story to as many people as we can, this time through a scripted project.”

“I am thrilled to help bring this prestigious, inspiring and historic story to the big screen,” said Theroux. “Ben has lead an incredible life, and it is a privilege that Barry and I have been allowed to share it with the world in a new capacity.”

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