Governor’s Medal of Freedom Awarded to Last Living Prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crime Trials

April 11, 2022 Updated 6:44 PM ET

DeSantis medals

April 11, 2022 Updated 8:45 A.M. ET

BOCA RATON (FCV) – Governor Ron DeSantis awarded Benjamin Ferencz the Governor’s Medal of Freedom during a ceremony held at Florida Atlantic University. 

Being the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg War CrimeTrials, Ben Ferencz was recognized and celebrated for his determination in holding the Nazis accountable for the atrocious acts committed during the Holocaust.

His work as the Chief Prosecutor for the United States at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials helped convict 22 high-ranking Nazi leaders and government officials. Ferencz also took charge in documenting and preserving evidence of Nazi crimes, which was critical during the trials. 

His service in the U.S. Army during World War II demonstrated bravery and courage, as he survived nearly every major battle of the war. After landing on the beaches of Normandy, Ben Ferencz went through the Maginot Line and the Siegfried Line, crossed the Rhine on a pontoon bridge, and survived the final Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded five battle stars for his service. 

Now at age 102, Ferencz resides in Delray Beach, Florida. He determined that his life’s work would be to help preserve the peace he fought to bring about in World War II. His dedication led to over a dozen books being written on his vision for the future, which he continues to work for to this day. 

“As the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, Ben Ferencz is a living legend, and we are proud that he is a Florida resident,” DeSantis said. 

The Governor’s Medal of Freedom recognizes any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to the interests and citizens of the state, its culture, or other significant public or private endeavors.

Benjamin Ferencz tirelessly fought against the Nazi regime, earning his title as one of the most iconic voices in the field of international justice and one of the most effective advocates for change. 

“If it weren’t for people like him, you would not have the fortitude that I think we all share, never again to let this happen, and so I think this is a phenomenal award,” DeSantis went on.

DeSantis has awarded the Governor’s Medal of Freedom to several other extraordinary individuals including: Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, the Cuban American freedom fighter Felix Rodriguez, and the champion of pediatric healthcare Barbara Nicklaus. 

At Benjamin Ferencz’s ceremony, Governor DeSantis signed S.B. 1360, which made the Governor’s Medal of Freedom a permanent feature of Florida statuses, giving outstanding Floridians the opportunity to be awarded this medal in the future.

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