‘How Do You Balance a Million People Murdered Against 22 Defendants?’

On the podcast: The last living Nuremberg prosecutor describes the Allied trials against Nazi leaders.

By , the executive editor for news and podcasts at Foreign Policy.
Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, at his home in Delray Beach, Florida, on March 10, 2016. (Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)
Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, at his home in Delray Beach, Florida, on March 10, 2016. (Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)
Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, at his home in Delray Beach, Florida, on March 10, 2016. (Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

Eighty years ago this week, Nazis burned synagogues, desecrated cemeteries, and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses and homes across Germany, Austria, and occupied Czechoslovakia. The event came to be known as Kristallnacht—the night of broken glass—and foreshadowed the genocide of 6 million Jews in World War II.

On the podcast, we talk to Benjamin Ferencz, the last living prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials where Nazi leaders were brought to justice. A U.S. Army veteran with a law degree from Harvard University, Ferencz was just 27 at the start of the trials. He had never prosecuted a case in his life. Now 99, he is the subject of a new film, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, directed by Barry Avrich.

Eighty years ago this week, Nazis burned synagogues, desecrated cemeteries, and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses and homes across Germany, Austria, and occupied Czechoslovakia. The event came to be known as Kristallnacht—the night of broken glass—and foreshadowed the genocide of 6 million Jews in World War II.

On the podcast, we talk to Benjamin Ferencz, the last living prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials where Nazi leaders were brought to justice. A U.S. Army veteran with a law degree from Harvard University, Ferencz was just 27 at the start of the trials. He had never prosecuted a case in his life. Now 99, he is the subject of a new film, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, directed by Barry Avrich.

More from Foreign Policy

Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.
Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.

Stop Falling for Russia’s Delusions of Perpetual Victory

The best sources on the war are the Ukrainians on the ground.

A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia
A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia

Could Sabotage Stop Putin From Using the Nuclear Option?

If the West is behind mysterious fires in Russia, the ongoing—but deniable—threat could deter Putin from escalating.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.

While America Slept, China Became Indispensable

Washington has long ignored much of the world. Beijing hasn’t.

A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation
A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation

The World Ignored Russia’s Delusions. It Shouldn’t Make the Same Mistake With India.

Hindu nationalist ideologues in New Delhi are flirting with a dangerous revisionist history of South Asia.