“I was a combat soldier, I know of wars. I have seen and can’t even talk about it, the horrors of war itself. If you wanted to take a word that has caused more pain and suffering in the world more than any other, the word “war” would probably be that word. We should abolish war. The idea of settling disputes by going out and killing a lot people who had nothing to do with it and didn’t even know about it, that is so outrageous to my simple mind and we should stop glorifying it.
What comes to my mind is the sight of soldiers in American [military] uniform floating face-down on the beaches of Normandy when we landed there. They were still floating face-down when they got us to move out and the tanks were mired in the mud. That is war! That’s what should be memorialised in the sense of not letting it happen again. It is happening again all around the world and it pains me enormously.
That is the world in which I live and I have lived now. I’m trying to change it but I don’t have enough time left. I may be moral but I am not immortal. I hope that some young readers will recognise that what I am saying is true, pick up the banner and run with it. If they can’t run, let them walk. If they can’t walk, let them crawl, but never give up. That’s my slogan. Never give up! Law. Not war!”
Benjamin Ferencz now 100, the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials and the first person to use the term ‘genocide’ in a court room. Ben has been fighting for justice ever since.