The International Nuremberg Principles Academy and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) screened the documentary “Peace Through Justice – The Legacy Of Thomas Buergenthal” on Judge Thomas Buergenthal’s life and legacy, followed by a panel discussion, at the USHMM, in Washington, D.C., United States, on 26 June 2019.
The protagonist Judge Buergenthal was present at the screening and took part in the ensuing discussion with Anna Cave, Director of the Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the USHMM. Nuremberg Academy Director Klaus Rackwitz moderated the event. They addressed various topics such as ways to contribute to a more peaceful and just world; preventing, addressing, and redressing contemporary atrocities; and advancing justice and accountability for current atrocities. With closer regard to the film and Judge Buergenthal’s life, the panelists discussed how to relate the lessons of the Holocaust to contemporary events and genocide prevention; and how to educate future generations of jurists. Judge Buergenthal also explained the beginnings of the field of international human rights; his engagement for the Nuremberg Academy and the Committee on Conscience of the USHMM; as well as the importance of forgiveness as a means to combat hatred, pointing out that “the answer is not hatred, but communication and reconciliation”.
The audience participated actively in the discussion with questions addressed to the panelists. Benjamin “Ben” Ferencz, the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials, sent a special video message for Thomas Buergenthal.
The documentary shows the extraordinary life of Holocaust survivor and jurist Judge Buergenthal and his influence on global efforts to educate and empower a new generation of advocates to seek justice for victims and survivors and accountability for perpetrators. It also shows the work of the Nuremberg Academy in supporting the fight against impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in our times. Since its establishment, Judge Buergenthal has been committed to the Nuremberg Academy and he is now the Honorary President of its Advisory Council.
The documentary has been realized with the kind support of the Zukunftsstiftung der Sparkasse Nürnberg.
Special video message from Ben Ferencz for Thomas Buergenthal: