“[This] valuable book is a striking reminder of the larger purposes of law in civilized societies. At the same time it affords a depressing insight into the deficiencies and inadequacies of the supposed denazification of the West German legal system and of sections of German society.”
— Times Literary Supplement
As a United States war crimes investigator during World War II, Benjamin B. Ferencz participated in the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. He returned to Germany after the war to help bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice and remained to direct restitution programs for Nazi victims. In Less Than Slaves Ferencz describes the painstaking efforts that were made to persuade German industrial firms such as I. G. Farben, Krupp, AEG, Rheinmetall, and Daimler-Benz to compensate camp inmates who were exploited as forced laborers. The meager outcome of these efforts emerges from searing pages that detail the difficulties confronted by Ferencz and his dedicated colleagues. This engrossing narrative is a vital resource for all who are concerned with the moral, legal, and practical implications of the recent significant increase in the number of compensation claims by victims of persecution. First published in 1979, Ferencz’s penetrating firsthand account returns to print with the author’s evaluation of its historical significance and current relevance.
“This short book is of extreme importance ... [It] is a book to ponder.”
— Martin Gilbert, The New York Times
Benjamin B. Ferencz was the prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial of the SS Einsatgruppen. Now in his eighties, Ferencz remains active as a teacher, lecturer, and author of books on international law and articles dealing with the creation of an international criminal court. With a grant from Save America’s Treasures, a public-private partnership of the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum now houses and makes available for study the Benjamin B. Ferencz collection of Nazi documents.