On Sunday, Aug. 28, the Joshua Heintz Award for Humanitarian Achievement was bestowed on Nuremberg prosecutors Ben Ferencz and H.W. William Caming at the Robert H. Jackson Center.
The ceremony was held at a dinner that kicked off the Jackson Center's fifth annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, hosted at Chautauqua Institution from Aug. 28-30. The dialogues honor the legacy of Robert Jackson and the Nuremberg Trials as the genesis of international criminal law as it is known today.
Ben Ferencz graduated from Harvard Law School in 1943 and soon after enlisted and served under General Patton in World War II. He was transferred to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the Army to gather evidence of Nazi cruelty and criminal activity and to apprehend the criminals, which included being present at some of the concentration camps when they were liberated and witnessing first-hand the Holocaust's horrors. Ferencz was later recruited by Telford Taylor to assist with the ongoing Nazi war crime trials at Nuremberg and was appointed chief prosecutor for the Einsatzgruppen Case. From this position onward, Ferencz's work has focused on world peace and other issues of international criminal justice.
H.W. William Caming and Ben Ferentz are pictured at the Robert H. Jackson Center during a 2010 event.
Ferencz addressed the conference at the affirmation of the Rome Statute in 1998, asserting that ''an international criminal court - the missing link in the world legal order - is within our grasp.'' He has since stayed involved in the International Criminal Court, contributing to the Preparatory Commission and helping to define the crime of aggression. He has been a constant force to gain support for the ICC and continues to work for his goal of replacing the ''rule of force with the rule of law.'' Ferencz lives in New Rochelle, N.Y. He has four grown children and at the age of 91, he continues to speak around the world for global peace and international law.
H.W. William Caming received his master's in labor law from NYU Law School and finished his legal education with a doctorate from Harvard. After the United States entered World War II, he joined the U.S. Air Force and spent 27 months in China and Berlin before returning home after the surrender of Japan. He was then given the opportunity to be a principal prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials. He was involved in the 11th case, the so-called Ministries Case, which prosecuted members of the German Foreign Office and other governmental ministers of the Nazi regime. Afterwards, Caming returned home and acted as a privacy and security consultant for the CIA, FBI and Congress. He worked nationally as senior counsel for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company for privacy issues. Since his retirement from AT&T in 1984, he has advised the American Bar Association on privacy matters. He lives in Summit, N.J.
The Joshua Heintz Award for Humanitarian Achievement's benefactor is Joshua Heintz of Syracuse. Heintz is a partner at Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz & Smith P.C. Outside of his practice, Heintz is passionate about creating avenues for institutions of higher education to serve the community at large. He was a principle figure in the creation of the Syracuse University College of Law's internationally recognized Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. He also serves as a trustee to Syracuse University and as chair of the Syracuse University College of Law's board of advisers. Heintz is a member of the Robert H. Jackson Center board of directors.
Although travel conflicts prevented the deserving recipients from attending the ceremony held in their honor, Anna Harris accepted Caming's award on behalf of her friend. Mrs. Harris' late husband, Whitney Harris, was the first recipient of the Heintz Award in 2010. Don Ferencz accepted on behalf of his father. The inscription made on crystal obelisks that were presented by Joshua Heintz called each man, "A compassionate visionary dedicated to the pursuit of justice who leaves a legacy in international humanitarian law."