2016: Courage and Compassion

Thomas Buergenthal was born in Lubochna, Czechoslovakia in 1934. He and his parents fled to Poland where they were forced into the Kielce ghetto. He survived the ghetto and a labor camp from where they were deported to Auschwitz. He is one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz, despite the fact that it was most unusual and unlikely for a child to survive Auschwitz. He also survived one of the infamous and treacherous death marches. He was liberated by the Soviets from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in April 1945. He immigrated to the United States in 1951. He is a Human Rights Lawyer, a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and a Law Professor at George Washington University.

Watch the International Bar Association interview with Thomas Buergenthal that was conducted by award-winning former CNN journalist Todd Benjamin.

While I do believe that I survived the Holocaust in order to devote my life to the protection of human rights, I believe that, having survived, I have an obligation to try to do all I can to spare others, wherever they might be, from suffering a fate similar to that of the victims of the Holocaust.

-Thomas Buergenthal