Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation Spiral-Bound | April 4, 2002
Benjamin B. Ferencz
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Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation
As a United States war crimes investigator during World War II, Benhamin 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 book tells the story of great courage and determination by survivors and their allies to try to compel German companies to make at least partial amends for the use of slave labor during the war. Yet it is also a story of an equally determined refusal to see that past honestly, to own up to it, and to voluntarily try to make it right. As such, whatever its limitations as a historical analysis, it will undoubtedly continue to serve as a valuable starting point for thinking about the efforts to make good again the harm done during the Third Reich. —"—net, April 2005
Benjamin B. Ferencz was the prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial of the SS Einsatzgruppen. 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.