NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress mourns the death of Judge Thomas Buergenthal, one of the preeminent jurists and human rights law experts of our time. A survivor of the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen, he served from 2000 to 2010 as a judge on the International Court of Justice in the Hague, having previously served as a judge and president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as well as president of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank. At the time of his death, Judge Buergenthal was the Lobingier Professor Emeritus of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School.
“Thomas Buergenthal belonged to that unique group of young Holocaust survivors who dedicated their lives to combating the evils of bigotry and hatred to which they and their families had been so cruelly subjected,” said Menachem Z. Rosensaft, WJC general counsel and associate executive vice president. “Together with other giants like Elie Wiesel and Abe Foxman, he was an inspiration and a role model for all who came into contact with him. Soft-spoken and mild mannered, Tom was fearless in standing up for the human rights of all victims of persecution, oppression and crimes against humanity. I had the privilege of serving with him on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and saw firsthand his unbending integrity and his devotion to the sanctity of both the law and memory. May his memory be for a blessing.”
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