Gov. DeSantis awards the Medal of Freedom to Benjamin Ferencz at FAU

Ferencz served as the lead prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

Justine Kantor, News Editor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presented the Governor’s Medal of Freedom to Benjamin Ferencz in the Student Union at Florida Atlantic University on Thursday

DeSantis also signed into law a bill that would permanently include the Medal of Freedom in the Florida Statutes.

“It is really the highest award the state can give,” said DeSantis. “And it’s to recognize people that have had exemplary lives and have exemplary achievements.”

“The Medal of Freedom is now signed into law,” DeSantis said as he signed. (Eston Parker III)

Ferencz served as the Chief Prosecutor for the Einsatzgruppen Trial of the Nuremberg trials — a series of trials held by the Allied Powers after World War II convicting Nazi soldiers of war crimes.

Ferencz is the third person to receive the award. DeSantis first presented the award to Former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden and Retired Central Intelligence Agency paramilitary officer Felix I. Rodríguez-Mendigutía.

“[In] my closing statement, I pointed to the defendants and I said, ‘these men wrote the blackest page in human history,’” said Ferencz.

Now 103 years old, Ferencz is the last living prosecutor of the trials; he resides in nearby Delray Beach.

DeSantis also presented Holocaust survivors Samuel Ron and Norman Frajman with a Gubernatorial Letter of Recognition.

DeSantis also discussed anti-semitism, and recognized the university’s dedication to Holocaust education.

“If you look at a lot of American universities, unfortunately, anti-semitism is kind of something that is cheap in certain circles. FAU has not gone down that road,” said DeSantis.

Justine Kantor is the News Editor for the University Press. For more information on this and other stories, email [email protected] or tweet @KantorJustine.