Nearly 75 years after the end of the Holocaust, in a moot court held in Jerusalem, Israeli students brought the architect of Hitler’s eugenics program to justice.
The moot court, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Education, prosecuted psychiatrist Ernst Rüdin, Nazi Germany’s most prominent proponent of mass sterilization and the “clinical” killing of adults and children.
In an article published by New Europe, a Brussels-based EU affairs newspaper, journalist Martin Banks described the preceding. “Rüdin, whose devotees included the infamous Auschwitz physician responsible for carrying out appalling human experiments, Josef Mengele, never had to face an international criminal court alongside other war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials, despite his documented connection to war crimes.”
The moot court was a project developed by lawyer Avi Omer, founder of the Institute for Social Excellence in Israel. It included a tribunal of five judges selected from the Israeli Supreme Court, the European Court for Human Rights, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the U.S. Federal Court, and the Supreme Courts of Scotland.
For seven months, Israeli students, who served as the litigators of the case, trained with human rights and legal experts, including the Chairman of the UN Committee for Human Rights and a former deputy president of the Israeli Supreme Court.
Justice Christoph Flügge, who served as permanent judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, presided as president of the chamber. He concluded the trial by finding the defendant “guilty of most of the articles of indictment against him. In light of the evidence presented in the trial, the defendant, Rüdin, was found responsible for the sterilization and murder of hundreds of thousands of people with physical and mental disabilities.”
Omer’s intention in establishing the program was to “instill human rights values in young future leaders who will then become agents of change in their own social circles…with the lesson being that human rights and human dignity are above any other consideration or science.”
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