Holocaust survivor Judge Thomas Buergenthal passes away at 89

Thomas Buergenthal, a survivor of Auschwitz who became a judge at the United Nations International Court of Justice, has died aged 89.

Buergenthal was born in 1934 in what was then Czechoslovakia, to a Jewish family that was forced to flee to Poland when the Germans invaded. He was one of the youngest survivors of Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen.

Buergenthal later went on to serve 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.

The government of Goettingen, the German city where Buergenthal resided after the war, said that he had “tirelessly dedicated himself to reconciliation and for human rights his entire life.”


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