NUREMBERG PROSECUTOR BENJAMIN FERENCZ MEMORIALIZED WITH BRONZE BUST
On January 19th, Benjamin Ferencz, the legendary Nuremberg Chief Prosecutor was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal – the nation’s highest expression of appreciation for achievements and contributions.
The appreciation for Ferencz has been going on for years. In late 2020, the bust of Ferencz, created by acclaimed artist/sculptor Yaacov Heller, was permanently housed in the halls of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the world’s first permanent criminal court. It is part of the film “Two Heads Are Better Than One: Making of the Ben Ferencz Bust,” produced by Eric Kline Productions.
Heller is now offering premier numbered, first editions of the bust to commemorate Ferencz.
Each bust will be made from the original mold, cast in bronze, mounted on marble, hand signed, and numbered by the sculptor. Heller suggests that “the bust can be gifted to an individual, organization, congregation or center as an award to honor those who have contributed to the causes of peace, tolerance, humanity, and acceptance. Those, like Ben Ferencz, who stand for law, not war.”
Ferencz’s case at Nuremberg was the Einsatzgruppen trial, also known as “the biggest murder trial in history.” In 1947, he famously tried and convicted twenty-two Nazi high-ranking officers responsible for killing more than one million Jews. After World War 2, Ferencz oversaw the Israel – Germany reparations program. He has been an advocate of and has been cited as one of the main catalysts behind the formation of the International Criminal Court, implementing the formation of the ‘rule of law.’
Yaacov Heller has been an acclaimed sculptor and artist for more than sixty years. He is best known for his sculptures of Biblical themes which are enjoyed around the world. Like Ferencz, he has long been an advocate of tolerance, leading him to create “The Garden of Humanity” in Boca Raton, Florida. Completed in 2015, the garden has fourteen benches, including one featuring a quote from Ferencz. This is where Ferencz and Heller first met in 2018.
In early 2019, Ferencz visited again with Heller. The two spent several hours talking about peace, war, humanity, and tolerance. Producer/Director Eric Kline and his video crew were there and captured the entire captivating conversation.
At the end of the visit, Heller asked Ferencz if he could create a bust of him. “No one has ever created a bust of me before, sure, go for it,” said Ferencz. “Two heads are better than one.”
That was the seed of an idea for Eric Kline to create a documentary not only of the conversations he taped between these two legends, but to also follow Heller’s artistic journey as he created the bust of Ferencz in a mere two weeks’ time. The bust’s acceptance into the ICC was the icing on the cake.
Even before it goes into wide release, the documentary has received an overwhelmingly positive response at film festivals. On March 15, “Two Heads” will be shown during the Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival. A Q&A session with Heller and Kline will follow the showing.
The trailer for Eric Kline Productions’ film “Two Heads Are Better Than One: Making of the Ben Ferencz Bust” can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/522551392
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