Friday, January 23, 2015

Former ICJ Judge Talks About His Experiences as a Child Who Survived Auschwitz

Thomas Buergenthal, a former judge of the International Court of Justice, shares his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A Lucky Child. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life. 

Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship. Considered one of the world’s leading international human rights experts, Professor Buergenthal served as a judge on the International Court of Justice from 2000 to 2010 and was Dean at the Washington College of Law from 1980 to 1985.  He was 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, and a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador. He is a member of the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee and the honorary president of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica.

His book A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz is available in English and German (and possibly other languages, but I've only seen it in English and German. 

Judge Buergenthal will discuss his book and his experiences at the American University Washington College of Law on February 2, 2015 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm. The law school is located at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20016 and the event will be held on the 6th Floor in Room 603

Claudio Grossman, Dean of the American University Washington College of Law, will do the welcome and introduction. Professor Peter Jaszi of the American University Washington College of Law will lead the questions.  Contact the law school for information on how to register for and attend the event.


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