God Bless You, Mr. Harris

Whitney Harris, the last surviving prosecutor from the first Nuremberg Trial, died on Wednesday at age 97. St. Louis Public Radio has a great story about his life . Here’s my favorite part:

Leila Sadat heads the Whitney Harris World Law Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. She said Harris always emphasized the good that came out of Nuremberg.

“I never saw him become cynical,” Sadat said. “I think he had a truly undying faith in the ability of humankind to do better. And that’s not true of all his compatriots. I think that was something about Whitney.”

I rarely link back to the first 6 months of my blog because, although it served its purpose, it was terrible. But I had a brief encounter with Mr. Harris when I worked at The Scholarshop in 2004. He was so nice that I wrote about it , and I’ll remember it forever.

Our conversation only lasted 5 or 10 minutes but he was so genuine and sincere, like he truly cared about this kid who was hanging up his old clothes for charity. Since the news broke of his passing, stories like mine have been popping up everywhere. Sure, people have talked about his accomplishments, but they also marvel at the way he treated people up until the day he died. I think that’s pretty inspiring – Mr. Harris did something incredibly significant and noble in our world’s history, but he used every opportunity – even an encounter with an usher, store clerk or thrift store kid – to be a gracious person and bring more good into this world.

Rest in peace, Mr. Harris. You earned it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Favorite Stories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s