As NPR’s Nina Totenberg once put it, sometimes you meet a person so extraordinary, so interesting, that you feel impelled to share that experience with others. She met Albie ...read more
As NPR’s Nina Totenberg once put it, sometimes you meet a person so extraordinary, so interesting, that you feel impelled to share that experience with others. She met Albie on vacation in South Africa. At the age of six, during World War II, Sachs received a birthday card from his father expressing the wish that he would grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation. White, Jewish, with Lithuanian roots, Sachs became involved with the anti-apartheid movement at 17, and found his footing early with a law degree, representing many of the African National Congress activists who were imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death for their political activities. In 1966, he went into exile, studying and teaching law in England and Mozambique. In 1988, he was blown up by a car bomb, losing an arm and the sight of one eye. Through it all, he has not only survived, but emerged as a key figure in the crafting of South Africa’s new democratic constitution. In 1994, Nelson Mandela appointed him as a Judge on the newly established Constitutional Court. Sachs has traveled to many countries, sharing South African experiences in healing divided societies, and is the subject of a new documentary, Soft Vengeance.