"We have to fight the dark ages with beauty, with elegance, with poetry," he said.
Best documentary, awarded for the first time at the festival, was picked up by Palestinian director Raed Andoni for "Ghost Hunting".
The film recreates a notorious Israeli interrogation centre - and has ex-prisoners re-enact experiences in a bid to free them of their demons.
"We still have 7,000 Palestinians living in those jails...
' Fight the dark ages' Best screenplay went to another favourite of the festival, "A Fantastic Woman" by Chile's Sebastian Lelio, starring transgender actress Daniela Vega.
Lelio, joined on stage by Vega, said the film about a singer fighting for her right to attend the funeral of her much older lover was a call for tolerance in trying times.
The drama by Ildiko Enyedi, one of four female filmmakers in competition, features graphic scenes in an abattoir set against the budding romance of two people who share a recurring dream.
Jews have a long history in the country now known as Hungary, with some records even predating the AD 895 Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin by over 600 years.Presenting the Golden Bear, Verhoeven said the jury "fell in love" with "On Body and Soul", adding that it was about "two people connecting in quite an amazing way".The enigmatic film features Endre and Maria, who by day work in a slaughterhouse but by night have the same dream about a male and a female deer nuzzling in a snowy forest.Last year, jury president Meryl Streep gave top honours to Italy's "Fire at Sea", a portrait of the refugee crisis on the island of Lampedusa.It is nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary this month.