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Prize for Understanding and Tolerance

Anniversary dinner 2013, laudator Ulrich Raulff, Regine Leibinger, who accepted the award on behalf of her father Berthold Leibinger, his wife Doris Leibinger, award winner Iris Berben, laudator Frank-Walter Steinmeier and W. Michael Blumenthal (from left to right)
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Pietschmann / Wagenzik

"Tolerance is […] anything but arbitrariness. Tolerance is the ability to engage in wholehearted dialog, to accept the differing opinions of others, and to see them as enrichment."
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel
(From the laudation for the prize winner Helmut Panke on 18 November 2006)

Two millennia of German-Jewish history illustrate the societal worth of treating one another with respect regardless of ethical, cultural, and religious values, and remind us of the high price of intolerance for all involved.

In this vein, the Jewish Museum Berlin began in 2002 to honor individuals who have promoted tolerance and understanding in an exceptional way. The presentation of the "Prize for Understanding and Tolerance" is traditionally made at a gala dinner to which the museum invites numerous friends and guests from the worlds of politics, business, culture, and the media. The proceeds of these evenings go towards the Museum’s educational programs for children and young people.


Johanna Brandt
Gesellschaft der Freunde und Förderer der Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin e.V.
Tel: +49 (0)30 259 93 553
Fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 432

The following people have been awarded the Jewish Museum Berlin "Prize for Understanding and Tolerance": Berthold Beitz, Chairman of the Curatorium of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, and Heinrich von Pierer, former Chairman of the Siemens Board (2002); the former Federal Minister for Internal Affairs Otto Schily and the publisher Friede Springer (2003); the entrepreneur Michael Otto and former Federal President Johannes Rau (2004); the art collector and patron Heinz Berggruen and the politician Otto Graf Lambsdorff (2005); General Music Director of the Berlin State Opera Daniel Barenboim and BMW manager Helmut Panke (2006); former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the historian Fritz Stern (2007); corporate consultant Roland Berger and the Hungarian Nobel Laureate in Literature Imre Kertész (2008); Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of the Robert Bosch GmbH, and Christof Bosch, representative of the family and member of the board of trustees of the Robert Bosch Foundation GmbH, who accepted the prize on behalf of the Bosch group, and the film director Michael Verhoeven (2009); the literary scholar Jan Philipp Reemtsma and the business executive Hubertus Erlen (2010); Chancellor Angela Merkel (2011); Klaus Mangold, Chairman of the Rothschild Advisory Board, Frankfurt and Moscow, and former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker (2012); Berthold Leibinger, associate, TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG, Ditzingen, and the actress Iris Berben (2013); German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (member of the Bundestag) and publisher Hubert Burda (2014); and, most recently, Founding Director W. Michael Blumenthal (2015).

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