The Jewish Museum Berlin Presents the German Chancellor The Jewish Museum Berlin Presents Angela Merkel with the Prize for "Understanding and Tolerance"

Press Invitation

Press Release, 10 October 2011

Gala Concert and Award Ceremony as Part of Anniversary Week Marking the 10th Anniversary of the Jewish Museum Berlin

On Monday 24 October 2011, the Jewish Museum Berlin will proudly present the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel with the "Jewish Museum Award for Understanding and Tolerance." The museum is honoring the Chancellor’s commitment to human rights and human dignity, in particular her personal resolve to hand an openness to dialog on to future generations. At the gala celebration, museum director W. Michael Blumenthal will speak about the German Chancellor’s work and dedication for which she has most recently received the Leo Baeck Prize and the US Medal of Freedom. One example of her dedication is her support for innovative and sustainable projects for young people such as the newspaper project "Weiße Flecken" by the youth initiative step21 and for exchange programs for young people from different countries such as that of the German-Israeli Future Forum. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall, the museum would also like to express its gratitude to the German government for the personal and political support in fulfilling its purpose and objectives.

The award will be presented at a gala dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jewish Museum Berlin, this year a particularly special social event. The evening will commence with a concert by Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, who will play Anton Bruckner’s 7th Symphony in E Minor in Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall. Daniel Barenboim has a long-standing connection to the Jewish Museum. In 2006, he was awarded the Jewish Museum Berlin Prize for Understanding and Tolerance. He conducted the opening concert 10 years ago in the Philharmonic Hall and in 2007, he gave a charity concert with the members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as part of Darfur Week at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

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The "Jewish Museum Prize for Understanding and Tolerance" is presented annually to individuals from business, cultural, and political circles who have shown a special commitment to encouraging the Federal Republic of Germany to face up to Nazi crimes, and to the critical analysis of anti-Semitism and racism. Dedication to human dignity, the integration of minorities, and dialog between cultures and religions are also honored. The gala dinner that concludes the evening also supports a worthy cause, with the proceeds going towards the Museum’s educational work.

As at the preceding award ceremonies, the guest list comprises prominent figures from the worlds of politics, business, culture, and the media. Acceptances have so far been received from the President of the German Bundestag Norbert Lammert, Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Economics Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr, Federal Minister for the Environment Norbert Röttgen, Federal Minister of Education Annette Schavan, Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, and Minister of State for Cultural and Media Affairs Bernd Neumann. Further guests include former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker, former Federal Chancellor and ZEIT editor Helmut Schmidt, former Israeli Foreign Minister and opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Israeli Ambassador S. E. Yoram Ben-Zeev, Ambassador for the United States of America S.E. Philip Murphy, the actress Iris Berben, Chairman of the Deutsche Bahn Management Board Rüdiger Grube, the writer and former prize-winner Imre Kertész, the architect Daniel Libeskind, the TV cook Cornelia Poletto, President of the Jewish Community of Berlin Lala Süsskind, and the journalist Ulrich Wickert.

Gala Concert with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin

When Monday 24 October at 7 pm
Where Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1, 10785 Berlin

Award Ceremony for the "Prize for Understanding and Tolerance"

When Monday 24 October at 9 pm
Where Future Jewish Museum Berlin Academy in the Eric F. Ross Building, Lindenstr. 91, 10969 Berlin

Only accredited press representatives are permitted entry to the Philharmonic Hall and to the award ceremony in the academy.

The "Jewish Museum Berlin Prize for Understanding and Tolerance" was presented for the first time in 2002 to Berthold Beitz, Chairman of the Curatorium of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, and Heinrich von Pierer, former Chairman of the Siemens AG Board. Further recipients of the award were the composer and pianist Daniel Barenboim (2006), the now deceased art collector and patron Heinz Berggruen (2005), the corporate consultant Roland Berger (2008), the Bosch Group (2009), the author Imre Kertész (2008), former Chancellor Helmut Kohl (2007), the now deceased politician Otto Graf Lambsdorff (2005), the entrepreneur Michael Otto (2004), the BMW manager Helmut Panke (2006), the now deceased former Federal President Johannes Rau (2004), the former Federal Minister for Internal Affairs Otto Schily (2003), the publisher Friede Springer (2003), the historian Fritz Stern (2007), and the film director Michael Verhoeven (2009). Last year the prize went to the literary scholar Jan Philipp Reemtsma and the business manager Hubertus Erlen.