April 15th, 2011

Leo Baeck Award 2011 for Federal President Christian Wulff

"The governing bodies of the Central Council of Jews in Germany have unanimously decided to present the Leo Baeck Award 2011 to the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. h.c. Christian Wulff," announced the Central Council's President Dr. Dieter Graumann. The award ceremony will take place in Berlin in the middle of November.

According to Graumann, the award recognises the Federal President's outstanding commitment to the Jewish community in Germany, Israel, and in the world based on genuine empathy and deep solidarity.

"In the short time that he has been in office, President Wulff has presented himself as a man of clear words and unequivocal signals," said the Central Council's President. "His historic visit to the Auschwitz Memorial on 27th January 2011 and his stirring, heartfelt speech which he held there sent out a clear message that those refusing to learn the lessons of the past have no future in Germany, that the responsibility resulting from the terrible past must also be assumed by future generations of politicians and represents an obligation that has to be accepted and filled with content. By participating in joyful events such as the opening of the New Synagogue in Mainz last September, President Wulff has demonstrated that he appreciates Jewish life in Germany which is gaining in strength and becoming ever more vital, colourful, and varied and recognises the significance of the decision of Jewish men and women to re-build Jewish life here in Germany," Graumann said.

"Furthermore, Christian Wulff's visit to Israel was a sincere and powerful signal of solidarity that went far beyond the usual – sometimes too formulaic – declarations of commitment to Israel's right to exist," said Dieter Graumann.

"The Federal President represents a Germany that has arrived in the present and does not forget its past, a Germany that has strong bonds with the Jewish community and regards Jewish communities, schools, kindergartens, and educational institutions as an asset and a reason for great joy and gratefulness. By giving this year's Leo Baeck Award to Christian Wulff, the Central Council expresses its recognition and respect for this attitude and is honoured that the Federal President has accepted the award," said Graumann.

Berlin/Frankfurt, 14th April 2011