May 9th, 2011

Paul Spiegel Award for Civic Courage 2011 goes to artist couple Horst and Birgit Lohmeyer

"The Paul Spiegel Award for Civic Courage 2011 will be presented to Horst and Birgit Lohmeyer from Jamel in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania," announced Dr. Dieter Graumann, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, after a telephone conversation with the awardees. This announcement followed a unanimous decision by the Central Council's governing bodies to give this year's award to the Lohmeyers.

The award recognizes the Lohmeyers' outstanding commitment and courage in the fight against neo-Nazis in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. "By their resolute struggle in Jamel, they not only demonstrate extraordinary courage in the fight against far-right extremism but also encourage other people, in their state and beyond, not to give up and to confront the far right with determination and without fear," explained Dr. Graumann the Central Council's choice. The award ceremony will take place in Schwerin on 12 May 2011.

The Paul Spiegel Award for Civic Courage of the Central Council of Jews in Germany is given in memory of its former President Dr. h.c. Paul Spiegel and his untiring efforts in the struggle against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and for a strong civil society. The award comes with prize money of €5,000 and is presented to people who have demonstrated civil courage and an outstanding commitment to a vital and stable democracy.

The award was introduced in 2009. The first winner has been Saxony's police chief Bernd Merbitz who received the award in Dresden.

Berlin, 1 February 2011