Building bridges for vibrant cultural exchange

Each year, a prize recognizes outstanding services to German-Polish relations. The winners of the 2011 award were honoured in Berlin on 14 June. Minister of State Cornelia Pieper and her Polish counterpart Grazyna Bernatowicz awarded the German-Polish Prize to the city of Wroclaw and the German-Polish Grammar School in Löcknitz.

At the awards ceremony Minister of State Pieper said that for nearly 20 years the German-Polish Prize had been providing an opportunity to spotlight special initiatives which help shape German-Polish relations.

She added that a look at the 2011 award winners showed the richness and diversity of relations between Germany and Poland. The German-Polish Grammar School in Löcknitz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) is the first school to receive the prize. She went on to say that both prize winners had built bridges and removed obstacles to cooperation: “They have made a major contribution to the vibrant exchange and increased trust which mark German-Polish relations today.”

Coming together in a spirit of trust

Pieper praised Wroclaw as “a city where Germans and Poles come together in many ways, and always in a spirit of trust” – a development which was by no means to be taken for granted in light of the two countries’ history. She described the closeness of the city’s ties with neighbouring Germany as virtually unparalleled: “A place where the distance between Germans and Poles could have been greatest has instead become a pioneer in fostering closeness and an example to society as a whole.”

The city of Wroclaw and the German-Polish Grammar School in Löcknitz are each receiving an award of 10,000 euros as part of the prize. Past winners of the German-Polish Prize have included the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder, the German-Polish School Textbook Commission and individuals such as Richard von Weizsäcker and Lech Walesa.

The German-Polish Prize has been awarded annually since 1992 and is meant to honour special services to the development of German-Polish relations. The German and Polish Governments initiated the award in 1991 as part of the German-Polish Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness. It is generally awarded to one German and one Polish person or initiative.

Last updated 14.06.2012

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