Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, will attend the presentation of this year’s Goethe Medals in Weimar on Tuesday (28 August). Commenting on this, she issued the following statement today (27 August):
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that cultural expression gives freedom the room to develop. He showed how culture reflects people’s yearning for freedom, particularly when they are oppressed.
It is precisely that which is made possible by writers, artists and musicians. They overcome social conventions to create a space in which to express their concepts of freedom.
I am very pleased that the Goethe Medals will be awarded to three prominent figures this year to acknowledge their outstanding services to freedom, democracy, human rights and the strength of civil society.
This year we will honour Irena Veisaitè, the Lithuanian author and survivor of the Holocaust, Bolat Atabayev, the theatre director from Kazakhstan, and Dzevad Karahasan, the writer from Bosnia.”
In 2012, the ceremony to award the Goethe Medals in the Weimar Grand‑Ducal Palace is being held for the 58th time. The Goethe Medal was endowed by the board of the Goethe‑Institut in 1954 and was officially recognized by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975. The Goethe‑Institut awards this medal to personalities who have made a valuable contribution to promoting the German language and fostering international cultural exchange.