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11 November 2003

Stanislaw Kutzreba Prize Presented in Cracow

In his speech on the occasion of the presentation of the award to doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska, Rector Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff acknowledged the ineradicable nature of German war guilt—In future, the annual award of the Prize will be a reminder of German guilt

Cracow doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska

Cracow doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska receiving the Stanislaw Kutrzeba Prize endowed with 12,500 euros.

The Rector of the University of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff, visited the partner university of Cracow to present the Stanislaw Kutrzeba Prize for European Human Rights to the Cracow doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska. The Prize is endowed with 12,500 euros and is awarded by the University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute of Foreign Public Law and International Law. The donation for the Prize has been made by Manfred Lautenschläger, honorary senator of the University of Heidelberg. The Prize is designed to enable its recipient to spend a research year in Heidelberg, including a one-week sojourn at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Ms. Grzymkowska will be taking up her research work in Germany in February of next year.

Prof. Franciszek Ziejka, Rector of the University of
Krakau; Prof. Peter Hommelhoff, Rector of Heidelberg University and
Cracow doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska (left to right)

Prof. Franciszek Ziejka, Rector of the University of Krakau; Prof. Peter Hommelhoff, Rector of Heidelberg University and Cracow doctoral student Maja Grzymkowska (left to right)

The Prize is awarded in memory of 6 November 1939, when professors and their assistants at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow were deprived of their freedom and deported to Germany, where a number of them lost their lives in concentration camps. Among them was the Cracow law historian Stanislaw Kutrzeba, who died in 1946 as a result of the hardships inflicted on him in the camps. The notorious "Cracow campaign" was aimed at eliminating the Polish leadership elite and thus depriving Poland of its foundations as a state.

It is thus fitting that the Stanislaw Kutrzeba Prize for Human Rights should have been awarded in the framework of the moving annual ceremony commemorating the deportation of over 180 scholars on 6 November 1939. The ceremony is held every year by the University of Cracow and attended by the Cardinal of the city and prominent representatives of the city and the nation. Against the background of a military drum-roll, the last surviving professor read out the names of the deportees and those who died as a result of the campaign.

In his brief presentation speech, Rector Hommelhoff acknowledged the ineradicable war guilt of the Germans, insisting that it should never be shrugged off, played down, or offset against German suffering. The annual award of the Prize, he said, would be a reminder of this guilt. At the same time it was designed to help consolidate the friendship between scholars and scientists in Poland and Germany, notably those of the younger generation. These latter, he concluded, have a special responsibility to work for peace in Europe and ensure that it be a place where the peoples with all their national particularities can live together in harmony.

In Poland the award of the Kutrzeba Prize attracted major media attention all over the country and was featured in the evening news on Polish television.

Please address any inquiries to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317
michael.schwarz@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/presse/index.html


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