Desmond Tutu awarded top German prize

2nd December 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - South African cleric Desmond Tutu was Sunday awarded one of Germany's most prestigious honours, the Marion Doenhoff Prize for International Reconciliation and Understanding. The retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town has become "a symbol for peace and justice" in the world, German Economic Assistance Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said in her laudatio. She said Tutu, 76, had shown great courage in bringing about the end of apartheid and had helped ensure South Africa

2 December 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - South African cleric Desmond Tutu was Sunday awarded one of Germany's most prestigious honours, the Marion Doenhoff Prize for International Reconciliation and Understanding.

The retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town has become "a symbol for peace and justice" in the world, German Economic Assistance Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said in her laudatio.

She said Tutu, 76, had shown great courage in bringing about the end of apartheid and had helped ensure South Africa did not dissolve into civil war.

The renowned prize, worth 20,000 euros (29,000 dollars), was awarded by the influential weekly newspaper Die Zeit together with the Zeit foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius, and the Marion Doenhoff foundation

Doenhoff was a leading German journalist and intellectual who was co-publisher of Die Zeit until her death at the age of 92 in March 2002.

Tutu, a key figure in the fight against apartheid, said he was accepting the award on behalf of his countrymen who supported him during that struggle.

These people impressed the world "with their magnanimity by practising reconciliation and forgiveness instead of hatred and revenge," he said.

After the ceremony he called for "a form of Marshall Plan" for South Africa to help it overcome the legacy of apartheid, particularly the injustices of the education system.

The Marshall Plan, officially called the European Recovery Programme was conceived by the United States to rebuild countries in Western Europe after World War II.

On Monday Tutu is due to travel to the German capital where he will join former President Frederik Willem de Klerk in unveiling a giant boulder of black granite from South Africa in a project intended to symbolize world peace.

The Global Stone Project is the brainchild of German sculptor Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld, who for the past decade has been collecting two natural stone boulders from each of the world's five continents.

He sculptures, inscribes and polishes a surface on each of them to reflect the sun. One of each pair is transported to Berlin, while the other is displayed in a suitably prominent place in its own country.

DPA

Subject: German news

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