Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Walther Rathenau Prize in Berlin in recognition of a lifetime achievement in foreign policy – a gold medal bearing the portrait of the foreign minister of the Weimar Republic. “We must never let up in our commitment to achieving peace and understanding and combating hatred, violence, nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism,” said the Federal Chancellor.
Outstanding accomplishments in foreign policy
In awarding the prize, the Walther Rathenau Institute paid tribute to the Federal Chancellor for her “tireless commitment to a world order based on mutual understanding”. In particular, Merkel’s committed advocacy for the expansion and strengthening of European structures had earned respect for German European policy, it was said. The laudatory speech was given by Australian historian Christopher Clark, Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge, who lives in the UK.
The Walther Rathenau Prize has been presented on a regular basis since 2008 in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievement in the area of foreign policy. This year was the ninth time it has been awarded. Previous winners include former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Federal Chancellor Merkel herself has previously given the laudatory speech and presented the golden award medal to former Polish Prime Minister and EU Council President Donald Tusk, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.
The Walther Rathenau Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit foundation in Berlin. It commemorates the work of Walther Rathenau, the industrialist, foreign politician and foreign minister of the Weimar Republic who was murdered by right-wing radicals in June 1922. The Institute also seeks to make Rathenau’s advocacy of fundamental democratic values, international understanding and tolerance known to a broad public.