ELNET Germany Gets Nominated For The 2023 Simon-Wiesenthal Prize

The Simon Wiesenthal Prize 2023 was awarded in the Austrian Parliament on March 12, 2024. It was a great honor for ELNET to be nominated with the “Fragemauer”, a campaign hosted by the Berlin office, from almost 200 projects worldwide in the category “civil society commitment against antisemitism” alongside two other projects.

The nomination is already an important recognition for ELNET’s educational campaign “Fragemauer”. The project aims to make a contribution against all forms of antisemitism by communicating knowledge about Jewish life and the State of Israel in a humorous way.

The legacy of Simon Wiesenthal: A commitment to justice and humanity

The Simon Wiesenthal Prize honors the memory of Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005), an Austrian architect, publicist and writer who shaped the global response to the crimes of National Socialism. Wiesenthal survived the Holocaust and lost numerous family members in concentration camps during World War II. After the war, he worked tirelessly for justice and founded the “Jewish Documentation Center” in Linz, Austria, to collect information about Nazi criminals and promote their prosecution.

The Simon Wiesenthal Prize wants to uphold his courageous human legacy and honor those who let it live on. National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka and jury chairwoman Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Commissioner for antisemitism, presented the 2023 main prize to the “LIKRAT” project, which brings together Jewish and non-Jewish teenagers and young adults to combat antisemitic and anti-Jewish stereotypes and promote pluralistic awareness.

In addition, prizes were awarded to Spain and Austria. The Asociación Cultural Mota de Judíos in Spain received the prize for its civil society commitment against antisemitism. The village of Castrillo Matajudios (which roughly translates to “fortress that kills Jews”) officially changed its offensive name back to Castrillo Mota de Judíos (Jews’ Hill) in 2015, honoring its Jewish origins. In Austria, the organization CENTROPA was honored for its commitment to raising awareness about the Holocaust, especially for its work in Ukraine despite the Russian war of aggression. ELNET warmly congratulates all winners.

Nomination is reinforcement for the expansion of the “Fragemauer” campaign

“It is impressive to see how organizations and individuals around the world are working together to keep the memory of the terrible events of the Shoah alive and to create a better future.

The honoring of contemporary witnesses from six different countries was particularly touching. Their personal stories and their commitment to fighting antisemitism despite their own traumatic experiences were very moving.

The awarding of the Simon Wiesenthal Prize 2023 was an unforgettable event. The nomination for this prestigious award is a great honor for ELNET’s commitment, which also shows how important the “Fragemauer” campaign is and that it actually reaches people,” summarizes Carsten Ovens, CEO of ELNET for Germany, Austria and Switzerland this year’s awards ceremony.

At the end of May, the “Fragemauer” with 100 selected questions and answers will be published as a book by Hentrich & Hentrich. At the same time, a third round of the campaign will start in Germany this early summer. An adaptation of the campaign for Austria and other EU countries is being planned.

Image rights: (c) Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner