Nominations for the 2022 Obermayer Awards are now open! The Obermayer Awards honor Germans who have documented, commemorated, and breathed new life into Jewish communities that were destroyed by the Nazis, as well as innovators who have found creative ways to use the lessons of history to prevent contemporary bigotry and foster understanding among different groups. The awards program has two tracks that each recognize extraordinary work done by Germans (typically non-Jews living in Germany) and/or German organizations.
- The history track honors those who have illuminated the vital role Jews played in German society for hundreds of years before the Nazis tried to exterminate them. This work has included restoring cultural sites, researching community history and genealogy, storytelling, community building, working with students, developing programs and publications, and creating artworks and public exhibitions.
- The anti-prejudice track seeks to honor those who fight against current prejudice (including anti-Semitism) and racism through innovative efforts, using the lessons of history and a connection to remembrance. Awards in this track will be given to people or organizations in Germany that are taking noteworthy steps to combat prejudice, as well as foster the kind of understanding among different groups that prevents prejudice from taking root.
Together, those we honor exemplify how acknowledging a country’s dark past can become a motivation to improve the present and future. The awards were founded in 1999 by Dr. Arthur S. Obermayer (1931–2016), an accomplished American entrepreneur, scientist, and activist whose grandparents all came from southern Germany. The awards are administered by Widen the Circle, a nonprofit supported by the Obermayer Foundation, with co-sponsorship, support, and organization of the ceremony in Berlin provided by the Berlin Parliament. The awards are also co-sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute (New York).
Nominations must be received by July 31, 2021. To download an application, please visit https://widenthecircle.org/obermayer-awards-2022.
Karen S. Franklin
New York NY