Christian Stückl awarded the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal

Director Christian Stückl was ceremoniously awarded the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal 2021 by the Deutscher Koordinierungsrat (DKR – German Coordinating Council) in the Liederhalle in Stuttgart on 7th March. Since 1990, the laureate and director of the Oberammergau Passion Play, has addressed the accusations of Christian anti-Judaism and reformed the Passion Play. In addition, Stückl has also dealt with the relationship between religions in many of his productions. He takes a stand against anti-Semitism and racism and stands up for an open and diverse society. By honouring Stückl, a theatre maker is being honoured who also reflects the annual theme of the DKR for 2021 as well as the guiding theme of the "Week of Brotherhood" in a special way. The theme is: "... In Your Memory: Visual History" and is intended to emphasise the importance of visual media for the culture of remembrance and commemoration.

Award of the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal 2021 to Christian Stückl (Pfr. Friedhelm Pieper, Prof. Dr. Andreas Nachama, Christian Stückl; Photo: SWR/Ulrich Oberst)

In his eulogy, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of the Diocese of Munich-Freising, praised laureate Christian Stückl as a "real Christian, a human being, a curious person, a passionate theatre man, [...] somebody who is curious about people, who wants to cross borders and has a passion for the brotherhood of all people. [...] To acknowledge the roots of one's own faith, the roots of one's own life as a Christian and to find a new close relationship to Jews and, of course, to all other people, that is a reception that still challenges us today. [...] Oberammergau is a test case and a laboratory for this reception of new thinking, of new fraternity."

The highlight of this year's inauguration of the “Week of Brotherhood” was the award ceremony, which had to take place without an audience due to Corona and was broadcasted live on the German television channel SWR. This year's inauguration in Stuttgart marked the return of the “Week of Brotherhood” to its origins, since it was launched here in 1950 and has been celebrated nationwide ever since. This year's motto is "In Your Memory - Visual History", which emphasises the importance of visual media and images for an impressive culture of commemoration and remembrance. Therewith, the DKR Presidium wants to send a clear and public signal against anti-Semitism and for democratic togetherness in these troubled times at the beginning of the year 2021. This kick-off will be followed by many events of the “Week of Brotherhood” in analogue or digital formats that will fill the year 2021.

Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Prof. Dr. Andreas Nachama, Dr. Margaretha Hackermeier, Christian Stückl and Pfr. Friedhelm Pieper at the award. (Photo: SWR/Ulrich Oberst)

The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, and the Mayor of Stuttgart, Dr Frank Nopper, also delivered speeches. The Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra provided the musical framework under the direction of its chief conductor Dan Ettinger.

The Deutscher Koordinierungsrat (DKR – German Coordinating Council) is the national umbrella organisation representing more than 80 societies for Christian-Jewish cooperation in Germany on a national and international level. It is the largest single member of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ), in which 32 national associations for Christian-Jewish cooperation are represented.

Since 1968, the DKR has been awarding the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal during the opening ceremony of the “Week of Brotherhood”. The medal is awarded to individuals, institutions or initiatives that have rendered outstanding services to promoting the dialogue between Christians and Jews. The medal is awarded in memory of the Jewish philosophers Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. Former laureates are, inter alia, German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, author Navid Kermani, journalist and filmmaker Esther Schapira and conductor Daniel Barenboim.