The Leon Zelman Prize for Dialog and Understanding was awarded for the sixth time this year. In mid-June, publicist Uli Jürgens accepted the award from Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Vice President of the Jewish Welcome Service, at Vienna City Hall.
“The aim of the prize,” explained jury chairman Susanne Trauneck of the Jewish Welcome Service, “is to honor those persons who, in the spirit of Leon Zelman, are actively committed to the memory of the Shoah and the dialog between today’s Austria and the victims of Nazi persecution and their descendants. It is aimed at education and youth work as well as projects that promote intercultural dialog.”
The filmmaker, radio editor, author and science journalist Uli Jürgens exactly meets these criteria. For her, “Contemporary history is nothing dusty, the stories are there, we just have to listen and we have to tell them again.
Michael Baiculescu, publishing director of Mandelbaum Verlag, said in his laudatory speech: “The aim is to make past history tangible, comprehensible and thus usable for the present. For Uli Jürgens, every exile and escape story in this world is always topical and often painful.”
The prize was presented by its initiator, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, in the presence of Leon Zelman’s daughters. Also present were DI Sigrid Oblak, Wien Holding, Professor Herwig Hösele, Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich, Chief Rabbi Arie Folger and the jury members: ESRA Managing Director Peter Schwarz, Mag.a Martina Maschke from erinnern.at and the historians Dr. Heidemarie Uhl and Dr. Sophie Lillie.