Franz-Werfel-Human Rights Award
With the endowment of the Franz Werfel Human Rights Award,
the ZENTRUM GEGEN VERTREIBUNGEN is implementing one of the tasks anchored
in its statutes.
The award is named after the great author Franz Werfel (1890-1945),
whose novel "The 40 days of Musa Dagh" forcefully, effectively
and with great artistic power portrayed the displacement of the Armenians
from Turkey and the genocide of the Armenians in 1915/16. The great
German, Bohemian, Jewish lyricist and novelist Franz Werfel was
also a telling example of the fate of displacement in his personal life.
In 1933, he was excluded from the Prussian Poets' Academy by the National
Socialists. In 1938, he had to flee to France, from where he only escaped
from the following German troops in an adventurous flight across the Pyrenees.
In 1940, he left Portugal to the USA, where he lived in Beverly Hills
until his death in 1945. Franz Werfel's heiress, Marina Mahler, permitted
the use of the name by the ZENTRUM GEGEN VERTREIBUNGEN in a letter of
The Franz-Werfel-Human Rights Award is to be awarded
to individuals, and occasionally also to initiatives or groups, who have
opposed breaches of human rights by genocide, displacement and the deliberate
destruction of national, ethnic, racial or religious groups. To this extent,
the foundations of the prize are the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907,
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the International Agreement
on Civilian and Political Rights of 1966, the resolution of the Human
Rights Commission of the United Nations of 1998 as well as the consequences
of the meeting of the European Council of the Heads of State and
Governments in Copenhagen of 1993 and other statements issued by the European
Union. Anyone rendering exemplary political, artistic, philosophical or
practical work in the sense of the aforementioned documents may be awarded
The Franz-Werfel-Human Rights Award includes €
10,000 of prize money. It is awarded in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt/
Main every two years. It was awarded for the first time on 29.6.2003.