International Peace Prize Dresden Prize

Winner 2021: Cristina Marin Campos (Spain)

Photos: Juan Carlos Rojas

“I wanted to make the situation a little more human for the sick”

32-year-old Cristina Marin Campos, a doctor at the Hospital Universitario de La Princesa in Madrid, has done far more than her medical duty.  When the first wave of the pandemic hit Spain particularly hard in spring 2020, her hospital was also overcrowded with Covid-19 patients.   The doctor quickly realised that the patients in the wards, which were sealed off from the outside world, suffered particularly from isolation. As late as March, she therefore called on the Spanish population via the social media to send letters to the patients. “I wanted to make the situation more humane for the patients, to give them encouragement,” she explains her action.

However, she had not expected such a big response. On the first day alone, 35 000 letters were received. They came from all sections of the Spanish population. Many children wrote, as did residents of old people’s homes. Even prisoners took part in the campaign. And all the letters had a similar message: “Hold on, you are not alone.

Gerhart Baum, honorary member of the association “Friends of Dresden Germany” and former Federal Minister of the Interior, honoured the young doctor’s commitment:

“In times like these, we need humane gestures like those of Cristina Marin Campos. They give us courage. And it is impressive how a country like Spain, which is much more affected by the pandemic and also by the measures taken against it than Germany, shows solidarity and compassion. In view of this, it must be felt as particularly shameful that nowhere else in the world are there so many demonstrations against the corona measures as in Germany. Which is exactly what is missing: solidarity and compassion.”

Beate Spiegel, Managing Director of the Klaus Tschira Foundation adds: “The Corona crisis has shown us how important the commitment of individuals is for the cohesion of society. Alongside scientific research and medical art, human compassion is simply an essential factor in healing. With a spontaneous idea, Ms Marin Campos has brought hope to those suffering from the pandemic and can be a model for all of us who should ask ourselves how we can bring joy to others in these times.  The prize for her is also an expression of European solidarity in the Corona crisis”.

Due to pandemic: only online presentation possible 

Since 2010, the Dresden Prize has been awarded in a joint event with the Semperoper in the Dresden Opera House. Due to the corona pandemic, it will not be possible for the first time in 2021. Like all other Saxon theatres, the house is closed until 28 February 2021. The presentation of the Dresden Prize was planned for 21 February. Instead, there will be an online presentation of the award ceremony on this date – also in cooperation with the Semper Opera House.

Hanna Schygulla reads from letters to Covid patients

If Hanna Schygulla had only made this one film with “The Marriage of Maria Braun”, she would have become a legend with it alone. But of course the actress and singer did much more. Apart from Fassbinder, she has shot with Andrzej Wajda, Wim Wenders and Jean-Luc Godard, among others.  She is unforgettable as Willie Butterberg in the film “Lilly Marleen”.  For the role of Susanne Staub in Fatin Akin’s “On the Other Side” she was the first German actress to win the prestigious US National Society of Film Critics Award in 2008.

During the presentation of the Dresden Prize 2021, Hanna Schygulla will read from letters that Spaniards have sent to Covid patients isolated in hospitals.

Extract from a letter to a Covid patient:

Enrique Ordonez writes:

If all this has any use at all, it is probably only to realise that we cannot be without each other. Nothing makes sense if we cannot be together. What we undoubtedly miss most is meeting face to face, being together, being close, feeling each other.

But this time has also strengthened my belief that humanity is good. That the vast majority is worth it. That evil, though ever louder, is only a tiny percentage.

We need you all, old, young, women, men, children, young people, doctors, nurses, caretakers, caretakers, cleaners, cooks… All of you! Come on! Everyone should finally be cured! We must be together! Smile! Be strong! And get up again as soon as possible and enjoy life to the fullest! I want to see and get to know you all! I need you!