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International Peace Prize Dresden Prize

Award ceremony postponed  to 27 June 2021

Winner 2021: Cristina Marin Campos (Spain)

Photos: Juan Carlos Rojas

Date of the award ceremony moved to 27 June  

With the Semper Opera House, it is the venue that has provided the very special flair of the Dresden Prize ceremony since 2010. To ensure that this can also be the case in 2021, we have decided to move the date of the event to (hopefully) better times. The prize will now be awarded on 27 June at 11 a.m. in the Opera House in front of an audience and with the prize-winner present. The online presentation announced for 21 February will thus be cancelled. As we do not yet know how many visitors will be allowed, we will share information on ticket sales later. 

“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”.

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!