Joachim Gauck receives the Ján Langoš Award

Bratislava / Prague, 27 March 2018. Former German Federal President Mr Joachim Gauck received the Ján Langoš Award at a ceremony held on Monday 26 March in Bratislava. Mr Joachim Wilhelm Gauck is a former Lutheran pastor who came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany. From 1990 to 2000 he served as first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records and from 2012 to 2017 as President of Germany.

Ján Langoš was a man of values; he showed it in all of his public activity. President Joachim Gauck is also a great man of values. In the case of both men this attitude is deeply rooted in, among other things, their personal experience of dealing with the totalitarian past. I’m proud that the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was a co-organiser of this important event,”  says Platform President Łukasz Kamiński.

Ján Langoš (1946-2006) was a former dissident, one of the leaders of the Public Against Violence opposition movement of 1989, Minister of Interior of Czechoslovakia (1990-1992), tireless pioneer of a just and open coming to terms with the criminal Communist past of his country. When Czechoslovakia split, he became a Member of the Slovak Parliament and chairman of Slovakia’s Democratic Party, assuming the office of the first director of the newly established Nation’s Memory Institute in 2003. He died in a car crash on his way to court to testify against members of the former Secret Services. The goal of the Ján Langoš Foundation is to support initiatives of citizens that show civil courage in the fight for democratic values and in disclosing the truth about totalitarian regimes. Former recipients of the Ján Langoš Award include Árpád Göncz (2008), His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2009), Cuban dissident organisation Ladies in White (2010), Václav Havel (2011), Sandra Kalniete (2013), and Ján Sokol (2016).

The ceremony was organised by the Ján Langoš Foundation, a member organisation of the Platform. This year the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was co-organiser of the event.

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