The Kennedy Society of Denmark was founded in Torebys
oldest school on 29th May, 1967 John F. Kennedys
50th birth-day after a memorial service in Toreby church.
The Society was founded by Pastor Svend Aage Nielsen, Toreby.
The purpose of the Society is:
”Keeping alive John F. and Robert F. Kennedy’s inspiration and philosophy of life, so that their good words can be translated into good deeds.”
The Society is non-partisan, independent and works ecumenical. It is run by a board of 5 members, and it has an annual meeting in accordance with its rules. With the purpose one are welcome as a member for 5 dollars a year as a student and as a retired and 10 dollars for others. Svend Aage Nielsen has written the book John F. Kennedy Livssyn 1967 in Danish. And KENNEDY’s PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE. Revolution of Love and Visions of Peace, 1981, New York.
The Kennedy Society has worked with articles and public statements about the ideas of the Kennedy brothers. It has also translated some Kennedy statements and speeches into Danish.
On the 25th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima the Society published the booklet ”NEW FOREIGN POLICY – NOW” with John F. and Robert F. Ken-nedy’s warnings against the growing risk of an atomic war.
The booklet was translated into English and Russian and has been sent to statesmen and politicians in both East and West.
Its vision was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s appeal on 20th January 1961 to create this clear defined new world order: ”Not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just, and the weak secure and the peace preserved.”
The Rainbow over the UN in New York. "For in the develop-ment of this organisation rests the only true alternative to war, and war appeals no longer as a rational alternative."
In the Society we want that the ideas and visions of John F. and Robert F. Kennedy followed today. Among them JFK’s words on 20th January 1961: "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich... Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us." To understand the East better JFK stated Juli 25, 1961: “We recognize the Soviet Union’s historical concerns about their security in Central and Eastern Europe, after a series of ravaging invasions…” and stated in his July 10, 1963 speech for Peace: “And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 millions lost their lives.” September 25, 1961 he said: “The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.” And RFK said July 9, 1965: "Guns and bombs cannot fill empty stomachs or educate children, cannot build homes or heal the sick.."
President John F. Kennedy in his address in UN, September 25, 1961. Photo: Svend Aage Nielsen October 7 1981.
Since 29th May 1977 the Society has used John F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" from 1956 with a sustainable Laudation as an
award to “a person who had shown courage to benefit for his country.”
The Profiles in Courage Award have been presented:
2020 to Friederike Fechner, Germany for her courage in her work:
”Together against Antisemitism.”
2019 to Greta Thunberg, Sweden for her courage in fighting for action to stop the unsustainable change in the global climate.
2018 to Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, for his courage to regard all countries as equal.For his commitment in Hiroshima to end the threat of nuclear weapons - and avoid war itself.
2017 to Amnesty International for courage to human rights to all.
2016 intended to Mrs. Federal Chancellor Dr, Angela Merkel for speaking against Anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.
2015 to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I for his courage to unity, justice and peace for all.
2014 to The International Red Cross - for more than 150 years the Red Cross workers have shown courage in danger and courage in many challenges of life.
2013 to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, USA for her courage to continue the legacy of her father, Robert F. Kennedy and her uncle, John F. Kennedy and her courage against apathy, indifference and abuse of religion.
2012 intended to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg for his courage to "more democracy, more openness, more humanity. But never naivety."
2011 to Somaly Mam, Cambodia for her courage to translate what she has gone through as a child and young girl into good deeds for many others.
2010 to Daniel Ellsberg for his courage as a public servant to bring out 7000 pages from a TOP SECRET report to the press, later known as THE PENTAGON PAPERS, with the objective of ending the war in Vietnam. For in our time to have insisted: “This is the time for people to show courage.”
2009 to Her Majesty Queen Noor for her courageous efforts against extremism, for promoting international understanding for the benefit of women and against the threat of nuclear weapons.
2008 to Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims in Denmark for persistent and courageous effort against torture.
2007 to archbiskop Desmond Mpilo Tutu for his continued non- violent struggle against every kind of apartheid. For foregiveness and reconciliation to hopes and dreams to all human beings.
2006 to the deminers and the work to ban cluster munition in the world, represented by the efforts by DanChurchAid.
2005 to Theodore C. Sorensen, for his deed to profile the courage and hope in the life of John F. Kennedy.
For in close co-operation with Robert F. Kennedy to have followed the words of President Kennedy to the solution of the Cuban Missile Crisis - without war. For following the purpose: Keeping alive John F. and Robert F. Kennedy’s inspiration and philosophy of life, so that their good words can be translated into good deeds.
2004 to Senator Edward M. Kennedy for his courage to develop and
forward the inspiration and ideas of his brothers. For his fight
for a better health care and medicare. For his courageous and
far-sighted critisism of a false US-policy.
2003 to His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has lead a courageous non-violent
struggle for the liberty of his people. He has been an inspiration
for human beings and people and for the community of all people.
2002 to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights former President
of Ireland Mary Robinson for courageous contribution for human
rights throughout the world.
2001 to Chief Oncologist Carsten Rose, Lund. For his courage in administering
his responsibility in the treatment of patients and in public
2000 to Human Rights champion, Sergei Kovaljov, State Duma Deputy,
Russia, during more than 30 years at great personal cost he has
contributed in a courageous effort for human rights and for the
principles based on right both for his own and for other people.
1999 to Secretary-General of UN, Kofi Annan. He has shown courage in
working for both peace and human rights and compassion for those
1998 to Médecins Sans Frontiers. In a courageous
and unselfish way they have crossed new frontiers thereby helping
their fellow human beings in need.
1997 to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma for her
courage in following the legacy from her father. For her courage
to demand a government of the people, by the people and
for the people.
1996 to President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. During his life he
has, at great personal cost, made a courageous contribution towards
a free South Africa governed by the people with equal rights for
1995 to Norways Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland for her
efforts towards a sustainable environment through the UNs
environment report: Our Common Future. And for a courageous
contribution towards Israels and Palestinians recognition
of each other.
1994 to the Danish Emergency Drivers in former Yugoslavia. At the risk
of life and limb they voluntarily took food and medicine out to
the needy and besieged minorities in war-conditions according
to the UN-Charter.
1993 intended to President Richard von Weizsäcker, Germany
for courage in statements on human rights in his speeches against
racism and anti-Semitism.
1992 to former Prime Minister Anker Jørgensen, Denmark for his
courage in demanding justice and human rights in national and
1991 to His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales for his courage
over many years in speaking out to protect the environment, and
calling for international cooperation in the genuine stewardship
of our heritage for the benefit of all creation.
1990 to President Václav Havel for his courage throughout the
years in the Charter 77-Movement; and during his imprisonment
for maintaining his consistently ethical attitude expressed openly
to the leader of his country, and likewise when he himself became
1989 to Secretary-General Peréz de Cuéllar for his courageous
challenge to the United Nations. This has caused to UN to change
to becoming more involved as a forum, catalyst and organ for justice
1988 to Land Parliament member Karl Otto Meyer for his courage in insisting
on fundamental human rights as spokesman for the Danish minority
in Germany and for being able to combine this with committed work
for the general interests of Germany.
1987 to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev for his courage to initiate
an open reformatory and peace policy with co-operation among nations
having various systems of government toward the common goal: A
World without weapons and violence (The New Delhi-declaration).
1986 to His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain for his courageous
commitment to Spains development in be-coming a democracy.
1985 to Liv Ullmann for her courageous contribution as UNICEFs
first female goodwill-ambassador.
1984 to Pope John Paul II for his courageous contribution to peace
and reconciliation by condemning torture and suppression of human
1983 to Andrei Sakharov for his courageous manifesto criti-cizing conditions
in the East and the West and his call for rapprochement.
1982 to former Chancellor Willy Brandt for his courageous work for
détente in Europe, and his kneeling in Warsaw.
1981 to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark for her
courageous expressed philosophy of life.
1980 to President Anwar Sadat for his courageous contribution to peace
in the Middle East by his peace-mission to Jerusalem.
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