The Profiles in Courage Award 2016.
The Kennedy Society has decided to present for 2016 The Profiles in Courage Award - John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage - to Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel of Germany - with this LAUDATION: As the Federal Chancellor of Germany since November 22, 2005 Dr. Angela Merkel has committed herself to those words about courage by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage:
“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.”
Her words to the Knesset, Jerusalem March 18, 2008: “The mass murder of 6 million Jews, carried out in the name of Germany… fill us Germans with shame. I bow my head before the victims…” show her courage to express shame and are a good example for other leaders in our time to show such courage on similar issues. Her following words to Knesset: “Anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia must never be allowed to gain foothold in Germany or Europe again… We need to look beyond national boundaries… protecting our climate, fighting the new threats posed by terrorism and weapons of mass destruction… Thoughts must become words, and words deeds,” show her courage to commit herself to deal with those threats. Her further words to Knesset are addressed to all on both sides:“Germany is a staunch advocate of the vision of two states in secure borders and in peace - for the Jewish people in Israel and for the Palestinians in Palestine… this will also require the strength to make painful concessions…,”as David Ben Gurion said: “Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.”
From her early life Angela Merkel has combined her Christian values with world-openness. She has shown courage to speak out against the Guantanamo Camp. She is in accord with President Kennedy’s words to understand tensions between the East and the West from both sides. The disaster in Japan 2011 from using atomic energy at Fukushima prompted her courage to stop an extension of the use of atomic energy in Germany.
When Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel in 2011 kept Germany out of the intervention in Libya it showed respect for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s words, July 9, 1965: “Guns and bombs cannot fill empty stomachs or educate children, cannot build homes or heal the sick.”
The good words in the great speeches by President John F. Kennedy are followed up by Dr. Angela Merkel such as his speeches in Europe in June and July 1963 and to The United Nations, September 20, 1963: “We believe that the people of Germany and Berlin must be free to reunite their capital and their country” and - in dealing with the challenges to Europe and to the world - not least his words in his inaugural address, January 20, 1961: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”