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IAC Vice President Felix Kolmer honoured with the Saxon Order of Merit

Felix Kolmer

Felix Kolmer




Today, Saxony’s Minister-President Michael Kretschmer will be awarding the Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony to 17 people in the Gallery of the Electors at the Royal Palace in Dresden. Saxony presents this award to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the people and state of Saxony in the fields of politics economics, culture, social welfare, society or voluntary work. The recipients include Professor Emeritus Dr Felix Kolmer (Prague, Czech Republic), the Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee.

The Saxon Order of Merit for:

Felix Kolmer (96), who survived Auschwitz extermination camp as if through a miracle – as one of very few. He himself says it was “... thanks to his positive attitude to life…”

Initially a carpenter by trade, and later a professor of physics specializing in acoustics, he has dedicated himself throughout his life to gaining compensation for the sufferings of Holocaust survivors and surviving dependents. Among other things he was chairman of the Federal Association for Information and Advice for Persecutees of National Socialism, vice chairman of the Jewish Community in Prague and Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee. On the Czech side he worked on the German-Czech Treaty which was ratified in 1992.

Together with the Sudentendeutschen Landsmannschaften (Sudeten German Refugees Associations) he made a stout-hearted and very substantial contribution to the reconciliation and compensation process between Germans and Czechs following World War II and up to this day. The peaceful coexistence of the peoples of Europe is something that lies very close to his heart.

Despite his great age, he never tires of visiting schools to meet and talk with young people. He gives eloquent and credible accounts of his horrific experiences, far more often in Germany and Saxony than in the Czech Republic. But it is not only in schools that he speaks out against forgetting and for a culture of remembrance. He also gives talks in places where neo-Nazis are attempting to increase their numbers and spreading right-wing ideologies. The invitations to give talks and provide accounts of his experiences come from mayors or the Federal Agency for Civic Education.