Guest of the Theodor Heuss Foundation
by Elias Paul, Abi 1 & Charlotte Hörning, Abi 1
"Democracy under pressure – taking responsibility for freedom together" – that was the motto of this year's Theodor Heuss Award ceremony, in which we were once again able to participate.

One weekend in April, some Abi 1 students had the privilege of attending the colloquium of this year's Theodor Heuss prize winners and the award ceremony in Stuttgart. As members of the Debating Club and the Politics Office, we were invited to introduce the prize winners to the guests at the colloquium. This year's prize and medal winners were recognized for their exceptional commitment to democracy and diversity and gave us students a great insight into what democracy in practice can look like and what it means to consistently follow Kurt Hahn's guiding principle: "Education for responsibility" in everyday life. We also had the opportunity to engage in a direct exchange with the award winners about our current democratic situation and were able to gather many more exciting impressions in the discussions and conversations afterwards.

On Saturday morning, we made our way to the award ceremony in the New Palace together with our headmaster, Mr. Henrik Fass, and our Politics teacher, Mr. Konstantin Krechting. Many guests, press representatives and photographers were already bustling around the impressive ballroom. Many of the faces were already familiar to us from the colloquium the day before. The guest list also included famous names such as Cem Özdemir, Gerhart Baum, Armin Laschet and Gesine Schwan. After the welcoming speeches, including one by Ludwig Theodor Heuss, Gesine Schwan gave a lengthy speech on the theme of the award ceremony: "Democracy under pressure – taking responsibility together for freedom". The prize was then awarded to this year's winner Düzen Tekkal, who was honored for her work as a human rights activist and journalist. Three East German associations that campaign for democracy, civic participation and anti-right-wing activism received a medal: Colorido from Plauen, the Dorfbewegung Brandenburg and the Thuringia project of the Verfassungsblog.

Photos: Jan Potente