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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Proposal from Poland: Nobel Peace Prize for Marian Turski

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Following the speech by the Auschwitz survivor Marian Turski marking the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January 2020, an initiative has nominated the 93-year-old Auschwitz survivor and Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize 2020.

In his worldwide cited, rousing and moving speech during the central Memorial Ceremony in Auschwitz, Marian Turski spoke especially to the younger generations, saying how Auschwitz “didn’t appear from nowhere”, but was prepared step-by-step with the humiliation, exclusion and persecution of Jewish families before the very eyes of an indifferent majority.

In his speech, which also touched on the current political situation of growing, worldwide anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist hatred, Mr Turski made a strong appeal for an 11th Commandment, gained from the experiences of the Auschwitz survivors and directed especially towards young people throughout the world: "You should never, never be a bystander!”

Marian Turski, who is active as a journalist in Poland to this day, and well-known as a co-founder of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, has over the past decades taken part in talks as a witness of the times in many European countries, and especially joined in conversations with young people. In 2019 Marian Turski spoke to the United Nations in New York on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Commenting on the proposal of Marian Turski for the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, Christoph Heubner, the Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, said in Berlin:

"At a historical hour, Marian Turski once again held up a mirror to the world and the state representatives gathered in Auschwitz. In view of the brazen right-wing populism, the widespread growth of anti-Semitism, and extreme right-wing hatred, he described the current threat to democracies, invoked the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not be a bystander”, and encouraged the young generations in Europe to become involved for their future. Mr Turski’s speech will be regarded in human history as one of the great speeches by an Auschwitz survivor. His words and his achievements symbolize the involvement and the legacy of the survivors of Auschwitz. The International Auschwitz Committee will solidly support the Polish proposal."


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81