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Christoph Heubner honoured for his great commitment

8.12.2021: Christoph Heubner honoured with the Great Cross of Merit. Image: IAC Berlin

8.12.2021: Christoph Heubner honoured with the Great Cross of Merit. Image: IAC Berlin




During a ceremony held under Coronavirus restrictions, Reinhard Naumann, Mayor of the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin, presented the Great Cross of Merit to Christoph Heubner.

It is the third award to be presented to Christoph Heubner on the instructions of Germany’s Federal President. For his services and commitment as the Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee he was awarded the Cross of Merit in 2002, and the Cross of Merit 1. Class in 2014.

In the laudation Christoph Heubner was praised for his dedicated services and tireless commitment in the pursuit of National Socialist crimes of violence in Auschwitz.

For many years his voice has carried great weight in the political discussion in which he has resolutely represented the interests of the survivors.
Thirty-five years ago, Christoph Heubner was a co-founder of the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz. It is now a very busy meeting place for international groups. As a result of his close cooperation with Volkswagen AG, young trainees have the opportunity to join in political discussions and preservation work at the camps of Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial at various times each year.

As an author, Christoph Heubner also focuses consistently on the theme of his life‘s work: Auschwitz. In 2020 he published the volume of narratives with Steidl: “Ich sehe Hunde, die an der Leine reissen” (I see dogs straining at their leashes) and this year: “Durch die Knochen bis ins Herz (Through the bones to the heart). In his narratives Christoph Heubner steadily works his way through many of his intense encounters with survivors.

He adds the emotions of the survivors to his own. His authentic short prose pieces clearly convey the incomprehension and horror that the victims of the Holocaust must have experienced in the face of the terror and brutality. The descriptions distilled from the memories and accounts of many survivors captivate the readers and transport the horrors from the past into the present. There they stand as a monument and a warning for the future.

The award laudation also recognised that Christoph Heubner has made a huge personal contribution towards broadening and deepening historical-political education surrounding the Holocaust. His resolute and sustained involvement aims to ensure that Holocaust remembrance is kept alive. Christoph Heubner has been pursuing this objective effectively and competently over a prolonged length of time and in a great many ways.