Preisträger 2014

Crews of the International Space Station

Men and women who lived in hostile blocs during the Cold War now work and live together in a very confined space as a matter of course: 400 kilometres above the earth, in the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS is considered to be the largest technology project of all time and is a joint endeavour of the US American NASA, the Russian space agency Roskosmos, the European Space Agency ESA and the space agencies of Canada and Japan. The success of this "outpost of humanity" in space proves that peaceful international co-operation between partners from different cultures is possible.

In 1993, Russia and the USA signed an agreement on ten shuttle flights to the Russian Mir space station and on long-term stays for a number of US astronauts. Under President Clinton, the project for a large space station was then relaunched together with Russia - Russia contributed the plans for the planned Mir-2 station.

The ISS has been permanently manned since November 2000. The first twelve expeditions consisted exclusively of Russian and US space travellers. In July 2006, the German Thomas Reiter became the first ESA space traveller to be brought to the ISS for a long-term stay.

In January 2013, US President Obama signed a law extending cooperation with Russia in space until 2020, ensuring that the formerly hostile superpowers will continue to work closely together as partners in the truest sense of the word.

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge – Youth work

The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. preserves and cares for the graves of victims of war and tyranny abroad. The Volksbund is the only war graves service in the world to run its own youth work as well as its own youth meeting and educational centers.

Although the Volksbund carries out war graves care on behalf of the federal government, it largely finances its work itself through the donations of its members and sponsors. Federal reimbursements only cover around 25 percent of the necessary funding.

War gravesites are cemeteries under special legal protection, established for an indefinite period of time, which serve as an urgent reminder of peace to the living. They are places of individual mourning and collective remembrance, but also places for international encounters and learning about history.

In the spirit of this conviction, thousands of young people from all over Europe come together every year at the Volksbund's work camps, youth meeting and educational centers. The facilities are located in Ysselsteyn (NL), in Lommel (B), in Niederbronn (F) and on the island of Usedom (D). As all the meeting places are located in the immediate vicinity of German war cemeteries, they offer participants a unique way of learning about history.

The meetings of young Europeans help to develop mutual understanding and break down prejudices through encounters with the people of the host country. In this way, they make an active contribution to international understanding.

The youth work groups offer opportunities for local participation. Together, the young people get involved in maintenance work at regional war gravesites, in discussion groups and discussions with contemporary witnesses, as well as at sporting events.

The motto of the youth work sums up its uniqueness: "Reconciliation over the graves - working for peace".