German president regrets Langer award

'Post' obtains exclusive letter criticizing decision to give medal of honor to anti-Zionist attorney.

September 7, 2009 18:23
1 minute read.
German president regrets Langer award

Felicia Langer and german 248.88. (photo credit: Baden-W?rttemberg State Website)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Jerusalem Post on Monday obtained an exclusive letter from German President Horst Köhler criticizing the decision to award Germany's highest medal of honor - the Federal Cross of Merit - to anti-Zionist attorney Felicia Langer. Dr. Gert Haller, the highest ranking state secretary in Federal President Köhler's office, issued a letter dated September 4 to Arno S. Hamburger, the head of the Nuremberg Jewish community, describing the process to award Langer as "terribly unfortunate." Hamburger returned his Federal Cross of Merit on September 1 to protest the lack of response from the Federal government to his letter of complaint in July. The German government's backpedalling comes as a result of a wave of protests from Jewish organizations and Israel's Foreign Ministry over the July award to Langer, who frequently compares Israel with Nazi Germany and the former apartheid regime in South Africa. Haller wrote in his letter that "the massive criticism of the award to Mrs. Langer led to an immediate examination of the matter of the award." Haller wrote to Hamburger that "the award you criticized upset many people whose concerns for peace and justice cannot be doubted. That is terribly unfortunate. None of the officials of the Federal and State government intended that, as I know from my discussions with people involved. Everyone is, in fact, deeply distressed and wish that the disturbance could be undone." Haller wrote to Hamburger that "he (the German president) appreciates your clear, firm statements" in connection with the Langer matter. However, the state secretary said the "legal situation "was carefully examined and entailed a great amount of time to examine the "accusations." He added, however, that "there is no basis" to rescind the award. Reached in Nuremberg, Arno Hamburger, told the Post on Monday that the president's letter was "excellent" because Köhler expressed that "the award upset " people who are "concerned with peace." Hamburger, who consulted with the authorities about the legal basis to revoke the award, said Köhler could only strip Langer of her award if she was convicted of a criminal offense and issued a sentence of one year without probation. Hamburger said he was very pleased that the letter stated in clear terms "Germany's solidarity with Israel." According to the letter, in light of the Langer award, "it is even more important to place events in perspective. Germany's solidarity with Israel and the Jewish peoples is unalterable."

Related Content

People walk past a building one day after air strikes destroyed it in Sanaa, Yemen June 6, 2018.
July 18, 2018
The Damage Of Dammaj: How Sectarian Tensions Fuel ISIS In Yemen