Margot Friedländer, Holocaust survivor and honorary citizen of Berlin, was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, First class, on Monday from the Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey at the Red City Hall in Berlin.
"I am grateful to our Federal President, Frank-Walker Steinmeier, for honoring Margot Friedländer's services with the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class, and thus expressing recognition from the highest authority in our state," Giffey said in a statement about Friedländer.
According to the State Chancellery, 101-year-old Friedländer was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany eleven years ago in 2011 and was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin in 2016.
"In an admirable way, Friedländer bears witness to her life, to the persecution in National Socialist Berlin, to the fate of her family and to the Holocaust," Giffey said. "Up until her unique age of 101, she continued her work, which is very important to her."
A sculpture of Margot Friedländer was unveiled
A sculpture of Friedländer by artist Stephanie von Dallwitz was unveiled at the ceremony and will be placed in the Coat of Arms Hall in the Red Town Hall which will be open to the public to see.
"With the sculpture of Friedländer in the Red City Hall, we are showing in a prominent place that all the Berlin Jews who were expelled, deported or murdered by the unhuman Nazi regime also have their place in the City Hall," Giffey said, talking about the sculpture.
"In view of the suffering that has been inflicted on her and her family here, it is by no means a matter of course that she took this step. The sculpture should symbolize that Friedländer has a place of honor in our hearts and in our city. We know that we owe her much and that she will continue to serve future generations. Friedländer speaks for those who can no longer speak and she warns: 'Be human, never let it happen again.'"