Kästner Prize awarded to Tomi Ungerer - Council of Europe, 28 February 2003

Erich Kästner Prize awarded to Tomi Ungerer at the Council of Europe

''There is no more fitting place for the prize presentation than the Council of Europe'', Secretary General Walter Schwimmer said today in his address just before the presentation of the prize, carrying a 5 000 euro purse. Both Ungerer and Kästner, he said, stood for democracy, freedom and universal human rights. They were two men joined together by their personal commitment, expressed in artistic and literary form, to oppose ''emotional inertia and stubborn refusal to see reason''. Tomi Ungerer, who is the Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador for Children and Education, could unreservedly subscribe to Kästner’s pronouncement that ''only someone who is grown up and remains a child is a human being''. Mr Ungerer expressed pride in receiving the award because Kästner was his favourite writer: ‘'What he put into poetry I have drawn’'.




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Useful links

Tomi Ungerer official website

Erich Kästner Society website

Tomi Ungerer tells the press that, like Erich Kästner, he uses humour against hatred

“Erich Kästner and I are kindred spirits”, Tomi Ungerer told the press today. The Alsace artist, awarded the 4th Erich Kästner Prize, went on to say that both had always felt the same sadness about the evils of the world, both used their writing and drawing to express criticism, both used humour as a weapon against hatred, and both shared the same sense of humour. Ungerer said that he felt honoured to have been blacklisted at one point, as Kästner had been before him.

Erich Kästner Prize

The Erich Kästner Prize in literature is awarded by the Erich Kästner Society on an intermittent basis. Established at the initiative of the writer and Hermann Kesten (1900-1996), Society's first President, the 5000 Euro prize is awarded to living authors writing in German who published outstanding satirical works of their time. Among the prize winners are writer Peter Rühmkorf (1979), satirical author Loriot (1984) and writer and cartoonist Robert Gernhardt (1999).

Tomi Ungerer

Designs reflecting Tomi Ungerer's commitment to the defence of European values




Walter Schwimmer, Council of Europe Secretary General

Jutta Limbach, President of the Goethe Institute

Volker Ladenthin, President of the Erich Kästner Society

Tomi Ungerer, Artist and writer - Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador for Children and Education