21. November 2016
The International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) – Antifascist Association handed-over the Michel-Vanderborght-Award on November 18, 2016 in Prague. The ceremony was the opening of the XVII regular congress of FIR. The ceremony was attended by more than 100 guests, veterans and todays antifascists from about 20 European countries.
When in summer 1951 the former resistance fighters, the political prisoners, the fighters in the ranks of the Anti-Hitler-Coalition created in Vienna the FIR, they never expected that 65 years later it is an on-going task to remember the women and men, who sacrificed their life, risked their health, and faced fascist punishment for the freedom of their own country, for their political ideals or for humanism. And until today this task is not a main-stream subject. FIR underlines again and again – these women and men fought not only for their own interests, this fight was the basis for a peaceful and social justice development and solidarity in Europe and the world.
These ideas were the political goal of Michel Vanderborght himself. As Belgian partisan and political resistance fighter he took in 2003 as president responsibility for the renewing of FIR until he died. That is why FIR named the price “Michel Vanderborght Award”.
FIR honored in 2016 institutions and courage persons with commitment for the antifascist ideas from nine countries: From Belgium Jean Cardoen for the Team “Train des Milles”, an international Youth meeting in Memorial Auschwitz, from Czech Republic Prof. Václav Pavlicek, a highly recommended layer and expert for constitutional law, from Germany the “Studienkreis Deutscher Widerstand 1933 – 1945”, which works since 50 years for the preservation of the memories of resistance fighters, from Greece the former veteran Georgi Moraitis, from Hungary the Hungarian Media Groups for its fight for freedom of press, from Israel the director of Memorial Latrum (for Jewish resistance fighters) Zvi Kan-Tor, from Italy the Military Prosecutor Marco de Paolis, who accused the murderers of Sant’ Anna di Stazzema, from Netherland the former veteran Max van den Berg, and from Russia as a posthumous honoring for the 100 anniversary the airman Alexej Petrovich Maresjev, a long-time representative of FIR.
At the end of the ceremony Max van den Berg answered in the name of all awarded and underlined – coming from his own political and personal way – the necessity of civil courage and antifascist engagement in the today’s situation.
Michel Vanderborght Award 2016
Jean Cardoen for the Team “Train des Milles”
Successful work for commemoration with the younger generation
Prof. Václav Pavlicek –
expert of constitutional law, member of the Administrative Foundation of Terezin
Studienkreis Deutscher Widerstand 1933 – 1945
Thomas Altmeyer – Institution of historical research in anti-fascist perspective
Creator of an online-portal “European commemoration places”.
Veteran of PEAEA-DSE
Hungarian Media Group
Klubrádió-Arató András; Népszava-Németh Péter
Director of the Memorial place Latrum (Israel)
Marco de Paolis
Chief of the Military Prosecutors Office in La Spezia 2002 – 2008.
Max van den Berg,
Veteran of Resistance and active for resistance Museum in Amsterdam
Alexej Petrovich Maresjev (posthumous)
Veteran and former representative of FIR