As a sign of solidarity, the "Theodor Haecker Prize of the City of Esslingen am Neckar - International Human Rights Prize for Political Courage" is awarded out of turn to the Belarusian activist Maria Kalesnikava.
"Maria Kalesnikava's unparalleled bravery and her unbroken non-violent resistance against the Lukashenko terror regime are representative of many people who are fighting for freedom and civil rights in Belarus under personal dangers," said Mayor Matthias Klopfer, justifying the decision to accept the Theodor Haecker Prize from the city of Esslingen on Neckar out of order.
Her sister Tatsiana Khomich accepted the award on her behalf. The laudation for the award winner will be held by the President of the Baden-Württemberg State Parliament, Muhterem Aras MdL. Barbara Straub, Commissioner for Equal Opportunities of the City of Esslingen am Neckar, will moderate the event.
As part of the award ceremony, Viktoriia Vitrenko and Jasmin Schädler, founders of the InterAKT Initiative e. V., a musical lecture performance entitled »Love is stronger than fear! Maria Kalesnikava and Political Art«.
The Theodor Haecker Prize is awarded to individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions to human rights, democracy, freedom, peace and humanity and whose work appears worthy of Theodor Haecker's tradition. An honorable mention can also be awarded.
Theodor Haecker (1879-1945) was a philosopher, cultural critic and writer. He lived in Esslingen for many years. During the Nazi era, Haecker was banned from speaking. His most important work, the diary entries "Day and Night Books", was created during this time.