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Ludwig Beck Award for Civil Courage

City’s Ludwig Beck Award goes to Seda Basay-Yildiz

The Frankfurt lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz is being awarded the Ludwig Beck Award for Civil Courage by the state capital Wiesbaden. The Award includes prize money of €10,000.

Seda Basay-Yildiz rose to prominence as the lawyer for the family of Enver Şimşek in the secondary action in the trial against the right-wing terrorist group, the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU). In August 2018, she began receiving death threats signed “NSU 2.0”. The award pays tribute to Seda Basay-Yildiz’s remarkable handling of the right-wing terrorist threats following her work as a lawyer for the family of a victim of the NSU murders. “I am delighted that the panel of judges has chosen Seda Basay-Yildiz. She has displayed outstanding civil courage in the spirit of Ludwig Beck,” said Lord Mayor Gert-Uwe Mende. “In times of increasing right-wing terrorist violence, it was especially important to me to propose Seda Basay-Yildiz to the panel of judges,” Mende continued. The award ceremony is scheduled for Friday, 2 July, at City Hall’s banqueting hall. ZDF television presenter Dunja Hayali will be giving the laudatory speech in honour of the award winner.

The Ludwig Beck Award of the state capital Wiesbaden pays tribute to people, institutions or associations from all over the world who have demonstrated special civil courage in championing the common good, the peaceful coexistence of people, social justice and the tenets of democracy and the rule of law.

On 4 December 2003, the city council decided to establish the Ludwig Beck Award in honour of Ludwig Beck. The Biebrich-born resistance fighter Colonel General Ludwig Beck, who courageously opposed Adolf Hitler and his racist megalomania during the National Socialist regime, remains an example of special civil courage down to this very day. Had the attempt on Hitler’s life on 20 July 1944 been successful, he would have become Germany’s head of state. The Award was first awarded on 29 June 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the attempt on Hitler’s life. It was presented at a ceremony held in Biebrich Palace by Angelika Thiels, then head of the city council, and Hildebrand Diehl, then Lord Mayor of Biebrich.