International Human Rights Award For political courage and sincerity

Stand strong for human rights: the Theodor-Haecker Prize is one of the most important awards that the city of Esslingen can bestow. It is awarded regularly every two years to personalities or groups who have earned it with their outstanding efforts to promote human rights, peace, and democracy.

Who was Theodor Haecker?

Theodor Haecker was born on 4th June 1879 in Eberbach/Württemberg. The philosopher, cultural critic and author spent many years of his life in Esslingen. During the National Socialist era, Haecker was banned from speaking. It was during this time that he wrote his most important work, the journals known as the “Day and Night Books”. The notes in these journals are amongst the most impressive reflections on fascism. They are the document of an intellectual’s inner resistance against National Socialism. Haecker’s achievement can be considered as an important foundation of Christian resistance to National Socialism. Haecker had links with the circle around the Scholl siblings, where he often read excerpts from his “Day and Night Books”.

Theodor Haecker died on 9th April 1945 in Ustersbach.

The award winners (1995 - 2015)

  • 2015 - Laisa Santos Sampaio, Brazil
  • 2013 - Leyla Yunus, Azerbaijan
  • 2011 - Shiva Nazar Ahari, Iran
  • 2009 - Kitwe Mulunda Guy, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2007 - Judith Galarza, Mexico
  • 2005 - Eren Keskin, Turkey
  • 2003 - Laurien Ntezimana, Rwanda
  • 2001 - Dr. Vesna Pesic, Serbia
  • 2000 - Dr. Viktor I. Gontschar, Belarus
  • 1999 - Salima Ghezali, Algeria
  • 1997 - Prof. Jehan as-Sadat, Egypt
  • 1995 - Sergej A. Kowaljow, Russia