HRE Citizenship Award

Honoring High Achievement in Public Service to Central and Eastern Europe

Every year the Prague Society presents the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award. The award honors dedication to and achievment in public service, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Traditionally the recipient of the award donates the award's financial prize to a young person of his or her choice.

The HRE Award is presented in partnership with the Global Panel Foundation. It has been awarded annually since 2000 - with the only exception of 2012 when no recipient was named. Previous recipients include Madeleine Albright, Vaclav Havel, Adam Michnik and the 14th Dalai Lama.

Lifelong Commitment to Public Service

The Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award honors a woman who grew up in post-war Germany. The years spent in a divided Europe instilled in her a firm belief in positive action. Her commitment to ideals of public service and the common good helped to break down the barriers which divide people from people in their shared destiny.

XV. H.R.E. Award

Zdeněk Tuma and Magda Vášáryová

Prague, April 5 2017 – Ceremony hosted by Lord Mayor Adriana Krnáčova at the Mayor’s Residence

Marc S. Ellenbogen; Zdeněk Tuma; Adriana Krnáčova

Recipient

Zdeněk Tuma

Zdeněk Tuma is the former Governor of the Central Bank of the Czech Republic

Princess Elizabeth Lobkowicz; Magda Vášáryova; Adriana Krnáčova

Recipient

Magda Vášáryova

Magda Vášáryova first female Presidential Candidate in Slovakia, the ambassador of Czechoslovakia in Austria (1990–1993) and ambassador of Slovakia in Poland (2000–2005) and Czech and Slovak Screen Doyenne.

XIV. H.R.E. Award

Tony Fitzjohn and Souad Mekhennet

Prague, April 5 2017 – Ceremony hosted by Lord Mayor Adriana Krnáčova at the Mayor’s Residence

Marc S. Ellenbogen; Jonathan Wilkinson; Tony Fitzjohn

Recipient

Tony Fitzjohn

Tony Fitzjohn is a renowned conservationist with activities in Kenya and Tanzania.

Recipient

Souad Mekhennet

Souad Mekhennet, who could not accept her prize in person because she recently received death threats connect to her work on Islamic extremism, is a Moroccan journalist which has worked for Washington Post & ARD

XII. H.R.E Award

Věra Čáslavská and Iva Drápalová

Bratislava, March 12-14 2013 – Ceremony under the patronage of the Right Honorable Pavol Paška, President of the Parliament of Slovakia, at the Parliament of Slovakia

Věra Čáslavská

Recipient

Věra Čáslavská

Věra Čáslavská won seven Olympic gold medals before she was forced into retirement and denied the right to travel, work and attend sporting events following her protest against the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. A signatory of the ‘2000 Words’ manifesto, Čáslavská was known for her outspoken support of the Czechoslovak democratization movement. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City she quietly looked down and away while the Soviet national anthem was played during medal ceremonies. Her subtle but highly public and widely understood protest resulted in her becoming a persona non grata in the new regime.

Marc Ellenbogen, Iva Drápalová

Recipient

Iva Drápalová

Iva Drápalová refused to cooperate with the StB even after she was threatened. In 1968 she started working for AP’s bureau in Prague when, following the crushing of the Prague Spring, nobody else wanted the job. Initially she only agreed to help out as a translator for one week. Two years later she had become AP’s Prague correspondent. After she retired in 1988 she was a translator at Velvet Revolution press conferences and later she worked as a consultant for the L.A. Times.

Štěpán Ripka, Marc Ellenbogen

Secondary Recipient

Štěpán Ripka

Iva Drápalová chose Štěpán Ripka as the recipient of the monetary part of her award. Štěpán Ripka is a social researcher and policy analyst who studies Roma communities, advises the Open Society Institute and the Czech Government he also chairs the Platform for Social Housing and pursues a PhD in social anthropology at Charles University in Prague.

XI. H.R.E Award

Wesley Clark, Jiří Dienstbier and Andrés Pastrana

Prague, December 9 2014 – Ceremony hosted by Grace and John Wilkinson

Gen. Wesley Clark

Gen. Wesley Clark

Recipient

Gen. Wesley Clark

Gen. Wesley Clark served the United States with honor for 34 years. He was the Supreme Allied Commander of Nato (SACEUR). Almost immediately after becoming SACEUR Clark started pushing for NATO membership for Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. He became the first NATO commander to visit Prague after the fall of Communism. His legacy in the region is marked by these efforts and Kosovo. Clark was a US presidential candidate in 2004.

Jiří Dienstbier

Jiří Dienstbier

Recipient

Jiří Dienstbier

As one of Czechoslovakia’s most respected foreign correspondents, Jiří Dienstbier lost his job after the end of Prague Spring and had menial jobs for the following two decades. During this time he became a signatory of Charta 77, helped to restart Lidové Noviny, one of the country’s major newspapers. Later he reemerged with the Velvet Revolution, becoming the first Foreign Minister of post-Communist Czechoslovakia in 1989.

Dienstbier became a hero to millions when, together with then German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock, he cut the “iron curtain.” The images spread across the world. As a politician he played a pre-eminent role in shaping post-Communist foreign policy in a democratic Czechoslovakia between 1989 and 1993 and from Central Europe to Asia to the Middle East.

When the Czech Republic and Slovakia separated as states, he played a leading role as a commentator and thoughtful rebel. Finally he entered politics again in the 21st century as a Senator and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Jiří Dienstbier – rozhlasový zpravodaj.

Jiří Dienstbier – rozhlasový zpravodaj.

Secondary Recipient

Jiří Dienstbier – rozhlasový zpravodaj.

The financial part of Jiří Dienstbier’s award was donated to fund the design and publishing of a new book, „Jiří Dienstbier – rozhlasový zpravodaj.“

Andres Pastrana

Recipient

Andres Pastrana

Andrés Pastrana was President of Colombia from 1998-2002. As a lawyer and journalist, Pastrana had been dedicated to fighting corruption and the Colombian drug trade that lies at the root of his country’s civil conflict since he was a student. As President he was determined to solve the armed conflict – through negotiation rather than force. While Colombia has not found peace to this day, its army found itself in a much better position to face the major guerrilla organizations after Pastrana’s term. During his administration Colombia regained the support of the international community that previously had turned its back on it and the country gained economic support and military aid. At the same time he left Colombia’s guerrilla organizations politically undermined as an overwhelming majority of Columbians today regard them as terrorists rather than freedom fighters or rebels with a legitimate politcal agenda.

X. H.R.E Award

Adam Michnik

Adam Michnik

Recipient

Adam Michnik

Adam Michnik is the editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, the biggest daily in Poland and the first independent news daily after Communism. A historian and co-founder of KOR (Committee for the Defense of Workers) 1976, he was detained many times during 1965-1980 and was a prominent Solidarity activist during the 80s, and spent a total of six years in Polish prisons for activities opposing the communist regime. Member of the Round Table Talks in 1989; member of the first non-communist parliament 1989-1991. He is the Laureat of many prizes and titles: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award; The Erasmus Prize; The Francisco Cerecedo Journalist Prize as a first non-Spanish author; Grand Prince Giedymin Order; Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur; recipient of a doctorate honoris causa from The New School for Social Research in New York, from the University of Minnesota, University of Michigan and from Connecticut College; honorary senator of the University of Ljubljana; and honorary professor of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

Secondary Recipients

Juliusz Kurkiewicz and Aleksandra Klich-Siewiorek

Michnik presented the financial portion of the award to two young journalists at the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Juliusz Kurkiewicz and Aleksandra Klich-Siewiorek.

XI. H.R.E Award

IX. The 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama in Prague with F. W. de Klerk, the Prague Society’s Honorary President.

Recipient

IX. The 14th Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1950 the Dalai Lama was called upon to assume full political power after China’s invasion of Tibet in 1949. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet. The General Assembly adopted three resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965. In September 1987 the Dalai Lama proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first step towards a peaceful solution to the worsening situation in Tibet. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

Andrej Kiska, the co-founder of Dobrý Anjel and President of Slovakia.

Secondary Recipient

“Dobrý anjel” (Good Angel) 

The 14th Dalai Lama donated the financial part to the Slovak charity “Dobrý anjel” (Good Angel) which helps families of children that suffer from cancer or other insidious diseases such as: cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, chronic renal failure, muscular dystrophy or down syndrome. Donations are made to families based on financial need.

VIII. H.R.E Award

Desmond Mullan (in memoriam)

Recipient

Desmond Mullan (in memoriam)

Desmond Mullan, managing director of Volvo Auto Czech 2000-2006, was one of the Prague Society’s main supporters. He was involved in many fields during his time in the Czech Republic: as Vice-Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce, as a supporter of the International School of Prague, and as an active member of the congregation of the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas in Mala Strana. Hundreds of friends attended his funeral in St Thomas’. For his warm heart, generosity, and for all the good deeds he and his wife Helen did while they lived in Prague, the Prague Society had the honor to make him a special recipient of the HRE Citizenship Award in memoriam.

Secondary Recipient

This was a special award with no secondary nominee.

VII. H.R.E Award

Alaksandar Milinkievič

Alaksandar Milinkievič

Recipient

Alaksandar Milinkievič

Alaksandar Milinkievič became involved in the local politics of his home city, Hrodna, in the 1980s. Four years in Algiers setting up the Faculty of Physics at Sétif University, had given him a wider experience of the world than his contemporaries. After the fall of the Soviet Union he entered national politics, becoming Chief of Staff to one of the opposition leaders. In 2005 he was chosen by the United Democratic Forces of Belarus as joint candidate of the opposition in the presidential elections of 2006, to stand against the totalitarian Alexander Lukashenko. He was held by the police before and after the elections on false Charles of drunken driving, forgery, drug trafficking and leaving Belarus illegally.

Pavel Sieviarynets

Secondary Recipient

Pavel Sieviarynets

The financial part of the award went to Pavel Sieviarynets, a prominent young Belarusain youth organizer and political leader of the Christian Democratic Party. Sieviarynets is the founder of the Young Front, the most persecuted political organisation in Belarus. He is also a talented publicist, author of a number of books and articles in which he presents his ideas and values, calling Belarusians to a national awakening and protest against autocratic rule.

VI. H.R.E Award

King Michael of Romania

King Michael of Romania

Recipient

King Michael of Romania

His Majesty King Michael I of Romania is a Prince of the Hohenzollern family and a descendant of the first King of Romania, Ferdinand I. He has twice been Head of State in Romania: from 1927 to 1930 and from 1940 to 1947, when he was deposed by the Communists, stripped of his citizenship, and banished from the country. Over the next fifty-five years he worked as a mechanic, commercial pilot and businessman and, with his wife Queen Anne, Princess of Bourbon-Parma, brought up their five daughters. In 1997 he said in an interview: “The King is head of state but he is also the first servant of the people. Never forget that.”

Secondary Recipient

Petrisor Ostafie

The financial part of the award went to Petrisor Ostafie, a student of Medical Bio-engineering in Iasi. Ostafie is an example of someone who, on receiving something, returns more than was given. He proved this by being first a volunteer and then a member of the Board of the Alaturi de Voi (Close to You) Romania Foundation. In addition, he exudes in speaking on numerous occasions about what it means to live with HIV and has become an example for many young people in the same situation. Petrisor has spent over 4000 hours of voluntary work on programs developed by the Alaturi de Voi Romania Foundation and has brought hope to over 200 young people living with HIV.

V. H.R.E Award

Miloš Forman

Miloš Forman

Recipient

Miloš Forma

Miloš Forman was born in Čáslav outside Prague and lost both his parents in the Nazi death camps. After studying in Prague he made his first feature film in 1963: Black Peter, an autobiographical account of a teenager in a small Czech town. He gained international recognition with Loves of a Blonde. Despite this, his next film, The Firemen’s Ball, attracted the attention of the Communist authorities and was banned. After the Soviet invasion of 1968, Forman settled in America, winning international fame with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It swept the Academy Awards, winning all five major Oscars. From his earliest Czechoslovakian work through his American period to Goya’s Ghosts, Forman’s directing remains close to the reality of life; its absurdity and transforming joys.

Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček in Písek (FAMO)

Secondary Recipient

Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček (FAMO)

Financial part divided into three parts of 50,000 crowns each to provide scholarships for students of the Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček in Písek.

IV. H.R.E Award

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Recipient

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

Lord Robertson, born on the Isle of Islay in Scotland, was elected to the House of Commons in 1978. After the Labour Party won the elections in 1997, Prime Minister Blair appointed him as the Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom. In August 1999 he was selected as the tenth Secretary General of NATO, and the same month received a life peerage, taking the title Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. For 7 years he was on the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) where he now serves as Joint President. He has been awarded the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit and the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania and was named joint Parliamentarian of the Year in 1993 for his role during the Maastricht Treaty ratification. He was appointed a member of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council in May 1997.

David Hodan at the HRE Awards Ceremony

Secondary Recipient

David Hodan

Lord Robertson donated the financial part to David Hodan, who first met Lord Robertson in May 2003. Encouraged by Ms Bela Gran Jensen, founder of the “Centipede” movement, he wrote an essay named “What I would do if I were General Secretary of NATO”. Lord Robertson read the essay and asked to meet David, saying that he especially liked the quotation from Charlie Chaplin which David used in the essay: “I am interested in my future because that is where I am going to spend the rest of my life.” The meeting took place within sight of Prague Castle – which David likes to call his “future seat”. A student at the Terezie Brzková 33-35 school in Pilsen (of which Marc Ellenbogen is a Patron), his ambition is one day to become President of this country. As he says himself, he is an “ordinary boy” with the interests of a boy of his age – he reads a lot and works with computers, but he also has a special interest in current world events, politics and medicine. He is particularly concerned about parts of the world where children suffer as a result of military conflict. David is a boy with the courage to say what he thinks, and to have dreams which may come true.

III. H.R.E Award

Václav Havel

Václav Havel

Recipient

Václav Havel

Václav Havel grew up in a circle which maintained Czechoslovakia’s independent culture in defiance of the Communist regime of the time. Excluded from higher education, he made his name in the 1960s with satirical plays which contributed to the intellectual atmosphere of the Prague Spring. During the normalization period which followed the Soviet invasion he took menial jobs whilst his work was published in samizdat. He was one of the first three spokesmen for Charter 77, and a member of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted. He was sentenced to four and a half years hard labor, resulting in a breakdown in his health. After his release in 1983 he continued to be a leading member of the opposition movement which culminated in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. He was elected the first President of a free Czechoslovakia and subsequently of the Czech Republic.

Andrej Dynko

Secondary Recipient

Andrej Dynko

Václav Havel donated the financial part to Andrej Dynko, the editor-in-chief of the indepependent Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva. Openly critical to President Lukashenko’s regime, and the only major newspaper written in Belarusian, Nasha Niva has become an important symbol of freedom and independence. Dynko is a Graduate from Minsk State Linguistic University, and holds an MA in International Relations. Until August 2000, he also taught at his Alma Mater. From 2002, Dynko has been the Vice-President of the Belarusian PEN Center.

II. H.R.E Award

Madeleine Albright

madeleine albright prague society

Madeleine Albright

Recipient

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. She was the first woman Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the US government. As Secretary, Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade and business abroad. Serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet & National Security Council for 8 years, Albright was the US Permanent Representative to the UN from 1993 to 1997. Albright is the first Michael & Virginia Mortara Endowed Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She is the Chairman of The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and founder of the Albright Group, a global strategy firm delivering solutions and advice for businesses in a rapidly changing world.

Petra Procházková

Secondary Recipient

Petra Procházková

Madeline Albright donated the financial part to Petra Procházková, a Czech journalist and humanitarian worker. She is best known as a war correspondent to the conflict areas of the former Soviet Union. Procházková studied journalism at Charles University in Prague. In 1989 she started work at the newspaper Lidové noviny. In 1992 she became Lidové noviny’s Moscow correspondent. Here she began covering conflict areas – Abkhazia being the first. During the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 she was the only journalist that stayed in the besieged Russian White House. In 1994, together with fellow journalist Jaromír Štětina, Procházková founded the independent journalism agency Epicentrum dedicated to war reporting. In the following years she covered events in Chechnya, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Georgia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Nagorny Karabakh, Kurdistan, Kashmir and East Timor.

I. H.R.E Award

Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Conducting Corp of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Vladimir Ashkenazy

Recipient

Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Conducting Corp of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy (the Chief Conductor), Vladimir Valek (the permanent conductor), Sir Charles Mackerras and Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi(the principle guest conductors). Askenazy devoted his first years as a musician to the piano. After winning first prizes in Brussels in 1956 and Moscow in 1962, he spent three decades touring the great musical centers of the world. From the 1970s, he became increasingly active as a conductor and held positions with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. From 1998 to 2003 Ashkenazy led the Conducting Corps of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he undertook the major Prokofiev-Shostakovich series in 2003.

Vladimir Valek has performed in many major cities around the world like Brussels, Cairo, Copenhagen, London, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, and Vienna to name a few.

Sir Charles Mackerras (in memoriam), born in Australia, had a passion for music his entire life and was honered with may awards throughout his life.

Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi was the first Asian Conductor to conduct at the Prague Spring Music Festival in 2002.

Lukas Vondracek

Secondary Recipient

Lukas Vondracek

Born in the Czech Republic in 1986 Lukas Vondracek’s musical ability was spotted at the age of two by his mother, herself a professional pianist. He gave his first concert at the age of 4 and now, by the age of 20, he visited 22 different countries giving in excess of 850 concerts. Vladimir Ashkenazy was the conductor when Lukas made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2002 with concerts in Prague and Italy. Since then he has appeared frequently with the orchestra, including a major USA tour, and concerts in Cologne, Vienna, Lucerne, Bad Kissingen, and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.