The German Jewish Community History Council honors five non-Jewish Germans each year with Obermayer German Jewish History Awards. The Council is sponsored by the Office of the President of the Berlin House of Representatives, the Leo Baeck Institute, the German Jewish Special Interest Group of JewishGen, and the Obermayer Foundation, Inc. The awards were initiated in the year 2000 by Dr. Arthur S. Obermayer and are administered and supported by the Obermayer Foundation, except for the ceremony itself at the Berlin Parliament. These competitive awards are given to individuals who have made outstanding voluntary contributions toward preserving and recording the Jewish history, heritage, culture and/or remnants of local German communities.
BACKGROUND OF AWARD
In recent decades, many individuals in Germany have tried to study, interpret, and reconstruct information about the Jewish life that flourished in Germany for centuries in communities large and small, and to confront its destruction.
In many cases, these individuals have, without thought of reward, helped raise awareness about a once-vibrant culture, in memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust, in recognition of the profound contribution of Jewish culture and individuals to Germany and in hopes of rebuilding destroyed connections.
These volunteers have devoted countless hours to such projects, but until now few have been recognized or honored for their efforts. The German Jewish Community History Council believes it is particularly meaningful for Jews the world over to recognize and encourage such work through this award, and to bring international attention to these activities.