Michnik's work has consistently been characterized by the pursuit to maintain human dignity. His personal positions, driven by moral integrity, have numerous times proven to conclusively shape political events.
Adam Michnik, b.1946, grew up in a Polish-Jewish family in Warsaw. He was perceived by the communist government as a systemic threat already as a 17-year-old high school student. By 1968 he gets expelled from the university and arrested together with other activists, which ignites the students' protest movement against the prevailing censorship. Michnik is sentenced to prison and banned from further studies.
In 1976, Michnik together with his friend Jacek Kuron became the driving forces behind KOR, the Workers’ Defense Committee, the first organized democratic movement in Poland, which became the embryo of the Solidarity movement. By 1978, he initiated the Society for Scientific Courses, the so-called Flying University. Michnik was repeatedly imprisoned for his dissident activities during the 1980s. In 1988, he took part in the negotiations that resulted in the organization of partially free elections as well as ensuring the peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy in Poland.
Thanks to his positions and activities, Michnik has been a major influence in contributing to the bloodless fall of communism in Central Europe. Both as an activist and a publicist, Adam Michnik has over the years consistently proven to be a person of exceptional moral integrity.
He has demonstrated a unique capability to maintain clear and independent judgement, even while under intense external pressure.
Michnik has been the editor-in-chief of the leading daily Gazeta Wyborcza since 1989, and as such has persistently argued for democracy and individual freedoms, against nationalism and subordination under any kind of isms. Adam Michnik is today considered one of the world's most significant publicists.
The Award ceremony will be held on May 9 at Grünewaldsalen, Stockholm's Concert House.
Photo: Adam Stepien
Gilel Storch Award is given to individuals who, through outstanding activities, have contributed to promoting democratic, universal, and humanistic values in the spirit of Gilel Storch.
Gilel Storch (1902 - 1983) made heroic humanitarian efforts to save people from the Holocaust. He was born in Latvia and fled to Sweden after the outbreak of World War II, where he under demanding circumstances negotiated bold initiatives that significantly contributed to saving Jews from the Holocaust. Gilel Storch's efforts were driven by courage, determination, insight and devotion for fellow human beings.
The laureates will receive SEK 250,000 and a golden sculpture designed by Annie Winblad Jakubowski.
The prize is administered by The Storch Foundation. Its board has appointed an award committee consisting of Marcus Storch (chairman), Lizzie Oved Scheja (CEO), Lars Dencik, Elisabeth Douglas, Gustaf Douglas, Michael Sohlman and Gabriel Urwitz. THe award ceremony is administered by Jewish Culture in Sweden.
Former recipient of the Gilel Storch Prize:
2018 Joachim Gauck, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany.
2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice at the Supreme Court of the United States.
2020 Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden.
2020 Gloria Steinem, civil rights activist in the United States.
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