The Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award is given annually to people who have dedicated their lives to public service. It was established in 2000 by the Prague Society for International Cooperation and the Global Panel Foundation and is named in honor of the Prague Society's President Marc S. Ellenbogen's mother. The award comes with a 150,000 crown cash prize, which the award recipient passes on to a young person who is embarking on his/her career who has already contributed to the development of international relations. For instance when the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra won the award in 2000 the cash prize was given to Lukas Vondracek, an aspiring musician at the time, to support him in his studies.
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. Kobayashi was the first Asian Conductor to conduct at the Prague Spring Music Festival in 2002.
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.
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.
Madeline Albright donated 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.
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 normalisation 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 Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted. He was sentenced to four and a half years hard labour, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Miloš Forman, born in Čáslav outside Prague, he 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.
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. The first recipient was the 27-year-old student of film, Martin Palouš, who received the Award from Marc Ellenbogen on 11 October 2007 at the celebratory opening of the Písek Film Festival.
His Majesty King Michael I of Romania (born 1922) 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."
A student of Medical Bio-engineering in Iasi, Petrisor 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.
7th: Alexander Millinkevich 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 ellections 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.
A prominent young Belarusain politician leader of the Christian Democratic Party and founder of the Young Front that is 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.
In honor of 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: Vice-Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce, he was also well known for his support of the International School of Prague, and 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’s. 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. This was a special award with no secondary nominee.
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.
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.
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.
Michnik presented the financial portion of the award to two young journalists at the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Juliusz Kurkiewicz and Aleksandra Klich-Siewiorek.
Wesley Clark served the United States with honor for 34 years. He was the Supreme Allied Commander of Nato (SACEUR) and a US presidential candidate in 2004. 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.
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.
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 already before he became president. 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 with Colombians regarding them as terrorists rather than freedom fighters.
The financial part of Jiří Dienstbier's award was donated to fund the design and publishing of a new book, „Jiří Dienstbier – rozhlasový zpravodaj.“ The recipients of two remaining donations will be announced at a separate event in May.