Tilman Zülch

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Tilman Zülch
Tilman Zülch.jpg
Born (1939-09-02)September 2, 1939
Libina, Sudetenland (present-day Czech Republic)
Nationality German
Occupation General secretary of the Society for Threatened Peoples and Society for Threatened Peoples International
Known for Human rights activist

Tilman Zülch (born September 2, 1939) is a German human rights activist. He is the founder and general secretary of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP).

Life[edit]

Zülch was born in Liebau, in the Sudetenland, now Libina, Czech Republic. His family left the Sudetenland in 1945, during the postwar expulsion of Germans. As a boy he belonged to the Bündische Jugend, part of the German Youth Movement, in Hamburg. He completed his Abitur at the Louisenlund Gymnasium in Rendsburg-Eckernförde. He studied politics and economics in Hamburg, Graz, and Heidelberg. He was active in college political groups and the Außerparlamentarische Opposition.

In June 1968, with Klaus Guerke, he founded Aktion: Biafra Hilfe to draw the attention of the world to the genocide happening in Biafra, in present-day Nigeria.[1]

The Society for Threatened Peoples (German: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker) grew out of this organization in 1970.[2] Its main office has been located in Göttingen since 1979. As of 2006, its German branch, GfbV-Deutschland, is one of the largest human rights organizations in Germany.

Tilman Zülch feels that it is an obligation to campaign for religiously and ethnically persecuted people, especially for Germany and Austria given the crimes of Nazi Germany. He feels that the way for Germans to deal with the past is not to stay silent in face of other crimes such as those of the Stalin era, the mass expulsions of Germans after 1945, or the genocides of today. For example, in the early 1990s he was fined for breaking into a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm warehouse in Munich to secure evidence of the company's covertly supplying the Iraqi air force;[3] he repeatedly protested Russia's military actions in Chechnya, comparing the bombing of Grozny to Dresden in 1945;[4][5] in 2005 in advance of the official visit of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg, East Prussia) to celebrate the city's 750th anniversary, he demanded in an open letter that Schröder note the mass expulsions and deaths of Germans there and elsewhere in the former eastern territories of Germany under Stalin;[6] he protested the 2008 Summer Olympics in China on behalf of Tibet, comparing it to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin under the Nazis;[7] and he has been credited as one of those most responsible for the Sinti and Roma being recognized as a minority people in Germany.[2] He is also the editor of the journal bedrohte völker (previously pogrom).

Zülch was accused of misappropriation of funds by two former STP board members; in October 2013 he was completely exonerated.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • GeoEnvironment Prize 1982
  • Lower Saxony Prize for Journalism 1996
  • Silver Order of the Arms of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 1996
  • Annual Award of the Federation of Expulsees 2001
  • Federal Cross of Merit am Bande 2002
  • Human Rights Prize of the Sudeten Germans Welfare and Culture Association 2003
  • Göttingen Peace Prize in recognition of his lifetime work 2003
  • Medal of the Iraqi-Kurdish National Assembly 2005
  • Srebrenica Award against Genocide of the three women's and mothers' associations 2006
  • Sarajevo Anti-War Centre's Freedom Prize for Human Rights 2006
  • Human Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma 2014[2][9]
  • Honorary citizenship, City of Sarajevo[1]
  • Honorary Member of the Saxony-Anhalt Federation of the Victims of Stalinist Persecution
  • Honorary Member of the Union of Women camp Detainees of Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Member of the Jury for the Weimar Human Rights Prize
  • Member of the Jury of the "Centre Against Expulsions" Supporters Association

Publications[edit]

(All available only in German)

  • Guerke, Klaus and Tilman Zülch. 1968. Biafra, Todesurteil für ein Volk? Berlin: Luttner-Verlang.
Biafra, Death sentence for a People
  • Zülch, Tilman. 1979a. Von denen keiner spricht. Verfolgte Minderheiten. Reinbek: Rowohlt.
The People That No-one Talks About: Persecuted Minorities
  • Zülch, Tilman. 1979b. In Auschwitz vergast, bis heute verfolgt - zur Situation der Sinti und Roma in Europa. Reinbek: Rowohlt.
Gassed in Auschwitz, still persecuted today – on the situation of the Sinti and Roma in Europe
  • Zülch, Tilman. 1991. Völkermord an den Kurden. Hamburg: Luchtehand.
Genocide of the Kurds
  • Zülch, Tilman. 1993. Ethnische Säuberungen" - Völkermord für Großserbien. Hamburg: Luchterhand. Sarajevo 1996.
Ethnic Cleansing – Genocide in the cause of Greater Serbia
  • Vollmer, Johannes and Tilman Zülch. 1996. Aufstand der Opfer - Verratene Völker zwischen Hitler und Stalin. Göttingen: pogrom Taschenbücher.
Resistance of the Victims – Betrayed peoples between Hitler and Stalin

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Zwei hohe Ehrungen für Tilman Zülch". Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine (in German). Evangelische Pressedienst. 2014-03-26. 
  2. ^ a b c "Politik Kompaktt: Tilman Zülch für sein Engagement geehrt". Die Welt (in German). 2014-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Tilman Zülch". Der Spiegel (in German). 1991-10-14. 
  4. ^ Kohlmaier, Rita (1999-12-20). "Interview: Kann Deutschland Moskau zum Frieden zwingen?". Der Spiegel (in German). 
  5. ^ Bölsche, Jochen (2003-04-01). "Luftkrieg über Europa: So muss die Hölle aussehen". Der Spiegel (in German). 
  6. ^ "750 Jahre 'Kaliningrad'/Königsberg" (in German). Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker. 2005-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Tibet-Initiative beginnt Olympia-Protest". Die Welt (in German). Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 2008-08-07. 
  8. ^ Heinzel, Matthias (2013-10-23). "Zülch komplett entlastet: Staatsanwaltschaft Göttingen stellt Ermittlungen gegen GfbV-Gründer ein". Göttinger Tageblatt (in German). 
  9. ^ "Tilman Zülch receives the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma". Dosta!, Council of Europe. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 

External links[edit]