The Donor of the Prize
Dr. h. c. Manfred Lautenschläger c Manfred Lautenschläger Stiftung


Tolerance and humanity are manifested where understanding between human beings and ethnic and cultural communities is lived and breathed. The Manfred Lautenschläger foundation does all it can to improve the living conditions of human beings and to promote intercultural understanding. The situation of the Sinti and Roma in Europe is therefore a major area of focus of the foundation.

Sinti and Roma have suffered discrimination and persecution for centuries. They were the victims of genocide and dispossession during the Second World War, and even today they are still not fully integrated in the community as an ethnic minority.

It is therefore my aim to use my foundation to campaign for the protection of the civil rights of the Sinti and Roma and against their social marginalization. In this respect, dialogue with and about Sinti and Roma is encouraged and their independent organizations are supported.

In conjunction with the Central Council and the Documentary and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma, the Manfred Lautenschläger foundation brought the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma into being in November 2007, in order to improve the situation of the Sinti and Roma, especially in the countries of eastern and southeastern Europe. The prize is worth 15,000 euros and is awarded every two years to individuals, groups or institutions, who campaign for the assertion of the civil rights of Sinti and Roma.

If we wish to shape the future positively, we must remember the past and derive our responsibility for future action from it. I am convinced that the European Civil Rights Prize can contribute to drawing attention to the situation of the Sinti and Roma and to improving their living conditions in the future.

Dr. h. c. Manfred Lautenschäger
Founder and Executive Director
of the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation