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Pen of Freedom

German journalist and publicist Reinhold Vetter has been awarded the ‘Pen of Freedom’ at the Polish Embassy in Berlin

January 19th, 2015
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During a ceremony at the Polish Embassy in Berlin on January 15th, 2015, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) awarded Reinhold Vetter the highly coveted “Pen of Freedom” award. PAP gives this special award to a foreign journalist who reports on the process of democratization and political transformation in Poland.

Recently, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appealed to polish citizens to make the 25th Anniversary of freedom in Poland a worthy occasion. Following this appeal the PAP decided it was important to award the ‘Pen of Freedom’ to a German journalist.

The “Pen of Freedom” award was also given to Renate Marsch-Potocka, Krzysztof Bobiński and photojournalist Czarek Sokolowski. The winners received their award during the national holiday period in Warsaw in May 2014.

Reinhold Vetter worked as a correspondent for the German public broadcaster ARD in Poland. Vetter was one of the first foreign journalists in 1978 to contact and work with the independent self-governing trade union. Vetter also reported on the Solidarity Uprising in the 1980s and the social movement it created to advance workers rights and social change.

Vetter went on to write a biography on Lech Walesa, the founder of the Solidarity trade union. The book is titled “Poland’s Stubborn Hero: How Lech Walesa Outwitted the Communists.” Vetter has also published a book about Bronislaw Geremek. Professor Geremek was a social historian and politician in Poland. He was a leading figure in the polish democratic opposition during the 1970s and 80s.

Representatives from the field of journalism, science and politics were all present at the award ceremony. Recipient Renate Marsch-Potocka was also present as well as the Polish Foreign Secretary Stephan Steinlein.

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