Margot Friedländer next to a bust depicting her
Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa
She survived the Holocaust and is committed as a contemporary witness: Margot Friedländer was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class.
Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) presented the 101-year-old with the award in the afternoon on behalf of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
According to the Senate Chancellery, Friedländer had already been awarded the Cross of Merit with Ribbon in 2011.
In 2016 she received the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin.
Work continued into old age
"Today we bow again to the impressive lifetime achievement and the tremendous courage of our Berlin honorary citizen Margot Friedländer," said Giffey, according to a statement.
"Margot Friedländer bears witness to her life, to the persecution in National Socialist Berlin, to the fate of her family and to the Holocaust in an admirable way."
According to the dpa news agency, Kai Wegner, head of the CDU Berlin, described the awardee as a "personality of the century" who repeatedly reminds us that freedom, justice and democracy are not a matter of course.
Bust unveiled at Red Town Hall
Friedländer had lost her entire family in the Holocaust.
She survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
After the Second World War she went to the USA, but then returned to Germany at the age of 88.
The film »Don't Call it Homesickness« and her book »Try to Make Your Life« tell her story.
The eyewitness made it her task to engage in dialogue with young people in particular – by visiting school classes and readings, among other things.
A bust of Friedländer by the artist Stephanie von Dallwitz was also unveiled at the ceremony.
According to a statement, Giffey said: “With the sculpture by Margot Friedländer in the Red City Hall, we are showing in a prominent place that all the Berlin Jews who were expelled, deported or murdered by the inhuman National Socialist regime have their place in our city hall .«