Ex-German president receives St Adalbert award in Warsaw
Former German president Joachim Gauck received the international Saint Adalbert Award for Peace, Freedom and Cooperation in Europe at a Saturday ceremony held in Warsaw.
The award was presented to Gauck by Polish President Andrzej Duda and former Slovak President Andrej Kiska.
Joachim Gauck has devoted his life to building bridges in the spirit of a Christian love for one's neighbour and in the spirit of Christian truth and justice, Andrzej Duda said at the ceremony.
"You chose a unique path of involvement, one especially close to the work of St. Adalbert. You were aware of the criminal nature of both major totalitarian systems of the 20th century, namely national socialism and communism," he told Gauck.
He added that Gauck's activities on behalf of the de-communization of Germany including the removal of former officials and secret collaborators of the security apparatus from mainstream political and social life "were being watched with admiration in Poland."
Gauck said he was grateful to Poland for reminding the West about the persecution of democracy in the East, including in Belarus.
The Saint Adalbert Prize is granted every two years by the Adalbert Foundation in Krefeld, Germany, for contribution to Europe's unification and efforts to deepen good neighbourly relations between Central European countries.