Pope Gives Human Rights Prize to Frenchman

Award Named for John Paul II

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 10, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI bestowed the John Paul II Prize of the Auschwitz Institute for Human Rights to the French philosopher and author André Glucksmann.

The brief ceremony took place in the Vatican on Wednesday, immediately following the conclusion of the general audience in Paul VI Hall.

The award is given to those who have distinguished themselves in the promotion and defense of human rights in line with the teachings and witness of John Paul II.

André Glucksmann was born in 1937, in a suburb of Paris. His parents were Austrian Jews. In his book “A Child’s Rage” (2006), Glucksmann recounts his experience growing up as a Jew in occupied France, and the effect it had on his philosophy.

He is known as one of the leading “New Philosophers.” The term refers to those thinkers in France who criticized Marxism in the 1970s, as well as the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.

His first book, “Le Discours de Ia Guerre” (The Discourse on War), was published in 1968. He also wrote, among others, “The Master Thinkers” (1977) and “Dostoevsky in Manhattan” (2002).
Glucksmann is most widely known internationally as a supporter of Chechen independence, and a critic of Russian foreign policy in general.

Those present at the private award ceremony included Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, the retired archbishop of Kraków, and Andrzej Zoll, president of the institute.

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