The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade has been awarded since 1950 by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels), which is the official representative of publishing houses and bookshops in Germany. The 25,000 euro prize is made up entirely of donations from publishers and booksellers and reflects the German book trade’s commitment to the promotion of international understanding. Since its inception, the Peace Prize has achieved an increasing level of worldwide recognition and continues to act as a symbol of an entire industry’s unique dedication to peace. The award ceremony is held during the Frankfurt Book Fair, which generally takes place in the autumn of each year (usually at the beginning of October). The Peace Prize is handed out during a celebration at the Church of St. Paul (Paulskirche) in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1848, this church was the site of the famous Frankfurt National Assembly, an event of great historical importance to Germany’s democratic development.

The Peace Prize is entrusted to a foundation. Prize winners are announced by the foundation’s board of trustees which makes its decisions independently and in confidential consultation. The following sentence from the Peace Prize’s statute sums up the foundation’s fundamental goal: “The foundation is committed to peace, humanity and understanding among all peoples and nations of the world. The Peace Prize promotes international tolerance by acknowledging individuals who have contributed to these ideals through their exceptional activities, especially in the fields of literature, science and art. Prize winners are chosen without any reference to their national, racial or religious background. The Peace Prize is generally award on an annual basis and can also be granted posthumously.”