Greek writer awarded with Goethe Medal
With Goethe Medal 2013 honored yesterday by the German state , Greek author Peter Markaris «for outstanding contribution in the German language and international cultural relations». Joining Mr. Markaris at a ceremony held in Weimar , in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Cornelia peppers, awarded Iranian translator and writer Mahmoud Hossein Zant and the Indian publisher Naveen Kisore .
The President of the Goethe Institute Klaus – Dieter Lehmann, presenting the award, spoke of «passionate ambassadors of books and German language» and added that he couldn’t imagine better partners for the Goethe Institute in the field of literature.
According to the organizers, Peter Markaris awarded as «facilitator» of Greek-German relations , who «keeps the clean, detailed look of both countries, even in times of crisis.» For the author spoke longtime correspondent «Sueddeutsche Zeitung» Athens and Istanbul Christie Sletser, which stated, inter alia, in the history of Greek-German relations.
«Many Germans have forgotten what happened in their name to the country, who searched with their souls over the centuries , with Goethe in his backpack and where they left big disaster» said Mrs Sletser and spoke about Kalavryta and Distomo, which she said, came back to memory due to the crisis. «The fact that the Greeks were among the first workers who helped Germany to create the economic miracle of the 60s seems incredible, given the historical events. But many Greeks also wanted to forget. There were also no choice» said the German journalist and moved the words of Peter Markaris «The Greeks held the culture of poverty very well, but they lack the culture of wealth».
Accepting the award, Greek author referred to the love and devotion of the German language and literature for 65 years, thanked his father, who urged him to learn German. Thanked also his birthplace, Istanbul, as a meeting point of cultures and languages » the awakened interest to build bridges between cultures», and Athens, where he lives in the last fifty years, the place where they joined the two languages, the Greek and German.
«I consider myself a mediator between Germany and Greece and between the German and Greek literature, and this would not be possible without Athens» said Mr. Markaris, describing the Greek capital as the city that shaped him as a writer and facilitator.
The «Goethe Medal» awarded for the first time in 1954 and was recognized as an official award of the German state in 1975. Previously, the official award was the anniversary of the death of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, March 22 , in Weimar, but since 2009 the award was established on August 28, the birthday of the German author.