Palm Beach, FL, February 11, 2011 … A German political scientist and writer who has laid bare the genocidal intent of Iran's nuclear program and exposed a link between the anti-Semitism of the Nazis and of the Iranian regime was honored today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his ongoing research in the roots and manifestations of modern Jew-hatred.
Dr. Matthias Küntzel was presented with the ADL Paul Ehrlich-Gunther K. Schwerin Human Rights Award during the League's National Executive Committee meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
"Matthias Küntzel has a long and distinguished record in speaking out against anti-Semitism and warning his readers in his native Germany and elsewhere about the dangers posed by this age-old virus that has no known cure," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in presenting the award. "His work has been sorely under-appreciated in this country. With this recognition, we hope to acknowledge his ongoing efforts and also let the American public know of the implications of this disturbing trend."
In his award-winning book, Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, Dr. Küntzel analyzed the link between Nazi anti-Semitism and that of radical Islam and the cooperation between Nazi leaders and Muslim extremists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mufti of Jerusalem, beginning in the 1930s. Dr. Küntzel's research into Nazi influences on Iranian anti-Semitism has produced a unique and potent argument for robust German opposition to the Iranian regime.
"I want to thank you not only for this prize, but for something much bigger: I owe my understanding of anti-Semitism above all to people like you – American survivors of the Holocaust and Jewish intellectuals in the United States," said Dr. Küntzel in accepting the award. "Today's events in Tunisia and Egypt mark a watershed in the development of the Middle East. And it is precisely at such a time – a time of new beginnings – that it becomes more important than ever to publicly raise the issues of the roots and potential consequences of anti-Semitism."
Dr. Küntzel is an external research associate at the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the Board of Directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Since 2001, his research and writing has focused on anti-Semitism in current Islamic thinking, Islamism, Islamism and National Socialism, Iran, and German and European policies towards the Middle East and Iran.
"In his writing on the anti-Semitism of the Iranian regime, which he terms the 'stepchild of German National Socialism,' Dr. Küntzel lays bare the genocidal intent of those who are striving for nuclear weapons," said Mr. Foxman. "He makes clear that the link between the anti-Semitism of the Nazis and of the Iranian regime is not just an analogy."
The Paul Ehrlich-Gunther K. Schwerin Human Rights Award was established in 1998 by the ADL in conjunction with a descendant of Professor Paul Ehrlich to honor the late Gunther Schwerin, grandson of the renowned German-Jewish scientist, and Dr. Ehrlich, discoverer of the cure for syphilis – a disease that had ravaged people for centuries.
More than a great scientist, Ehrlich was a great humanitarian who represented the best in German and German-Jewish society before the Nazi juggernaut destroyed both. Schwerin upheld his grandfather's legacy to battle intolerance and established the award to honor those who have fought anti-Semitism throughout Germany and Europe.
Past recipients of the ADL Paul Ehrlich-Gunther K. Schwerin Human Rights Award include Otto Schily, German Minister of the Interior (2006); Gert Weisskirchen; member of the Bundestag and Vice President, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (2005); Rudolf Scharping, German Minister of Defense (2000); and Rita Suessmuth, former president of the Bundestag (1999).