The Jewish Community Düsseldorf has awarded Hans-Joachim Watzke, the chief executive officer of BVB, with the Josef Neuberger medal.
”The fight for democracy and the battle against racism and antisemitism have become a key focus of everything that we do,” says Watzke.
Watzke was awarded for the medal for his and Borussia Dortmund’s engagement against antisemitism. North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister president Hendrik Wüst gave the laudatory speech: “It is important that the fight against antisemitism and the protection of Jewish life doesn’t fall solely onto politicians. When a club like BVB, with its 155,000 members and ten million fans, takes a clear stance and acts with conviction, it has a huge impact,” said Wüst, paying tribute to the club’s achievements: “Hans-Joachim Watzke was quick to recognise that football has a big part to play in the fight against antisemitism and right-wing extremist ideology.” The medal was presented by Dr. Oded Horowitz, chairman of the board of the Jewish Community Düsseldorf.
Borussia Dortmund has been engaged in the fight against antisemitism for years. This includes, for example, the symposium on “Antisemitism and Professional Football” held in SIGNAL IDUNA PARK in March, which brought together representatives from society, politics and sport. Another example is the financial support given to the expansion of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel.
The Josef Neuberger Medal has been awarded since 1991 to persons or institutions of the non-Jewish population who have rendered outstanding services to the Jewish community. The medal is named after Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Neuberger, who was, among other things, minister of justice of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.