Ukrainian Poet Received the “Peace Prize”

by Olha Povaliaieva
Monday, October 24, 2022
Ukrainian Poet Received the “Peace Prize”

Contemporary poet and novelist Serhii Zhadan received the "German Book World Award 2022"

Now, book fair-2022 was held in Frankfurt. Representatives and literature fans from countries, including Ukraine, came to the event. The Heaven over Kharkiv of Ukrainian writer Serhii Zhadan was presented at the fair. It was recently published in Germany by Suhrkamp Verlag. The book was compiled by friends of the writer in Germany — they collected messages from Zhadan's social networks. All the events described in the book relate to the war that Russia began in Ukraine, mainly Kharkiv city, which since February 24 daily is destroyed by enemy bombs.

"This is the testimony of a man who, in the process of writing, enters into a new reality and resists widespread destruction," the publishers say.

The speech of the winner of the Peace Prize was about the Ukrainians in the war, in the world, and the war in the world. 

"Speaking about peace now, in the context of this bloody, dramatic war unleashed by Russia, some do not want to notice a simple fact: there is no peace without justice… And now reproaching Ukrainians for their unwillingness to give up as a sign of militarism and radicalism, some Europeans (I should note — quite insignificant but by the way) do an amazing thing — trying to stay in the comfort zone, they safely go beyond ethics. And this is no longer a question for the Ukrainians — this is a question for the world, its readiness (or not readiness) to swallow another, total, uncontrolled evil for the sake of dubious commercialism and false pacifism… Perhaps the capitulation of the Ukrainians will help the Europeans save on energy resources, but how will the Europeans themselves feel, realizing (and it will be impossible not to realize) that the warmth of their homes is paid for by the ruined destinies and homes of people who also wanted to live in a peaceful and calm country?" Serhii Zhadan.

On October 23, a solemn ceremony was held at St. Paul's church in Frankfurt am Main. The committee noted that the award was given for outstanding work and humanitarian aid that Zhadan provided to people in war, risking his life. The reward is €25.000. Zhadan has not yet announced what the prize will be used for. But now, the writer is actively engaged in assisting Ukrainian soldiers defending the Kharkiv region.

"His lyrics tell about how war and destruction enter this world and shake people," said Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, chairman of the Exchange union of the German Book World, presenting the prize to the Ukrainian writer.

The award winners are also Martin Buber, Hermann Hesse, Karl Jaspers, Janusz Korczak, Leszek Kolakowski, Astrid Lindgren, Susan Sontag, Orhan Pamuk, and Margaret Atwood.

We remind you that earlier, the European parliament awarded the Ukrainian nation the Peace prize of Sakharov. 

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