Theodor Heuss Medal for a Novel Refugee Accommodation

Grandhotel Cosmopolis in Augsburg is at the same time a hotel, refugee accommodation, and an artistic workshop - in other words, an innovative residential and social project. This "grand hotel" enables people to meet, get to know each other, and share their experiences.
Robert Bosch Stiftung | May 2016

The Grandhotel Cosmopolis in Augsburg has been awarded the Theodor Heuss Medal for 2016. The Grandhotel Cosmopolis combines refugee accommodation, hotel, and artist studios under one roof and thereby enables exchange between refugees, artists, guests, and residents of the city. The Robert Bosch Stiftung has supported the Grandhotel since 2013. As a shining example of how refugees can be integrated into our civil society, the Grandhotel is taking a stand against social exclusion across Germany and demonstrating new ways of avoiding conflicts over accommodation for asylum seekers, for example.

Approaching Refugees with Solidarity and Imagination

The presentation of the Theodor Heuss Medal on April 30, 2016, in Stuttgart stood under the motto "Fleeing to Europe - Germany on the Way: Solidarity and Imagination from the Middle of Civil Society." The Theodor Heuss Stiftung honored five medal recipients who approach refugees with solidarity and imagination and who have made exemplary contributions to their integration. In addition to the Grandhotel Cosmopolis, the 2016 medals went to Kiron University, an online university for refugees, Clowns ohne Grenzen Deutschland e.V., and the Welcome United 03 soccer team of SV Babelsberg, which has brought refugees onto the team and allowed them to participate in games. The "silent helpers" were also honored, and therefore civil society itself. All silent helpers who welcomed refugees to a democratic society through their commitment can print out their own certificate for the 2016 Theodor Heuss Medal on the foundation’s website.

By awarding the medals, the Theodor Heuss Stiftung wants to highlight democratic commitment and civil courage for the strengthening and further development of our society and, at the same time, encourage and honor those who take on responsibility for the greater good. The keynote address was held by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG. Welcoming words were spoken by Professor Ludwig Theodor Heuss and Fritz Kuhn, mayor of Stuttgart. Cem Özdemir, National Chairman of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (German Green Party), moderated the podium discussion with the medal recipients. The event was concluded with an address from Professor Gesine Schwan.

Representatives of excellent projects were awarded the Theodor Heuss Medal 2016 in Stuttgart.