Dr. Kurt Bigler / Bergheimer Preis

7th award ceremony on 13.02.2014

The 7th price-award of Dr. Bigler was offered to Rita Ackermann (ZH), Lukas David Krejci (SG) and Milo Rau.

The first of those nominees was the head teacher of the primary school of Hutten in canton Zurich, Rita Ackermann. With her 190 children she has realised to play the child opera Brundibar, which had been performed in the ghetto of Theresienstadt in the first place. Moreover, the children of the school are being taught of the Holocaust and of tolerance. The parents of the children had been informed of the pedagogical aims of that theatre and were invited to participate in it.

More information about the child opera Brundibár: Link.

Further information about the school Hutten you can find here.

The second price-award was given to the rector and teacher of the gymnasium Friedberg, Lukas David Krejci. Since years the school paid attention to Holocaust education in classes and invested in several projects. The scholars were for example instructed to be guides of the exhibition “Anne Frank – a story for today” in Gossau SG. After that exhibition, Krejci wrote a piece of theatre, called “tonight – Anne Frank”.

Some foto impressions of the past musicals.

Milo Rau was the third nominee. He is sensitive to the education of tolerance in political context through artistic means. In his works he broached the issue of mass violence (i.e. in his theaters “Hate Radio” of the genocide in Ruanda 1994 and “City of change”). With his theatre “Zürcher Prozesse” he tried to encourage his visitors to think of Islam and the hate of strangers.

Informations about Milo Rau and his projects.

More information about the speeches and the media news are on the German version.

Margrith Bigler
Lukas David Krejci
Margrith Bigler, Lukas David Krejci, Guido Helbling und Chor Gymnasium Friedberg
Chor Gymnasium Friedberg
Lukas David Krejci, Rita Ackermann und Margrith Bigler
Revital Ludewig
Rita Ackermann, Rolf Bossart, Margrith Bigler und Lukas David Krejci
Lukas David Krejci und Margrith Bigler
Rita Ackermann

6th award ceremony on 04.04.13

On April 4, 2013 Mr. Achim Lück, teacher at the secondary school “Unteres Furttal” (Kanton Zurich) received the 6th Dr. Bigler award. As a teacher he has addressed the question of how to convey the subject of the Holocaust to senior classes. He subsequently decided to write a play about the Jewish novelist and songwriter Dr. Friedrich Löhner-Beda, who was deported to the concentration camp at Buchenwald and murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. The play also – in a lively, serious yet humoristic way – focuses on how a school class deals with the subject of the Holocaust in today’s world.


During the award ceremony the audience was privy to two extracts from the play “Und ein Lied erklingt…”. A one-time complete performance will take place on June 27, 2013 in Baden (see flyer). The ceremony was embellished by interesting speeches, which we do not want to deprive you of. The hyperlinks to said speeches as well as the ceremony’s PowerPoint presentation can be found below.



Slides of the 6th Bigler award ceremony

Opening speech by Dr. phil. Revital Ludewig

Welcoming by Dr. iur. h.c. Margrith Bigler, award benefactor

Guest speech by Ruth Kempnich, teacher

Laudation by lic. phil. Guido Arnet, head of the school in Baden

Award presentation speech by Dr. iur. h.c. Margrith Bigler, award benefactor

Acceptance speech by Achim Lück, recipient and teacher at the secondary school "Unteres Furttal"

Press reports:

Tachles - Kopf der Woche und Nachrichtenhinweis.


The following photos shall allow you an insight into the festitives.

Margrith Bigler
Achim Lück
Guido Arnet, Margrith Bigler und Achim Lück
Ruth Kempnich
Margrith Bigler, Guido Arnet, Achim Lück und die Lehrpersonen mit der Schulklasse
Preisübergabe: Bettina Rave und Achim Lück
Margrith Bigler und Achim Lück

The last presentation of the 5th Bigler award took place in St. Gallen on April 5, 2012

Laureate: Lic. phil. Edward Schlegel

On April 5, 2012 the educator Edward Schlegel was presented the 5th Dr. Bigler award in a festive ceremony. Edward Schlegel was honored for his valuable contribution to Holocaust education, especially the organization of a block week for his students at the teacher’s college of St. Gallen. Said week is titled “Berlin – a global city in an area of tension between powers”. Each year, Schlegel visits historic places in Berlin with future high-school teachers, where the group deals with subjects ranging from National Socialism and the Holocaust to an education geared towards tolerance and democracy with Schlegel also organizing discussions with contemporary witnesses.


Press statements:

St. Galler Tagblatt - the article can be found here in PDF format.

St. Galler Nachrichten - the article can be found here in PDF format.

Tachles - the article can be found  here in PDF format.


Ramona Dellen, Edward Schlegel, Margrith Bigler, Erwin Beck und Ruth Kempnich (v.l.n.r.)
Margrith Bigler und Ursula Germann
Edward Schlegel und Margrith Bigler
Ruth Kempnich, Edward Schlegel und Ramona Dellen
Edward Schlegel
Markus Portenier und Simone Bachmann
Gastrede Ursula Germann
Erwin Beck
Preisübergabe: Margrith Bigler, Künstlerin Bettina Rave und Edward Schlegel

The fourth laureates: Beat Sidler and Prof. Dr. Kurt Messmer

On January 27, 2011 the pedagogues Beat Sidler and Prof. Dr. Kurt Messmer were presented the Bigler award in Zürich. They were both honored for their long-standing contribution to Holocaust education. For many years now Beat Sidler has organized a Holocaust remembrance day at his high school in Immensee. Prof. Dr. Kurt Messmer is a didactics expert of history on the college of education in Lucerne who, with the help of a team of authors, created two documentaries which are very valuable for Holocaust education.


Chor des Gymnasiums Immensee
Margrith Bigler und Revital Ludewig
Preisstifterin Margrith Bigler mit Künstlerin Bettina Rave
Gastredner Peter Gautschi
Preisträger Kurt Messmer und Beat Sidler

The third laureate: the Swiss Association of Survivors of the Holocaust (Kontaktstelle für Überlebende des Holocaust)

On January 27, 2010 the Association for Survivors of the Holocaust  was presented the third Dr. Bigler/Bergheimer award in Zurich. It was thereby being honored for its commitment to the liveliest form of Holocaust education: the telling of life stories shaped by the Holocaust during different events. Gabor Hirsch, founder and president of the association, accepted the award, Dr. Rolf Bloch was the ceremony’s guest speaker.

The artice can be found here in PDF format.

Mitglieder der Kontaktstelle
Mitglieder der Kontaktstelle
Eduard Kornfeld im Interview mit Remi Bütler
Esther Hörnlimann (Tamach)
Dr. Margrith Bigler bei der Preisübergabe an Gabor Hirsch, Präsident der Kontaktstelle
Judit und Eva Polgar

The second laureate: Nathalie Gelbart

On January 27, 2009 Nathalie Gelbart was presented the second Dr. Bigler/Bergheimer award. The laureate is a student who in 2006, as part of her high-school graduation thesis, wrote her grandfather’s biography. The thesis was published under the name “B 8326 – a Holocaust survivor”. Dr. Stefan Graber from Lucerne gave the laudation and Dr. François Wisard of the federal department of foreign affairs spoke about Holocaust education in Switzerland.

The first person to be awarded the Dr. Bigler / Bergheimer Prize is, like Dr. Bigler, a “child survivor” of the Holocaust from Germany who survived the War as an orphan and went on to make a valuable contribution to society. Dr. Nathan Durst, Israel, recently retired as Clinical Director of AMCHA, the national Israeli center for the psychosocial support of Holocaust Survivors and their Families. Nathan Durst was born in Berlin in 1930. His parents and two of his siblings were murdered in Auschwitz. He and an older sister survived in hiding in Holland. After World War II, Nathan Durst completed his schooling and studies in psychology in Holland before immigrating to Israel in 1971. When the absence of psychological and psychosocial services for the hundreds of thousands of survivors in Israel became apparent, Nathan Durst helped to found AMCHA in 1987, with which he continues to be involved.

Website: www.amcha.org