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PM Sobotka decorates Brady with Kramář medal

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Prague, Oct 27 (CTK) – Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka presented the Karel Kramar Medal to Holocaust survivor of Czech origin Jiri Brady, 88, for his lifelong effort to defend human rights and freedoms and democratic principles in the Kramar villa, the seat of PMs, on Thursday.

This has been one in a row of decorations that Brady has received since information emerged that his name was deleted from the list of personalities to be awarded by President Milos Zeman on the national holiday, October 28, marking the 1918 establishment of Czechoslovakia,

Brady’s relative, Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), accused Zeman of having said he would bestow a state award, the Order of T.G. Masaryk, on Brady on October 28 if Herman refrained from meeting the Tibetan Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague. After Herman met him, the Presidential Office decided not to decorate Brady.

The Presidential Office has denied the allegation.

A number of politicians will not attend the award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, in reaction to the Brady case.

In the past days, Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) called the fact that Brady would not be awarded on the national holiday and the circumstances leading to it unfortunate. This is why he decided to bestow the Karel Kramar Medal on him.

The commemorative medal, bearing the name of first Czechoslovak PM Kramar (1918-19), is awarded by the prime minister for the effort to restore democracy and human rights and freedoms. It was established on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the creation of the first Czechoslovak government.

A number of institutions have awarded Brady since his arrival in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova gave him a symbolic key to the city on Wednesday when he also received the Prix Irene prize for his contribution to the reconciliation between people from the Irene group associating Charter 77 signatories, therapists who help surmount the Holocaust trauma and other people.

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, will honour Brady at a special gathering on Thursday.

During WWII, Brady was interned in Terezin (Theresienstadt) camp for Jews and in the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) Nazi extermination camp and he survived a death march. After the war, he emigrated to Canada, partly devoting his life to lecturing on the Holocaust and helping immigrants coming from Czechoslovakia.

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