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Uwe Siemon-Netto Receives 2009 Friedrich Hecker Freedom Award

Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, director of The Center for Lutheran Theology and Public Life (CLTPL) and scholar-in-residence at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, recently received the 2009 Friedrich Hecker Freedom Award from the German American Heritage Society of Saint Louis. The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed greatly to the “promulgation of cooperation and understanding between Germany and the United States.”

Since 2007, Dr. Siemon-Netto has led “German Days at the Sem” each year at the Seminary. The two-day events cover important topics concerning German-U.S. relations. These annual conferences will lead up to the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. Last year’s topic, “German Days II: Faith and Politics in Luther’s Land—And Here” brought notable German officials and speakers to St. Louis. The topic for 2009 is “German Days III: Faith and the Arts.”

“This prestigious award came as a great and pleasant surprise to me, given that I arrived in St. Louis less than four years ago,” commented Siemon-Netto. “I am obviously very flattered and grateful to the German-American Heritage Society of Saint Louis. The cooperation and understanding between Germany and the United States—and breaking down clichés—have been among my important goals during my 50 years in international journalism. Living and working here has made me more fully aware of the huge German influence on the faith, culture, political, social, economic and military accomplishments, especially in the American Midwest. This is indeed something to be proud of.”

In his professional journalistic career, Siemon-Netto has covered such events as the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War as a foreign correspondent in both Europe and the United States. Born in Leipzig, Germany, he received the M.A. degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; the Ph.D. from Boston University; and the honorary D.Litt. degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

The CLPTL is affiliated with Concordia Seminary. Its goal is to explain Lutheran teachings, especially the doctrines of the two kingdoms and of vocation, to laity and clergy in conferences, lectures and publications.

For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7374;communications@csl.edu.