Goethe Medal

The Goethe Medal is an award that is given annually since 1955 by the Goethe Institute for Services to the cultivation of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural cooperation. It applies since 1975 as an official Order of the Federal Republic of Germany. The medal is in accordance with Article 2 of the Statute for the award of the Goethe Medal ( cf. Federal Law Gazette I p 522, 523 ) usually for " special scientific or literary, didactic, organizational services that mediate between German culture or the culture the partner countries benefit " conferred. It is awarded only in exceptional cases Germans. The day of the ceremony is (since 2008) is the birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on August 28.

Award winners


  • S. Mahmoud Hosseini Zad, Iranian writer and translator
  • Naveen Kishore, Indian publishers and artists
  • Petros Markaris, Greek author and president of the National Book Centre of Greece


  • Bolat Atabayev, Kazakh, theater director and human rights activists
  • Dževad Karahasan Bosnian writer, playwright, essayist and literary critic
  • Irena Veisaitė, Lithuanian theater scholar



  • Ágnes Heller, Hungarian philosopher
  • Fuad Rifka, Lebanese translator, poet and philosopher
  • John Spalek, American and German studies exile researchers


  • Lars Gustafsson, Swedish writer and philosopher
  • Victor Scoradet, Romanian theater critic and translator
  • Sverre Dahl, Norwegian translator


  • Gholam Dastgir Behbud, Afghan Germanist
  • Bernard Sobel, French theater director
  • John E. Woods, American translator


  • Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli pianist and conductor
  • Dezso Tandori, Hungarian writer and translator
  • Min'Gi Kim, South Korean theater director, film director and songwriter


  • Vera San Payo de Lemos
  • Givi Margwelaschwili
  • Said


  • Samuel Assefa
  • Ruth Smarter
  • Dmytro Volodymyrovych Satonsky
  • Yōko Tawada
  • Simone Young


  • Mohan Agashe
  • Imre Kertész
  • Paul Michael Lützeler
  • Anatoly A. Mikhailov
  • Sérgio Paulo Rouanet


  • Lenka Reinerová
  • Jorge Semprún


  • W. Michael Blumenthal
  • Georges- Arthur Goldschmidt
  • Francisek Grucza
  • Touradj Rahnema
  • Antonio Skarmeta




  • Michel Battalion, theater makers
  • Dani Karavan, painters, sculptors, installation artists
  • Leoluca Orlando, legal scholars and politicians
  • Jiří Gruša, writer, poet and diplomat
  • Andrei Pleşu, theologian and politician


  • Ralf Dahrendorf, a publicist, and scientist
  • Sudhir Karar, psychoanalyst and author
  • Takashi Oshio, Professor of German Studies, Chuo University, Tokyo
  • Joao Barrento, essayist, translator and literary critic
  • Claire Kramsch, Professor of German Studies, University of Berkeley


  • Gian Enrico Rusconi, a political scientist
  • Rolf Liebermann, composer and author
  • Nam June Paik, video artist and composer
  • Sebastian K. Bemile, linguist, translator and specialist in German
  • Miguel Sáenz de Sagaseta Ilúrdoz, author and translator


  • Suzanne Pagé, art historian
  • Philip Brady, head of Germanistisches Fakultär, University of London
  • Naoji Kimura, Professor of German Studies, Sophia University, Tokyo
  • Ioanna Kuçuradi, philosopher
  • January horseradish, historian


  • Ada Brodsky, author and translator
  • Laila Naim, author and philosopher
  • José Maria Perez Gay, writer and translator
  • Naum Klejman, film historian
  • Isang Yun, composer
  • Hermann Walther von der Dunk, historian


  • Paolo Chiarini, Professor of German Studies, University of Rome La Sapienza
  • István Szabó, Film Director
  • Graciela Paraskevaidis, composer
  • Billy Wilder, Film Director
  • Per Øhrgaard, Professor of German Philology, University of Copenhagen


  • Adam Krzeminski, German scholar and publicist
  • José Maria Carandell, essayist and writer
  • Michel Tournier, writer
  • Patrice Chéreau, theater and film director


  • Hugo Rokyta, literary historians and conservation
  • Sir Karl Raimund Popper, philosopher and philosopher of science
  • Elisabeth Augustin, writer


  • Hans Sahl, writer, translator and journalist
  • Leslie Bodi, head of the German Department, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Panagiotis Kondylis, publisher
  • Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, sculptor
  • Jan Hoet, curator, artistic director of Documenta IX


  • Eda Sagarra, director of the Institute for German Studies, Trinity College Dublin
  • György Ligeti, composer
  • Hilde Spiel, writer, translator and journalist
  • Hubert Orlowski, Professor of German, University of Poznan
  • Thomas Messer, art historian

Previous winners (selection)