During the period of the Third Reich (1933-1945), the tobacco company Reemtsma was one of the most important supporters of the NSDAP, the Nazi Party.[1] In 2002, the company has been acquired by the Imperial Tobacco Group (now Imperial Brands). Since 2007, Reemtsma grants an award endowed with 15,000 Euro for foreign correspondents to honor “exceptional accomplishments for freedom”. Every year, the award ceremony takes place in an exclusive hotel in Berlin. The event’s star turn are the prominent speakers, including the Egyptian diplomat Mohammed el-Baradei (2012), the British writer Salman Rushdie (2013), the US-American journalist Glenn Greenwald (2014) and the Argentinian lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo (2015). In the audience, numerous representatives from the press are joined by members of the German Parliament. The cigarette company’s managers regularly use their welcoming speeches to point out, that even in Germany liberty has to be defended every day anew – an allusion to any effort to strictly regulate the tobacco industry.

Further information:

Homepage Liberty Award

Protest against Liberty Award in Germany (2014)

Political Interference Sponsoring