Prime Minister of Denmark to Accept LBJ Moral Courage Award on April 21st
Houston, TX – Holocaust Museum Houston will salute the moral courage of The Kingdom of Denmark at its annual Lyndon B. Johnson Moral Courage Award dinner on April 21, 2004. The dinner and evening’s program will take place in the Ballroom of the Americas of the Hilton Americas-Houston. The event will honor the Danish people for their exceptional and brave efforts to save their Jewish countrymen from the Holocaust. Accepting the award on behalf of The Kingdom of Denmark will be His Excellency, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

More than 1200 people are expected to attend the event for a program that will include music by The Texas Young Virtuosos and a special tribute to the legacies of the Danish survivors and their rescuers entitled “Ripples of Hope.” The evening’s program will convey an inspiring message of hope from those who went on to create fruitful and fulfilling legacies, while poignantly acknowledging the loss of human potential stifled by the events of the Holocaust, never to be realized.

Three generations of the Warren family of Houston: Naomi Warren, Benjamin Warren, and Elyse Spector Kalmans chair this year’s dinner. Ron Stone will be the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

In honor of the program, the evening’s décor and menu will be elegantly inspired by the seaports of Denmark. Coinciding with the award dinner, a pictorial exhibit commemorating the rescue effort will be on display to the public at the Houston Galleria from April 15th through April 28.

Honorary Chairs of the event include President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, Governor and Mrs. Rick Perry, The Honorable George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush, The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, The Ambassador of Denmark, Ulrik A. and Dr. Birgitte Federspiel, The Honorable James A. Baker III and Mrs. Susan Baker, Mayor Bill White and Mrs. Andrea White, Senator Robert Dole, Senator Lloyd Bentsen Jr. and Mrs. B. A. Bentsen, Luci Baines Johnson, and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Chairman Fred Zeidman and Mrs. Kay Zeidman.

In October of 1943, as the Nazis began deporting Danish Jews, Denmark’s government and general population took part in a massive covert rescue effort and boatlift that delivered thousands of Jews to safe haven across the sound to the neutral country of Sweden, saving over 95 percent of the Jewish population of Denmark from the Nazis. People throughout Denmark, from King Christian X to university students and fishermen, lent their support and efforts to the rescue operation. Denmark’s courageous actions to save Jews from the Holocaust were extraordinary for the time in which they occurred and are a powerful illustration of moral courage today.

“As we observe the sixtieth anniversary of the heroic Danish boatlift, we feel it is appropriate to shine a light on these little-known heroes,” said Benjamin Warren. “This was a spontaneous act of courage by all levels of Danish society, and it is a prime example of taking action because it is simply the right thing to do.”

Holocaust Museum Houston created the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award in 1994 in cooperation with the Johnson family, and it remains the only award to which the family has lent his name.

In 1938, as a young congressman, Lyndon Johnson stretched the limits of his authority and risked his personal dreams to provide American sanctuary for threatened European Jews. It is because of these acts of moral courage that the Museum proudly named the award in his honor. The award recognizes either a single righteous act or a lifetime of morally courageous behavior. Previous honorees have included Secretary Colin Powell, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Senator Robert Dole and Steven Spielberg.

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline Street, Houston, TX 77004. Its Internet address is http://www.hmh.org.
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