Italian writer Claudio Magris received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, one of the most prestigious prizes for literature worldwide.
I’ve mentioned his fantastic book „Danube – A sentimental journey from the source to the Black Sea a few months ago.
In his acceptance speech Magris cautioned against a new populism and new boundaries in Europe which would create „democraties without democracy“. He also observed the sometimes invisible borders between natives and immigrants in the big European cities. „Europe awaits the big and difficult task to keep open towards the new cultures of the new Europeans from all over the world, which could enrich the continent’s diversity“.
He lamened the present weakness and disruption of Europe in addition to complacency and ignorance. “We cradle ourselves in the illusion that we live without war" because Europe's borders are now peaceful and largely open.
The Third War has already happened: about 20 million people dead. after 1945. „War is not only the the massacre in Biafra or 9/11 in New York. War is also murder by the Mafia or the trading with children’s organs.
Cladio Magris also critized the „curtailing of justice“ in his own country.
Here you can read his essay "The Fair of Tolerance" for which he received the Erasmus Prize in 2001.