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February 5, 2024

Campaign Stand Up. Speak Out. against hatred and extremism

Ambassador at Kiga event

U.S. Ambassador Amy Gutmann launched her campaign “Stand Up. Speak Out” against all forms of hatred and extremism on November 21, 2023 at an event with the Kreuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus (KIgA).

Ambassador Gutmann and Kiga Chair Derviş Hızarcı spoke to a group of over 100 Berlin based high-school age students to encourage civic action in the face of rising global hate. During the event, Ambassador Gutmann challenged the participants to create their own original content for social media highlighting their efforts to “Stand Up. Speak Out” against violence, extremism, and hatred and support democracy. We invite you to join them and create your own messages under #StandUpSpeakOut.

The idea came to the Ambassador during her September 8 virtual reality project with Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher, who traveled to Germany to share her journey of survival and perseverance with high school students from Potsdam at Meta’s Berlin offices.

Ambassador Gutmann continued her campaign across Germany to engage transatlantic youth to consider their role and power in democratic societies to combat intolerance and bias. It is part of an ongoing effort to empower youth and opinion leaders across Germany to address intolerant, racist, and prejudicial behavior and to understand the critical role inclusion and civic participation play in advanced democracies.

Examples include:

  • We commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Rosenstrasse protests. The legacy of the incredibly brave women of the Rosenstrasse echoes around the world and inspires us to action. Incredibly brave young Iranians – mostly women – continue to stand up and speak out for their most basic rights.
  • On October 8, the day after the horrific Hamas attacks on Israel, Ambassador Gutmann was out at the Brandenburg Gate alongside thousands of Germans. Her message that day and every day since is clear and simple: The United States will do everything we can to support the defense of Israel.
  • The November episode of our “UnterFreunden!” podcast focused on Standing Up and Speaking out against Antisemitism and all forms of hatred.
  • On January 12 – in honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s approaching birthday on January 15 – Ambassador Gutmann spoke with dozens more German high school students of various faiths and backgrounds at the Marienkirche, St. Mary’s Church – the very site from which Martin Luther King gave one of his two sermons in East Berlin.
  • On January 23, Ambassador Gutmann followed an invitation to speak at a packed auditorium of 170 high school students and educators at the Hannah-Arendt Gymnasium in Berlin’s Neukölln district.
  • On January 30, Ambassador Gutmann conducted a StandUpSpeakOut for Democracy engagement in Munich at the Pater Mayer Gymnasium, named for a key figure in the Catholic resistance to the Nazi regime. That same day she delivered the annual Weisse Rose Memorial Lecture at Ludwig Maximilian University.
  • Fighting the Surge in Global Antisemitism: A Conversation with Hillary Clinton & Deborah Lipstadt, Introduction by Ambassador Amy Gutmann. Munich, February 17, 2024