Awards and Honors

1945

Welti Foundation Prize for Drama

In 1945 the Welti Foundation awarded its Prize for Drama to Max Frisch's dramatic debut "Santa Cruz". The award, which carried 3'000 Swiss francs in prize money, was already presented to the author by the City of Berne's Department of Finance in the Swiss capital before the play had actually opened (at the Schauspielhaus Zurich on 7 March 1946).

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Fig.:Welti Foundation Prize for Drama

1955

Schleussner Schüller Prize from the Hessischer Rundfunk

Max Frisch also benefited from his career as an architect from a literary perspective. In 1954 he wrote an audio feature with the radio play "Der Laie und die Architektur" on behalf of the Hessischer Rundfunk, for which the broadcasting centre awarded him the Schleussner Schüller Prize and 3'000 deutschmarks in prize money.
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Wilhelm Raabe Prize

In 1955 Max Frisch was awarded the Wilhelm Raabe Prize by the City of Brunswick. According to the rules, the winning piece had to have a relationship to the present and be on a par with the work of its namesake Wilhelm Raabe. The judging panel felt that Frisch's novel "I'm Not Stiller" more than met these criteria.

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Fig. Press clipping to the Schleussner Schüller Prize

 

Fig. Press clipping to the Wilhelm Raabe Prize

1958

Georg Büchner Prize

In 1958 Max Frisch became the first foreign author to win the Georg Büchner Prize (prize money: 5'000 deutschmarks), which was presented to him in Büchner's birthplace, Darmstadt. The judging panel from the German Academy for Language and Poetry felt that Frisch was an author who "roots out the tension in the people of our time and, in the search for new, valid values, portrays its significance with artistic truthfulness."

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City of Zurich Literature Prize

In 1958 Max Frisch won the City of Zurich Literature Prize and 8'000 Swiss francs in prize money. The certificate that his home town presented him stated that his work constituted a "critique and self-criticism of modern existence".

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Prix de Charles Veillon

In 1958 Max Frisch won Switzerland's biggest literature prize, the Prix Charles Veillon, for his novels "Homo Faber" and "I'm Not Stiller". The accolade, which was awarded to a German, Italian or French-speaking author, carried 5'000 Swiss francs in prize money and was presented in Lugano by the Charles Veillon Foundation.

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Fig. Speech to the Georg Büchner Prize

 

Fig. Programm of the Literatur prize of the City of Zurich

 

Fig. Press clipping to the Prix de Charles Veillon

 

1962

Honorary doctorate from the University of Marburg

Max Frisch received one of four honorary doctorates from the Philosophy Department at the University of Marburg in 1962. He was given the title of Dr.h.c. because his work fought against shaping life according to delusions. In his responsibly minded writing, Frisch unmasked the "demonic nature of the totalitarian as a peril."

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North Rhine-Westphalia Grosser Kulturpreis

In 1962 Max Frisch was awarded the Grosser Kulturpreis by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which carried 10'000 deutschmarks in prize money. Minister-President Franz Meyers presented him with the certificate in the state capital Dusseldorf.

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Preis der jungen Generation

In 1962 the newspaper "Die Welt" (Berlin) awarded its inaugural Preis der jungen Generation (Young Generation Prize) to Max Frisch for his play "Andorra" and publicist Professor Hans Walter Bähr for the document collection he published, "Die Stimme des Menschen". The judges deemed both works especially valuable to the younger generation, even though they were not explicitly books for the young.

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Fig. Honorary doctorate from the University of Marburg

 

Fig. Award to the North Rhine Westphalia Kulturpreis

 

Abb.: Document to the Preis der jungen Generation

1965

Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society

In 1965 Max Frisch received the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, along with 2'000 US-Dollars in prize money. The award is still presented every two years at the International Book Fair in Jerusalem to this day and is Israel's only international book prize.
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Baden-Württemberg Schiller Memorial Prize

As well as the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, Max Frisch also was presented with the Schiller Memorial Prize from the German state of Baden-Württemberg in 1965. The prize was founded in 1955 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Friedrich Schiller's death and carried 15'000 deutschmarks in prize money the year Frisch won.

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Fig. Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of Man

 

Fig. Baden-Württemberg Schiller Memorial Prize

1974

Grand Prize of the Swiss Schiller Foundation

In 1965, Max Frisch won the Schiller Memorial Prize of the German State of Baden-Württemberg. On 12 January 1974, the Swiss Schiller Foundation followed suit, awarding Frisch its Grand Prize along with prize money of 20'000 Swiss francs. The certificate was presented by the Foundation's interim president at the time, Paul Kamer.
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Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters

In 1974 Max Frisch was accepted as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. The two sister organisations founded in New York in 1899 have set themselves the goal of promoting interest in literature, the fine arts and music by presenting prizes and awards.
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Fig. Grand Prize of the Swiss Schiller Foundation

 

Fig. Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts

1976

Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

In 1976 Max Frisch was awarded the peace prize by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association in Frankfurt am Main. In the certificate Frisch was cast as the sworn enemy of collective constraints and self-satisfaction who saw his art as an instrument of admonition and protest for the rights of the individual.

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Fig. Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

1980

Honorary doctorate from Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson

In 1980 Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson in the American state of New York made Max Frisch an honorary Doctor of Letters, a title he had earned because of his works, which constituted powerful portrayals of the crisis of modern man. As the certificate stated, Frisch was a passionate master of individual freedom and, as such, led humankind on the path towards a possible authentic existence in a world that still was not free.

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Fig. Honorary doctorate from Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson

1982

Honorary doctorate from the City University of New York

In 1982 Max Frisch was given his third honorary doctorate. It was awarded to him by the Graduate School and University Centre of the City University of New York. In the honorary certificate presented to him, the reason given for this honour was, amongst other things, Frisch's social commitment as a writer, "You exemplify for us the artist as a citizen of the world", stressed the University.

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Fig. Honorary doctorate from the City University of New York

1984

Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters

In 1984 Max Frisch was elected a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). This reputed award has been presented since 1957 by the French Ministry of Culture to individuals "who have distinguished themselves through their work in the field of art or literature or have contributed to the spread of culture and literature in France and beyond".
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Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language Association

Following his nomination as an Honorary Doctor at the City University of New York in 1982, Max Frisch was elected an Honorary Member of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) two years later.

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Fig. Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

 

Fig. Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language Association

1985

Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature

In 1985 Max Frisch was presented with the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) in Chicago. The award that comes with 16'000 US-Dollars prize money is still presented today to several individuals every year who have made outstanding contributions in their respective areas.
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Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

In 1985 Max Frisch was elected as a Foreign Honorary Member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This organisation was founded in 1780 during the American Civil War and is one of the oldest scholarly societies in the country.
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Fig. Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature

 

Fig. Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1986

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature

Max Frisch was the first German-speaking writer to be awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature by the University of Oklahoma and the literary journal "World Literature Today" in 1986. The prize that comes with 25'000 US-Dollars is the only US-American literature prize to be awarded internationally.
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Fig. Neustadt International Prize for Literature

1987

Honorary Doctorate of the Technical University Berlin

In 1987 Max Frisch was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Technical University Berlin. In the award certificate the University paid tribute to the example set by the writer in research seeking to counter the force of habit and seek out visionary paths for the future.
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Fig. honorary Doctorate of the Technical University Berlin

1989

Heinrich Heine Prize of the city of Dusseldorf

On 13 December 1989, the 192th birthday of Heinrich Heine, his native town of Dusseldorf presented Max Frisch with the Heinrich Heine Prize that came with 25'000 deutschmarks. Frisch was one of the most important living authors whose work was imbued with the idea of peace and the spirit of enlightenment. These were the reasons given by the Dusseldorf city fathers for their choice.
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Fig. Heinrich Heine Prize of the city of Dusseldorf