The Nuclear-Free Future Award

for a world without nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and uranium ammunition

Founder: Franz Moll

Franz Moll Stifter

What drives me.

by Franz Moll

In the 1950s, when I was a student, I protested against the armament of West Germany's military with nuclear weapons. Back then, we distributed flyers from Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer. The Bavarian politician Franz-Josef Strauß was unable to realize his plans to obtain nuclear weapons, but the German government in Bonn did decide to pursue the civilian use of nuclear technology to produce electric power.

Over the years I became increasingly uncomfortable, partially due to the patent science fiction of a 'final nuclear waste depository,' but also owing to a host of so-called theoretical risks. Chernobyl was the final straw; I decided to act. I educated myself and researched all the important non-governmental organization (NGOs) in Munich. I did not find any that were exclusively focused on the atomic threat or that went beyond a regional resistance. Then, when I learned about the World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg, I contacted Claus Biegert. We developed the idea for an international prize, the Nuclear-Free Future Award. For this purpose, I founded the Franz-Moll Stiftung für die kommenden Generationen ("Franz Moll Foundation for the Coming Generations"). Here is an excerpt from our foundation's preamble:

For the sake of the coming generations, a paradigm shift in our way of thinking is urgently needed. We witness today:

  • The central motivations of science and technology are not to benefit humankind, but rather to grasp and manipulate the elemental powers at the very heart of nature's design – including over those that determine what it means to be human.
  • Through these new scientific impulses, which are expressions of our culture, human beings live more and more in precarious connection with the possiblity of ultimate annihilation.
  • We as human beings have lost the power over our range of powers as human beings (in the sense of Romano Guardini).

The foundation's central focus is to help us from our predicament. Our society must achieve the necessary paradigm shift – we must recalibrate the source of our vital awareness: whatever actions we perform today must be measured in terms of how they effect the well-being of the generations to come (in the sense of the Great Law of the Iroquois).

The foundation and the prizes it bestows are meant to help facilitate this necessary paradigm shift: we must win the power over our range of powers.

                                      English translation courtesy Stephanie B. Simmons