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Jewish Philosopher Wins Prize at Frankfurt Book Fair

German-born Jewish philosopher Hans Jonas was awarded the annual Peace Prize of the West German Book Trade Association Sunday at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

In presenting the prize to Jonas, Guenther Christiansen, a senior association representative, praised the 84-year-old Jonas for his “warnings about unbridled faith in the idea of modernity and his appeals for humanitarian responsibility.”

Jonas, in accepting the award, warned of the “threat of modern technology for peace in he world.” He urged the West to “limit the dangerous consequences of technology on future generations.”

Jonas fled Germany in 1933, going to Britain, for which he fought in World War II, and later Palestine, where he fought in the War of Independence. He has taught at the Hebrew University. His mother died in Auschwitz.

Since 1955, Jonas taught at prominent universities in the United States and Canada. He was chairman of the philosophy department at the New School for Social Research from 1957-73. He has written numerous books and philosophical works of a secular as well as a religious kind.

In 1977, Jonas received the peace prize of the Club of Rome. He now makes his home in New Rochelle, NY.

The Frankfurt Book Fair, which ended Sunday, is the largest in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Among the guests at the award ceremony Sunday was West German President Richard Von Weizsaecker.

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