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Jürgen Todenhöfer

Jürgen Todenhöfer is a German author, politician, a former judge, and journalist. He studied law and political science at the Universities of Munich, Paris, Bonn and Freiburg and received his doctorate in law from the University of Freiburg.

Todenhöfer became a judge in 1972 and was elected to the German parliament that same year. During his 18 years in politics he attracted as much public attention for his political activities as he did for his humanitarian endeavours. In 1975, he traveled to Chile and met with the then dictator Augosto Pinochet, paving the way for the release of 4,500 political prisoners. After his political career he joined one of Europe’s largest publishing companies, Hubert Burda Media.

In 2014 he became the first Western journalist to be granted access to territories controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (formerly referred to as ISIS), where he met with gun wielding child soldiers and interviewed ISIS fighters, prisoners, and members of the public caught up in the battle for Iraq and Syria.

Todenhöfer has published numerous best-selling books in Germany, sharing his conviction that peace should be achieved through negotiations only. He donates the royalties that he receives for his books and the larger part of his private wealth to humanitarian projects for children in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jerusalem, Syria, and the Congo.