Günter Wallraff delivered a passionate and empathetic eulogy on the touching poems of the young poets. He also took the opportunity to criticize the German government and its policies towards war refugees. Wallraff stated that Germany was not suffering from a 'refugee crisis' but rather from a 'crisis of humanity,' recalling the summer of 2015 when many Germans welcomed refugees, these welcoming and liberal citizen still hold the majority but were displaced shortly afterward by xenophobic and right-wing populist forces. The author praised the promising talents of the awardees—'Your poetry opens the hearts of people,' quoting Wallraff's appeal: 'Let's ensure a better future together with those seeking refuge with us.' The Mayor of the city of Wuppertal, Andreas Mucke, read the poems in German. - West Deutsche Zeitung

In the jury's decision they write: 'The texts are poignant, surprisingly mature lyrical descriptions of the destinys of the 14 to 18-year-old youths, documenting the story of their flight. The poetic signs of life also reminded us of German exiles such as Else Lasker-Schüler and her works.' - Deutschland Funk Kultur