Federal foundation to come to terms with the SED dictatorship

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Federal foundation to come to terms with the SED dictatorship
legal form Foundation under public law
purpose Processing of the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship
Seat Berlin
founding June 5, 1998

Board Rainer Eppelmann  (Chairman)
Ralph Jessen
Christine Lieberknecht
Gerd Poppe
Waltraud Schreiber
Manager Anna Kaminsky
Website www.bundesstiftung-aufteilung.de

The Federal Foundation for the Processing of the SED Dictatorship (Federal Foundation for Processing) is a federal foundation under public law with its seat in Berlin . The purpose of the foundation is to document the history and consequences of the SED - dictatorship in the GDR . The chairman of the board is Rainer Eppelmann .


The foundation was established on June 5, 1998 on the basis of the recommendations of the two Enquête commissionsWorking through the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship in Germany ” from 1992 and 1995. It advises and supports projects, archives, associations, scientists and educational institutions. Furthermore, it supports the counseling and care of victims of the SED dictatorship and publishes its own publications.


The highest body of the Federal Foundation is the Foundation Council , which is elected for a period of five years and includes 26 representatives from the parliamentary groups of the Bundestag , the Federal Government and the State of Berlin, as well as personalities who are particularly committed to the reappraisal. The Board of Trustees is headed by Markus Meckel as chairman and Hartmut Koschyk as his deputy. In addition, there is a voluntary executive board, which is elected by the board of trustees and whose chairman is the GDR civil rights activist Rainer Eppelmann. The board of directors is responsible for the decisions for the specific work of the foundation. Rainer Eppelmann , Bernd Faulenbach , Uwe-Bernd Lühr , Ehrhart Neubert and Gerd Poppe were members of the first foundation board . Rainer Eppelmann, Ralph Jessen , Christine Lieberknecht , Gerd Poppe and Waltraud Schreiber have been members of the 4th Foundation Board since 2015 .

The foundation is supported by specialist advisory boards, in which personalities from social processing, the archive landscape and science are represented. The foundation is subject to the legal supervision of the Federal Ministry of the Interior .

The switching point for the foundation's work is the office that works on behalf of the board and has been headed by Anna Kaminsky since 2001 . 25 employees work in the office.


The federal foundation for the processing of the SED dictatorship has the legal mandate to promote the comprehensive processing of the causes, history and consequences of the dictatorship in the Soviet occupation zone and GDR, to shape the all-German culture of remembrance in such a way as to accompany the process of German unity and to come to terms with To participate in dictatorships on an international scale. It is the declared aim of the Federal Foundation, together with other institutions and partners, to initiate a discussion of the communist dictatorships in Germany and Europe across society. The Federal Foundation wants to support this dispute in order to raise public awareness of the communist dictatorships in the Soviet Zone / GDR and in East Central Europe and to anchor their overcoming in the mostly peaceful revolutions of 1989 as outstanding events in the history of democracy, and thus contribute to to overcome the consequences of the division of Germany and Europe.

Fields of work

The foundation wants to stimulate projects in memorials, citizens' groups, independent archives, victim associations, federal states and municipalities, science and political education, in schools and other social groups, and support them financially and in terms of content. The Federal Foundation also produces information and publications. Panel discussions, workshops and conferences, interviews with contemporary witnesses, colloquia and further training are intended to encourage debates and provide food for thought that will advance the processing processes through knowledge transfer, communication and advice.

Since 1998, the Federal Foundation has supported around 2300 historical and political educational work, archive and documentation projects, exhibitions, documentary films as well as publications and projects of the associations of the victims of the SED dictatorship. Since 2001, the Federal Foundation has supported over 75 young researchers in its fellowship programs. The yearbook for historical communism research has been published by the foundation since 2004.

The Federal Foundation has a library and an archive with a documentation center that makes books, documents and other materials accessible, primarily on the opposition and resistance in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR, as well as political persecution and repression. A reading room is available to the public. In addition, the archives department of the Federal Foundation for Processing takes on advisory tasks, in particular for the archives of the GDR opposition. The press office provides information for journalists in its bi-monthly historical calendar service .

The foundation has been organizing the history fair in Suhl since 2008 .


The federal foundation to come to terms with the SED dictatorship received 75 million euros as endowment capital from the SED assets . In total, the foundation has assets of around 77 million euros. The budget of the Federal Foundation is financed from the interest income on the property and an annual subsidy from the budget of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media .


In 2009, the foundation announced the Aufbruch 1989 scholarship program , in which a total of 17 church, employer, union and party foundations were involved, including the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation , which is closely related to Die Linke . The cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation was rejected by Hubertus Knabe , member of the Scientific Advisory Board, but was approved by the majority of the foundation committees. After this difference of opinion became known, prominent civil rights activists and historians, among others, described this cooperation in an open letter as a violation of the foundation's legal mandate and called on it to immediately terminate the cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The signatories included civil rights activists and those persecuted by the SED dictatorship such as Bärbel Bohley and Werner Schulz, as well as writers such as Lutz Rathenow , Joachim Walther , Ralph Giordano and Erich Loest . They were supported by personalities like Lea Rosh or Michael Wolffsohn .

In an article in the weekly newspaper Der Freitag in 2016, GDR researcher Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk accused the German Federal Foundation for a monopoly of GDR and communism research, which was carried out “by a small group of non-academic history politicians and their professorial party friends”. He called for a free, scientific research on communism that was decoupled from the institutions for dealing with it, since the popular educational mandate to deal with it had "failed grandly".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 4. Foundation Board of Directors , Federal Foundation Reconstruction.
  2. Federal Foundation processing: Office - Dr. Anna Kaminsky. Last accessed on October 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Historical calendar service of the Federal Foundation for Work-Up. Retrieved January 5, 2013 .
  4. Sven Felix Kellerhoff: Hubertus Knabe and Rainer Eppelmann are arguing about the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is close to the PDS: Dispute among reworkers. In: Die Welt of June 30, 2007. Last accessed on January 7, 2014.
  5. “Stand against the glorification of the SED dictatorship!” (Open letter to the Foundation to Process the SED Dictatorship) (PDF file; 93 kB).
  6. ^ GDR reappraisal: dispute among SED victims. In: Focus online from July 3, 2007. Last accessed on January 7, 2014.
  7. PR-inside: SED victims criticize cooperation with Luxemburg Foundation ( memento of October 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  8. Anne Meyer-Gatermann: Excitement about "Aufbruch 89": Left Foundation should not support. ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Märkische Allgemeine from July 6, 2007. Last accessed on January 7, 2014.
  9. Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk : bread scholars, goodbye to processing. Why it is time for a different approach to the GDR past . In: Friday , 15/2016.