Society for the promotion of charitable activities

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Society house
Commemorative plaque for the founding of the company at Suhl's house in Große Petersgrube 27

The Society for the Promotion of Charitable Activities is Lübeck's oldest citizens' initiative . By decree of the Lübeck Senate of November 25, 1795, it was given legal capacity and thus the status of a legally competent association of old Lübeck law .


The "non-profit", as the society is consistently abbreviated today, was founded by the preacher at the Petrikirche and later lawyer Ludwig Suhl with his friends Christian Adolph Overbeck , Johann Julius Walbaum , Anton Diedrich Gütschow , Gottlieb Nicolaus Stolterfoth , Johann Friedrich Petersen (the Older) and Nikolaus Heinrich Brehmer on January 27, 1789 , initially as a literary society for scientific entertainment and mutual instruction . In 1791 the purpose of the company was expanded to include the non-profit aspect, and since 1793 it has had the name that has been retained to this day.

The society, which was democratically structured and supported by the bourgeoisie, and its community center (from 1826 in Breiten Strasse 33, since 1891 in Königstrasse 5 ) quickly became the focus of practical reform work in the spirit of the Enlightenment . The society contributed to the improvement of the conditions in many areas of life, from the rescue institution for those who had died in water, established in 1791 as one of the oldest institutions of the early European rescue service, to the teachers' seminar. Through the Neue Lübeckische Blätter, which was already close to the company at that time , it was connected to the Jung-Lübeck renewal movement in Vormärz.

The non-profit organization was the sponsor of the Sparkasse zu Lübeck and until 1934 also the Lübeck museums, which then became state (from 1937 municipal) sponsorship. In 1938 the Colosseum concert, theater and event hall in Kronsford Allee was transferred to her.

In 1933, the radical alignment of the society brought about the break with its liberal-democratic tradition, which had been supported by the board of directors: the leader principle was introduced as early as July , and in October the society adopted new statutes based on National Socialism ; Jewish members like Moritz Neumark were urged to leave or excluded. The subsidiaries were reshaped and realigned in the National Socialist sense, see z. B. the Emanuel Geibel Society . In autumn 1945 there was a new democratic beginning under the direction of the lawyer Adolf Ihde, who had been director of the company from 1927 to 1930.

Already on the 100th anniversary in 1889, the Lübeck Society received the highest award, the Bene Merenti commemorative coin . Until 2018, it was the only legal person (legal association) to receive this award. In 2019 the Possehl Foundation received this award - also on the occasion of its centenary. Eight directors of the company have also been honored with the coin to date.


In order to fulfill its statutory duties, the society maintains numerous facilities, such as the "Lübecker Mütterschule Family Education Center", the " Lübecker Knabenkantorei ", the "Lübeck Music School", a library, etc. In addition, institutions whose goals are related to those of society can open Application to obtain subsidiary status. These include, for example, the Geographical Society of Lübeck , the Archaeological Society and the neighboring Overbeck Society, located in the community gardens . The subsidiaries are supported by the “non-profit organization” in pursuing their goals. In addition, the company manages numerous dependent foundations for citizens of Lübeck.

The “non-profit organization” with its more than 1,800 members enjoys a high reputation in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck across all social boundaries. The following institutions are affiliated with it as subsidiaries:

Directors of the company

Name and dates of life Term of office Council line no. Special features and comments Illustration
Ludwig Suhl
1789-1790 Founder; Archdeacon at the St. Petrikirche , in his house in the Große Petersgrube 27 the founding meeting took place (today part of the music college )
Suhl 001.jpg
Christian Adolph Overbeck
1791 949 High court procurator, later mayor of Lübeck
Christian Adolf Overbeck.jpg
Adolph Friedrich Dehns
1792 Senate Secretary; Son of the preacher at St. Aegidien Johann Balthasar Dehns , council secretary since 1769.
** Ludwig Suhl 1793 now: Assessor of the cathedral chapter
** Christian Adolph Overbeck 1794-1797 949 now: Second Syndic of the Cathedral Chapter
Gottlieb Nicolaus Stolterfoht
1798-1801 Preacher at the church of the castle monastery , at the same time, according to the Lübeck address book in 1798, also preacher at the Holy Spirit Hospital and at the smallpox house.
Anton Diedrich Gütschow
1802-1803 Syndicus of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Anton Diedrich Gütschow.jpg
*** Ludwig Suhl 1804-1808 now: titular assessor
Johann Friedrich Petersen
1808-1814 Preacher at the cathedral. First owner of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1835).
Nikolaus Heinrich Brehmer
1814-1818 Dr. med., general practitioner, father of the senator and mayor Heinrich Brehmer
WP Nicolaus Heinrich Brehmer.jpg
**** Ludwig Suhl († 1819) 1818-1819 last: Dr. jur., lawyer, titular assessor
** Nicolaus Heinrich Brehmer 1819-1821 Dr. med., general practitioner
WP Nicolaus Heinrich Brehmer.jpg
Bernhard Heinrich von der Hude
1821-1825 Pastor at the Marienkirche
Johann Friedrich Hach
1825-1830 955 Higher Appeal Judge , owner of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1850)
Johann Friedrich Hach.jpg
Christian Gerhard Overbeck
1830-1833 Higher appeal judge, member of the national liberal renewal movement called Jung-Lübeck
Christian Gerhard Overbeck.jpg
** Johann Friedrich Hach 1833-1836 Higher Appeal Judge
** Christian Gerhard Overbeck 1836-1839 Higher Appeal Judge
Heinrich von der Hude
1839-1842 Procurator at the Higher Appeal Court , the Regional Court and Lower Court Procurator , in 1844 third councilor and in 1852 senator
Friedrich Boldemann
1842-1845 Underwriter, skipper and member of the citizenry
Johann Heinrich Behn
1845-1848 Betting January
Johannes Classen
1848-1851 Professor at the Katharineum
Johannes Classen.jpg
Hermann Wilhelm Hach
1851-1854 992 Senator, son of Senator Johann Friedrich Hach .
WP Hermann Wilhelm Hach.jpg
Georg Friedrich Ludwig Oppenheimer
1854-1856 Higher Appeal Judge a. D.
WP Georg Oppenheimer.jpg
Marcus Jochim Carl Klug
1856-1859 Pastor to St. Jakobi
WP Karl Martin Joachim Klug.jpg
Friedrich Wilhelm Mantels
1859-1862 Professor at the Katharineum, formerly a member of the national liberal renewal movement known as Jung-Lübeck
WP Wilhelm Mantels.jpg
Wilhelm von Bippen (medic)
(† 1865)
1862-1865 General Practitioner
HL Damals - Bippen.jpg
Heinrich Gustav Plitt
1865-1868 1002 Director of the lower court, senator from 1868
WP Heinrich Gustav Plitt.jpg
Wilhelm Brehmer
1868-1871 1005 Advocate, Senator from 1870, holder of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1901)
WP Wilhelm Brehmer 2.jpg
Carl Alexander von Duhn
1871-1874 Member of the Supreme Court, previously a member of the national liberal renewal movement called Jung-Lübeck
Adolph Hach
1874-1877 Actuary of the police office
August Sartori
1877-1889 Senior teacher at the Katharineum, professor there in 1880
Heinrich Klug
1886-1889 1012 Senator, holder of the three highest awards in Lübeck (Society (1893), Chamber of Commerce and Senate (1904))
WP Heinr Klug.jpg
Johann Georg Eschenburg
1883-1886 1017 Senate Secretary, Senator from 1885, holder of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1910)
WP Eschenburg 1905.jpg
** Heinrich Klug 1886-1889 1012 senator
Ernst Christian Johannes Schön
1889-1892 1022 First prosecutor
WP Ernst Christian Johannes Schön.jpg
Adolf Brehmer
1892-1895 Lawyer
Emil Ferdinand Fehling
1895-1898 1023 Lawyer, Senator from 1896, holder of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1917)
HL Back then - EF Fehling.JPG
Johannes Daniel Benda
1898-1901 Judge at the Lübeck Regional Court , first public prosecutor from 1901, holder of the Bene Merenti commemorative coin (1919)
Ernst Julius Ludwig Müller
1901-1904 Director of the Johanneum
** Ernst Christian Johannes Schön 1904-1907 1022 now: Senator
Johann Martin Andreas Neumann
1907-1910 1029 senator
Johann Martin Andreas Neumann.jpg
Carl Dimpker
1910-1913 1037 Consul, acting spokesman in the citizenry and President of the Chamber of Commerce
WP Carl Dimpker.jpg
Christian Reuter
1913-1915 Director of the Katharineum
HL Then - Dr Christian Reuter.jpg
Cay Diedrich Lienau
1915-1918 1034 senator
HL Back then - Sen Lienau.jpg
Johannes Evers
1918-1921 Chief Pastor to St. Marien
HL then - Evers.jpg
Hermann Stodte
1921-1924 Senior Director of Studies of the Johanneum
Rudolf Keibel
1924-1927 First in-house counsel of the Chamber of Commerce, member of parliament and deputy spokesman for the Lübeck citizenship
Rudolf Keibel.jpg
Adolf Ihde 1927-1930 Lawyer and Notary
Adolf Ihde by Emil Stumpp 1931.jpg
Karl Utermarck
1930-1933 District Court President
Hans Sellschopp
1933-1938 Businessman and National Socialist cultural functionary, head of the foreign office of the Reichsmusikkammer and in 1973 as Companion of the Order of the Cross of Nails one of the symbolic figures of reconciliation in Coventry .
Otto Bernhard Clausen
1939-1945 District leader of the NSDAP
** Adolf Ihde
1945-1949 Lawyer and Notary
Wilhelm Kusche
(† 1951)
1949-1951 Head of Studies of the Oberschule zum Dom
Rolf Sander
1952-1958 District Judge
Gerhard Gaul
1958-1961 Lawyer and Notary. Holder of the commemorative coin Bene Merenti (1982)
Old and new Minister of Justice (Kiel 41.396) (cropped) - Gerhard Gaul.jpg
Gerhard Schneider
1961-1964 senator
** Rolf Sander
1964-1966 Judge at the Lübeck Regional Court
Werner Dalstein 1967-1969 Construction director
Julius Edelhoff 1970-1972 Senior Medical Director
Gerhard Lund 1973-1975 Lawyer and Notary
Christoph Deecke 1976-1988 architect
Boto Kusserow 1979-1984 Lawyer and Notary
** Christoph Deecke
1985 architect
Hans-Helmke Goosmann (* 1927) 1991-1996 architect
Renate Menken 1997-2002 pharmacist
Helmut Wischmeyer (1935–2019) 2003-2005 Apartment-Construction-Kfm.
Antje Peters-Hirt 2006-2011 Germanist, businesswoman
Titus Jochen Heldt (* 1969) 2012-2017 Lawyer
Angelika Richter since 2018 Rechtspflegerin, former branch manager of the Lübeck district court

Note on the table: The term of office is three years, immediately subsequent further terms of office are not marked separately in the table, they result from the time. Further periods of office after the caesura by another incumbent are marked by the number of asterisks in front of them, i.e. ** for a second further period (originally to make it clear that a portrait does not have to be inserted again).

Honorary members

According to its statutes, the society has appointed a total of 27 honorary members. Honorary membership has not been envisaged since 1961. Honorary members became (still incomplete; year of honorary membership in brackets):

Commemorative coin

As a special honor, the society has been awarding its gold and silver medal since 1832 . The bronze version was only awarded in the first few years after the award was established and then discontinued.


  • Ludwig Heller : History of the Lübeck Society for the Promotion of Charitable Activities. Rohden, Lübeck 1837, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 12-bsb10019443-5
  • Friedrich Bruns : The Lübeck syndicists and council secretaries until the constitutional amendment of 1851 . In: ZVLGA , Volume 29 (1938), pp. 91-168.
  • Hermann Stodte : Festschrift for the 150th anniversary of the Society for the Promotion of Charitable Activities in Lübeck, founded in 1789. Lübeck in 1939.
  • Georg Behrens: 175 years of charitable work . Lübeck 1964
  • Ahasver von Brandt : The Lübeck bourgeoisie at the time of the foundation of the "non-profit" - people, ideas and social conditions. In: Der Wagen , 1966, pp. 18–33.
  • Emil Ferdinand Fehling : Lübeck Council Line . Lübeck 1925.
  • 200 years society for the promotion of non-profit activities in Lübeck 1789-1989 . Head of the Society, Lübeck 1989.
  • Rüdiger Kurowski: Medical lectures in the Lübeck Society for the Promotion of Charitable Activities 1789-1839: a patriotic society during the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Schmidt-Römhild, Lübeck 1995 ISBN 3-7950-0463-2
  • Ideas for Lübeck - move, promote, shape - 225 years of the non-profit organization . Head of the Society, Lübeck 2014. ISBN 978-3-00-045212-3 .

Web links

Commons : Society for the promotion of non-profit activities  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. § 1 of the statutes of the charitable; see also Lübisches law . The modern association law was only introduced in Germany in 1900 with the BGB.
  2. ^ M. Strätling, A. Schneeweiß, Peter Schmucker: Medical University of Lübeck: Clinic for Anesthesiology. In: Jürgen Schüttler (Ed.): 50 Years of the German Society for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine: Tradition and Innovation. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 2003, ISBN 3-540-00057-7 , pp. 479-486, here: p. 479.
  3. On the history since 1896: Georg Behrens: 175 years of charitable work . Lübeck 1964, pp. 124-126
  4. ^ Since October 1919 Franz von Hoeßlin was the conductor at the concerts of the association
  5. 175 years legal welfare eV Lübeck - Resohilfe , in: Lübeckische Blätter 181 (2016), issue 13 ( digitized ), pp. 222-225
  6. ^ New Nekrolog der Deutschen , 6, 1828, p. 364