Otto von Bismarck Foundation

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Otto von Bismarck Foundation
(OvB Foundation)
legal form federal foundation
founding since 1996
founder German Bundestag
Seat Am Bahnhof 2, 21521 Friedrichsruh
purpose historical-critical appreciation of the statesman Otto von Bismarck and the preservation of his memory
Chair Rüdiger Kass
Managing directors Ulrich Lappenküper
people Rudolf Seiters (Board of Trustees), Joachim Scholtyseck (Scientific Advisory Board)
Seat of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation in the old Friedrichsruh train station

The Otto von Bismarck Foundation ( OvBSt ) is a federal foundation established in 1996 by a resolution of the German Bundestag with its headquarters in Friedrichsruh near Aumühle in the Lauenburg Sachsenwald . It is one of the six so-called political memorial foundations in Germany.


The purpose of the foundation is the historical-critical appreciation of the statesman Otto von Bismarck and the preservation of his memory.

One of the main tasks of the foundation is to make clear the after-effects of Otto von Bismarck's politics up to the present day, to convey knowledge of the eventful history of the Germans from the German Empire to the present day, to deepen people's historical awareness and thus to To contribute to an understanding of the development of Germany. In order to be able to fulfill these tasks, the foundation collects and stores the estate of Otto von Bismarck and his family and evaluates it for the interests of the general public in culture and science, education and politics. The foundation's scientific activities include the publication of a series of scientific books, the Friedrichsruher Contributions and the Neue Friedrichsruher Ausgabe (NFA), a new source edition of Bismarck's works.

In addition to the management, the foundation bodies include a board of directors (as of June 2015: Rüdiger Kass ( chair ), Gerold Letko , Dirk Hansen , Ulrich Lappenküper ), a board of trustees chaired by Rudolf Seiters and Hans-Ulrich Klose (deputies) and a scientific advisory board chaired by Joachim Scholtyseck and Holger Afflerbach (deputy). Norbert Brackmann is the chairman of the foundation's friends' association .

Michael Epkenhans headed the management from 1996 to 2009, and since then Ulrich Lappenküper . Since 2000, the foundation with library , archive and a permanent exhibition on German history of the 19th century in the former reception building of the Friedrichsruh train station has also been open to the public.

Supervision of Bismarck museums

Bismarck Museum Friedrichsruh

Bismarck Museum Friedrichsruh

The Bismarck Museum Friedrichsruh in the old country house, only a few hundred meters away , has been looked after by the foundation since 2009.

Bismarck Museum Schönhausen / Elbe

Bismarck Museum Schönhausen

The Otto von Bismarck Foundation has had a branch in Schönhausen / Elbe , the birthplace of Otto von Bismarck, since 2007 . The basis for this is a cooperation agreement signed on July 4, 2007 between the federal government, the state of Saxony-Anhalt , the district of Stendal and the community of Schönhausen. He entrusts the Otto von Bismarck Foundation with the museum and scientific supervision of the Bismarck Museum Schönhausen, which was established in 1998 with funding from the State of Saxony-Anhalt. The aim of the cooperation is to implement a multifaceted historical and political educational program on Otto von Bismarck and his time in Schönhausen. This includes seminars for students from domestic and foreign universities as well as lectures and exhibitions for an interested audience from the region. As in Friedrichsruh, in Schönhausen special attention is paid to offers for schoolchildren.

The ensemble of historical sites in Schönhausen offers one of the prerequisites for educational work at the extracurricular learning location in accordance with the requirements of the foundation mandate: The preserved and lavishly restored parts of Otto von Bismarck's birthplace, the Romanesque church in which he was baptized, and another preserved manor house ( "Castle II") from the possession of the von Bismarck family, as visible evidence of the past, make history clear. The objects presented in the museum form a second communication medium. Most of what can be seen in the exhibition comes from the holdings of the museum that was set up in Schönhauser "Schloss II" in 1891 and could be viewed there until 1948. Since 2000, the museum has also been showing the largest collection of publicly owned medals minted for the first German Chancellor. It was also acquired by the State of Saxony-Anhalt and is available on loan to the museum. Both collections give an impression of the contemporary cult around the statesman who was revered as the “founder of the empire” and are suitable as starting points for asking questions about German and European history.

With effect from November 10, 2016, the museum and scientific support of the museum was incorporated into the Foundation Act.


  • Michael Epkenhans : The Otto von Bismarck Foundation 1996–2000. (= Friedrichsruher contributions. Volume 10). Otto von Bismarck Foundation, Friedrichsruh 2000, ISBN 3-933418-09-7 .

Web links

Commons : Otto von Bismarck Foundation  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Otto von Bismarck Foundation: About us. Retrieved June 12, 2015 .
  2. Law of November 1, 2016 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2450 ).

Coordinates: 53 ° 31 ′ 40.9 ″  N , 10 ° 20 ′ 27.9 ″  E