Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future"

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The Philip Johnson House at Friedrichstrasse  200 in Berlin-Mitte is the seat of the Foundation EVZ (here the back on Bethlehemkirchplatz , right on Mauerstrasse ; 2010)

The Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ) was established on August 2, 2000 to compensate former forced laborers of the Nazi regime and to promote international reconciliation projects. The German federal government and the foundation initiative of the German economy each provided half with a total of 10 billion D-Mark (5.2 billion euros ). Of this, 358 million euros were reserved as share capital for permanent funding. The Foundation EVZ uses the proceeds to support international projects with around 7.5 million euros annually. The payment of compensation to former slave laborers of the Nazi regime officially ended in 2007. The foundation has the legal form of a foundation under public law supported by the Federal Republic of Germany .


Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees decides on all fundamental questions that belong to the area of ​​responsibility of the Foundation EVZ, in particular on the establishment of the budget. It issues guidelines for the use of funds. The board of trustees of the Foundation EVZ is international. The 27 members are for four years u. a. Sent by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat, the German business community and the states and organizations involved in the international negotiations to establish the foundation. The former Federal Minister has been the chairman of the Board of Trustees since September 2019. D. Annette Schavan , her deputy is Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth . The chairman of the board of trustees and their deputy are appointed by the Federal Chancellor .


The board of trustees elects the foundation's board of directors for four years. The board of directors manages the ongoing business of the Foundation EVZ and implements the resolutions of the board of trustees. He is responsible for the appropriate and economical use of the foundation's funds and represents the foundation in and out of court. The board members of the foundation have been Dr. Andrea Despot (CEO) and Dr. Petra Follmar-Otto (board member).

Project funding

The Foundation EVZ was made available a share capital of 358 million euros for its permanent activities. Since then she has been committed to the survivors in memory of the victims of National Socialist injustice and advocates human rights and international understanding. The Foundation EVZ is thus an expression of the ongoing political and moral responsibility of the state, business and society for National Socialist injustice and towards its victims.

From the income from the foundation's capital of 511 million euros (as of December 31, 2016), around 7 million euros are available annually for primarily international projects in the following three areas:

  • Dealing with history: With this focus, the Nazi forced labor should be remembered permanently within Europe and the understanding for different historical images of Europe should be increased.
  • Action for human rights: This focus promotes international projects, for example on human rights education and against right-wing extremism.
  • Commitment to victims of National Socialism: With the help of this focus, projects are to be funded to honor the lives of Nazi victims.

Since the foundation was founded, 3,685 projects have been funded with 97.7 million euros, of which 323 projects with 9.05 million euros in 2016 (as of December 31, 2016). Among other things, the foundation supports the Europeans for Peace program , which promotes international school and youth projects between Germany, Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and Israel . The foundation is based in the Philip Johnson House at Friedrichstrasse 200 in Berlin-Mitte .

History, background and legal framework

After the end of the Second World War , there were no initiatives to regulate compensation for Nazi forced laborers . This did not change with the reunification . It was not until the end of the 1990s that the federal government, together with the German business foundation initiative, was ready to start negotiations. These negotiations culminated in an agreement between Germany and the US government. Furthermore, an “international agreement with the participation of Israel, Central and Eastern European countries, German business and the plaintiff's lawyers was signed”. Government and business had agreed to pay five billion D-Marks each into a foundation. With the “Law to Establish a Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” of August 2, 2000 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1263 ), a legal foundation under public law with its seat in Berlin was established a few days later .

A total of over 6,000 companies took part in the foundation initiative. The first 26 companies to give a name to participate in the foundation in 1999 were:

Payments to former Nazi slave laborers

In order to obtain benefits as a former slave laborer, i. H. In order to be able to receive compensation, he or she had to meet conditions that were stipulated in the laws: For example, the person concerned had to be in a concentration camp according to Section 42, Paragraph 2 BEG or in a ghetto or a similar detention center according to Section 11 Paragraph 1 Sentence 1 no. 1 EVZStiftG have been imprisoned in connection with forced labor (so-called category A) or have been deported from their home country to the German Reich or an area occupied by Germany in accordance with Section 11 (1) sentence 1 no.2 EVZStiftG and have been deported there under prison conditions , living conditions similar to detention or comparable particularly poor living conditions (Category B).

The amount of the payments was calculated on the basis of these two categories A and B and another category C, which in exceptional cases allowed payments to victims with other characteristics of suffering and mainly concerned slave labor in agriculture. According to this, those entitled to benefits received up to DM 15,000 (€ 7,669) as a one-off payment in category A and up to DM 5,000 (€ 2,556) for categories B and C. Applications had to be submitted by December 31, 2001, while the required documents and evidence could be submitted later. All application procedures had to be completed by September 30, 2006.

The following organizations were legally entitled to receive and process applications:

On June 15, 2001, payments to former forced laborers began. Of the 2,316,517 applications received and examined, 1,659,132 applications were approved and compensation was paid to the victims and their legal successors. With a total volume of EUR 4.529 billion, these services comprised the largest part of the total of EUR 5.580 billion available.

Of the 4.54 billion euros (including 0.17 billion euros for administrative costs of the partner organizations), the following amounts were paid out:

Around 20,000 former Soviet prisoners of war who had been victims of racist violence received a notice of rejection upon their application for compensation for forced laborers. This was justified with reference to Section 11 (3) of the EVZStiftG, which defines the beneficiaries: "Captivity does not constitute entitlement to benefits."

On June 12, 2007, the compensation payment was officially terminated.

Compensation payments were also made for personal injuries caused by medical experiments or placement in a home for children of forced laborers ( foreigners' children foster home ); In the latter case, both survivors who had to live in these homes as children at the time, as well as former forced laborers who had suffered the loss (death) of a child, namely as a result of the forcible removal and placement in the home, were included in the group of those entitled to compensation. Benefits for this were paid out to over 8,000 victims in the amount of up to 8,300 DM (4,240 euros) each.

54 million euros (including 2 million for administrative costs) were paid out to the above-mentioned partner organizations.

Compensation was also given for financial losses if German companies were significantly, directly and causally involved. For this purpose, 102.4 million euros (including 13 million in administrative costs) for around 15,781 recipients (of which 7,314 beneficiaries from Poland, 4,440 from the Czech Republic and 2,414 from Slovenia ) were paid out to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Payments to compensate for insurance claims

102 million euros were paid out for unpaid life insurance claims from the Nazi era.

Ceilings for humanitarian projects

The Jewish Claims Conference received a program worth 141 million euros for the worldwide financing and promotion of organizations and institutions that provide social services for Jewish victims of National Socialism. More than 230 projects in 20 countries, mainly in the USA, Israel and the CIS countries, were funded.

The International Organization for Migration received 12 million euros from the fund for the benefit of persecuted Sinti and Roma . Measuring the number of people in Roma communities in Eastern Europe who were entitled to compensation has been difficult, particularly because of social discrimination and rivalry between communities; this made the work of the IOM difficult. It was possible to identify 70,000 beneficiaries in 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

ICHEIC humanitarian fund

On October 16, 2002, the trilateral agreement between the Federal Foundation of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (German: International Commission for Insurance Claims from the Holocaust Period ) and the Association of the German Insurance Industry , in which the insurance companies participated with EUR 275 million, signed. The program thus created had a special status under the EVZStiftG. It concerned life insurance policies for victims of Nazi persecution, which the insurance companies had not paid out. As a rule, the applicants were Jews. The third humanitarian fund comprised 350 million euros. This funded several projects, including US $ 132 million for a Social Welfare Program of the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC), which was intended to finance home care for Jewish survivors of the Nazi dictatorship in need of care. 91,558 applications were submitted to ICHEIC. The GDV in Germany was able to provide services to 7,870 applications out of a total of 19,421. These applications related to 8,664 people and 11,399 policies in Germany. Of these, 46.6 percent of the applicants came from the USA and 23 percent from Israel.

Funds from the Federal Foundation

For administrative costs and for the provision of services for the partner organizations, 36 million euros were required and for lawyers and legal advisers 66 million euros.

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Board of Trustees. In: .
  2. Annette Schavan appointed as the new chairman of the Foundation EVZ. Retrieved September 19, 2019 .
  3. ^ Europeans for Peace
  4. ^ Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (Ed.): “10 Years Foundation EVZ”, Berlin 2010.
  5. EVZStiftG - law establishing a foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future"
  6. Background: The foundation initiative of the German economy , on from December 15, 1999.
  7. § 11 (3) EVZStiftG