Prussian Sea Trade Foundation

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The Prussian Sea Trade Foundation is a foundation that emerged in 1983 from the liquidation of the Prussian State Bank and is based in Berlin .

Its purpose is the promotion of scientific tasks, this includes in particular the promotion of the publication of excellent scientific work and the promotion - if necessary the award of a science award. The foundation program includes a. Scholarships for writers from Eastern Europe, support for research projects and book publications, purchase assistance for Berlin museums, as well as the annual award of the Berlin Theater Prize during the Berlin Theatertreffen ; The focus of the funding is the processing of Brandenburg-Prussian history. The foundation continues to award the Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Prize, the Berlin Literature Prize combined with the Heiner Müller Visiting Professorship at the Peter Szondi Institute of the Free University of Berlin and, since 1993, together with the Senate Department for Science, Research and Culture, the Rahel- Varnhagen von Ense Medal .


In 1772, Frederick II of Prussia initiated the establishment of the Prussian Societé de Commerce Maritime , in German called Maritime Trading Company, with its own fleet for the transport of trade . From the 1790s onwards, the trading company slowly developed into a state bank. At the same time it fulfilled the task of a semi-military Prussian state shipping company, whose ships carried the Prussian flag of war. In 1904 the name was changed to Royal Sea Trade (Prussian State Bank) , and in 1918 to the Prussian State Bank (Sea Trade) .

Since 1777, the sea trade was located in the former Domestikenhaus on Gendarmenmarkt , at the corner of Jägerstrasse . In 1901/03 the house was replaced by a new building (today the oldest building on the edge of the square), and in 1936/39 an additional building was added at Jägerstrasse 22/23. In 1946 the bank complex was handed over to the newly founded German Academy of Sciences , today it houses its successor institution, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW).

As a result of the dissolution of Prussia, the state bank became a so-called "dormant old bank" in 1947 and liquidated in 1983 . Most of the remaining assets were handed over to the Landesbank Berlin ; only a small part formed the basis of the Prussian Sea Trade Foundation. From the foundation's assets of 10.7 million euros, 400,000 euros are available for funding purposes.

Every year since 2005, the foundation has awarded the Berlin Literature Prize endowed with 30,000 euros . Previous winners include the Nobel Prize for Literature Herta Müller (2005), Durs Grünbein (2006), Ilija Trojanow 2007, Ulrich Peltzer (2008), Dea Loher (2009), Sibylle Lewitscharoff (2010), Thomas Lehr (2011) Rainald Goetz (2012) ), Lukas Bärfuss (2013), Hans Joachim Schädlich (2014), Olga Martynowa (2015) and Feridun Zaimoglu (2016).


  • Ute Bredemeyer, managing director; plus chairwoman of the board of the International Wilhelm Müller Society

See also


  • Johann Friedrich Meuss: The undertakings of the royal sea trading institute to bring up the Prussian trade at sea. A contribution to the history of maritime trade and the maritime system in Prussia in the first half of the 19th century , Berlin (Mittler) 1913.
  • Rita Klauscher (ed.): The sea trade, Prussian state bank: trade, traffic, industry, banking . Prussian Sea Trade Foundation, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-923579-03-9
  • Heinz Burmester: circumnavigation under the Prussian flag. The Royal Prussian Sea Trade and its Ships. Kabel, 1988, ISBN 3-8225-0062-3 .
  • Wolfgang Radtke: The Prussian maritime trade between state and economy in the early phase of industrialization (= individual publications of the Historical Commission in Berlin, vol. 30). Colloquium, Berlin 1981, ISBN 3-7678-0526-X .

Web links

Commons : Prussian Sea Trade Foundation  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerhard Wiechmann: The Prussian-German Navy in Latin America 1866-1914: a study of German gunboat policy . Oldenburg 2000, chap. 2, p. 23f. Univ. Diss., 473 S.,
  2. ^ Paul Kieschke : The new building of the Royal Sea Handling Association in Berlin . In: Journal of Construction . Volume 54 (1904), col. 377–392, plates 36–41. Digitized in the holdings of the Central and State Library Berlin .
  3.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. Singularly connected . In: FAZ , September 24, 2010, page 31
  5. Carsten Wette: Feridun Zaimoglu receives the Berlin Literature Prize from the Prussian Sea Trade Foundation. Freie Universität Berlin, press release from October 8, 2015 at the Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (, accessed on October 8, 2015.