Public Law Foundation (Germany)

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The Pergamon Museum is (also) part of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation through the Staatliche Museen Berlin

In addition to corporations under public law and institutions under public law, foundations under public law in Germany constitute a type of organization of legal entities under public law . There are also foundations under private law .


While the demarcation from the corporation is characterized by the lack of members of a foundation, the demarcation from the establishment is controversial in the legal literature. In part, the foundation under public law is classified as a subcategory of the establishment under public law.

Public law foundations are established by the state by law or ordinance , in rare cases also by simple cabinet resolution. The foundation law of the German Civil Code does not apply to them. The state foundation laws of Baden-Württemberg , Bavaria , Hesse , Rhineland-Palatinate , Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia also apply to public law foundations. Otherwise, their legal relationships are based on their establishment act and their statutes under public law .

Public-law foundations have recently been set up without significant foundation assets, for example the Hamburg museum foundations or the numerous Berlin cultural foundations for museums , libraries , memorials and opera houses , e.g. B. the Berlin Philharmonic . In some federal states, universities have been transferred to public law foundations ( foundation universities ).

These foundations often only have tangible assets (real estate, works of art, media holdings, authentic properties) that do not generate any income such as interest , rents or leases (private-law foundations with comparable assets have little prospect of recognition). They therefore remain permanently dependent on government grants (so-called grant foundations). Since the budget has to be decided annually by parliament, there is no livelihood security for many public law foundations. Public law foundations can also be repealed at any time by law or ordinance.

List of federal foundations

The list contains foundations under public law that are set up by the federal government, at least partially supported or substantially financially supported.

Surname Foundation purpose Founder / sponsor Establishment date Seat
Federal Foundation Mother and Child Help for pregnant women in financial distress Federation July 15, 1984 Bonn
Federal foundation to come to terms with the SED dictatorship Processing of the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship Federation 0June 5, 1998 Berlin
Contergan foundation for disabled people Provide, promote and provide assistance to disabled people due to Contergan Federation Oct 31, 1972 Cologne
German foundation for engagement and honorary office Strengthening and promoting civic engagement and voluntary work Federation 26th Mar 2020 Neustrelitz
Fund to finance nuclear waste management Financing of the costs for the safe disposal of the radioactive waste that has arisen and will still arise in the future from the commercial use of nuclear energy for the generation of electricity in Germany Federation June 16, 2017 Berlin
Classic Foundation Weimar Maintenance, scientific research and communication of culture Federal Government (BKM) , State of Thuringia , City of Weimar 0Jan. 1, 2003 Weimar
Federal Cultural Foundation Cultural promotion Federation 21 Mar 2002 Halle (Saale)
Max Weber Foundation Promotion of research in the history, cultural, economic and social sciences in selected countries and the mutual understanding between Germany and these countries Federation Jun 20, 2002 Bonn
Berlin Wall Foundation Communicate the history of the wall and the escape from the GDR State of Berlin, funded by the federal government Sep 18 2008 Berlin
Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Remembrance of the National Socialist genocide against the Jews of Europe Federation May 25, 1999 Berlin
German Historical Museum Foundation Presentation of the entire German history in its European context Federation Dec 21, 2008 Berlin
Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation Compensation for former Nazi forced laborers Federation 0Aug 2, 2000 Berlin
Foundation for Flight, Displacement, Reconciliation Remembrance of expulsion in the 1st half of the 20th century Federation Dec 30, 2008 Berlin
Foundation for Former Political Prisoners Providing assistance to former prisoners of war Federation 0Aug 6, 1955 Bonn
Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation Research on the place of detention at Hohenschönhausen and the political justice system in the GDR State of Berlin and the federal government 0July 1, 2000 Berlin
Foundation House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany Presentation of the history of the Federal Republic of Germany including the history of the GDR and imparting knowledge about it in an exhibition, documentation and information center ( HDGStiftG ) Federation 07th Mar 1990 Bonn
Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation Research and presentation of Jewish life in Berlin and Germany ( JMBStiftG ) Federation 0Sep 1 2001 Berlin
Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg Maintenance, scientific research and communication of culture Federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg , funded by the federal government 0Jan. 1, 1995 Potsdam
Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Preservation, care, addition and evaluation of Prussian cultural assets Federal and State 0Aug 6, 1957 Berlin
Topography of Terror Foundation - International Documentation and Encounter Center Berlin convey historical experience of National Socialism State of Berlin, funded by the federal government Feb 28, 2005 Berlin

The Homecoming Foundation was canceled on December 31, 2007. The seat was Bonn.

Politician Memorial Foundations

Furthermore, there are also political memorial foundations that were created as federal foundations by federal law in memory of outstanding statesmen in German history based on the model of the American presidential libraries. These are:

When it comes to naming them, they are occasionally confused with the party-affiliated foundations . With the exception of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom , these foundations are organized as a registered association .

State foundations under private law

The state can also set up foundations under private law, for example:

In some cases, private foundations were set up from the proceeds from the privatization of state holdings (for example the Volkswagen Foundation in 1961 from proceeds in connection with the privatization of VW or the German Federal Environment Foundation in 1989 from the proceeds from the sale of the federally owned Salzgitter AG). In some cases it is demanded that such state foundations must also be subject to the obligations of fundamental rights, while others emphasize the autonomy and independence of the foundations established in this way.

Church foundations under public law

Even ecclesiastical foundations can be organized under public law.

Web links

Individual evidence