von Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel
|v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel
|legal form||Church foundation under private law|
|precursor||v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel|
|sales||1,254,450,000 euros (2018)|
|Foundation capital||4,859,021 euros (2018)|
The v. Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel (short: Bethel , until 2009: v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel ) are the largest social enterprise in Europe and the largest employer in the city of Bielefeld with more than 19,000 employees . The head office is located in the Bethel district of the same name in the Gadderbaum district of Bielefeld . Bethel is a diaconal institution that cares for people with disabilities , mental health problems , epilepsy , the elderly and people in need of care, the sick, young people with social problems and homeless people.
Bethel was founded in 1867, and for a long time the main focus was in and around Bielefeld in Westphalia . As a result of restructuring over the past decades and a decentralization of work, there are now institutions in eight German federal states. Around 9,000 of the more than 19,000 employees currently work in Bielefeld. Bethel's work with 200,000 disadvantaged people per year is financed by payments from social service providers. With an annual donation of 35 to 65 million euros (2019: 54.5 million euros), many measures that go beyond this standard funding are made possible for the people being cared for. This makes Bethel one of the 20 largest donation-collecting organizations in Germany. The namesake and influential designer is Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Elder .
Name and ideal of the foundation
“The great and ongoing challenge for Bethel is that there are many people who depend on treatment, encouragement and support in order to be able to lead a humane and as self-determined life as possible in society. It is the statutory purpose of the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation to maintain facilities and services for these people and to further develop them in line with the times. We understand this as an order of God, who lives opened ( Lk 10.27 to 28 LUT ). We consciously perceive this mandate as Protestant foundations. "
The Christian commandment to love one's neighbor determined many employees in their service, which they often used day and night. Women and men consciously put their lives to use in order to work as a deacon or deaconess in the “House of God”. The focus of Bethel's work was the ideal of the forgotten and marginalized in society, in the words of Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, the “people nobody wants”. In Bodelschwingh's time, these were mainly disabled people and the "drunkards, tramps and scapegoats". For Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, everyone was a creature of God.
In 1867 the Inner Mission founded an institution for people with epileptic diseases. On July 12, 1867, Pastor Friedrich Simon was introduced as head of the institution. The first institution building was called "Ebenezer". In 1871 a new building was built and was named "Bethel".
Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Elder joined the group a few years later and headed the rapidly growing institution from 1872 until his death in 1910. His influence shaped the institution so strongly that it was later named after him. After his death, his son Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Younger took over the management.
As an institution director follow one another:
- Friedrich Simon (1867–1872)
- Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Elder (1872–1910)
- Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Younger (1910–1946)
- Rudolf Hardt (1946–1959)
- Friedrich v. Bodelschwingh (grandson of Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Elder) (1959–1968)
- Alex Funke (1968–1979)
- Johannes Busch (1979–1994)
- Friedrich Schophaus (1994-2008)
- Ulrich Pohl (since 2008)
The Alt-Ebenezer (1867), Sarepta (1872–1875 in neo-Gothic style) and Groß-Bethel (1873) houses are among the oldest buildings in the institution in Gadderbaum . In Bielefeld-Gadderbaum , the institution developed into a supply center with a post office, craft and leisure facilities and the “Ophir” department store. The Diakonie Freistatt near Diepholz, founded in 1899 , had a lasting impact on the settlement there.
In September 1940 parts of the facility were destroyed in a British air raid.
A controversy arose over the situation in Bethel during the Nazi era . As part of the so-called T 4 campaign , children in Bethel were deliberately starved to death. Until then, it was considered that, as a major exception, this had not happened in Bethel; Responsible for this is the then head Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Younger. The lawyer Barbara Degen called this the "Bethel legend" and sparked the controversy with her publication "Bethel in the Nazi Era" in 2014. Bethel management reacted indignantly and denied the allegations.
After the Nazi era, numerous Nazi perpetrators and their relatives found shelter in Bethel. Schröm and Röpke have shown in detail that u. a. Margarete Himmler and her daughter Gudrun lived there from the end of 1946. Gudrun Himmler, who later became Gudrun Burwitz, worked in a leading role for the “ Die Stille Hilfe ” association until her death in 2018 . Ernst Gerke was significantly involved in the deportation of the Jews in Wroclaw at the beginning of the Second World War and later became head of the Gestapo in Prague and u. a. Head of Nazi perpetrator Anton Malloth . The former SS leader Gerke worked from 1957 under his family name as legal advisor of the Bodelschwingh institutions, later he became administrative director of Bethel.
The V. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel consists of the following four independent foundations :
- Hope Valley Foundation Lobetal
- Bethel Foundation
- Nazareth Foundation
- Sarepta Foundation
According to the statutes of the merged foundations, the foundation bodies are the administrative board and the executive board. The board of directors appoints the individual board members and also the chairman (s) of the board, who is to be the pastor.
Bethel has grouped certain parts of the foundations and some of the subsidiaries mentioned below into so-called foundation areas with their own management based on content and regional aspects, including:
- Aid for the elderly
- Foundation area Bethel.regional
- Foundation area proWerk
- Foundation area schools
- Bethel Foundation in the North
- several companies that emerged from the former Birkenhof e. V., Hannover have emerged,
- Bethel-Bremen gGmbH, Bremen
- Evangelical social pedagogical training center (ESPA) gGmbH, Münster
- Evangelisches Krankenhaus Bielefeld gGmbH, Bielefeld
- Evangelical Hospital Queen Elisabeth Herzberge gGmbH, Berlin
- Fachhochschule der Diakonie (FHdD) gGmbH, Bielefeld (since 2006)
- Community Psychiatric Association and Aid for the Elderly (GPVA) gGmbH, Berlin
- Diakonie-Hospiz Lichtenberg gGmbH, Berlin
- In the community live gGmbH, Düsseldorf
- Institute for Diagnostics of Epilepsies gGmbH, Berlin
- Medical care center Bielefeld at EvKB GmbH, Bielefeld
- proJob.Bethel gGmbH, Bielefeld
Bethel Foundation in the North
The Bethel im Norden foundation branch was created in 2007 through the merger of the Birkenhof Hannover and the Diakonie Freistatt near Diepholz. The Birkenhof Hannover is active in the elderly and youth welfare. The first educational measures in the Birkenhof are known from 1910. In 1947 a seminar for home educators was founded. Today the Birkenhof training center includes training in social care and social assistance, care for the elderly and curative education. A total of around 600 students are trained every year. In addition, the Birkenhof is active in the field of youth welfare with a specialist center for child, youth and family welfare Bethel in the north and the youth welfare Birkenhof gGmbH and maintains old people's homes in Hanover, Langenhagen as well as in Bremen and Diepholz. Bethel in the north is one of the largest providers of care for the elderly in diakonia. The Diakonie Freistatt cares for homeless and socially disadvantaged children and young people with schools and facilities to combat addiction. Bethel in the north has around 1550 employees. The office is located on the site of the former Birkenhof in Hanover.
Foundation area proWerk
The proWerk foundation was created in 2001 from the merger of the Bethel community workshops, the Senne Werkstätten Eckardtsheim for factory therapies and later the Bethel companies.
Today the foundation area comprises the following business areas:
- Workshop for disabled people (vocational training and work area)
- Vocational training in recognized professions in the vocational training center and in training
- Qualifications of long-term unemployed people
- Integration specialist service
- Integration company proJob.Bethel gGmbH with the branches of food markets , building cleaning, gastronomy
In total, over 3,400 people with disabilities and disadvantages are promoted, qualified, trained and employed.
Bethel companies are a legally dependent part of the Bethel Foundation. The individual companies serve the self-sufficiency and also play a role in the employment of disadvantaged people. The Bethel companies include:
- Chunk collection
- Gardening and landscaping
- building technology
- Building cleaning
- Painting business
- Trombone workshop
There are other businesses in the Hope Valley Lobetal Foundation and in some of the subsidiaries.
Fields of work
- (Acute) hospitals
- Elderly care
- Work: workshops for disabled people and vocational training center
- Schools and training centers
- Special schools and general education schools
- Help for people with disabilities
- Help for people with acquired brain damage
- Youth welfare
- Hospice work: several in-patient adult hospices and one in-patient hospice for children and young people, as well as out-patient hospice work
- Psychiatry: adult psychiatry, child u. Adolescent psychiatry, assistance for people with psychiatric impairments
- clinical help for addicts
These offers mainly exist in the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, with additional individual facilities in Bremen, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and, since 2015, in Rhineland-Palatinate. Bethel is represented at more than 200 locations in Germany. The most important work areas of the foundations today are the treatment and care of epilepsy patients , assistance for the disabled , psychiatry , assistance to the homeless, assistance for the elderly , youth assistance and care in specialist clinics , acute hospitals and hospices . In the field of epilepsy, the specialist clinics and the other areas have, by their own admission, international reputation. The village of Bethel as the nucleus of the v. Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel is located in the Gadderbaum district of Bielefeld, which is directly connected to Bielefeld city center.
Bethel is also involved in hospice work . The aim is to enable dying people to live and die in dignity. The V. Bodelschwingh foundations themselves operate hospices in Bielefeld, Dortmund and Berlin-Lichtenberg and Berlin-Mitte , and they are also involved in the hospice in Leipzig . Bethel was involved in the “Löwenherz” children's hospice in Syke . A children's hospice was inaugurated on May 2, 2012 (see section Bethel Children's Hospice). There are also care places for autistic people or for people who remain severely brain damaged after an accident or a serious illness.
Bethel Children's Hospice
In Germany there are around 22,600 children with a life-shortening disease that leads to death. Around 1,500 of them die every year, but so far there are only eleven children's hospices in the whole of Germany - the places offered there are not enough. Bethel therefore got involved with the 2010 annual donation project “Children” for the establishment of a stationary children's hospice. The costs of 6.9 million euros for the new construction, furnishing and operation of the children's hospice had to be financed entirely through donations. The topping-out ceremony for the new house was celebrated on July 13, 2011, and the Bethel children's hospice , which was then fully funded by donations , opened on May 2, 2012. 10 children and young people with life-shortening diseases are admitted there. Two of the rooms are tailored to the needs of continuously ventilated children. There is also a residential wing for parents and siblings.
The children's hospice is accompanied by numerous celebrities as "godparents". These are, for example, Cornelia Funke , Ulrich Wickert , Marietta Slomka , Amelie Fried , Steffen Seibert , Walter Sittler , Sven Lorig , Jo Brauner , Dennis Wilms , Sven Plöger , Heino , Frank Plasberg or Ludwig Güttler .
In the 19th century, several sea hospices were built as hostels and convalescent centers on the German North and Baltic Sea coasts . In 1890 Bodelschwingh founded the Seehospiz I and II on the island of Amrum in Norddorf . a. Served as a health resort for Protestant clergymen and were run by one of them as a "householder". Today there is a mother and child sanatorium here.
In the Brockensammlung, clothes and other donations in kind are processed and either used in the foundation's operations or sold on. The name of the facility is derived from the Gospel of John : "Gather the remaining fragments so that nothing perishes!" ( Jn 6,12 LUT ). In the fall of 1890, Bethel began to systematically collect, prepare, repair and recycle used things of all kinds. The "Brockensammlung" was founded in 1891 by Karl Schnitger from Lemgo, an uncle of Marianne Weber , together with Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Elder.
Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Younger reports: The educated but severely nervous Karl Schnitger, resident of the institution, helped keep the institution's cash books. He had a good relationship with Friedrich von Bodelschwingh and his wife Ida . One day in 1890 the poison cabinet of the institution's own pharmacy was cleared out. The search for the stolen poison was unsuccessful, and Karl Schnitger couldn't remember anything either. But a nurse watched a person disappear from the pharmacy into Schnitger's room at the time in question. Karl Schnitger thereupon declared that a person suspected of stealing poison could not possibly be the steward of money, stopped his service there and looked for a new job. So he came to Friedrich von Bodelschwingh with the request to become a lump collector . Schnitger made a list of small items that people simply throw away. Von Bodelschwingh published this list in the Messenger of Bethel . The success was unexpectedly good. Soon Schnitger's sole labor was no longer enough. More and more assistants as well as new rooms for the chunk collection followed.
This idea was also adopted by non-profit groups in Lübeck in 1913 and founded the non-profit Brockensammlung Lübeck . The Brockensammlung was created in Göttingen as an institution of the ev.-lt. Church district of Göttingen.
Postage stamp office
Under the heading Stamps for Bethel - Work for Disabled People , stamp collections, full albums, stamps that have not been removed from envelopes and postcards as well as stamps that are as good as new can be sent to the stamp office in Bethel. The people with a disability who are employed there inspect, cut, partially peel off and dry the stamps and prepare them for resale to collectors and stamp dealers. Every year around 90,000 mailings are sent to the Bethel Stamp Office - from filled A5 envelopes to large parcels. A total weight of 29 tons, the equivalent of 128 million stamps, come together in this way every year. 125 people with a disability find a job in Bethel thanks to these stamps.
In 1967 the Deutsche Bundespost issued a special stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of the hospital with a portrait of Friedrich von Bodelschwingh the Younger.
In 1988 the Bethel stamp office itself became a motif on a stamp; the Deutsche Bundespost issued a postage stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of the postage stamp agency.
In 2013 the campaign “Stamps for Bethel - Work for the Disabled” celebrated its 125th anniversary.
In the Alt-Ebenezer house there is a historical collection that conveys the development of Bethel with the help of numerous documents, pictures and devices. It is open to the public.
In antenna Bethel is a non-commercial radio station for the v. Bodelschwingh facilities and the Gadderbaum district (VHF, 94.3 MHz). It is operated jointly by disabled and non-disabled, volunteer employees.
The Künstlerhaus Lydda offers artistic support for disabled and non-disabled people.
In the “Volxtheater” of the Bethel theater workshop, heterogeneous groups work with professional artists to develop independent theater on classical and current topics and perform them nationally. The facility was founded in 1983.
The rock music project "Maluka" has existed since 2003 under the direction of a music therapist. The band is made up of people with disabilities from various institutions and only plays their own compositions. 2005 Production of a LIVE CD, a recording of a concert. Maluka performs live on various occasions inside and outside Bethel.
The "Bethel money" has been around for over 100 years in the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel. On September 1, 1908, the "Bethel Mark" was issued for the first time as a voucher so that the money could be spent in the institution and not in shops outside of it. In 2002 the Bethel Mark was replaced by the “Bethel Euro”. The money is only valid in the village of Bethel, in Bielefeld-Eckardtsheim and in Freistatt in Lower Saxony.
Today there are around 110,000 notes worth almost one million euros in circulation. A good dozen shops accept the foundation's own money - including a bookstore, two department stores, a barber shop, a shoemaker's shop, an organic shop and a nursery. Strictly speaking, the means of payment is a voucher. When exchanging, there is a five percent discount for residents, carers and employees of the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel.
The banknotes were designed by the designers K. P. Pohlan and H. G. Vogt. The word “voucher” is emblazoned - next to the Bethel logo - on all notes as well as the signatures of board members. The paper is provided with watermarks and an embossing. The Bethel euro is not available as a coin, but only as a note in three sizes and seven different colors and values - from 50 cents to 50 euros. Distinctive Bethel town buildings such as the Zionskirche , the Mamre Patmos School and the Bethel Gate are printed on the notes .
As a special form of the voluntary social year , the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation holds the so-called Bethel year, in which young adults between the ages of 16 and 27 can get an insight into the various fields of activity. In addition to the work, five seminar weeks are part of the concept. The Bethel year can be completed in many different Bethel institutions. In addition to many positions in dormitories, hospitals, retirement homes, workshops and schools, there are also the more unusual and very popular positions such as in the “Neue Schmiede”, at Radio Antenne Bethel or in the theater workshop.
For the organization of the Bethel year the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation was awarded the International Peace Prize of Westphalia in 2006.
In 1894 the later Prussian SPD minister of education Konrad Haenisch , who came from Greifswald , was involuntarily housed in Bethel by his middle-class, conservative family after they had kidnapped him from Leipzig. The reason was Haenisch's social democratic activities, because of which he had been dismissed from high school a year earlier and sent to a mental hospital. Haenisch escaped from Bethel, the case was made public through a press campaign against the Haenisch family by the Leipziger Volkszeitung , which was an SPD party newspaper at the time.
In the v. Bodelschwinghsche Stiftungen Bethel-owned Diakonie Freistatt , home education was carried out by means of educational abuse and mistreatment . Peter Wensierski reported in 2006: “[With] its pressed peat production, with its locksmiths and blacksmiths, [Freistatt] was conceived as a purely commercial enterprise that exploited the cheap labor. When chorals were not being sung, the 14- to 21-year-olds had to dig and press peat in the moor in summer and winter. " Corporal punishments ”, whereas in the 1950s she still tacitly tolerated corporal punishment that went beyond the legal limits.
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