History of the Foundation

Friedrich Ebert Stifung

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany’s first democratically elected president, Friedrich Ebert.

Friedrich Ebert (1871 – 1925), a Social Democrat from a humble crafts background who had risen to hold the highest political office in his country, in response to his own painful experience in political confrontation had proposed the establishment of a foundation to serve the following aims:

  • Furthering political und social education of individuals from all walks of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism;
  • Facilitating access to university education and research for gifted young people by providing scholarships;
  • Contributing to international understanding and cooperation.

The Foundation, which was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and not re-established until 1947, continues today to pursue these aims in all its extensive activities.

As a private cultural non-profit institution, it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.

FES supports activities in more than 100 countries. While its headquarters is located in Bonn, it maintains a network of branch offices in some 90 countries. FES cooperating partners come from all walks of life and include: Authorities and offices of central state and local government, NGOs and NGO-Networks, environmental groups, women and feminist organizations, trade unions, professional associations, peoples organizations, research and academic institutions, and human rights groups.

For more information, you may check our Think, Act, Participate brochure.

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