Hertie Foundation wants to clarify its own history

Dhe Hertie Foundation has decided to have the history of its foundation assets reviewed. After students and alumni of the Berlin-based Hertie School had criticized the foundation’s handling of the Hertie Group’s past several times since the spring of 2019 (FAZ of November 26), Frank-Jürgen Weise is now uncompromising: In “complete scientific freedom “, So the chairman of the board of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, should be clarified” what needs to be clarified “.

That is why the Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte mbH (GUG) was commissioned with the scientific analysis of the prehistory of the foundation’s assets. The aim is to investigate “how the company Hermann Tietz oHG, founded by the Jewish Tietz family, was Aryanized in 1933 and then came into the possession of Georg Karg”. Karg, who died in 1972, was initially a textile buyer, from 1933 managing director and later sole owner of the company of the Jewish founding family Tietz, who had to give up their property under pressure from the National Socialists.

It is the third attempt that the GUG has undertaken to shed light on the history of the foundation’s assets, which amount to around one billion euros. The first two attempts from 2000 and 2008 did not get beyond the “preliminary study” stage. The fact that the research results of that time, however meager they may have been, remained unpublished so far has been one of the central points of criticism of the “Her.Tietz Initiative” located in the immediate vicinity of the Hertie School, which calls for the appointment of a three to five-member historian commission has demanded. At least one commissioner should represent an international perspective. The Hertie Foundation did not meet this requirement when it awarded the contract to the GUG. The economic and social historians Johannes Bähr from Frankfurt and Ingo Köhler from Humboldt University Berlin are named as authors of the study. The results you can achieve will depend primarily on the holdings in the archives of banks, companies and the Karg family.


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