60th Anniversary of the Foundation for Freedom
On 19 May 1958, Germany’s federal president, Theodor Heuss, brought together friends and long-time companions at his official residence, the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, to found the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Heuss decided to start a political foundation not just because of his political experience in the Weimar Republic, which failed as the first German republic because too few democrats were prepared to fight for its survival. He also intended for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation to provide civic education to as many citizens as possible to turn them into guarantors of democracy in the young Federal Republic of Germany. Following in the footsteps of his political mentor and role model, Friedrich Naumann, Heuss decided to use civic education as a means to combat extremism and fanaticism.
In its 60-year history, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation has always read its founder’s intention as an injunction, an obligation and a mission. The Foundation’s activities would not have been possible without its many partners, both in Germany and abroad, with some of whom we have been associated for decades. We thank all of you, our civic partners and stakeholders in Germany, Europe and the world, for having worked with us in successful collaboration and partnership for 60 years.
[CONTINUE READING FROM THE REPORT BELOW]