The Hermann Ehlers Foundation is a political foundation based in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The foundation focuses on political and civic education, housing space for students and the qualification of political representatives.
We are proud to bear the name of Hermann Ehlers. The second president of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany – the Bundestag. His engagement for the liberal, representative democracy on the basis of his Christian beliefs provide the guidelines for our work. The foundation was founded in 1968 as an answer to the student protests. The founder, Kai Uwe von Hassel – a former minister president of Schleswig-Holstein and Federal minister – aimed to establish a forum for dialogue with students and younger persons. Thus, the idea was born to combine the provision of civic education and the provision of student dorms.
The conceptual work of the foundation is linked to two main political figures in Schleswig-Holstein, Kai-Uwe von Hassel and Gerhard Stoltenberg. Both politicians were minister president of Schleswig-Holstein and later on Federal ministers of defence, among others. Thus, the Hermann Ehlers Foundation has a strong focus on issues in security and defence policy. In 1971, the scientific association „Working group Military and social sciences“ was founded through the foundation, which contributes to military and scientific opinion-gathering and to the formation of opinions in society through scientifically education.
Today, the foundation with its educational institution, the Herman Ehlers Academy, provides actively political and civic education on all current political issues. The work is focused on two main target groups: students, teachers and young persons as well as soldiers and employees of the GermanFederak Armed Forces. In Schleswig-Holstein, we offer more than 100 events per year which attract around 11,000 participants annually.
Besides our work in political and civic education, we provide housing space for students in Kiel. Our dormitories are not just a home for our students, there are also a space for lively discussion around all topics of political education due to conference facilities in each house. Combined we offer 240 student flats. We are contributing to the scarce resource of affordable student housing.
Annually, we award the Hermann Ehlers Award to persons, who have contributed extraordinarily to the development of liberal, representative democracy, the rule of law, the social market economy and European unification. Among the laureates of the Hermann Ehlers Price are Helmut Kohl, Jean-Claude Junker, Norbert Lammert, Vitali Klitschko, Gerhard Stoltenberg, Klaus Töpfer and Rita Süssmuth, among others. Next to the Hermann Ehlers Price, we are also awarding the „Kai Uwe von Hassel Price“. The award is dedicated to young citizens, who have already contributed to the development of the liberal, representative democracy.The foundation is supported financially by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, by the government of the Federal state Schleswig-Holstein and the Federal Agency for civic education.