The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES, Stiftung being the German word for Foundation) was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany's first democratically elected president, Friedrich Ebert.
In response to his own painful experience in political confrontation Ebert, a Social Democrat who had risen to the highest political office in his country from a humble craftsman's background, had proposed the establishment of a foundation serving the following aims:
to further political and social education of individuals from all areas of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism,
to facilitate access to university education and to help gifted young people by providing scholarships,
to contribute to the achievement of international understanding and cooperation.
As of present, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and re-established in 1947, continues pursuing these aims in all of its extensive activities. As a private cultural non-profit institution it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.
The main subjects of the foundation are:
A fair and just society
Innovations and development
620 employees in the main offices in Berlin and Bonn, at ther political academies, regional and state offices in Germany, and offices throughout the world (2010)
2700 graduate, undergraduate, and PhD students supported with financial assistance and programs, 250 of whom come from abroad (2010)
900.000 volumes in the largest specialty library on the history of the German and international working-class movement. Our website is visited more than 30 million times each year
2800 educational seminars, discussion forums, expert conferences, and exhibitions, which attract over 200,000 participants in Germany (2010)
45.000 meters of documents demonstrating the rich tradition and history of Social Democracy, the trade unions, and other emancipatory movements and their leading personalities