Press Releases

Press release, 04/26/2017

In 2016, Gerda Henkel Foundation made more than EUR 16.6 million available to support Research
Latest Annual Report as a print version and an app | examples of funding relating to Fritz Bauer and the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Over the past year, the Gerda Henkel Foundation earmarked more than EUR 16.6 million for research into history in the field of the humanities and associated disciplines. The year before the amount invested had been just short of EUR 12 million. The Foundation’s assets also grew favourably – as at 31 December 2016 their market value stood at EUR 862.8 million as opposed to EUR 776.5 million at year-end 2015. The Gerda Henkel Foundation is now presenting its annual report – last year, the Foundation’s committees approved projects in 38 countries and a total of 337 research projects received financing. For the first time, the Annual Report is available both as a printed version and digitally, in the form of an app for tablets.

Examples of projects from the annual report: Fritz Bauer on the radio and successful initiatives in the Congo
2018 sees the 50th anniversary of the death of Fritz Bauer (1903–1968) and the end of the Third Auschwitz Trial. And we have re-migrant Bauer, the State of Hessen’s Chief Public Prosecutor as of 1956, to thank for the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials (1963–1968) and for many other instances of the prosecution of Nazi crimes. Additionally, Bauer repeatedly addressed the general public in lectures and speeches, essays in periodicals and dailies, and with appearances on the radio and the TV. Nevertheless nowadays, his radio broadcasts, for example, have been largely consigned to oblivion. With the assistance of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt/Main is compiling an exhaustive collection of the radio broadcasts by and with Fritz Bauer between 1965 and 1968. This scholarly project complements two publications, of Bauer’s essays and of his TV appearances, which have since 2014 been financed by the Gerda Henkel Foundation (

One and a half billion people throughout the world are affected by military conflicts. The question of when international intervention is meaningful and enhances local peace initiatives is the focus of a research project at Columbia University, New York. The aim of political scientist Prof. Séverine Autesserre is to concentrate not on the failure of international efforts but on instances where they were successful. To this end she has chosen the peacebuilding process in the Democratic Republic of Congo as her example. Autesserre conducts discussions with foreign representatives of the worlds of diplomacy, peace missions, and NGOs, with combatants, and with members of the Congolese authorities. She also monitors initiatives and programmes that her interview partners have declared are successful. The Gerda Henkel Foundation is funding the project as part of its special programme “Security, Society and the State” (

The year at the foundation as an app
The Gerda Henkel Foundation’s Annual Report is available both as a print version and, in all the usual app stores, as a digital publication for tablet PCs. The app version also contains image galleries, videos on the events, projects supported by the Foundation plus useful links. Information on the download can be found at

The Gerda Henkel Foundation
The Gerda Henkel Foundation was established in June 1976 by Lisa Maskell in memory of her mother Gerda Henkel as a private, non-profit grant making organization. The Foundation has its headquarters in Düsseldorf. The sole object of the Foundation is to promote science at universities and research institutes, primarily by supporting specific projects in the field of the humanities that have a specialist scope and are limited in time. A special concern of the Foundation is the advancement of postgraduates. The Gerda Henkel Foundation concentrates its support on the historical humanities, mainly on history, archaeology, the history of art and other disciplines with a historical component. For a number of years, the Foundation has also increasingly addressed issues of great relevance to contemporary life and the future, above all as part of its special programmes “Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements” and “Security, Society and the State”. As part of the Lisa Maskell Fellowships, since 2014 the Foundation has been supporting young scholars in the humanities in both Africa and Southeast Asia. Starting in 2015, the Foundation has with its “Patrimonies” funding initiative focused more strongly on the preservation of cultural heritage, specifically in regions experiencing crisis. The Gerda Henkel Foundation is active both inside and outside Germany. Since its establishment the Foundation has invested some EUR 160 million in more than 6,600 research projects worldwide (

Gerda Henkel Foundation press office
Dr Sybille Wüstemann
Telephone: +49 (0)211 93 65 24 0