The Friends of Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, a registered charity, was established on the 2nd November 1998 by numerous prominent figures from the worlds of academia, politics and culture, from Germany and abroad. Its founding chairman was Dr. h. c. Klaus Schütz, a former Mayor of Berlin, who died on the 29th November 2012 at the age of 86.
He was succeeded as chairman by Dr. Hans Otto Bräutigam, former justice minister of Brandenburg, who held the post until March 2015. At the annual general meeting on 21st March 2015, the Friend's association's members elected the highly respected historian Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kocka as the new chairman of the executive committee. The current members of the committee are: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kocka (Berlin), Alice Ströver (Freie Volksbühne Berlin), Dieter Starke (Oranienburg), Rainer E. Klemke (Berlin) and Dr. Axel Drecoll (Brandenburg Memorials Foundation).
The aims of the Friends are to provide support for academic research and publications as well as exhibitions and events organised by Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum. The Society’s activities also include purchasing objects for the Memorial’s collection and providing support for its educational work.
The Society of the Friends of Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum was founded in 1998 by prominent figures in industry, politics, academia and culture from Germany and abroad, as well as former inmates and their family members. It now has some 140 members, who live not only in Berlin or Brandenburg, but throughout Germany and around the world.
The Friends’ membership is pluralistic in the best sense, bringing together survivors of the concentration camp and former inmates of the Soviet Special Camp with academics, politicians and journalists, representatives from churches, trade unions and political parties, as well as artists, lawyers, teachers, diplomats and many others, to lend support and assistance to Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum in its efforts to keep remembrance of the history of Sachsenhausen alive. We are also very pleased that family members of the victims and of the perpetrators in the second and third generations can enter into dialogue with each other in our Society.
As well as providing moral and financial support for the Memorial, the Friends society also publishes a newsletter providing its members and any other interested people with information on the Friends and the work of Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum. It also organises events for members, including trips to various other memorials and museums.