The Alfred Landecker Foundation is dedicated to educating current and future generations about the Holocaust and the terrible price paid when intolerance and bigotry reign. The Foundation supports a free and democratic Europe as well as a future based on shared values and respect for the individual.
The Foundation’s work is firmly rooted in the lessons we must learn from the collapse of European civilization in World War II, epitomized by the murder of millions of Jews at German hands.
The Alfred Landecker Foundation, which is based in Berlin, funds carefully selected research, education and awareness-raising projects. It seeks to build partnerships with leading institutions active in academia, public policy, education, history and remembrance.
The Foundation’s Governing Council and Academic Council are comprised of internationally recognized civic leaders and respected academic experts, who guide the implementation of the Foundation’s activities and programs and oversee its direction.
WHAT WE DO
The Reimann family Foundation, previously known as the Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft, is changing its name to the Alfred Landecker Foundation and redirecting its purpose.
Like many German Jews, Alfred Landecker was deported eastward in 1942 and died there at the hands of Germans. The story of the Reimann family, whose ancestors were Nazi supporters, is tragically and intimately intertwined with that of Alfred Landecker. From now on, the Foundation and its mission will explicitly refer to the life and fate of Alfred Landecker as its moral reference. By taking his name, it will not only preserve his memory, but also memorialize the murder of millions of Jews and other victims of National Socialism.
The Foundation is committed to researching and remembering the Holocaust, and to drawing the lessons and consequences from the collapse of European civilization during World War II – a collapse that began in Germany in 1933.
It will seek to raise awareness of the Holocaust and support and promote projects in research and education, designed to uphold the memory of all the victims of the Nazis. The intention is to strengthen our capacity to recognize the beginnings of such hatred and resist a repeat of such appalling events.
We believe that a strong understanding of the destructive violence that made the unspeakable and historically unique Holocaust possible is critical to guaranteeing our democracies. The Alfred Landecker Foundation defends democratic values and the inviolable dignity of the individual.
All people should have the right to live without fear, persecution and suffering. We must combat prejudice and intolerance in all their many forms. The past teaches us that defending these values and rights, and the institutions that uphold them, must be the obligation of both governments and citizens.
The Foundation wants to secure the future of our democratic society. Looking to the future, we aim to promote projects and endeavors that strengthen those values and beliefs in Europe and honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and of Nazi terror.
our HIStory and the story of alfred landecker
Alfred Landecker, in whose memory the Foundation is named, was a German Jewish accountant, born in 1884. He was deported from Mannheim in April 1942 to Izbica, a ghetto serving as a transfer point for the deportation of Jews to the Bełżec and Sobibór extermination camps. It is assumed that he was murdered shortly afterwards.
Alfred Landecker’s story was part of research into their own history initiated by the Reimann family back in 2006. This research led to the subsequent appointment in 2016 of independent historian Dr. Paul Erker, of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The family asked Professor Erker to research their political history, and that of the Benckiser company, from the early 1920s to 1945.
Professor Erker established that Albert Reimann Sr. and his son Albert Reimann Jr., who ran Benckiser, the precursor company to JAB Holding Company, were outspoken in their anti-Semitism and ardent supporters of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Both father and son attended speeches by Hitler in the 1920s and subsequently joined the Nazi party, as well as making donations to the SS.
Alfred Landecker’s fate is inextricably linked to the Reimann family. He was the father of Emilie Landecker, who had three children by Albert Reimann Jr. Two of those children are now shareholders of the JAB Holding Company.
Benckiser was a German manufacturing company established in the 19th century that originally specialized in industrial chemicals. The business came into the control of the Reimann family in the 1850s.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Benckiser was a small- to medium-sized business; it had 181 employees in 1933, and between 400 and 650 employees during World War II. It was an important supplier to the food industry; its primary products included processed cheese, salts for blood treatment, supplements for baby food, and chemicals to soften water.
Benckiser was a beneficiary of the Nazi system. But the development of the business was not related to the exploitation of companies in countries occupied by Germany and the family was not involved in private enrichment or illegal gains through the expropriation of Jewish property or assets.
However, during the war, Benckiser factories used forced labor: by the spring of 1942, the Benckiser Ludwigshafen plant used around 200 civilians as forced laborers, including workers from Ukraine, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
The information here about Alfred Landecker and the Benckiser company is based on Professor Erker’s preliminary report, which was presented to the family in January 2019. After further research, his final report is scheduled to appear at the earliest in 2020.
A €10 million fund, donated to provide humanitarian assistance for survivors of the Holocaust and victims of forced labor in World War II.
We further pledge to provide €250 million to the Foundation over the next 10 years, which will become a rolling commitment in perpetuity.
The majority of the members of the Governing Council of the Alfred Landecker Foundation are independent.
We are honored that the following distinguished individuals, respected for their public service and integrity, have agreed to serve on the council. They will provide independent counsel, advice and strategic direction for the Foundation’s activities.
DAVID ASHER KAMENETZKY, CHAIR
David Kamenetzky serves as the Chair of the Governing Council. He has over twenty years’ experience in senior management and strategy roles at global brands including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Mars, Inc., and Goldman Sachs.
Before moving into the private sector, he served as Executive Assistant to the late Ignatz Bubis, pivotal leader of the German Jewish community in the 1990s.
NGAIRE WOODS, Vice Chair
Professor Ngaire Woods is the founding dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at the University of Oxford.
Her research focuses on global economic governance, the challenges of globalization, global development, and the role of international institutions.
She has served as an advisor to the board of the IMF, the UNDP Human Development Report, and of the Commonwealth Heads of Government. She has published books and research on globalization, inequality, and international relations.
Dietmar Mueller-Elmau is the owner of Schloss Elmau, a cultural hideaway south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps.
Müller-Elmau runs Schloss Elmau as a space for exploring Jewish-American cultural expression. Since 1998, Schloss Elmau has been a regular meeting place for scholars from across the world, particular with a focus on Jewish studies and globalization; the Schloss Elmau Symposia on Political Theology and the History of Ideas attract thinkers and academics from across various disciplines. In 2015, the G7 Summit took place at Schloss Elmau with heads of state and government from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Great Britain, Italy and Germany.
Joschka Fischer served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor of Germany under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005.
During his time in politics, Fischer was influential in various aspects of Germany’s foreign policy and international relations – covering military initiatives, fiscal reform and environmental action.
Following his career in politics, Fischer has served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, as a founding member of the board of trustees at the Arab Democracy Foundation, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Martin Reimann is the great-grandson of Alfred Landecker and grandson of his daughter Emilie Landecker and Albert Reimann Jr. He is the voice of the Reimann family to ensure the Foundation upholds the memory of the fate of his great-grandfather and promotes the lessons learned from the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, striving for a democratic European society in which everyone can live without fear of persecution and intolerance.
Professor Dan Diner is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and former director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture and Professor at the History Department of the University of Leipzig.
Professor Diner’s research focuses on two main topics: the conceptualization of a modern Jewish history and a global history of the Second World War.
He is the author of numerous publications on 20th-century history, Jewish history, Middle Eastern history and German history, particularly in the period of National Socialism and the Holocaust.
He also serves as the permanent observer of the Governing Council on the Academic Council.
Stuart Eizenstat is an American diplomat and attorney. He served as chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and along with Elie Wiesel, helped to set up the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Eizenstat held a number of key roles in the Clinton administration from 1993-2001, including as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, and was also appointed the Special Representative on Holocaust-Era Issues. In this role, he negotiated billions of dollars of compensation for Holocaust survivors and families of victims, including slave labor, insurance, Nazi-looted art through the Washington Principles, communal and private property restitution.
In the Obama administration he also served as Special Representative on Holocaust-era Issues, negotiating major agreements with the governments of Lithuania and France and the Terezin Declaration. Since 2009, he has led the negotiations for the Jewish Claims Conference with the German government, obtaining billions of dollars for home care, pensions, child survivors and Kindertransport survivors.
Dr. Rachel Salamander is a literary scholar, publicist and cultural commentator. In 1982 she founded the “Literaturhandlung” in Munich, a unique place where – following the Aryanisation of the German book trade – a specialist bookshop for literature about Judaism was established for the first time since the Nazi era.
With its branches throughout Germany, the “Literaturhandlung” has given Jewish literature a presence in the country’s public consciousness once again.
The extensive program of events that the “Literaturhandlung” offers ensures lively debate, and renowned visiting authors from all over the world have turned it into a platform for ongoing public conversation in Germany about Jewish themes.
Rachel Salamander is the author of several books on Jewish history. From 2001 to 2013 she was publisher of the “Literarische Welt”, the literary supplement of the daily newspaper “Die Welt”. From October 2013 to September 2014 she headed the FAZ Literature Forum. Since 2015 she has served as the Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Suhrkamp Verlag, the leading German publishing house.
Dr. Peter Harf is Chairman of JAB Holding Company s.à r.l. (“JAB”), the privately held group focused on long term investments in the consumer industry. Apart from his distinguished business career, which includes positions as Chairman and Board member at a variety of companies, Peter Harf also co-founded Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, the largest donor center in the world.
Since 1991, the not-for-profit organization managed to register more than 9 million donors in six countries and to enable over 78.000 unrelated stem cell transplantations in 56 countries. Peter Harf received his MBA degree from the Harvard Business School and holds both a Diploma and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Cologne.
The following notable academics have agreed to join the Foundation as members of the Academic Council.
These esteemed members will advise on the direction and nature of grants and projects that the Foundation supports, and ensure independent, robust scrutiny of the Foundation’s activities from an academic perspective.
NORBERT FREI, CHAIR
Professor Norbert Frei is a German historian. He is the Chair of Modern and Contemporary History at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and leads the Jena Center History 20th Century. His numerous books focus on the history of Nazi and post-war Germany, reparations in Germany and Israel, Human Rights, the memory of the Holocaust, and neo-nationalism.
In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Frei is a member of several academic commissions and advisory boards, including the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt am Main. He is also Chairman of the Academic Council of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, and from 2000 to 2016 Professor Frei belonged to the Advisory Board of the Institute for German History at the University of Tel Aviv.
From 2005 to 2017, he chaired the Advisory Board of the Koebner Minerva Center for German History at Hebrew University Jerusalem, and from 1999 to 2002 he was a member of the Independent Historical Commission for the Study of the History of the House Bertelsmann in the “Third Reich.” In 2011 Professor Frei was elected as a full member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig.
Norbert Frei is Chair of the Academic Council and an ex-officio permanent observer on the Governing Council.
Cilly Kugelmann was the Program Director and Vice Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin from September 2002 until March 2017.
Previously, Kugelmann worked at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt am Main, where she directed the education program, ran public relations, and curated historical exhibitions (1986-2000).
Kugelmann has also been involved in the publication of several books on the post-war history of Jews in Germany and on anti-Semitism. She is currently working as chief curator on the new permanent exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin.
Professor Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum is a German historian. Since 2011, she has headed the Berlin-based Center for Research on anti-Semitism.
Her work focuses on German history and German Jewish history in the 19th and 20th centuries. She has also undertaken work on gender history and on 20th century Spanish history, with a particular focus on the Spanish Civil War.
She has taught at the Technical University of Berlin, has served as director of the Institute for the History of German Jews in Hamburg, and served as chair of the Leo Baeck Institute’s Academic Working Group in Germany.
Professor Dr. Sybille Steinbacher is a German historian. Since May 2017, she has been Professor of Holocaust Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt and Director of the Fritz Bauer Institute.
Professor Steinbacher is the author of several works on the Holocaust, including Auschwitz: A History. She has been a residential fellow of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and has served as Professor of Dictatorship, Violence and Genocide Comparative Studies at the University of Vienna.
Her appointment by Goethe University Frankfurt in December 2016 made her Germany's first Professor of Holocaust Studies.
We will soon be ready to accept applications for grants and funding projects, which will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Governing Council and Academic Council. Updates regarding the timing of funding applications will be announced here in due course.
For general enquiries or further information, please use the following contact form.