The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany´s first democratically elected president, Friedrich Ebert. Ebert, a Social Democrat from a humble crafts background who had risen to hold the highest political office in his country, in response to his own painful experience in political confrontation had proposed the establishment of a foundation to serve the following aims:
- furthering political and social education of individuals from all walks of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism,
- facilitating access to university education and research for gifted young people by providing scholarships,
- contributing to international understanding and cooperation.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and re-established in 1947, continues today to pursue these aims in all its extensive activities. As a private cultural non-profit institution, it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.