Theodor Heuss
Fifty years ago, on 19 May 1958, at Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, a group of committed Liberals met with the then Federal president, Theodor Heuss, to establish the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. In so doing they acted with precisely the sort of civic involvement that a vibrant democracy requires. If those founders were still with us today, they would be proud of what they started.

Over the last 50 years the activities of the Foundation have expanded beyond their original civic education task in the young Federal Republic. This is reflected in the various anniversaries we celebrate this year. The Liberal Archive, the memory of German Liberalism, is forty years old. Our scholarship program is thirty-five. Our work abroad — promoting a liberal state based on the rule of law — began 45 years ago and has become a major part of our activity through the Foundation’s presence in over 60 countries worldwide.

We encourage the development of structures that are democratic, market-oriented and based on the rule of law so that more and more people can live in liberal and democratic societies. The main thrust of the Foundation’s domestic and foreign work is the promotion of freedom and responsibility. Thus we support our partners´ efforts to find specific solutions to their own problems.

This year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. The highlight will be the event to be held on 19 May 2008 at the former Federal Parliament assembly hall in Bonn, where key speakers include the current Federal President, Dr. Horst Köhler, and Lord Ralph Dahrendorf, former chairman of the Foundation. On the following two days, at Berlin’s historic Tempelhof airport, takes place a high-level international expert’s conference:"Masterplan 2050: Strategies for a Free World." In the framework of our 50th anniversary, this conference will provide further inspiration and momentum to our work for freedom throughout the world.

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