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Fritz Thyssen Foundation

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation (German: Fritz Thyssen Stiftung) is a private nonprofit foundation in Germany, created on 7 July 1959 by Amélie Thyssen and Anita Gräfin Zichy-Thyssen[1][2] and named in memory of prominent iron and steel manufacturer August Thyssen and his son Fritz,[2] who became a major financial backer of the ascendant Nazi Party in the early 1930s.[2][3]

The Thyssen family generated significant wealth in the late 19th century as producers of coal, iron and steel.[4] August Thyssen founded Thyssen & Co. KG in Mülheim in 1871 and, over the following decades, established iron- and steelmaking plants throughout the Ruhr region of Germany.[5] Following August's death in 1926, Fritz Thyssen assumed control of the iron and steel empire. In 1932, Thyssen signed a petition urging German President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Adolf Hitler to the German chancellorship.[3] The following year, he orchestrated a meeting between Hitler and influential German industrialists, which significantly increased support for the Third Reich among leaders of major companies.[3] Thyssen officially joined the Nazi Party in 1933.[3] Following World War II, a German denazification court found him guilty of being a "minor Nazi offender"[6] and ordered him to surrender a portion of his property to a compensation program for victims of Nazi persecution.[4]

Thyssen's wife Amélie, also a member of the Nazi Party, inherited control of the iron and steel business following her husband's death in 1951. She used proceeds from the sale of shares in August Thyssen-Hütte AG to create the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, for which she was awarded the second highest Order of Merit in the Federal Republic of Germany.[2]

Today, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports research in the fields of history, language and culture, state, economics, society and medicine, devoting special attention to support for junior researchers.[7] The award of grants to doctoral graduates and the funding of staff positions in projects is intended to advance scientific research.[8] The foundation is based in Cologne.[9]


  1. ^ Establishment of Fritz Thyssen Foundation Thyssen Krupp. |accessdate=1 December 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Fritz Thyssen Foundation, About us > History, retrieved 2014-01-24.
  3. ^ a b c d Friedrich Thyssen (2020). Thyssen, Friedrich. I Paid Hitler [EPL FS] [1941] [2020].
  4. ^ a b "Thyssen family | German family | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-08-29.
  5. ^ "August Thyssen". thyssenkrupp. Retrieved 2022-08-29.
  6. ^ "THYSSEN CONVICTED AS A MINOR NAZI". The New York Times. 1948-09-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-08-29.
  7. ^ "Fritz Thyssen Foundation". The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ About Us Thyssen Foundation
  9. ^ "Foundation offices : General Information : About us : Fritz Thyssen Stiftung". Retrieved 2022-08-30.

51°54′30″N 8°25′09″E / 51.90833°N 8.41917°E / 51.90833; 8.41917

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Fritz Thyssen Foundation
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