Carl-Toepfer-Stiftung – What is it? All important information

The Carl Toepfer Foundation was founded out of love for the North German homeland of its founders Alfred and Ernst Toepfer, who wanted to commemorate their father Carl. During his lifetime he not only became a merchant and farmer, but also an honorary citizen of Hamburg because he was very socially committed. This manifested itself in above-average social benefits for his employees, donations to youth development and help to rebuild his district after the end of the war.

In 1936, the two brothers founded the Carl Toepfer Foundation, which promotes social projects and supports children and young people, in order to continue to honour this commitment to a better Hamburg and not let it fall into oblivion. In addition, a large annual donation is made to a social project worth supporting.

The main areas of work of the Carl Toepfer Foundation

The Carl-Toepfer-Foundation is involved above all in four social areas:

  • Promotion of art, science and culture
  • Preservation of monuments and local heritage
  • Youth promotion and social work
  • Promotion of the Lower German language and literature.

Promotion of art, science and culture

The Carl Toepfer Foundation’s area of support for art, science and culture includes the musical evenings in the Lichtwarksaal, which is equipped with a Steinway grand piano and can accommodate up to 160 people. Hamburg residents can attend the evenings free of charge, but registration is required.

Preservation of monuments and local heritage

The residential complex Peterstraße/Neanderstraße/Hütten is located in the Neustadt and was created during the Thirty Years’ War, when a further protective wall for Hamburg and thus additional living space was created. Thanks to the support of the Carl Toepfer Foundation, it has been possible to restore and preserve the originality of baroque town houses.

First, the Beyling Abbey and the half-timbered houses behind it were restored and plots of land in Peterstraße/Neanderstraße/Hütten were acquired. The plan was to reconstruct the 17th, 18th and 19th century Althamburger Bürger- und Kaufmannshäuser in order to present the architectural styles to the citizens and at the same time set a wonderful monument. Thus several styles could be held in one place, which were to be found at different places at that time. In order to bring even more history to the Peterstraße/Neanderstraße/Hütten housing estate, each house is dedicated to a Hamburg personality and has a bronze plaque showing the location of the house at the time. The Johannes Brahms Museum and the Telemann Museum are located in the residential complex. In addition, the Carl Toepfer Foundation is involved in the preservation of monuments and local heritage in public or church monuments.

Youth promotion and social work

Youth promotion and social work” is about supporting activities that affect the leisure activities of children and young people, as well as various facilities that catch them at social hotspots and offer them attractive opportunities. Apart from that, the area is characterised by the promotion of special projects in the school sector, but also by the offer of inexpensive senior citizens’ apartments in the Carl Toepfer Foundation complex and the awarding of the Emmele Toepfer donation to social initiatives.

Promotion of the Lower German language and literature

The Niederdeutsche Bibliothek was opened in 1996 and is a private library. It offers a huge selection of approximately 22,000 books from the Low German region, in addition to CDs, games, magazines and teaching materials. The collection comes in part from the estate of Alfred Toepfers and the holdings of the Quickborn Association and the Fehrs Guild. All books printed after 1900 can be borrowed free of charge.

Awards Emmele Toepfer Donation and Fritz Reuter Prize

The Emmele Toepfer donation is intended to honour and support various services and initiatives that care for children and young people in the social sense. Until 2018 there was 10.000 Euro for these institutions, since 2019 there are already 20.000 Euro.

The Fritz Reuter Prize is a literature prize and is awarded every two years to persons who have particularly distinguished themselves in the Lower German language. It is not possible to apply for the 10,000 Euro Prize – the candidates are nominated by representatives of Lower German scientific and cultural life.

Detailed information on the Carl Toepfer Foundation

Contact details:

Peterstraße 28 20355 Hamburg (Neustadt) Phone: 040 / 344 564 E-Mail: [email protected]

Contact details for registration for events in the Lichtwarksaal:

Neanderstraße 22 Phone: 040 46 00 19 07 E-Mail: [email protected]

Contact details and opening hours of the Niederdeutsche Bibliothek

Peterstr. 36 (Postal address: Peterstr. 28) 20355 Hamburg Telephone: 040/340823 E-mail: [email protected]

Wednesday and Thursday: 09:00 am – 17:00 pm

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Christina Cherry
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