Rules of the Friends of the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum

This is an English translation of the original German legal document. It is for guidance only and is not authoritative. Only the German original is legally binding.

§1 Name and Location

(1) The Society shall be called ‘Friends of the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum’ (henceforth the ‘Society’)

(2) It shall be based in Oranienburg and registered as a charity

§2 Aims of the Society

(1) The aim of the Society shall be to support the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum (henceforth the ‘Memorial’) through the promotion of the preservation of historical monuments, of culture, of an international outlook, of tolerance of all aspects of culture, of the principle of international understanding, of social education and academia and the erection of monuments.

(2) The Society’s aims should be realised through, especially:

  1. The acquisition of items for the Memorials’ exhibitions and collections
  2. The support of publications
  3. The support of the Memorial’s exhibitions, events and research projects
  4. The support of academic research relevant to the museum activities of the Memorial
  5. The support of construction projects as well as the maintenance and expansion of the Memorial
  6. The holding of the Society’s own exhibitions, events and research
  7. The attraction of further friends and donors
  8. The offering of guided tours through the Memorial as well as the support of the Memorial’s paedogogical work
  9. Supporting of the Memorial in its relations with the public and media

(3) The Society shall cooperate with other similar museum support societies such as the initiative to establish an international youth encounter centre in Sachsenhausen and the Friends of the Ravensbrück Memorial Museum.

(4) The Society shall pursue exclusively charitable aims as defined in the section ‘tax-deductible purposes’ of the taxation regulations.

(5) The Society shall be selfless; it shall not prioritise its own economic interests.

(6) The Society’s funds shall only be used for purposes defined in the Rules. The members shall receive no payments from Society funds.

(7) No person shall benefit from payments alien to the aims of the Society or disproportionate reimbursements.

§3 Membership

(1) Natural persons and legal entities may be regular members of the Society. Employees of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation may not be regular members. Former employees of the Foundation and of the Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück National Memorials may only become honorary members.

(2) The acceptance of new members shall be at the discretion of the Chairpersons. The Chairpersons will only accept membership applications that are supported by at least 2 existing members.

(3) The chairpersons may appoint honorary members. Former prisoners of Sachsenhausen concentration camp and of the Sachsenhausen Special Camp may be accepted as honorary members on application.

(4) All members shall have free access to all parts of the Memorial.

(5) Membership shall be considered terminated by:

(6) A written resignation must be presented to the Chairpersons one month before the end of each quarter.

(7) Members shall only be excluded where there is significant reason. The following are examples of significant reason:

(8) The Chairpersons shall make the final decision. Members may lodge their appeals against exclusion at the Members’ Assembly. Such an appeal must be received by the Chairpersons within one month of exclusion.

§4 Membership Dues

The amount of membership dues and the date on which they are to be paid shall be determined by the Members’ Assembly.

§5 Executors of the Society

Executors of the society shall be:

§6 The Members’ Assembly

(1) Among the tasks of the Members’ Assembly shall be:

(2) A regular Members’ Assembly shall occur once annually. The Chairpersons must call an extraordinary Members’ Assembly in cases where this is demanded by a minimum of one quarter of members.

(3) The Chairpersons shall announce a Members’ Assembly and its agenda to the membership by written invitation. Invitations are to be sent no later than six weeks in advance. This period is considered to begin one day after the date of the sending of the invitation. The invitations are considered sent to members when posted to the last member address known to the Society.

(4) Motions to deselect the Chairpersons, to change the Rules or aims of the Society or to dissolve the Society shall only be considered where they are announced to the members in the invitations to the Members’ Assembly; motions not so announced must wait until the next Members’ Assembly.

(5) The Members’ Assembly shall be led by an Assembly Leader chosen by a majority of members.

(6) The Members’ Assembly has executive power regardless of the number of members attending.

(7) Each regular member shall have one vote. Votes shall be decided by simple majority except in the following cases: the deselection of the Chairpersons and changes of the Society Rules, including changes to the Society’s aims, require a two-thirds majority of valid votes cast. Abstentions and invalid votes shall not be considered.

(8) The decisions of the Members’ Assembly are to be recorded by a minute-taker who must sign the minutes.

(9) The Chairpersons are empowered to make changes to the Rules insofar as these are required for the registration of the Society as a charity.

§ 7 The Chairpersons

(1) The Chairpersons shall number five persons. Four persons:

(2) The Minister responsible for the Foundation or their deputy may attend meetings of the Chairpersons in an advisory capacity.

(3) The Chair and the two deputy Chairs shall be considered managing directors under § 26 of the BGB; the Society may be represented by any two of them.

(4) The Chairpersons are appointed for a period of two years. The Chairpersons shall remain in office until such time as new Chairpersons are selected. The Chairpersons may only be deselected during their time in office if new Chairpersons are also selected in their place.

(5) Should one of the Chairpersons with managing director status step down, then the remaining Chairpersons shall stay in office until the new election. They may be expanded by a maximum of one additional chairperson during this time.

(6) The Chairpersons require a simple majority to pass a motion. Where a vote on a motion is tied, the motion is considered rejected. The Chairpersons shall have executive power provided the Chair, the Director of the Sachsenhausen memorial or his deputy and one further chairperson are in attendance.

(7) The Chairpersons shall not enter into financial commitments unless they are made on the understanding that the Society’s financial liability is limited to the funds held by the Society. Should the Society’s funds be exhausted, Society members shall not be held severally or individually liable for any financial commitment.

§8 Curatorium

The Chairpersons may appoint a curatorium to advise them and to promote the exchange of ideas and cooperation with donors and all organisations which play a role in the Society’s work. The members of the curatorium shall each be appointed by the Chairpersons for a period of three years. This period may be extended.

§9 Acquisition and disposal of museum objects

The Society may only acquire items for itself or for the Memorial with the permission of the Director of the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum. Any acquisition resulting in a financial commitment above Euro 5000 for the Society or Memorial lasting beyond delivery of the item may only be entered into with the permission of the Board of the Brandenburg Memorial Foundation.

§10 The financial year and the tendering of accounts

(1) The financial year shall be identical with the calendar year. The first financial year ends on 31 December of the year of the establishment of the Society.

(2) The Chairpersons have until 31 March each year to sign off on the accounts of the previous year.

(3) The inspection of the budget shall be carried out by the Treasurer appointed by the Members’ Assembly.

§11 Dissolution of the Society

Should the Society be dissolved, or should its charitable aims be altered, then the assets of the Society shall pass to the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation, which shall use these assets exclusively for such charitable purposes as outlined in §2 of these Rules. Losses made by the Society will not be passed on to the Brandenburg Memorial Foundation.