Alfred Toepfer – merchant, agricultural entrepreneur, and honorary citizen of Hamburg – founded the F.V.S. Foundation of Hamburg on 5 December 1931 and shaped the Foundation’s development until his death in 1993.
Subsequently, on the occasion of his 100th birthday, the name of the founder was added to the Foundation’s name. Since then it has been called the ‘Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.’. The Foundation’s name now provides the necessary transparency with regard to the founder of the organisation and its history.
You can find an extensive chronicle (as of 2005) of the founder’s life in the Downloads section (in German). Jan Zimmermann’s biography, published in the ‘Hamburger Köpfe’ series (2008), offers a critical depiction of Alfred Toepfer’s life and work.
Because of its history reaching back to 1931, the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. sees itself as having a special responsibility to research the cultural, economic, and political work of Alfred Toepfer and his Foundations. The Foundation for this has been laid by the work on the Trust’s history from its beginnings to 1945 by a scholarly committee (published in 2000) and the assessment of the history of individual awards given by the Foundation from the 1950s onwards (published in 2003). For more information, go to Publications.