Our Demands

For two years the Her.Tietz Initiative has pursued transparent research and commemoration of the Jewish owned Herrmann Tietz department store chain’s history and its connection to the modern day Hertie Stiftung and Hertie School. Our Initiative has led us to identify the below demands we believe are required to constructively build a democratic and tolerant Hertie community.

To the FoundationTo The School
1. The creation of a balanced commission consisting of 3-5 historians with at least one non-German member – to guarantee an unbiased commission and to include an international perspective1. A fixed and integral time window during annual Orientation Week of the Hertie School within which the Her.Tietz Initiative draws attention to the “Aryanization” and the antisemitic repressions against the Tietz family
2. The commission must include a historian with a focus on Holocaust studies – it is not sufficient to see the “aryanization” only from the perspective of economic history, but also in light of the Holocaust2. Renaming of the Hertie School’s library to “Tietz Memorial Library”, both at its current location and in the Robert Koch Forum after the planned move
3. The Hertie Foundation must provide a written, legally valid and public guarantee of non-interference and of access to all available sources – guaranteeing that interference will not happen3. Clear mention of the Herrmann Tietz story on the Hertie School website
4. The Hertie Foundation will waive any requirements of interim reports before the full publication of the results – interim reports would offer opportunities for interference
5. The Hertie Foundation will publicly guarantee the commission’s funding, with a legally binding commitment that the historians will be free to develop and decide on the rules of procedure – financial independence is crucial to avoid the possibility to exert financial pressure
6. A clear and transparent timeline that is communicated publicly, including the start and end date of the research – strong commitments need to be verifiable
7. A focus of the research needs to be on the “aryanization” of the Hermann Tietz department stores, including the restitution process – the “aryanization” needs to be covered extensively, because this is the most disputed part of Hertie’s history
8. The Hertie Foundation will officially invite the Tietz family, more precisely the direct descendants of the Tietz family members who were active as managing directors and shareholders at the time of the “aryanization” to contribute sources – with the aim of gaining additional sources.
9. Release of the two already existing pre-studies from 2000 and 2008
10. Revision of the non-scientific Herrmann Tietz history text currently found on the homepage of the Hertie Foundation, which downplays the significance of anti-Semitic repression and contains no sources

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