Summer semester 2022

In my lecture, I will present the results of various historical and social projects carried out in Ukraine in 2012-2021 with the support of the EVZ Foundation. These projects focused on the issues of forced labor under National Socialism and the "Forgotten Victims" of National Socialism - Soviet prisoners of war and patients in psychiatric hospitals. In the second half of my presentation, I will describe how the social network of various contacts created within the framework of these research and public projects helped to find former victims of National Socialism during the Russian aggression against Ukraine and to provide them with assistance from the EVZ.


Dr. Tetiana Pastushenko is research associate at the Institute on the History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. For more than 30 years she has been researching the history of World War II, in particular the fates of Soviet prisoners of war and forced laborers, prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and victims of Stalinist repressions. She is the author of several books on forced labor and forced laborers in and after World War II. She has also accompanied and organized several international projects, including topics as contemporary witness documentation on the history of slave and forced labor in nazi Germany and the settlement of Repatriates in Kiev Prohibited. Dr. Tetiana Pastushenko received her PhD in 2007 on the topic: “The Eastern Workers from Ukraine: Deportation, Forced Labor, Repatriation”.

For numerous areas of historical research on pre-modern India, the preserved sources are extraordinarily sparse. However, the source situation is quite different for research on the phenomenon of "endowment." Thousands of inscriptions from the period 300 B.C. to 1500 A.D. (and beyond) are available, and it may be regarded as a fortunate circumstance that, at least since the first centuries A.D., the overwhelming majority of these inscriptions represent foundation documents. The relatively good presevation situation is not least connected with the nature of inscriptions, which were intended to last "for eternity" and were therefore attached to durable materials. Indian foundation testimonies are carved in stone or engraved in metal and written in Prakrit, Sanskrit and proto-regional languages. However, the large number of documentary sources on endowments should not obscure the fact that even they are far from providing information on all aspects of endowments. This becomes especially clear in cross-cultural comparisons with other regions. In this sense, the lecture will deal with what can be learned about foundations from Indian inscriptions and where the limits lie here as well.


Prof. Dr. Annette Schmiedchen is an Indologist at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin. This is also the location of the project she leads ("From Deccan to Arakan") of the ERC Synergy Grant "DHARMA - The Domestication of 'Hindu' Asceticism and the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia (2019-2025). Her areas of expertise are pre-modern Indian history and Sanskrit epigraphy. She has worked on the epigraphic corpora of the Maitraka and the Rāṣṭrakūṭa dynasties in western and central India and, in particular, on the thematic complexes of religious endowment in Buddhist, Brahmanical Hindu, and Jinist contexts, as well as on issues of ruler representation and legitimation in pre-modern Indian cultural space. Annette Schmiedchen studied Indology at the HU and also received her doctorate. She completed her habilitation at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2009. She also worked as a substitute professor of Indology at MLU. From 2012 to 2017, she collaborated with HU's Institute of Historical Sciences on the intercultural ERC project "FOUNDMED - Foundations in Medieval Societies" based there.

From the perspective of Islamic jurisprudence regarding the role in society of waqf endowments, this presentation explores the topic of the common good as it intersected with the idea of the preservation of cultural heritage. From this viewpoint, Islamic religious scholars of all schools and branches produced jurisprudence and legal theories on the subject from the early Islamic centuries to the current day (examples of the latter are found in Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Malaysia and other Muslim majority regions). Writings of this nature were also produced by scholars in other religious communities within Islamicate lands, the dâr al-islâm, such as by Jewish, Christian, Ibadi and Druze religious authorities who theorized on the intentions of individuals within their communities when they created their endowments to support religious, public and private goals some of which included the support of a system of common good and the preservation of cultural spaces. Although this presentation focuses on studying the intersection, within the domain of waqf, between the common good and the preservation of cultural heritage, specifically, from Islamic Sunni religious writings, the comparative perspective, with reference to the above religious communities, should be kept in mind as well as one which compares this question via endowments and similar structures created elsewhere on a global level. As such, several works within the ahkâm al-awqâf (rulings / judgments on waqfs) genre produced by Islamic Sunni scholars who wrote on the topic with respect to waqf endowments in the early Islamic centuries to the present period will be studied. The question will be examined, in situ, by looking at the jurists’ interpretation of the intersection of the common good – whether implicitly or explicitly referred to as maṣlaḥa ‘âmma as a means of social cohesion when intersected with waqf as a way of preserving cultural heritage, public or private («waqf is the element which binds together the society»).


Randi Deguilhem, a Fulbright-Hays recipient, is a professor (directrice de recherche, PhD, HdR) with the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research). She is a member of TELEMMe-MMSH, Aix Marseille U. (AMU), Aix-en-Provence, France, where she has directed graduate seminars from 1998 and has supervised over 20 PhD dissertations. A historian of the modern and contemporary Middle East and Islamic worlds, her primary research focuses on Syria within the framework of comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives. Her work systematically encompasses the longue durée approach specializing on the institutional history and Islamic, customary and state law of waqf endowments as they develop and transform during the Ottoman, Mandate and independent periods in Syria. She also studies and publishes on the educational systems in the Tanzimat and post-Tanzimat era of the Ottoman Empire as well as on the Mission Laïque schools in Greater Syria. Gender analysis in these fields constitute an important focus as well as within her work on the nahda and nahda-inspired movements in the region. She has published 10 multi-authored books and about 50 book chapters and articles. In 2012, she created and runs the International Research Network (GDRI) WAQF Fondations with the CNRS (IISMM-EHESS, TELEMMe) and university partners in Algeria, Japan, Malaysia, Palestine, Tunisia and the UAE. Within this context, she created and leads a seminar on waqf at IISMM-EHESS, Paris. From 2014-20, she co-founded and directed the AMU network, GenderMed: Thinking Gender in the Mediterranean which developed institutional links with local and international partners.  She belongs to several Advisory Boards of international programs (i.e. PIMo / Entangled Histories of the Mediterranean, EU COST, Brussels) and journals (i.e. Endowment Studies, Brill, Leiden). She is editor of HAWWA: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World, Brill and is co-editor of the Gender & Islam series at Bloomsbury / IB Tauris, London.

A non-legally capable or dependent foundation is a foundation that lacks a legal personality and requires a so-called foundation executor who administers the assets transferred to him by the founder for the purpose determined by the founder. Before the 19th century, all phenomena that today would be qualified as foundations (e.g. certain pia corpora, hospitals, or monasteries), but which were only gradually designated as such from the late Middle Ages onwards, were necessarily non-legal foundations. A concept of the legal foundation as a legal entity was still unknown. In the 19th century, many German law faculties were involved in the cases of the Städel Art Institute and the Blum Orphanage. In the course of these cases and based on the works of Mühlenbruch, Heise and von Savigny, the view gradually prevailed that the foundation was the second form of legal entity besides the corporation and could be established for purposes that went beyond religious and charitable ones, but that this legal personality could not be based solely on private disposition but required state approval. From all this, however, the conclusion was not drawn that foundations may always and only be established in the guise of a legal person. Rather, the legal form of foundations without legal capacity has survived the legal introduction of §§ 80-88 German Civil Code (BGB), and their number in Germany exceeds the number of foundations with legal capacity by a factor of five. To date, however, the legal classification of non-legal foundations has still not been fully clarified, in particular whether they can be qualified as a trust foundation or by means of a donation subject to conditions (donatio sub modo).


Prof. Dr. Stefan J. Geibel is Director of the Institute for German and European Corporate and Commercial Law at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Here he holds the chair for civil law and ancillary areas, in particular foundation law with its European and international references. His research focuses include general civil law, company and corporate law, as well as foundation, association and non-profit law. Prof. Dr. Stefan Geibel completed his doctorate in Tübingen in 2002 and habilitated there in 2006. He also earned the title Maître en droit at the University of Aix-Marseille.


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