Support from the BKM
Over the centuries the cultural landscape of Eastern Europe has been moulded by the coexistence of numerous ethnic, religious and social groups. German culture and influence also played a large role in this process due to the steady migration of Germans into Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages onward. Since 1953, both Federal and State Governments have made commitment to explore the cultural heritage of the Germans in Eastern Europe and to preserve and further its cultural awareness. This task is enshrined in § 96 of the German Law on Expelled Ethnic Germans and Refugees (BVFG). The current version reads:
§ 96 - Maintenance of the cultural heritage of expellees and refugees and the promotion of scientific research
Federal and State Governments are to preserve the cultural heritage from the expulsion regions in the consciousness of expellees and refugees, the entire German nation and abroad according to the jurisdiction granted by the German Constitutional Law. They must safeguard, supplement and expand archives, museums and libraries, as well as promote and support establishments for the production of art and education. Governments have to promote science and research in the fulfilment of tasks arising from the expulsion and the integration of expellees and refugees, as well as the development of the cultural achievements of expellees and refugees. The Federal Government reports annually to the Bundestag on the activities undertaken.
On the federal level, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) takes this responsibility with regard to § 96 BVFG (Expellees and Refugees Act) very seriously. She supports scientific research projects, museums and exhibitions as well as libraries. She carries out extensive cultural work concerning the Germans in Silesia, Pomerania, East and West Prussia, Bohemia, the Carpathian regions, along the Danube, in the Baltic States and Russia. Further information about funding criteria for significant initiatives as well as application forms can be found in the links below.