From left to right: Hanns Martin Schleyers driver Heinz Marcisz
and the police officers Reinhold Brändle, Roland Pieler and Helmut Ulmer.

About us | Foundation profile | Head of management | Committees | Office


Reason for foundation

Dr Hanns Martin Schleyer, born on 1st May 1915, was inter alia director of Daimler-Benz, President of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).
On 5th September 1977, he was kidnapped by members of the “Red Army Faction” (RAF) and his chauffeur, Heinz Marcisz, and police officers Reinhold Brändle, Roland Pieler und Helmut Ulmer were killed. Dr Schleyer was held hostage while his kidnappers demanded the release of imprisoned RAF members. This demand was not met and on the 18th October 1977, after six weeks in captivity, Dr Schleyer was killed by the terrorists.
The events of 1977 posed existential challenges to our constitutional democracy. The Hanns Martin Schleyer Foundation was launched, in response to this threat, as an initiative dedicated to protecting this common good. Its aim is the consolidation and ongoing development of our liberal, democratic society.

Hanns Martin Schleyer 1915 – 1977

Portrait Hanns Martin Schleyer

Memorial Köln Braunsfeld

– only in German –

Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Rede zum 40. Todestag von Hanns Martin Schleyer, 2017

»Die Freiheit verteidigen, die Demokratie stärken –
eine bleibende Herausforderung« 

Bundeskanzler a.D. Dr. h.c. mult. Helmut Schmidt
Rede anlässlich der Verleihung der Hanns Martin Schleyer-Preises 2012

»Gewissensentscheidung im Konflikt« [PDF]

Bundeskanzler a.D. Dr. Helmut Kohl
Rede anlässlich der Verleihung der Hanns Martin Schleyer-Preises 2009

»Ich habe einen Freund verloren«  [PDF]