The Karl May Foundation

The Karl-May-Stiftung is a foundation under German civil law, founded in 1913 by Karl May’s second wife Klara May in accordance with May’s will and testament. It is the body responsible for the Karl May Museum and publisher of the Karl May Museum’s series of publications. Since 2007, the foundation, along with the Karl May Publishing House and Karl May Society, has been involved in publishing the historical critical edition.

A list of the members of the committees and contacts at the Karl May Foundation can be found here.

 

Statutes of the Karl May Foundation

dated 15 November 1991, as amended on 12 November 2016

Golden letters on the front of Villa ShatterhandGolden letters on the front of Villa Shatterhand

Preamble

In his last will and testament of 8 March 1908, Karl May (1842-1912) named his wife Klara May (1864-1944) as his sole heir, subject to the condition, that on his death, his entire estate (“… everything I own and all future revenues of my works…”) were to go to a charitable foundation, with the purpose of helping impoverished talented individuals gain an education, and supporting needy writers and journalists. This “Karl May Foundation” was established by Klara May as early as 5 March 1913 via submission to the Royal Ministry of Culture and public notification in Dresden, and named heir of the entire May family fortune via two inheritance contracts dated 11 December 1913 and 26 January 1926. This inheritance entered into force on 31 December 1944. After its full status as a legal person was restricted via incorporation in a collective foundation (1949-1985), the Karl May Foundation regained legal capacity, based on the original legal status, via resolutions of the Council of the Dresden District dated 23 January 1985 und 10 November 1987.

As the foundation’s assets had increased significantly with the establishment of the Karl May Museum (the Indian exhibition since 1928 and the Karl May exhibition on the property and in the author’s home since 1985), and the purpose of the foundation had largely lost its prerequisite necessity due to the improved social conditions [*], the Karl May Foundation was given expanded statutes in accordance with the founders intentions on 15 November 1991, with amendments dated 9 May 1992, 9 May 1993, 18 June 1995, 5 April 1997, 29 April 2000, 23 November 2002 and 12 November 2016.

[*] Editor’s note: As the social circumstances in Germany have changed completely, the original prerequisite necessity has been lost. As a result, no scholarships are currently being awarded.

Section 1 - Name, legal form, registered address

1. The Foundation shall be named “Karl May Foundation”.
2. It is a foundation under civil law with legal capacity.
3. It’s registered address is in Radebeul.

Section 2 - Purpose of the Foundation

1. The purpose of the Foundation is to preserve and maintain the memory of the author Karl May and his works, whose educational intention was to spread tolerance, intercultural understanding and love of peace. This is implemented by promoting museum institutions and memorials to Karl May and associated matters and projects of cultural and regional history, literature and education, as well as certain social measures. Individually, this determines the following tasks:

a) Establishment and expansion of a central Karl May Archive in Radebeul, that is to collect all preserved and ascertainable documents of Karl May’s life, reception and literary work, and services as an institution of scientific research;

b) Preservation and maintenance of the foundation’s own memorials, in particular Karl May’s home and his grave, as well as support of the Karl May House in Hohenstein-Ernstthal with selected tasks;

c) Financing of measures necessary for the continued existence and operability of the foundation’s Karl May Museum, and measures to increase its significance and attractiveness;

d) Granting “Karl May Scholarships” and funding for work and research projects, which are particularly worthy of support in accordance with Karl May’s aforementioned ideals

e) Preparation and publication of print materials with content related to the collection, exhibition and research activities of the Karl May Foundation;

f) Establishment and presentation of a “Karl May Award” for outstanding achievements and merits in accordance with the purpose of the Foundation;

g) Cooperation with like-minded societies or institutions in Germany and abroad, in particular Karl-May-Gesellschaft e. V.;

h) Support for authors, journalists and editors in need, in accordance with the original purpose of the Foundation.

2. The Foundation exclusively and directly pursues non-profit purposes within the meaning of the “Tax-privileged purposes” section of the German Tax Code (Abgabenordnung). It operates on an altruistic basis and is not primarily concerned with its own economic interests. The Foundation’s funds may only be used for purposes in accordance with the Foundation’s statutes. No persons may be privileged by expenditures foreign to the purposes of the Foundation, or by disproportionately high remuneration.

3. The Foundation may purchase properties and premises related to Karl May, his life and his works.

Section 3 - Statement of assets

1. As of the expansion of the statutes, the assets of the Foundation comprise:

a) the Karl May Museum, its inventory and its business assets;
b) the grave of Karl and Klara May at Radebeul cemetery;
c) properties and other assets;
d) donations and gifts in accordance with their specified purpose.

2. In the interest of the long-term continued existence of the Foundation, the value of the Foundation’s assets is to be preserved undiminished. Transfers of assets between Foundation units are permitted.

Section 4 - Business year, annual financial statements

1. The business year is the calendar year.

2. The Management Board shall produce annual financial statements for the business year no later than six months after its end, and shall submit a report on the fulfilment of the purposes of the Foundation.

3. The annual financial statements, report and current statement of assets shall be forwarded to the supervisory authority after confirmation by the Board of Trustees.

Section 5 - Foundation bodies

The bodies of the Foundation are the Board of Trustees and the Management Board. The members of the bodies work on a voluntary basis. Verified expenses shall be reimbursed and donated back to fulfil the purpose of the Foundation.

Section 6 - Board of Trustees

1. The Board of Trustees comprises 11 to 19 persons, each elected for a period of five years by the existing Board of Trustees. The members of the Board of Trustees remain in office until the next meeting of the Board of Trustees, which follows after the expiry of their term of office.

2. Candidates can be proposed by all members of the Management Board and Board of Trustees. Requirements are personal integrity and appropriate technical and specialist expertise for the tasks of the foundation.

3. Members of the Board of Trustees shall be retired as of:
a) the end of their term of office;
b) their election to the Management Board;
c) their voting out with a two-thirds majority;
d) their own request;
e) their death.

4. If a member of the Board of Trustees withdraws before the end of their term, their successor shall be elected for the duration of a term of office.

5. The Board of Trustees shall elect a President and Vice-President for five years from its midst with a majority of the voting members present. The President shall chair the meetings, which shall take place at least once a year.

6. The President invites the Board of Trustees to the meeting four weeks in advance, electronically or by post (date of the postmark), and sends an agenda as well as key meeting documents. The Board of Trustees shall be deemed to have reached a quorum when the invitation has been sent properly and at least half of the members is present. Decisions shall be made with a simple majority of the members present. If no quorum is reached, members are invited to a new meeting with the same agenda, whereby the Board of Trustees shall always be deemed to have a quorum. Every meeting is documented in minutes, which shall be signed by the meeting chairman and minute taker.

7. The Management Board and the Managing Director(s) shall take part in the meetings of the Board of Trustees.

Section 7 - Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees

1. The Board of Trustees elects the Foundation’s Management Board and supervises its management. It must approve the annual business plan to be produced by the Management Board, confirm the annual financial statements produced by a tax consultant, and relieve the Management Board.

2. The Board of Trustees should contribute to the viability of the Foundation by utilising additional sources of finance, gifts and donations.

3. The Board of Trustees shall decide on the provision of the funds required per Section 2.1. d), f) and h) in fulfilment of the purpose of the Foundation. It can make decisions on the award.

Section 8 - The Management Board

1. The Management Board consists of up to seven persons: the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and up to five members. The Management Board is elected by the Board of Trustees for a three year period.

2. Members of the Management Board shall be retired as of:
a) the end of their term of office;
b) their election to the Board of Trustees;
c) their voting out with a two-thirds majority of the Board of Trustees;
d) their own request;
e) their death.

If a member of the Management Board withdraws before the end of their term, their successor shall be elected for the remaining duration of the electoral term of the Management Board.

3. The Management Board elects the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson from its midst with a simple majority.

4. The Management Board shall meet as required. The Management Board shall invite members to meetings electronically or by post with two-weeks notice (date of the postmark) and send the agenda. No written invitation shall be sent if the Management Board has set up a meeting schedule and the consultation meetings on the agenda occur without changes. Then, the agenda shall apply at least in accordance with the minutes of the preceding meeting. Members can be invited to urgent meetings without adhering to formal requirements and notice periods stating reasons.

5. The Management Board must convene when at least three members of the Management Board demand this specifying reasons.

6. Meetings of the Management Board shall be deemed to have a quorum if the invitation was sent in accordance with Paragraph 4 and at least four members of the Management Board are present. Decisions shall be made with a simple majority of the members present. If no quorum is reached, the members are invited again with the same agenda, whereby the Management Board shall have a quorum if the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson and one other member of the Management Board are present.

 

Section 9 - Responsibilities of the Management Board

1. The Management Board has the role of a legal representative and represents the foundation for in-court or out-of-court proceedings through the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson together with a member of the Management Board.

2. The Management Board manages the Foundation and its assets in accordance with these Statutes. It ensures a reliable and profitable investment of the Foundation’s capital. It can utilise the services of third parties in performing its duties.

3. The Management Board executes the resolutions of the Board of Trustees on provision of the Foundation’s funds.

4. The Management Board is obliged to report to the Board of Trustees on the activities of the Foundation and to submit accounts to it.

5. The Management Board requires the approval of the Board of Trustees for transactions which oblige the Foundation beyond the end of the currently valid business plan, and when purchasing or mortgaging properties.

6. The Management Board appoints the Foundation’s executive management.

Section 10 - Executive management

1. The Management Board shall appoint one or more Managing Directors for the office period of the Management Board. They are special representatives pursuant to Section 30 of the German Civil Code (BGB). If multiple Managing Directors are appointed, the division of duties is governed by rules of procedures, with which the Management Board decides the order in which they serve as special representatives. The responsibility can also be linked with a function in one of the units controlled by the foundation.

2. The Managing Director(s) oversee(s) the ongoing operations of the Foundation. They oversee the operations based on the resolutions and instructions of the Management Board and report to the Management Board and are bound by its instructions and resolutions.

Section 11 - Honours

1. The Foundation bodies per Section 5 can also honour individuals by appointing honorary trustees. An honour can be earned if the individual(s) to be honoured have rendered services to the Foundation and spreading the spirit of the Foundation. Recognition as honorary trustee does not entitle holders to any rights and obligations in internal or external relationships to the Foundation. The Foundation is subject to state supervision in accordance with the currently valid Foundation law.

2. The Management Board and the members of the Board of Trustees are entitled to propose appointments for honorary trustees. The Board of Trustees alone is responsible for appointments as honorary trustees.

3. For services to the Karl May Foundation, the “Klara May Medal” can be awarded by decision of the Board of Trustees.

Section 12 - Foundation supervision

The Foundation is subject to state supervision in accordance with the currently valid Foundation law.

Section 13 - Amendments to the Statutes, termination, merger

1. Amendments to the Statutes are only permitted if the sustainable fulfilment of the purpose of the Foundation remains guaranteed. They require a decision by the Board of Trustees with a two-thirds majority of the elected members. Planned amendments to the Statutes must be announced as an agenda item for a meeting of the Board of Trustees, including sending the planned amendment.

2. For amendments to the Statutes, which affect the purpose of the Foundation, for termination of the Foundation and merger with another foundation, a resolution passed with a two-thirds majority of all members of the Board of Trustees is required. The resolution must be made in a meeting called specially for this, at which the voting members of the Board of Trustees present shall decide. A resolution of this kind is only permissible if the fulfilment of the purpose of the Foundation has become impossible, or no longer appears to make sense due to major changes in the circumstances. It shall not become legally effective until it is approved by the supervisory authority per Section 12 of these Statutes.

3. Amendments in the Statutes must be coordinated with the responsible tax office.

4. On reversal or termination of the Foundation or on elimination of tax-privileged purposes, the residual assets shall be go to the City of Radebeul, which shall use them directly and exclusively for charitable and non-profit purposes in accordance with the will of the founder per Section 2 of these Foundation Statutes.

 

 

Approved by the State Directorate of Saxony on 23 January 2017.

Karl May Museum

Karl-May-Str. 5
01445 Radebeul

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