History of the Westerau Foundation

The Westerau Foundation was founded in the year 1463 by the councillor and later mayor Andreas Geverdes who worked in Lübeck and by the Lübeck citizen and wall cutter Gerd van Lenthen. It is named after the small village of Westerau in the district of Stormarn which was located in the communal property of both founders.

The original tasks of the foundation were taking care of the graves at the St Gertrud and St Jürgen cemeteries in Lübeck and the holding of requiem masses. In addition to these the improvement of the connecting path, which was then in a poor state, between Lübeck and Westerau was expressly declared to part of the purpose of the foundation.

Like so many testamentary bequests, the Westerau Foundation did also not remain unspared from an eventful fate over the centuries. Together with historical events (the Reformation, Thirty Years' War and others) which led to a change in the Foundation's purpose, the financial situation had deteriorated over time due to mismanagement.

The foundation did indeed possess land holdings, but no liquid assets. Dissolution of the foundation was considered several times, yet this was always rejected - albeit with reservations - as the foundation was always considered to be worth maintaining.

However thanks to "economic rethinking" it succeeded in improving the assets- and proceeds situation in such a way that fulfilling the foundation's purpose - of granting support for the elderly and education allowances - was made possible again.

Thanks to the statutory social provision which has grown ever more extensive over time, the foundation's main focus today is however the support of talented students in need.