On 17th May 1919, the Possehl Foundation was legally established by Senate decree. In the years before the National Socialists seized power in 1933, the activities of the Possehl Foundation were limited by the company's eventful economic situation. Politically and economically troubled times gave the Foundation little room for manoeuvre, but, like the majority of capital-bound foundations of its time, it did not cease to exist. The first noteworthy grants were made in 1927. After 1933, the Possehl Foundation was degraded to a vehicle of National Socialist social policy. In the Charter, "elections" were replaced by "appointments" by the Mayor of Lübeck. In the years of reconstruction, the Group also flourished. It was during this period that the Foundation was liberated from direct municipal influence. Even today, this relationship has to be constantly readjusted. Nearly two thirds of the €390 million distributed since 1950 has been disbursed in the last decade. The biggest questions facing the Possehl Foundation since its establishment are those concerning the relationship between the Foundation and the State, donation activities and social welfare tasks.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Possehl Foundation, historian Dr. Axel Schildt has reviewed the history of the Foundation. "POSSEHL - Geschichte und Charakter einer Stiftung" (POSSEHL - History and Character of a Foundation") is being published in May by Murmann-Verlag.