»It is great to support young and dedicated people directly« - Interview with Jutta Meinerts

How did you come to know of the foundation?

» I read about it in the newspaper. My mother sent me an article from the Neue Westfälische in which the foundation was presented. Afterwards I looked up more information online, and in 2010 I went to an information evening in Berlin. I realised the foundation and I support the same direction. Before, I had already donated money to projects of the foundation, such as Campact or .ausgestrahlt

Was this for you the reason to become a donor?

»I was convinced by the idea and the projects. However, I actually ended up in Bewegungsstiftung because it enables me to say: I have money and I want to do something with it. I do not come from a rich family, but for a while I was earning a lot of money by working as a doctor. In addition to that I inherited a sum of money, and I had the feeling: If I did not give the money away, it would have the power to corrupt me. It was important to me to continue to handle money playfully and not take it too seriously. Therefore, I gave the money partly away, partly I invested it, and partly I gave it to Bewegungsstiftung. Once the money was gone I was glad - it felt as if a burden had gone.« 

You were one of the donors who gave a loan guarantee of 150.000 Euro to back up the big anti-nuclear demonstrations after Fukushima. Most of it will not be paid back. Do you regret offering a guarantee?

»Not at all. I find it obvious that it costs money to organize demonstrations with hundred thousands of participants. Who should pay for it if not us? I have been active in the anti-nuclear power movement for a lot of years myself. Now I can no longer be at the frontline and organize it. Nevertheless, I can go to demonstrations and support the protests financially.«

What is the political topic that moves you most?

»On the one hand, it's the issue of nuclear power. I was part of the battle about the nuclear power plant Grohnde in 1977. My mother was severely beaten by the police even though she only demonstrated peacefully. This spring, we went to the anti-nuclear demonstration in Grohnde together once again, and the situation was completely different – colourful and peaceful. That was very healing for us. On the other hand, I have been influenced by the women's rights and peace movement. But then, I was living in an East German rural area for many years. As a consequence, I lost touch with a lot of political contexts. This is the reason why I like the idea of networking within Bewegungsstiftung so much. Again, I am able to take part in a political discourse, which is extremely important to me.«

How did you experience the time you were new at Bewegungsstiftung?

»It is not that easy for a new person to enter such a huge foundation community. Especially for a rather reserved person like me. But getting to know the people and projects, and experiencing how today's political topics are picked up was incredibly interesting for me.«

What are your wishes for the future of Bewegungsstiftung?

»Always enough money in the cash box and plenty of good ideas. For example, I find the idea of movement workers very impressive. It is great to be able to support young and committed people directly. The name of the foundation is another aspect I am fond of. Many people think of sports when they hear Bewegungsstiftung and check again. I like that very much because it encourages people to reflect upon it – even if it is only my tax advisor.«


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