Alexander Busold and Laura Franken are the 2021 recipients of the Hertie School’s Alumni Achievement Award

Picutred: Alexander Busold and Laura Franken

Joint winners from the MPP Class of 2016 are recognised for their leadership in founding the Her.Tietz Initiative which aims to combat antisemitism.

Alexander Busold and Laura Franken, both MPP 2016, are the recipients of the Hertie School’s 2021 Alumni Achievement Award. Busold and Franken are co-leaders of the Her.Tietz Initiative, which aims to promote a wider understanding of the origins of the Hertie name, raise awareness of the antisemitic repressions against the Tietz family and the “aryanisation” of the Hermann Tietz Department Stores, and contribute to an active commemoration of victims of the Holocaust. 

Together, the two alumni are recognised for their commitment to the values of good citizenship and transitional justice, as well as a commitment to combating ever-increasing antisemitism and right-wing populism. 

Busold founded the Her.Tietz Initiative a year after his graduation from the Hertie School in 2017. Bringing together current and former Hertie School students, alongside fellows and friends from within other Hertie Foundation-sponsored organisations, the initiative has been active in establishing a culture of remembrance and transparency within our institutions. The inaugural Tietz Lecture on combatting antisemitism was hosted in October 2020, and featured Igor Levit and Lena Gorelik who reflected on antisemitism in Germany today. 

In November 2020, the Hertie Foundation commissioned the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte to conduct a comprehensive study on the history of its assets. The independent study will be conducted by Dr. Johannes Bähr and PD Dr. Ingo Köhler with a focus on the period from 1933 and will be published as a book-length project by the end of 2022.

“Understanding today also means learning from our past,” says Mark Hallerberg, Acting President of the Hertie School. “Alexander and Laura’s activism embodies our mission of active engagement for the common good.” 

In addition to Busold and Franken, the core team of the Her.Tietz Initiative includes Lars Mehwald, Max Tirey, Sarah Delere and Torben Klausa. More information on the initiative and its activities is available on its website:  

The Alumni Achievement Award, established in 2015, honours graduates’ outstanding accomplishments in public policy or public management, demonstrating an innovative and dedicated commitment to the principles of good governance. 

This year´s award ceremony will take place during the Alumni Reunion, 10-12 September 2021.