Summary: The Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation was founded and named in honor of Carl Schurz, who served as ambassador, Senator, and Secretary of the Interior during the 19th Century. This foundation, which formed shortly before the beginning of the Second World War, when tensions with Germany were high, dedicated itself to promoting German language and culture, as well as positive relations between Germany and the United States. The founders were a group of professors and teachers of German, who were invested in maintaining the teaching of the German language.
Some of the foundation’s main grants went toward funding a book exchange in which American libraries would receive German books, providing travel funding for doctors, social workers, and other professionals to travel to Germany, and funding to support refugees from the Nazi regime.
The Foundation shifted its focus in 1962, when it changed over from an independent philanthropic foundation to a general membership association, changing its name to the National Carl Schurz Association, Inc.