World Heritage

The cooperative idea belongs to the intangible cultural heritage of the humanity. This has announced the International Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO on    December 1st in Addis Abeba.

Founders of the cooperatives were Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen and Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch. They were contempories and had similar ideas. Together with the fact that in 2018 the 200th birthday of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen will be celebrated, the admission in the world heritage list has a particular importance for the local government district Altenkirchen and of course also for Hamm (Sieg).

The mayor Rainer Buttstedt who himself sits in the committee of this society said: “I’m grateful that the German Raiffeisen Society has so vehemently and engaged pursued the thought to take care of the word heritage status. I’m assuming that Hamm, as the birthplace of the cooperative founder, will profit from the decision of the UNESCO. However, at the same time a responsibility also comes up to us to handle responsibly with this inheritance. The new draft for the Raiffeisen Museum is the first step.”

Germany had never applied before to enter this List and get the status of intangible cultural heritage. The cooperative idea is the first suggestion from Germany to the admission in the Representative List.

The German UNESCO representation had submitted in 2015 this first international nomination with the exact title “idea and practice of the organization of common interests in cooperatives.” The admission is an acknowledgement of the inheritance of both Raiffeisen and Schulze-Delitzsch equally.

The vice-chairman of the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen Society Josef Zolk declares to the decision: “we are delighted and grateful that Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the founders of the cooperative idea, are honored in this manner - for the basic lapping of an idea which is today more than ever from great relevance. More than 20 million people in Germany alone are organized in cooperatives.”

Dr. Manfred Wilde member of the executive board of the German Hermann-Schulze-Delitzsch Society means: “the admission is an acknowledgement of the inheritance of both Raiffeisen and Schulze-Delitzsch equally: the plan of a multidenominational model being open to all prospective customers of the self-help, self-government and direct responsibility on basis of cooperations.”

Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen have set up at the middle of the 19th century determining bases for the cooperative idea, which have a worldwide effect today. They founded the first modern cooperative organisations in Germany.

The Representative List should guarantee a better visibility of the intangible cultural heritage, raise the awareness for its meaning and promote dialogue with concurrent esteem of the cultural diversity. It registers various intangible cultural forms of expression from all world regions.

Germany has joined 2013 the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage which was adopted in 2006.



Contact us at:

Tourist - Information Raiffeisenland
Scheidter Str. 11
57577 Hamm (Sieg)
Tel.: +49 2682 96 97 89
Fax: +49 2682 67 420



              15 h - 17 h

         and by appointment

Bank connection

Volksbank Hamm (Sieg) e.G.

Sparkasse Westerwald-Sieg


Map of the area

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