The Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) advises and supports the Federal Government in all matters concerning the research, presentation and development of German culture and history in Eastern Europe.
The Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) is a federal agency and departmental research institution within the portfolio of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). It is the only BKM institution with a consulting and service contract with the Federal Government.
The BKGE is entrusted with specific tasks, which are legally justified by § 96 of the Federal Displaced Persons Act (BVFG): It advises and supports the Federal Government in all matters of research, presentation and further development of the culture and history of Germans in Eastern Europe, i.e. in the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural regions of Eastern Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, where Germans have lived or still live today. The cultural heritage of these areas must therefore be "preserved in awareness of displaced persons, refugees, the entire German people and populations abroad". The BKGE therefore has the task of providing the Federal Government – usually the BKM – with targeted scientific findings and analyses that serve as a basis for political and administrative decision-making processes.
Departmental research addresses current issues, identifies important present-day and future challenges for society, develops concrete options for government action and advises political decision-makers. To fulfil this mission, the Institute is integrated into the international research landscape. It conducts scientific surveys and documentation and coordinates federally funded research projects. The BKGE works with national and international cooperation partners and is integrated into European structures. On behalf of the BKM, the BKGE also contributes its specialist experience to European committees. The work of the BKGE is geographically comprehensive and multidisciplinary. The BKGE's researchers represent the disciplines of history, literature and language, European ethnology/ folklore and art history.
As an affiliated institute of the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, the BKGE participates in university teaching.