The impetus for the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation came from the judicial investigation into the military dictatorship of Argentina (1976–1983). Among the victims of this dictatorial regime were German nationals and people of German descent, including Elisabeth Käsemann.
In a combined effort which crossed national boundaries, victims from Germany and Argentina and their relatives, together with non-governmental and church organizations, formed a coalition against impunity and achieved the international criminal prosecution of crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship in Argentina.
The constructive and successful cooperation between civilians of Argentina and Germany in coming to terms with crimes against humanity, experienced by Dorothee Weitbrecht, historian and niece of Elisabeth Käsemann, inspired her to create the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation. The foundation was established in 2014 with the support of Luisa Wettengel, a Buenos Aires-based Argentinian of German descent, whose brother was also a victim of the dictatorship. She has been backing the work of the foundation ever since.
The Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation is campaigning for a critical examination of authoritarian regimes and conflicts of the past and their consequences for societies in Latin America, Spain and Germany.
By promoting a transnational dialog about the mechanisms of autocratic systems and structures, the foundation aims to support democratic culture across borders and an intercultural understanding between Germany and the Spanish-speaking world. To achieve the foundation's objectives, they organize and partner with other projects on a scientific, educational and cultural level.
The 3rd symposium of the Elisabeth Käsemann (EK) Foundation titled "New Ways of Dealing with Past Conflicts and Past Autocracies Versus Traditional Criminal Prosecution" took place in Argentina from 30th September to 3rd October 2019. The keynote was given by Daniel Rafecas, a GLAC community member, federal judge and human rights activist who participated in the Nelson Mandela Dialogues.