Mourning for Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann
We mourn our former shareholder Dr. Klaus Jürgen Deilmann, who died peacefully last Sunday in Bad Bentheim at the age of 93 after a fulfilled life. Klaus Jürgen Deilmann and his brother Hans Carl Deilmann led the family business C. Deilmann in the 3rd generation for several decades until they handed over the responsibility to Carl-Gerrit Deilmann and Carl-Joachim Deilmann in 2007. The main focus of his successful work was in the coal and steel industry as well as in the oil and natural gas business. In the 1980s, he was instrumental in the sale of large parts of the family business to the then Preussag AG. Time and again, he expressed his close and appreciative ties with the Klasmann-Deilmann Group. His companions appreciated the calm and constructive way in which he advanced important projects, his balanced convictions and joint goals. His actions were characterised by straightforwardness and foresight. In everything he did, he always kept the well-being of the company and its employees in mind.
Our sympathy goes to the family Carl-Gerrit Deilmann as well as to all relatives and friends. We will keep an honourable memory of Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann.
Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann was born in Dortmund on 9 August 1927. He lived in his parents’ house until 1941 and then attended a boarding school in Bad Godesberg. As an air force helper, he had to help out on anti-aircraft guns from early 1943 to protect German cities from Allied bombing raids. This was followed by a period of service in the Reich Labour Service and a period as an officer cadet in the German Navy. At the end of the war Jürgen Deilmann was briefly captured by American and British forces. He returned to Dortmund in 1945 and graduated from high school in 1948. From 1949 to 1954 he studied law and economics at the universities of Bonn and Tübingen. The time in Switzerland that followed left a deep impression on him, especially in human terms. His best memories are of the “small and first-class university with numerous foreign students” in Bern, where he passed his state examination. In 1956 his doctoral thesis was on “Competitive Features in the Coal Mining Industry with Special Consideration of the Ruhr Coal Mining Industry”.
In 1954 Jürgen Deilmann joined the German engineering company “Braunschweigische Maschinenbau-Anstalt” (BMA), became an authorised signatory in 1957 and in 1958 joined the board. He was responsible for finance, commercial administration and human resources. At times, however, he also took on sales activities abroad, which led him as far away as Russia, India, Cuba and Chile, where he benefited from the international experience he had gained in Bern. “These contacts with different people from different cultures have certainly further strengthened the experiences I had in Switzerland and, in the context of the commitment, led to (…) tolerance and pragmatism,” he later summed up. Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann worked for BMA until the end of 1966, and from 1965 he was also a member of the management of C. Deilmann Bergbau GmbH.
In the years that followed, he took on numerous supervisory board posts, such as at Deilmann-Haniel GmbH between 1968 and 1993 (Chairman 1989 to 1993), Deutag (1969 to 1991), Erdgas-Verkaufs-Gesellschaft (1968 to 1991), Westgas GmbH (1971 to 1991) and Preussag AG (1996 to 2001). From 1968 to 1991 he was a member of the advisory board of Uranerzbergbau-GmbH and between 1976 and 1992 of Ruhrgas AG, and in 1982 he became deputy chairman of the board of the Wirtschaftsverband Erdöl und Erdgasgewinnung e.V. Looking back, he summarised the basic understanding of his work as follows: “At almost all stages of my professional life I was prompted to enter into cooperation with national and international groups. Cooperation is unthinkable without tolerance and without compromise. The only important thing is that in professional life compromises are objectively justified and designed to last.”
Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann was also involved in many associations, such as on the board of the Lower Saxony Metal Association and the Energy Industry Committee at the Federation of German Industries, as vice president and treasurer of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, of which he was an honorary member of the executive committee, and as vice president of the Institute of German Industry in Cologne. He had a close friendship for many years with Hanns Martin Schleyer, then President of the Employers’ Association. After his assassination by German terrorists in autumn 1977, Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann became Vice-President of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Foundation in Cologne. In addition to memberships in the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Braunschweig and Osnabrück-Emsland and in the business associations of Lower Saxony, his activities in the association of foundations “Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft” in Essen deserve special mention. He supported the CD Foundation, which was established to honour his father Carl Deilmann, until the end of his life. In 2009, Dr. Klaus Jürgen Deilmann summed up his wide-ranging commitments: “I believe that it is important to consciously set oneself tasks in life and to be prepared to take on responsibility.” On 13 October 1995 he was awarded the Cross of Merit, 1st Class, of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his charitable commitment in the associations and his support of numerous charitable causes.
In his home town of Bad Bentheim, Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann generously supported sports clubs, schools, voluntary fire brigades, the local branch of the German Red Cross, the open-air theatre, the sandstone museum and other institutions and associations. He always focussed on improving their infrastructure by promoting investment. In addition, Dr Klaus Jürgen Deilmann generously supported supra-regional organisations, such as the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked Persons, and projects such as the new construction of the Bethel Children’s Centre and the Frauenkirche Dresden.
Dr Jürgen Deilmann died at home in Bad Bentheim on 1 November 2020 at the age of 93.