Dirk Röse

Obitua­ry: Dr Hans-Ger­hard Kampf

Dr Hans-Ger­hard Kampf as Mana­ging Direc­tor of Klasmann Wer­ke in the 1980s.

We mourn the loss of our for­mer Mana­ging Direc­tor Dr Hans-Ger­hard Kampf, who died on 19 Novem­ber 2016 aged 93.

During his 32 years of ser­vice for the com­pa­ny, Dr Kampf held various manage­ment posi­ti­ons at the for­mer Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH and later Klasmann Wer­ke GmbH, and was Tech­ni­cal Direc­tor from 1971 until he reti­red in 1988. “The death of Dr Kampf means the loss of a gre­at cha­rac­ter who made a decisi­ve and las­ting mark on our company’s inter­nal and exter­nal acti­vi­ties, a per­son who enjoy­ed the grea­test respect of our own staff and of many peop­le out­side the com­pa­ny,” sta­ted Nor­bert Siebels and Moritz Böcking, Mana­ging Direc­tors of the Klasmann-Deilmann Group. “He mana­ged our com­pa­ny with gre­at com­mit­ment and visi­on and play­ed a key role for the suc­cess of the Klasmann-Deilmann Group.”

Dr Hans-Ger­hard Kampf was born on 17 Novem­ber 1923, obtai­ned a PhD in Engi­nee­ring and joi­ned what was then Hese­per Torf­werk GmbH on 16 July 1956, i.e. during the life­time of our com­pa­ny foun­der Georg Klasmann. In an anec­do­te about Dr Kampf’s inter­view for the job, Georg Klasmann is quo­ted as say­ing: “Ever­ything went off fine. I am only a litt­le con­cer­ned that he asked about working hours. But I think he will pro­ve to be qui­te OK.” To begin with, Dr Kampf was in char­ge of the tech­ni­cal office and was made an aut­ho­ri­sed signa­to­ry on 26 Sep­tem­ber 1961 – in other words, at a time when mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring was one of the company’s major busi­ness units. As he was the first employee at the com­pa­ny to have a doc­to­ra­te, he was soon refer­red to by all and sund­ry sim­ply as “the doctor”.

Dr Kampf on his way to Scot­land in the ear­ly 1960s.

In 1971 the com­pa­nies were reor­ga­nis­ed and the name chan­ged to Klasmann Wer­ke GmbH. On 29 June of that same year, Dr Kampf was appoin­ted a mem­ber of the manage­ment board. From 1972 to 1988, he also ser­ved on the super­vi­so­ry board of Torf­for­schung GmbH. Bet­ween 1972 and 1988, he repre­sen­ted the inte­rests of the Ger­man peat indus­try and peat sci­ence on the board of the Inter­na­tio­nal Peat Socie­ty (now the Inter­na­tio­nal Peat­land Socie­ty, IPS) on behalf of the Ger­man Peat Socie­ty DGMT. On 30 June 1988, Dr Kampf left our com­pa­ny to enjoy his well-ear­ned reti­re­ment. In one of the fare­well spee­ches made at the time, the spea­ker prai­sed the way in which Dr Kampf used to sta­te his opi­ni­on: “’It always took some time to come, but when it did come, it came with asto­un­ding but unwa­vering calm­ness, and fre­quent­ly ama­zed the lis­teners with its bli­the candidness.”

Ernst Siebels, who later beca­me Mana­ging Direc­tor, and Dr Hans-Ger­hard Kampf (r) on a flight to Scotland.

The staff at Klasmann-Deilmann appre­cia­ted his strength of cha­rac­ter, his sen­se of humour and his unsha­ka­ble com­po­sure. When he reti­red from the com­pa­ny, the­se cha­rac­te­ris­tics were quo­ted as being “some of the decisi­ve fac­tors for your suc­cess: your popu­la­ri­ty with the peop­le on the fac­to­ry floor and the respect you are shown. Amongst other things, that is evi­dent from the fact that when spea­king of you, near­ly every employee does not quo­te Dr Kampf, but sim­ply says: ‘Accord­ing to doc’, or ‘the doc­tor said’.

We shall che­rish and honour the mem­ber of Dr Hans-Georg Kampf.