The Founder

„As a merchant he was a realist, as a donor a philanthropist.“ 
Professor Dr. phil. Rudolf Haas, companion of Ernst Jung, in his speech on the 100th birthday of Ernst Jung in 1996

Ernst Jung achieved great things and shared generously: He was not only an important Hamburg entrepreneur, but also a great friend and supporter of the sciences. He was born on 18 May 1896 in Briensdorf, East Prussia. His family moved to Hamburg in 1897 with the initial intent of moving to the USA from there. But the gateway to the world became home to them; the city appealed to the family so much that they decided to stay. After his school education, Ernst Jung completed a course of studies in business. Like nearly all young men of his generation, he had to take part in World War I. He ended up serving in Turkey. After the war, he joined an oil import company in 1919. Just one year later, at the age of only 24, he founded an oil import company and a ship-owning company of his own, and also acted as sales manager for an American oil company for some time.

Ernst Jung married Claere Müller in 1929. The year also brought new life circumstances in his profession: He founded Hamburger Mineralöl-Werke Ernst Jung (Ernst Jung Mineral Oil Works in Hamburg). The company owned refineries in Wilhelmsburg, a harbour railway in Stade and a fuel depot in Stadersand. Ernst Jung focused on state-of-the-art industrial technology and invested in innovations. This enthusiasm for advancement and progress later shaped his dedication as a philanthropist.

Restoring the company after World War II required extensive technological innovations. Again, Ernst Jung invested in more plants on land. He also expanded the company’s own fleet of tankers.

As the oil industry entails, Ernst Jung’s company maintained international trade relations, entered into partnerships all over the world and founded foreign subsidiaries. The range of the Foundation’s work is characterised by internationality to this day.

Ernst Jung’s entrepreneurial activity was shaped by cosmopolitanism, courage and far-sightedness. In his private life, he enjoyed music, philosophy and religion and was a philanthropist who generously supported charitable projects. With a total of three foundations, he and his wife ensured that their fortune is put to the service of the people to this very day.