Former KBA president Dr Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann dies
Friday, July 30, 2010
Press release from the issuing company
Dr Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann, former longstanding president of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), died on 23 July at the age of 84. With him the KBA group and its employees have lost a popular and highly respected senior executive, the German engineering industry an innovator and internationally esteemed representative, and the city of Würzburg an inexhaustible promoter and patron of the arts.
“The doctor” or “HBS”, as he was affectionately called by his staff, first saw the light of day as Hans-Bernhard Schünemann on 20 May 1926 in Bremen. He was born into a family of merchants who had been engaged in the printing and publishing trade in this Hanseatic city for many generations. Following military service and English captivity in the Second World War he studied physics at the Technical University in Braunschweig, completing his degree in 1949. In 1951 he gained a PhD in mechanical engineering at the Technical University in Stuttgart. That same year he joined Koenig & Bauer in Würzburg as a design engineer. In 1956 he was made assistant vice-president for sheetfed engineering, in 1957 deputy executive vice-president for engineering and development and in 1964 a full member of the board. This last appointment followed his legal adoption in 1959 by Dr Hans Bolza, the great-grandson of company founder Friedrich Koenig, following the premature death of Dr Bolza’s sons. Bernhard Schünemann thus became Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann.
In 1995, at the age of 69, the architect of the KBA group’s breathtaking expansion retired as president and joined the supervisory board, where he served as deputy chairman until 2006. Even in retirement Dr Bolza-Schünemann continued to place his strategic perspectives and outstanding engineering skills at the company’s disposal, for example in the development of the 74 Karat digital offset press. On his 75th birthday in 2001 he received an award for 50 years service. Throughout his long life he never failed to impress younger executives and staff with his ideas, his expertise and his innate ability to motivate others.
Prolific inventor and design engineer
Over 250 patents bear Dr Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann’s signature, and he played a decisive role in major technological advances. These included the development of a multicolour sheetfed gravure press, the Rembrandt MT III, in the 1950s, a high-speed letterpress machine, the Rotafolio, in the 1960s, the world’s widest newspaper press, the Jumbo-Courier, in the 1970s, and the first Rapida sheetfed offset press, also in the 1970s, whose 15,000sph output was way ahead of its time. In the 1980s and 1990s he actively promoted KBA’s pioneering role in keyless inking systems for multicolour newspaper and sheetfed presses. His outstanding achievements as an engineer were acknowledged in 1960 with the award of a Ring of Honour by the VDI (The Association of German Engineers) and in 2003 with the Leonardo da Vinci Prize by the AIPI (Association of Italian Industrial Engineers).
Internationally esteemed representative
In conjunction with the Koenig & Bauer Foundation, over the years Dr Bolza-Schünemann privately helped to fund a wide range of cultural activities throughout the region. If funding was inadequate, he would energetically drum up support and sponsors among the more affluent members of society. Following German reunification he organised a benefit concert in autumn 1990 which raised over DM200,000 for the restoration of St. Mary’s Church in Suhl, Würzburg’s twin town in East Germany. As a co-initiator of the “Rosenkavaliere”, a select circle of benefactors, he was instrumental right up until his death in raising funds to support the main theatre in Würzburg, which at one time was threatened with closure. Another of his life’s missions was to further the careers of young engineers through KBA’s Benno Bolza Foundation.
In accordance with Dr Bolza-Schünemann’s wishes the funeral was restricted to family members only. A memorial service for KBA employees and longstanding business associates will be held at 5pm on 13 August in St. John’s Church (Johanniskirche), Würzburg.
No flowers by request. Instead, donations are welcomed by the Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei (German bone-marrow donor database), account no. 616061488, HypoVereinsbank Würzburg, bank code 79020076, reference “Dr Bolza-Schünemann”.
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