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Franz Josef Jung

In office
28 October 2009 – 27 November 2009
Preceded by Olaf Scholz
Succeeded by Ursula von der Leyen

In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
Preceded by Peter Struck
Succeeded by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

State Minister for Federal and European Affairs of Hesse
In office
7 April 1999 – 7 September 2000
Preceded by Norbert Schüren
Rupert von Plottnitz
Succeeded by Jochen Riebel

Born March 5, 1949 (1949-03-05) (age 60)
Erbach, Germany
Nationality German
Political party Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Alma mater University of Mainz
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Franz Josef Jung (born 5 March 1949) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He became Federal Minister of Defence in the Grand coalition cabinet of Angela Merkel on 22 November 2005.[1] In October 2009 he became Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

After his military service, Franz Josef Jung studied law at the University of Mainz and is a lawyer and civil law notary. In his political career, he held various party functions in Hesse (currently as vice chairman of the CDU there) and also served as a state minister.

In September 2007 he sparked a debate by his controversial assertion to shoot down jetliners in the case of a terrorist attack on Germany.[2] Several politicians of the opposition parties as well as politicians from the SPD, especially Reinhard Bütikofer and Kurt Beck, described his move as "unconstitutional" and called for his resignation.[3]



On 27 November 2009, he tendered his resignation as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs because of the Kunduz airstrike in Afghanistan of 4 September 2009.[4] The airstrike was against two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban but also resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.[5] Jung's resignation was over allegations that, whilst he was Defence Minister, he intentionally downplayed the possibility that civilians had been killed in the airstrike.[6] A video taken by the American F-15 fighter bomber involved in the airstrike was leaked to the newspaper Bild and is said to have clearly depicted civilians in the target area.[6] Although it is not clear whether Jung knew about the video when he had denied that civilians were killed.[7]

Jung's resignation came a day after the resignation of Wolfgang Schneiderhan, the Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr, and Peter Wichert, a senior Defence Ministry official.[5] Their resignations were described as Germany's "biggest military shake-up in more than two decades" and have been claimed as proof that the defence ministry actively suppressed information about the incident.[6][8]

Personal life

Jung is a Roman Catholic. He is married with three children.[9]


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Norbert Schüren, Rupert von Plottnitz
Hessian Minister for Federal and European Affairs
Succeeded by
Jochen Riebel
Preceded by
Peter Struck
German Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Preceded by
Olaf Scholz
German Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Ursula von der Leyen


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