Of the traces that are important to us...


Allow me to tell you a short story. Like every good story, this one also begins with the words “Once upon a time”.

It is the middle of the nineteen-seventies. There is a man who lives and works in the north of Berlin, at the Berlin-Buch Hospital. He is a chief physician, as you are today or want to become tomorrow. His great passion in research is the human lung, breathing and respiration. He writes down what he has researched and learnt in many animal experiment studies. The response from his colleagues was muted at first, and then thoughtful.

Then, in Paris, 1980: At a conference for intensive care medicine, he reports to an international expert audience of his research results for the optimisation of the respiration of ARDS patients. This speech receives great attention among colleagues and experts.

Later, in 1985, after attending a conference in the Netherlands, he takes a decisive step and does not return to the DDR: The start of a long journey; always impatient; always against the wind - but always at full steam and with optimism.

There follows the call to to the Erasmus University in Rotterdam - to the Professorship of Experimental Anaesthesiology. After 10 years of searching and asking, he finally achieves the necessary clarity and writes down his thoughts about the opportunities and risks of artificial respiration.

Two concise sentences »Open up the lung. Keep the lung open.«, become the title of a publication which is later often cited. He makes his views known, shows his colours and contradicts the daily routines on intensive care wards. His criticism is at the same time a helping hand. “Come over, we’ll try it together: We’ll find your personal way to achieve the goal.”

The idea of founding his own school is born and put into action. The animal model system becomes a means to an end - for teaching, visualising, and better understanding. Giving guidance and instruction on how to act - that is his personal aim. He always says what he thinks – he is a Berliner, after all. This is a description of the founder of the school »Medizin im Grünen«, Professor Burkhard Lachmann.

In gratitude for the foundation upon which we have been able to develop further.


Dr. Heiko Ziervogel


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