What a way of passing away: On top of a Mountain in St. Moritz, Switzerland ! It was definitely what Ferdinand (Bitz) Eisenberger would have had in mind. However, feeling well and being in reasonable good conditions, the timing at the age of not even 72 was too early.Bitz Eisenberger was a great and charming personality, a leader with a natural sense of humor, clinical and scientific integrity and worldwide academic acceptance. We both are thankful that we had the chance to go several years together with him. Christian Chaussy worked with him first when Eisenberger started his scientific career with his research on hypothermia at the Institute for Surgical Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. At the Department of Urology, University of Munich, they both began, together with Bernd Forssmann, the basic and clinical research on ESWL which was awarded with a huge worldwide clinical success following the first human treatment in 1980.
Jens Rassweiler was lucky enough to be part of the team when Eisenberger became head of the Department of Urology, Katharinenhospital Stuttgart in 1978 and one of the best known Urologists worldwide. Bitz Eisenberger was President of the German Urological Society (DGU) in 1987. He received several scientific and clinical awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Endourological Society in 2000 and as well academic and public honors. All his co-workers, among them were also Kurt Miller and Gerhard Fuchs, experienced “Bitz” as the charming leader and absolute authentic person as whom everybody recognized him. Being an excellent surgeon and scientist he was not only a great teacher but also someone who gave his “scholars” the room and freedom to follow their own ideas. His guidance and support were the reason for many great ideas and successes emerging from his clinic.
After Bitz Eisenberger retired in 2003 he enjoyed to have more time for his hobbies as there were hunting, skiing and hiking in the mountains. All this ended much too early on March 4, 2009. Bitz Eisenberger was married to his charming wife Uschi who accompanied him to all major events. They had two children, Claus Ferdinand and Christina and two grand children.
We will always cherish this great personality with whom we enjoyed many important years of our clinical life.
For all his friends,
Christian G. Chaussy and Jens Rassweiler