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Biographical entry Witte, Jens (1941 - 2003)

Hon FRCS 1999; MD Homburg-Saar 1967; FACS.

4 February 1941
Perleberg, Germany
12 June 2003
Augsburg, Germany
Colorectal surgeon and Oesophageal surgeon


Jens Witte, doyen of German surgery, was born on 4 February 1941 in Perleberg, Mark/Brandenburg, the eldest of three sons of a surgeon father. He studied medicine at the Universities of Homburg/Saar, Hamburg and Berlin.

After qualifying, he became a medizinalassistent in Bielefeld and Hamburg, spent some time in a mission hospital in Tanzania, and returned to work under Egerhard Weisschedel in Konstantz. There followed a series of brilliant appointments under Georg Heberer, first in Cologne and then in Munich, becoming professor in 1982 and head of viszeralchirugie in 1984. His special interests were in oesophageal and colorectal surgery.

He was a prominent member of the professional surgical organisation, becoming its President in 1998. Active in the European Union of Medical Specialists, he was President of the section of surgery in 2002 and devoted himself to the integration and training of surgeons in the former East Germany. He was the recipient of many honours, including that of our College. He died unexpectedly on 12 June 2003 in Augsburg.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England