Rudolph Nissen

Photo: Portrait Rudolph Nissen | © Bildarchiv Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Universitätsmedizin Berlin

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Rudolph Nissen | © Bildarchiv Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Rudolph Nissen | © Bildarchiv Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Rudolph Nissen (Neisse / Silesia 1895 - 1981, Basel). In 1927 Nissen accompanied his superior Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875 - 1951) from Munich to Berlin and was the first senior physician and Associate Professor at the Charité University Surgical Clinic.

He developed numerous methods for complicated upper abdominal and thoracic surgery and was the first surgeon in the world to successfully undertake the resection of one entire lung. In 1933, after losing his position due to his Jewish heritage and despite Sauerbruch's attempts to persuade him otherwise, he emigrated to Istanbul in 1939 and then on to the USA. In the US, like all German citizens he had to repeat numerous medical examinations. In New York City he became Director of Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center and later Assistant Professor of Surgery at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. In 1952 he was appointed Professor of Surgery at the University of Basel.

His Text Book of Surgery, which was repeatedly published over two decades has since helped generations of doctors to study surgery. The textbook has appeared in multiple editions in numerous countries all over the world.

(Text: Udo Schagen, 2013)