[Relations of German anesthesiology to east European societies of anesthesiology].Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2003; 28(6):156-63.AR
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the "German Society of Anaesthesiology" (DGA)--later called "German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine" (DGAI)--which was founded on 10 April 1953, and in memory of the foundation of the "Section of Anaesthesiology", which was founded in East-Berlin ten years later on 25 October 1963 and later called "Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy of the GDR" (GAIT), the development of relations between German anaesthetists and anaesthesiological societies in East Europe are described. The limited economic base of the medical-technical and pharmaceutical industries, a chronic lack of hard currencies and economic and political restrictions on travel activities by East German and East European anaesthetists to West European countries resulted in improved contacts between East German and East European anaesthesiological societies. This, in turn, led to the holding of "International Anaesthesiological Congresses" of the so-called socialist countries and "Bilateral Symposia of the Anaesthesiological Societies of Czechoslovakia and the GDR" and also bilateral meetings of nurses of anaesthesiology and intensive therapy from both countries. These congresses and in particular the "3rd European Congress of Anaesthesiology", which was hosted by the "Czechoslovak Society of Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation" in Prague in 1970, were of high value for the further development of anaesthesiology in these countries. Furthermore, congresses held in East Europe but outside the GDR, were especially important for meetings between East German anaesthetists and their West German colleagues, who regularly took part in these congresses as invited speakers, because West German anaesthetists were not allowed to participate in East German anaesthesia congresses, on the one hand, and East Germans were not allowed to attend West German anaesthesia congresses, on the other. There were also regular meetings of the boards of East European anaesthesia societies in order to discuss the further development of anaesthesiology as an independent new academic field of medicine. Both East and West German anaesthetists were very often invited as guest lecturers by various East European societies and anaesthesiological departments. They were always deeply impressed by the tremendous hospitality of their hosts. During the "Cold War", many anaesthetists from East European countries were also invited as guests by anaesthesia departments of East and West Germany. Most of the East European anaesthetists preferred West German departments because they were better equipped and some of them used these trips to the West also to escape from communism. Shortly before and mainly after the political changes in 1989 and the dissolving of the "Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy of the GDR" in 1990, the "German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine" improved its contacts to the East European anaesthesiological societies. The "Bavarian Section" of the "German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine" organized joint meetings with the Romanian, Bulgarian, Latvian and Russian societies of anaesthesiology in Bucharest (1987), Riga (1989), Moscow (1989) and Sofia (1991). In 1996, an "Association of German and Russian Anaesthetists" (ADRA) was founded in Moscow, which now has both a German (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Joachim Nadstawek/Bonn) and a Russian (Prof. Dr. Armen Buniatian/Moscow) President. The German members of this association, in particular its Secretary-General, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Purschke/Dortmund, organize postgraduate courses including theoretical lectures and practical work not only in Russia but also in Armenia and Usbekistan.