Berlin (dpa) - Only a few family names awaken in Germany as many associations as von Weizsäcker. Darkest Nazi past, commitment to German responsibility, groundbreaking science and politics.
All these elements are entwined with the former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker (1920-2015) and his family. His youngest son Fritz Eckhart Freiherr von Weizsäcker, a physician, was killed in a knife attack on Tuesday evening in Berlin during a lecture. Even before, some comparisons to the Kennedy's in the US.
Fritz von Weizsäcker was born in 1960 in Essen after three siblings in this well-known family. His father was from 1984 to 1994 Federal President, previously for the CDU Governing Mayor of Berlin (West). His mother is the former German First Lady Marianne von Weizsäcker (87).
His parents had married in 1953. Richard von Weizsäcker worked as a lawyer at Mannesmann. Until 1962 the family lived in Essen and Dusseldorf, then moved to Ingelheim and in 1967 to Bonn. At this time, Richard von Weizsäcker had already a very dark chapter of the family history behind him: At the Nazi trials in Nuremberg, the lawyer defended his father Ernst von Weizsäcker, who was convicted there for contributing to the deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz as a war criminal.
As President of the Confederation, Richard von Weizsäcker described the end of the war not as a defeat of Germany in 1985 in an internationally acclaimed speech, but rather as the "Day of Liberation from the Inhuman System of National Socialist Tyranny".
Fritz von Weizsäcker belonged to a generation that critically dealt with the Nazi closeness of some family members. It must be "clarified everything crystal clear," the chronicler Hans-Joachim Noack quoted him in his book "The Weizsäckers". Until then he was "completely at peace with his ancestors" and did not want to make himself a "chief prosecutor or defense lawyer". Criticism of the family, which is not always squeamish with each other, repelled Fritz von Weizsäcker: "We are first of all we."
A family stroke of fate shaped his professional life. According to Noack, he hoped to be able to save his brother Andreas, who was already suffering from cancer at the end of the 1970s. Fritz von Weizsäcker studied human medicine in Bonn and Heidelberg.
The career of the doctor was steep: After the specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology in 2003 he became professor of internal medicine at the University of Freiburg. His stations included not only Freiburg but also Harvard Medical School in Boston and the University Hospital Zurich. Since 2005 von Weizsäcker has been chief physician of the Department of Internal Medicine I at the Schlosspark-Klinik in Berlin-Charlottenburg.
Fritz von Weizsäcker was considered an expert in liver and gallbladder diseases. He once described human medicine in the "world" as the "ideal connection between science and humanity." According to the portal health city Berlin, where he sat on the board, researched by Weizsäcker long time in the field of hepatology, ie the physiology and pathology of liver and biliary tract, and molecular virology. His main areas of treatment included infectious liver inflammations such as hepatitis B and C, fatty liver hepatitis and fatty liver. This was the topic of his lecture in which he was killed.
Politically, Fritz von Weizsäcker had committed himself to the FDP. He joined the party during a fundraising dinner. Among the 280 guests looked after by a two-star chef was the party leader Guido Westerwelle. The current frontman Christian Lindner tweeted about the death of a friend: «I am stunned and must share my grief».
One of the cousins is the environmental scientist and former SPD member of the Bundestag Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker. "I thought it was wonderful," said von Weizsäcker of the German Press Agency in Berlin. "I loved him unusually."
Sister Beatrice von Weizsäcker was the only member of the immediate family who spoke publicly about the tragic death. "We can neither believe nor believe it," tweeted the publicist. On her Instagram account, the member of the presidium of the German Protestant Kirchentag posted a cross on the night of the disaster: "Take care of my brother".
Information about Fritz von Weizsäcker at Schloßpark-Klinik
Information about Fritz von Weizsäcker on health city
Tweet Beatrice von Weizsäcker
Instagram posting Beatrice von Weizsäcker
Book «The Weizsäckers. A German family »