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Editorials |

Dr. Friedrich Wegener and the ACCP, RevisitedEditor’s Note:

Mark J. Rosen, MD, FCCP
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Affiliations: New Hyde Park, NY ,  Dr. Rosen is Immediate Past President, American College of Chest Physicians, and Chief, Divisions of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.,  Editor in Chief, CHEST

Correspondence to: Mark J. Rosen, MD, FCCP, 410 Lakeville Rd, Suite 107, New Hyde Park, New York 11040; e-mail: mrosen@nshs.edu



Chest. 2007;132(6):1723-1724. doi:10.1378/chest.07-2640
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In a recent issue of CHEST, I reviewed how the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) honored Dr. Friedrich Wegener with a “Master Clinician Award” bestowed at the annual convocation in 1989, unaware of his past as an early member of the National Socialist party and the Sturm Abteilung (brownshirts), and officer in the German army.1 After these facts were brought to the attention of the current ACCP leadership, we investigated them and confirmed them to be true. In June 2007, the Executive Committee of the ACCP Board of Regents elected to take no action. I wrote the editorial reflecting my own views, and invited members of the College to express theirs. Some of the more interesting letters are published in this issue of CHEST.5 Although some agreed that there is nothing to be gained by rescinding the award, the greater number disagreed strongly. Regardless of the College’s ignorance of Dr. Wegener’s past and regardless of Dr. Wegener’s motivations before and during World War II, his apparent willingness to participate actively in the Nazi effort was reprehensible and, more important, we are not aware of any evidence that he acknowledged or apologized publicly for his actions later.

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