Klaus HartungKlaus Hartung

Prof. Dr. habil., DipECVDI 1938 - 2016

Klaus Hartung passed away on the 7th of September 2016 at the age 78. The international veterinary radiology community has lost a great teacher, scientist, colleague and above all, friend.

Klaus Hartung was born on 26th of February 1938 in Oldenburg, Germany. Spending his childhood in several different parts of Germany, he studied veterinary medicine at the veterinary faculties in Berlin and Munich where he graduated in 1962. In 1963 he married the love of his life Ulrike and together they raised 4 children: Sven, Julia, Esther and Hannah. In the same year the family moved to West Berlin, and Klaus started as a lecturer and PhD candidate at the young Veterinary Faculty of the Free University of Berlin under Professor Erwin Becker.

He defended his PhD on the topic of dosimetry for radiation therapy in the dog and horse and radiation protection aspects in 1971 and became full Professor in Veterinary Radiology. In 1978 and 1981 he spent time as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia, and in 1987 he visited the Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Lifelong friendships with other radiologists resulted from these visits. At the Free University of Berlin he continued his career as Clinical Director (1982-1987), Vice-Dean (1987-1992) and Dean (1995-2001) of the Veterinary Faculty. Klaus devoted his veterinary career to small animal radiology and published and lectured widely on this subject. Dosimetry, radiation protection and radiation therapy in animals with inflammatory joint disease were his main research interests. In 2001 he started his new career as a pensioned radiology teacher, lecturing in many German cities and publishing a book with his friends on a topic that mattered most to him throughout his entire career: The path to radiographic excellence! For many readers this small book was a path to radiographic enlightenment. He continued teaching practitioners in radiology and radiation protection with extreme enthusiasm. Even Parkinson’s disease, which accompanied him for almost 20 years, could not stop him from his mission to teach. Klaus had a special gift of making people understand the importance of technical radiographic excellence both for diagnostic purposes and radiation protection.

Klaus was an early member of the International Veterinary Radiology Association (IVRA) and founding Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI) and was President of IVRA from 1994-1997. He received in 2003 the honorary membership of the IVRA, in 2005 the Richard Völker Award of the German Society for Small Animal Medicine and in 2008 the Douglas & Williamson Award of the ECVDI.

When Klaus started his career in West Berlin in 1963, this was a city at the frontline of the Cold War, encircled by a wall, separating it from Communist East Germany. During this period, Klaus’ professional expertise and personal integrity gained the respect from veterinarians on both sides of the Iron Curtain. When the Wall finally fell in 1989, Klaus was instrumental in bringing veterinarians from East and West Germany together.

Klaus was one of the pioneers in veterinary radiology in Germany, spreading the word of how fantastic, useful and important diagnostic imaging is. He loved teaching students and veterinarians and put in countless hours doing so. With his sparkling love for radiology and his great ability in teaching the beauty of radiographs, he influenced many students in their career paths towards veterinary radiology.

Klaus was an amazing mentor and friend to many of us. Klaus and Ulrike loved the European and international veterinary radiology community and attended every EVDI or IVRA Congress as long as they were able to travel. The Hartung’s house was always open to people from all over the world. Most memorable to many of us was maybe the EVDI-IVRA meeting in 1995, celebrating the centenary of Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays and the recent reunification of his home city, Berlin. It was organised by the Hartung family and their friends ending with a farewell reception in the Hartung’s home garden for over 100 people!

Klaus’ former colleagues and students and friends will always remember his great contributions to the veterinary radiology world. His friendship, serenity, sense of humour and loyalty will be greatly missed. We all feel there is an empty space now.

Johann Lang, Tobias Schwarz, Martina van Suntum, Susanne Boroffka, Bernd Tellhelm, Darryl Biery and Eberhard Ludewig