Klaus published more than 600 original papers, mostly in the field of clinical chemistry and urological malignancies. To further appreciate this number, consider that he never had a secretary or an army of coworkers to help him, and he was never the senior author just because he was the lab Director. Before the Berlin Wall came down, he already was sending out manuscripts illegally via friends, taking a serious personal risk. The intensity of his work during his research career is outstanding and incomparable. He led the research department of Urology of the famous Charité Hospital in Berlin for almost 25 years. He fought against problems with clinic fusion and confronted many clinicians and technical staff who had little interest in research, and he never slowed down. Despite being eligible for 20–30 holiday days per year in Germany, we do not remember that he was off for more than a week. Without his wife’s insistence, he would probably take no holidays. She is, of course, a life-long co-worker in the lab. The average time for Klaus to review a paper is extraordinary short, at 2.3 days. Since his retirement at the age of 65 in 2007, he published 100 papers, working at the Berlin Institute for Urological Research (BFIU). It seems that nothing can stop him from being active, pushing forward new ideas or supporting new staff.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Klaus has been an inspiring mentor with a great heart, empathy and an incomparable sense of (dry) humor. He is also a great optimist, even under adverse circumstances, and he serves as a role model to many young Faculty. Although he had lost his father early in World War II and he has no children, he represents a father figure to those working with him. He combines success with modesty, a rare contemporary attribute.
This piece should not sound like an obituary and we want Klaus to enjoy reading it. We are honored to have known and worked with him. But here is a tip. To keep an excellent relationship with Klaus, you should never disappoint him. More than 30 students completed their Doctoral thesis under his supervision. He successfully wrote numerous grant applications. Klaus developed a creative working environment and he does not like to blame others. He bikes to work and uses this time to think (while helping the environment). He is a music lover and his students perform on his birthday. He is always open to questions and new ideas. Write him an email between midnight and 1 AM and you will see!
As editorial board member, Klaus contributed to many journals over the years, including Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. We wish him good health so that he can continue working with the same intensity. Klaus is very modest and low key. His rare participation at conferences precluded many to appreciate his scientific talents and excellent character. We hope that this piece is a small token of appreciation for his numerous contributions to the field of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.