- Category : 1904-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (12,14,29,34,35)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Spirit 2
German physician who shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Medicine (with Andre Frederic Cournand and Dickinson W. Richards) for developing a procedure that allowed cardiac catheterization. In 1929, he put himself under local anaesthesia and inserted a catheter into a vein of his arm. Not knowing if the catheter might pierce a vein, he put his life at risk. Forssmann was nevertheless successful; he safely passed the catheter into his heart.
From 1932 to 1945, he was a member of the Nazi Party. At the start of World War II, he became a medical officer. In the course of his service, he rose to the rank of Major, until he was captured and put into a U.S. POW camp. Upon his release in 1945, he worked as a lumberjack and then as a country medic in the Black Forest with his wife. In 1950, he began practice as a urologist in Bad Kreuznach. After winning the Nobel Prize, he was given the position of Honorary Professor of Surgery and Urology at the University of Mainz.
He and his wife had six children: Klaus Forßmann in 1934, Knut Forßmann in 1936, Jörg Forßmann in 1938, Wolf Forßmann in 1939 (who was first to isolate the atrial natriuretic peptide), Bernd Forßmann in 1940 (who helped develop the first clinical lithotriptor), and Renate Forßmann in 1943.
He died in Schopfheim, Germany of heart failure on 1 June 1979, aged 74.