Dr. Christoph Tautz (9-8-1942 – 6-10-2022) was a German pediatrician and anthroposophical doctor. He was the middle child of three and born in Koblenz,
Germany during World War II.
Later, the family moved to Stuttgart, where both parents assumed teaching positions at the Stuttgart Waldorf School. Christoph loved music, and his favorite instrument was the oboe. Yet, after high school he found himself drawn to medicine. During retirement he learned to play the piano and also played the clarinet for a few years.
Secretly, he attended medical lectures at the Charité (University of Berlin), and after a year, made the decision to officially study medicine, whereupon he went to Lübeck to attend medical school. That clandestine effort was rewarded as he was granted credit for one semester of study with the proviso that he play in the university orchestra.
He spent part of his medical residency in Norway and after brief positions in Herdecke, Ulm (haematology laboratory) and Marburg (conducted basic research in cell biology) he attended the University Children Hospital in Tübingen, in order to undergo pediatric training. It was there that he discovered his love of pediatrics and in particular pediatric oncology.The history of the Department of Children’s and Juvenile Medicine at the Herdecke Community Hospital is closely associated with Tautz.
A year after the founding of the Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Herdecke (GKH) in 1970, he visited that facility for the first time. He was a 28-year-old doctor at the community hospital and helped to promote its construction. It has been suggested that he and Christoph Rehm met when they shared a room with the Goebel family.
He worked where he was needed and later, while working in surgery, he became a pediatrician and pediatric oncologist and furthered his medical training. In 1978, he moved to Herdecke with his family, and with Wolfgang Goebel, assumed the helm of the pediatric department which lasted some thirty years. His anthroposophical medical approach was primarily influenced by two noted anthroposophical physicians, Herbert Sieweke and Gerhard Kienle.
His actions were characterized not only by reverence for the sick child’s individuality, but also by a desire to understand the child’s social environment and above all his family life. With many of the medical staff he trained, he asked questions about their medical experience in critical situations.
As a pediatric oncologist, he bridged the gap not only between conventional and personal experiences with anthroposophic medicine, but brought his resolve to the public when he presented himself at professional and societal gatherings.
Christoph, by many, is considered the pioneer of integrative pediatric oncology in Germany, the center of which, continues at Herdecke Community Hospital. Christoph Tautz was a rather quiet individual, an attentive listener yet freely offered advice when necessary.
He was a skilled administrator who was unafraid to initiate many innovative impulses. Among his many gifts, was an ability to enable others to work more easily together. In 2004, he relinquished the management of the pediatric department to a younger generation, but continued to work for a number of years, mainly in the children’s outpatient clinic; a clinic which was exclusively patient oriented.
Dr. Tautz gradually withdrew into himself as moving, speaking, and perhaps even thinking became increasingly difficult and, in the last years of his life, he became entirely dependent on external help in his daily life. He crossed the threshold two weeks before St. John’s Day, which surprised those close to him.
We will serve him as employees of the children’s department and as employees ofthe community hospital. Keep your thoughts connected to the community hospital.
In grateful solidarity, Alfred Langler.
This material was provided by Dr. Stefan Schmidt-Troschke and translated into English by Norbert Pilewski, Ph.D. and edited by Jay Yasgur.