Talking about the history of an organization is dangerous, as there is a great chance that the wrong peopleare praised or that important people are forgotten. I apologize in advance and I will try to limit the damage, butnot going back at all would not be fair.

There was the symposium on the use of laser in children, hosted by Jürgen Waldschmidt and organized byFelix Schier, in Berlin on November 10–11, 1989. Theevening before that meeting, the Berlin Wall came down,so our history is closely related to that event. I feel thatnot only did the Berlin Wall come down but also the wallof open surgery started to disintegrate.

In that symposium, there was a one-hour session on laparoscopy inwhich Götz and Pier, two general surgeons from Linnich,close to Köln in Germany, presented two papers on laparoscopic appendectomy which were later published.1,2The American pediatric surgeons Keith Georgeson fromBirmingham, Alabama, and Thom Lobe from Memphis,Tennessee, were present at that meeting; Keith Georgeson later visited these surgeons.