Welcome to the 4th Joint Meeting of the American Hernia Society (AHS) and the European Hernia Society (EHS) in Berlin. Every three years, the American Hernia Society and the European Hernia Society work in cooperation to present a joint congress. The first meeting took place in Toronto in the year 2000, hosted by the AHS, followed three years later by the joint meeting in London, hosted by the EHS, and in 2006 in Boston, hosted by the AHS. The 4th joint meeting will take place in Berlin at the Maritim Hotel, just in the midst of the town near the Brandenburger Tor. We are glad to be able to invite the international hernia specialists to this incomparable city between East and West with so much painful history. Now that the Iron Curtain is lifted and Europe is united in 27 countries with more than 500 million people and open borders, there could be no better place for an international congress than this stimulating town. We know that without the help of the Americans this town wouldnâ€™t have seen its reunification or the lifting of the Iron Curtain. So we thankfully invite our American friends to visit this wonderful town which inspired J.F. KennedyÂ´s historic phrase â€žIch bin ein Berlinerâ€ť. Being united in the wish for open borders and trust in the principles of democracy and liberty, we hernia surgeons are all â€śBerlinersâ€ť.
This 4th joint meeting will be the first time that the Asia Pacific Hernia Society participates. We welcome our colleagues from the huge Asia Pacific community with more than 2,5 billion people in joining us at our meeting to get in better contact and share our knowledge with them. So this 4th joint meeting of the AHS and EHS will be the first world hernia congress attended by surgeons from all continents, exploring current concepts of abdominal and pelvic sidewall anatomy, molecular biology, pathophysiology and different forms of repair. We wish this worldwide meeting a great success with good talks, discussions and innovative presentations. The local organizing committee will present a social program with all the highlights of past and present Berlin for our guests. Thank you for joining us in Berlin. We hope that you find this program so attractive that you will visit this traditional and historic yet also new and exciting town in the midst of Europe.
Enrico Nicolo, MD
Andrew Kingsnorth, MD
Volker Schumpelick, MD