THE ABANDONED HOSPITAL IN GERMANY
The ‘Beelitz-Heilstätten Männersanatorium’ was built in 1898 in forests around Beelitz. The site was huge and one of the biggest hospitals of its kind. The site was divided in two parts; firstly a health-resort, north of the rail racks. Secondly this sanatorium at the south side. Both parts had separate buildings for man and for woman.
During the First World War the sanatoriums were used as military hospital by the Red Cross. Until 1919 more than 12,5 thousand soldiers were nursed in Beelitz. One of these patients was the wounded soldier Adolf Hitler. Not only he was shot in the leg, also he was blinded by mustard gas at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Tuberculosis sufferers, required plenty of fresh air as well as bed-rest in peaceful surroundings. For this reason the sanatorium had several wards and open-air verandas running the entire length of one side. In the center is an impressive staircase. Also there is a huge exercise hall.
During the cold war the sanatoriums remained military restricted area and accommodated a military hospital of the Soviet troops. Interestingly, this particular building was not exclusively for military use, nor was it exclusively for male patients during Soviet occupation. Evidently a wing of this pavilion was set aside to treat children, presumably those of military personnel.
In 1994 the Soviets left the hospital and the site is given back at the city of Berlin. Eventually in 2015 the sanatorium is cleaned and painted. Consequently all the Soviet murals in the exercise hall are now hidden beneath a thick layer of paint. I visited the ‘Beelitz-Heilstätten Männersanatorium’ in 2008 and 2016.
Other Beelitz-Heilstätten reports:
– Zentrale Badeanstalt
– Die Chirurgie