Sanatorium Ernst Thälmann


The ‘Sanatorium Ernst Thälmann’ originated as a spa before being converted into a sanatorium in the 1930s. Subsequently, it served as a vacation home under the administration of the FDGB.

The initial influx of tourists to this mountain village occurred in 1884, marking its rise to fame as a wellness destination. Prior to the First World War, the village saw the construction of two sanatoriums, three grand hotels, and a host of bed and breakfast establishments. The town gradually gained recognition as a health resort. Throughout the world wars, several of these establishments, including this one, served as military hospitals.

DDR times

The sanatorium, housed in a former Kurhaus, was later repurposed as the FDGB holiday home. During this period, its theater was converted into a gymnasium. The Sanatorium Ernst Thälmann was deserted in the 1990s, yet it remains standing. It comprised two main structures: the front building, which contained the treatment rooms, and the larger rear building, which accommodated the kitchen, dining hall, and theater.

Ernst Johannes Fritz Thälmann, a notable German communist politician, led the Communist Party of Germany from 1925 until 1933. Post-1945, Thälmann, along with other executed communist leaders, received widespread commemoration in East Germany, with numerous schools, streets, and factories bearing their names.

These photos of the abandoned building were taken in 2016 during one of my East German road trips. Click here for more abandoned health institutes.

Built 1915
Abandoned 1995
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