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Construction Began 1898
Opened 1899
Closed 2000
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) Heino Schmieden and Boethke Julius/Fritz Schulz
Location Beelitz, Germany
Alternate Names


Built 1898-1930 by the National Insurance Institute Berlin "workers' sanatoria" form one of the largest hospital complexes in the area surrounding Berlin.

The total investment was exemplary for their time and shows with which social commitment and medical expenses against tuberculosis has been taken as the devastating social disease to the end of the 19th century. The location at Beelitz offered in addition to the very good connections to Berlin and Potsdam countryside due to its location in a vast forest area, necessary climatic conditions for the care of patients: quiet, sheltered location with a smoke-and dust-free air.

The first phase was carried out 1898-1902. The area north of the railway was intended for tuberculosis sanatoriums, the southern area served the sanatoria for the treatment of non-communicable diseases such as digestive, metabolic or heart diseases. The plant was concerned about the strict separation of the sexes. All buildings in which mainly women were employed as the wash-houses and the kitchen building, were assigned to the western areas with sanatorium sanatorium of the women buildings with predominantly male workforce, such as workshops, fleet or the boiler house were in the areas Men stations. The only exception was the central bathhouse.

The first designed for 600 beds facility was designed and dimensioned with their supply and outbuildings from the beginning to the up to three times the number of patients. In the second phase from 1905 to 1908 the two sanatoriums was compared to the north each another building with 300 beds. There were then 1,200 beds. It was also operating and ancillary buildings were extended by houses and additional outbuildings.

In World War 1 the first time the military moved the Beelitzer sanatoriums. The sanatoriums were used as Wounded hospital by the Red Cross, the remaining part functioned as a military sanatorium. Until 1919 more than 12,500 soldiers were fed in Beelitz. In the period after the level of the pre-war period was achieved in the patient numbers again soon. The formation of Greater Berlin in 1920, can the number of sanatorium applications such increase, that the salvation Beelitz in the following year were only able to accommodate women and children and male patients were housed at other locations. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler recuperated at Beelitz-Heilstätten after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme.

The economic crisis and inflation led to a limiting of the operation in the course of 1923/24. In October 1923, the north of the railway located sanatoriums were even temporarily closed. In the sanatorium, the number of patients decreased to about 400. It was not until mid-1925, the original assignment strength was achieved with more than 1,200 patient. The third period of construction from 1926 to 1930 consisted primarily of the construction of the Central Laundry (1926) and the surgical pavilions in the field of tuberculosis sanatorium for women (1928 - 1930). The construction and operation of surgery followed the medical-technical orientation that time, were considered in the surgical procedures as a necessary and important future treatments. The lung surgery was largely superseded by the end of the forties rapidly emerging chemotherapy of tuberculosis.

During the 2nd World War, the sanatoriums were returned to the military as a military hospital. On the sanatorium side an additional Barack hospital was by the "Organisation Todt" with the help of prisoners of war built. Many buildings were badly damaged by the effects of war. The sanatoriums were after 1945 military zone and hosted the largest military hospital of the Soviet Army outside their own territory. The buildings were thus preserved and spared from extensive total modernization or breaks in their total stock. [1]

Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinson's disease. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 2000. As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town. This has made Beelitz-Heilstätten a destination for curious visitors and a film set for movies like The Pianist in 2002, the Rammstein music video Mein Herz brennt, and Valkyrie in 2008.