Monday, November 10, 2014

Hitler's hospital: The abandoned Beelitz Sanatorium

Beelitz-Heilstätten hospital, also known as the Beelitz Sanitorium, was build in 1898 by the Berlin Workers Health Insurance Corporation for the victims of tuberculosis. Its location, outside the city of Berlin, was ideal as the patients could benefit from the peaceful environment and the clean air. The hospital grew in size over the decades and it featured its own power station which offered the necessary heat during the winter.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Beelitz-Heilstätten was converted in order to care for the the massive casualties inflicted at the front. In the late 1916, a young soldier called Adolf Hitler was sent there to recuperate from a thigh injury acquired during the Battle of the Somme. During the later decades many would start calling Beelitz, 'Hitler's hospital'.

Beelitz-Heilstätten once again became a sanatorium until World War II when it was converted to a military hospital again. Many of its buildings were destroyed by Allied bombing.

After the war, Beelitz- Heilstätten was part of the East Germany and under control of the Soviets who used it as a treatment center for the soldiers stationed in the area. It was also used for the treatment of many East German government officials, including Erich Honecker.

In the early 1990s the Soviets left the area and the hospital was abandoned. Today, only a few of its 60 buildings are in use (as a neurological research rehabilitation center and a care and research center for people with Parkinson’s disease) while the rest of the building remains abandoned. The location was used as a film set for the 2002 movie, The Pianist and the 2008 film Valkyrie. Rammestein's music video for Mein Herz Brennt was also filmed inside the abandoned hospital.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hospitals around the world // More abandoned places in Germany // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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