Beelitz–Heilstätten, historical site

Memorials of recent German history
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When Erich Honecker found his final refuge at the Beelitz-Heilstätten sanatorium from April 1990 to March 1991, the location became the focus of media attention: Camera teams tried to film the once most powerful main in the GDR or even to get an interview with him. Up until them, it had been a quiet spot – just what the Regional Health Insurance Office was looking for when it built the “Arbeiter-Lungenheilstätten” (workers’ sanatorium) for TB patients in 1898.
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  • Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenhof Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Detail Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Detail Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Beelitz - Heilstätten, Foto: TMB - Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Außenansicht Beelitz - Heilstätten, Foto: TMB - Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Außenansicht Beelitz - Heilstätten, Foto: TMB - Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
Instead of dense and hectic poor districts in the big city, patients were to receive sunshine, fresh air and healthy nutrition here. The patient rooms faced south, as lack of light was considered to be a cause of illness. Because of the risk of infection, sanatoriums for lung patients on the north side of the railway line were strictly separated from the sanatoriums on the south side where men and women with non-infectious diseases were treated. The facility was supplied from their own kitchen gardens, livestock stables, butcher’s and, last but not least, the first district heating power station in Germany. The sanatorium was constantly being expanded up until 1930; in the end it could care for over 1,000 patients. During both World Wars, the Beelitz facility was primarily used as a military hospital for wounded soldiers.

In April 1945, the 12th German Army convened on Beelitz in order to break through the Soviet ring around Berlin. On April 28, they took the complex back from the Soviets building by building and had personnel and wounded soldiers evacuated westward. Just a short time later, the Soviet Army re-took the sanatorium and operated it here as their largest military hospital abroad until 1994.

Some of the buildings on the premises are now home to therapeutic facilities, others are empty or have fallen victim to years of vandalism. The various buildings can be viewed on a guided tour. A “Baumkronenpfad” (treetop walkway) provides a view of the complex.

Literature:
  • Andreas Böttger/Andreas Jüttemann/Irene Krause, Beelitz-Heilstätten. Vom Sanatorium zum Ausflugsziel, Berlin 2016.
  • Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (Hg.), Die Beelitzer Heilstätten, Potsdam 1997

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When Erich Honecker found his final refuge at the Beelitz-Heilstätten sanatorium from April 1990 to March 1991, the location became the focus of media attention: Camera teams tried to film the once most powerful main in the GDR or even to get an interview with him. Up until them, it had been a quiet spot – just what the Regional Health Insurance Office was looking for when it built the “Arbeiter-Lungenheilstätten” (workers’ sanatorium) for TB patients in 1898.
Continue readingcollapse
  • Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenhof Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Detail Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Detail Heiz-Kraft-Werk Beelitz-Heilstätten, Foto: TMB/ K. Lehmann
  • Innenansicht Beelitz - Heilstätten, Foto: TMB - Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
  • Außenansicht Beelitz - Heilstätten, Foto: TMB - Fotoarchiv / Steffen Lehmann
Instead of dense and hectic poor districts in the big city, patients were to receive sunshine, fresh air and healthy nutrition here. The patient rooms faced south, as lack of light was considered to be a cause of illness. Because of the risk of infection, sanatoriums for lung patients on the north side of the railway line were strictly separated from the sanatoriums on the south side where men and women with non-infectious diseases were treated. The facility was supplied from their own kitchen gardens, livestock stables, butcher’s and, last but not least, the first district heating power station in Germany. The sanatorium was constantly being expanded up until 1930; in the end it could care for over 1,000 patients. During both World Wars, the Beelitz facility was primarily used as a military hospital for wounded soldiers.

In April 1945, the 12th German Army convened on Beelitz in order to break through the Soviet ring around Berlin. On April 28, they took the complex back from the Soviets building by building and had personnel and wounded soldiers evacuated westward. Just a short time later, the Soviet Army re-took the sanatorium and operated it here as their largest military hospital abroad until 1994.

Some of the buildings on the premises are now home to therapeutic facilities, others are empty or have fallen victim to years of vandalism. The various buildings can be viewed on a guided tour. A “Baumkronenpfad” (treetop walkway) provides a view of the complex.

Literature:
  • Andreas Böttger/Andreas Jüttemann/Irene Krause, Beelitz-Heilstätten. Vom Sanatorium zum Ausflugsziel, Berlin 2016.
  • Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (Hg.), Die Beelitzer Heilstätten, Potsdam 1997

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Arrival planner

Straße nach Fichtenwalde 13

14547 Beelitz - Heilstätten

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Brochures

Tourist information

Tourismusverband Fläming e.V.

Zum Bahnhof 9
14547 Beelitz

Tel.: +49 (0) 33204-62870
Fax: +49 (0) 33204-618761

Weather Today, 20. 4.

3 8
overcast clouds

  • Sunday
    0 9
  • Monday
    -2 8

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