Beelitz-Heilstätten

It snowed today and I entered some abandoned buildings in Beelitz-Heilstätten. Here a complex of 60 buildings were erected as a clinic to treat tuberculosis south of Berlin in 1898. The main treatments were fresh air, rich food, and lots of sleep. Sort of like the perfect vacation away from dirty hectic Berlin. Each patient had a big room with a balcony where they would lie out in the clean air of the forest. Sounds nice, right? Except for the fact that they had TB… And then during World War II Hitler took over the complex to treat soldiers (he was also treated for leg surgery here) and then again by the soviet army after the war. The later years were not so pretty. After 1989 things changed again. A few of the buildings were renovated and remain in use. I even ate lunch in the cafeteria of a very beautiful rehabilitation center. However, many of the buildings were too big and abandoned, falling to disrepair. Now they have become sort of a tourist attraction because of their creepy past, and there is a tree top walk way erected over the woman’s sanatorium where the roof was bombed, later causing a miniature forest to grow above. Most of the buildings are closed to the public, but I did find my way into a few of them…

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