Photo Essay

Sanatorium Beelitz

Sanatorium Beelitz - Sports hall and dining room

Last week i took an excursion to a mecca for photographs near Berlin: Sanatorium Beelitz.

It was an official excursion in a small part of this complex (clinic for men, 2 more excursions are available). 20 amateur photographs, 3 buildings, 5 hours time, no groups, no guides.

It was fascinating, exciting, unexpected, touching... you can feel the history of this place, the agony of innumerable patients. An incredible place.

After 5 hours of taking photos, i was dirty, hungry, my memory card was full, my battery was empty, my back hurted, but i was happy and satisfied!

I took 600 photos and joined them into 200 HDR-photos. This was not work, it was relaxation. For jpg i choosed about 20 photos - hope you enjoyed them! You can see all of them in my collection:

The history:

Beelitz-Heilstätten, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings from 1898. Originally designed as a sanatorium by the Berlin workers' health insurance corporation, the complex from the beginning of World War I on was a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler recuperated at Beelitz-Heilstätten after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme.

In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Soviet forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1994, well after the German reunification. In December 1990 Erich Honecker was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government.

Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinsons 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 from 2002.

Thank you very much for your time to visit my photos!

13 responses

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (2 Sep 2013):

    Great serie!!! GREAT!!!

  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper   said (4 Sep 2013):

    I was thrilled to see this series presented in essay format. This is strong work that leaves other photogs like me drooling. I've never seen 5 hours presented so effectively. Home run DIrk.


    ROCIO GUILLEN   gave props (4 Sep 2013):


  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins   gave props (4 Sep 2013):

    Your 5 hours paid off Dirk! Amazing collection of photos and an enlightening story! Voted!

  • James Wiley

    James Wiley   gave props (4 Sep 2013):

    You can certainly feel "the agony of innumerable patients" My vote Dirk!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (4 Sep 2013):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • JPG

    JPG gave props (8 Sep 2013):

    Congrats on Story of the Week!

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins   said (8 Sep 2013):

    congrats Dirk!

  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper   gave props (8 Sep 2013):

    Damn straight!

  • Dirk Fuhrmann

    Dirk Fuhrmann   said (10 Sep 2013):

    Thanks to all for voting!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (10 Sep 2013):

    wonderful and congrats on story of the week - so well deserved

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (13 Sep 2013):

    Congrats on Story of the Week!

  • Stefan ...

    Stefan ... gave props (15 Sep 2013):

    Gratuliere dir :-)

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