My wife Barbara made photo series in Beelitz-Heilstaetten near Berlin for a book. The Beelitz-Heilstätten: First built to separate the lung health of the capital Berlin, to minimize further contagion epidemics. Also, to give them a chance of cure in a green environment. During the First World War, the “Beelitz-Heilstaetten” quickly turned into a military hospital. So Hitler came there to benefit from the care. During World War II, Hitler used the very same place of concealment to organize the rapid killing of sick people. No longer the germs have been eliminated but the affected people: the location became the camouflaged headquarter of the boss of Nazi-euthanasia. After the second world war was Beelitz Russian military area. When communism collapsed, thanks to the liberal thinking ability of Russian president Gorbachev, the political leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, withdrew on the Beelitz-site escaping from protesting people and West-German justice (Honecker was responsible for killing German refugees near the wall when they tried to run from East to the West). Honecker was saved by Russian military from Beelitz to Moscow. Next he fled to South America – where the Fascists of Germany already had their residences (escaped after 1945). The walls of Beelitz are now overgrown by trees or ruined by graffiti sprayers and other sorts of vandalism. This is perhaps what makes our present: After the idiotic systems of fascism and communism have failed, the uneducated and unemployed hordes of presence are changing the “design” of this almost aristocratic architecture. Of about 60 buildings, only a single building was restored as a rehabilitation clinic. Then the investor went bankrupt. When photographers increasingly wander around these buildings, and they highly stylized the secret cult object of a sadomasochistic scene: How much horror or admiration, contempt of exercising power or glorification of hierarchies are found in such actions?
related: Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned
If that building could talk it would have so many stories to tell – and not all of them pleasant. Great shot.
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great photo – great windows
great pictures….did I speak about André Govia in Flickr, before ?
a sad beauty
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The image is stunning. The story makes it more so.
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Ahh my story image, reading your piece today tells many other tales and horrific ones.
Great image, Frizz….. a very ‘abandoned’ capture
Tolles Foto. Ich fahre Anfang Mai nach Beelitz zum fotografieren. Bin schon ganz gespannt.
LG Angela 🙂
The framework of the building still shows how grand it was but unfortunately the bad memories that go with it is overwhelming.
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It’s really difficult to answer that question simply Frizz so instead I will admire the fantastic windows of this abandoned and historical building.
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