Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

palace of a hidden beauty

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

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