Half of a Half
Located at an undisclosed place in Germany
Photo © 2007 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Krankenhaus Eichelberger* History
This hospital originally treated epileptic patients in a large building situated upon an expansive tract of land. The importance of large parks and open space became an important part of recovery besides the treatments and occupational therapy, and so future building additions were carefully placed to allow room for trees, gardens, and foot paths. Large Renaissance-style structures dominated the campus, with cottages in the rear, to allow a maximum capacity of 1,000 patients. As 1930 passed, the hospital became suited for psychiatric treatment (200 patients) in addition to epilepsy (1,400 patients), and the phrase "Heil- und Pflegeanstalt" (mental hospital) was included in the official name.
Nazi rule in 1933 brought the Aktion T4 program which forced sterilizations on the patients and required the hospital to maintain a genetic inventory of the residents. By 1940-1941 many patients were murdered en-masse under T4.
After the war, part of the hospital was overtaken by the Soviet army, and psychiatric services were eventually reinstated by the GDR. Over the years, forensic psychiatric programs were added and a number of buildings were constructed to expand capacity and services. Most buildings have been remodeled and continue to server their purposes to this day, with the exception of two or three derelict structures.
* Note: the name "Krankenhaus Eichelberger" is a pseudonym; the real name of this location is currently undisclosed.