Published on 10. June 2020

Vivantes Hospital "Am Urban"

More than 130 years of history

On June 10, 2020, Vivantes Hospital "Am Urban" celebrated its 130th anniversary.

Vivantes Klinikum "Am Urban" looks back on an eventful history. Since its opening in 1890, it has reflected the medical, social and political history of Berlin.

Today, the hospital has twelve specialist medical departments, a central emergency room and around 620 beds. Approximately 65,000 patients are treated at the Klinikum "Am Urban" each year.

On June 10, 1980, the "Am Urban" Hospital was opened as Berlin's third municipal hospital. The hospital was managed by the two medical directors Albert Fraenkel and Werner Körte. In addition to them, other important physicians found their professional home at Hospital "Am Urban", such as Konrad Biesalski, who later became the founder of care for the disabled, and the well-known biochemist Leonor Michaelis. Alfred Döblin, who later achieved world fame with his novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz," also worked as a doctor at Hospital "Am Urban" before his career as a writer.

During the National Socialist era, the Hospital "Am Urban" was the scene of crimes and so-called purges: Jewish doctors or those who thought differently politically were arrested, expelled and mistreated. In the spirit of Nazi racial hygiene, forced sterilizations and abortions were also performed.

In 1970, the then Federal President Gustav Heinemann opened the new building, which was designed by the architect Peter Poelzig and is now a listed building. The number of beds doubled to 1,200 as a result of this expansion.

Following the major changes that German reunification brought to Berlin's hospital landscape, Hospital "Am Urban" was then threatened by closure plans of the Berlin Senate in the 1990s, which were averted.

At the beginning of 2001, a new phase began: Hospital "Am Urban" became part of Net-Ge GmbH along with eight other Berlin hospitals. A few months later, a more memorable name was found in the form of "Vivantes Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH," which today stands for Germany's largest municipal hospital group.

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