The history of the clinic on Celler Street
The history of the clinic on Celler Street - The Former „Herzogliches Krankenhaus" (Ducal Hospital)
1780 witnessed the founding of the new Ducal Hospital on the Wendetor for the socially deprived patients, where the free treatment of all citizens of the city Braunschweig, irregardless of their social origin, was offered. From 1807 to 1813, the hospital was administered by the city and later on supportet with the state funds.
After extension of the building around 1850 it was officially re-named as "Herzogliches Krankenhaus" (Engl.: Ducal Hospital). Despite these transformations, more and more facilities were needed, as the population numbers in Braunschweig grew steadily towards the end of the century, which was particularly noticeable in the birth statistics.
On May 14, 1890, the Federal Assembly finally decided to move the entire hospital to Cellerstrasse in order to solve the problem with space capacity. This new site was particularly convinient, since there was a nearby tram stop and one could reach the hospital with the country railway.
The planning of the hospital was supervised by the Ducal building inspectors, led by the county architect Mr. Pfeifer. The hospital was designed as a multi-storey pavilion with additional buildings, which were at those times far ahead of the ideal type of construction. In addition, the main buildings of the internal and surgical department were placed symmetrically to each other. In 1900 the hospital even received the gold medal and an honorary diploma for this construction work at the Paris World Exposition.
In the spring of 1891 the construction of the hospital began to be completed in four years. In the same year, the official ceremony took place on 27th April, during which patients were transferred from the old hospital to the new one. In August 1897, the hospital, with a total of 22 buildings, had all the departments, which previosly existed in the old location.
The two main buildings featured pavilions, which contained individual patient rooms and large communal wards with 16 beds. In the connecting buildings there were living and examination rooms, as well as the wards for the first and second class patient in the upper floors. The north-eastern part of the site comprized the the institution of birth and midwives services. It had ist own cellar with a separate washing-house, heating, and an extra bathroom for the midwives. Other buildings were, among others, the bathhouse and the so-called Medical-Mechanical Institute, which together with the surgery unit made up the so called „external departments“. The water supply of the site was carried out via its own water system with a total of 9 wells, which supplied the 24m high water tower. Nearly all the nurses and servants lived on the hospital premises.
The patients were divided into three classes. Those from the first-class had to pay the fee of 7.50 marks per day, as well as cover the costs for wine, dressing material and for special services. They were accommodated in single, double and 4 bed- rooms. The patients of the second class paid 4 marks a day, the third had to pay 2 marks, in case of children the cost made up only 1.50 marks. In addition, hospital clothing was provided to the third class patients.
Since the Ducal Hospital belonged to the Ducal Regional Administration (Kreisdirektion Braunschweig), its official representative was the chairman of the hospital directorate. Each of the departments was headed by a chief physician who had at his disposal up to three assistants. The Diakonissen-Mother House Marienstift provided the Hospital with a total of 15 deaconesses for the internal and surgical department. In addition, the nurses of the Red Cross also contributed to the work of the hospital, which suffered badly from the lack of staff. In addition, the hospital had a number of employees in the economic sector, including, for example, the economist, laundresses, cooks, a machine master as well as heaters and gardeners. The entire staff of the hospital was necessarily insured with the special health insurance of the Ducal Hospital.
The total revenue of the institution was composed of the health insurance funds, payments of the private patients, as well as with the subsidy from the state.
The Development until the end of the First World War
In 1904 the Institute off Medical Pathology was established on the basis of the pathology section of the department. It was divided into the pathological-anatomical department and the scientific office for contagious diseases. In 1918, the institute had to be enlarged with one more floor in order to allow the further separation of the two areas. Since the institute was the only public institution of its kind in Braunschweig, it also offered expert opinions for other hospitals and courts of the region. In 1912 an X-ray cabinet and a physiological-chemical laboratory were set up. During the First World War, the hospital was then charged with ensuring the supply of war injuries, which meant that it had to allocate up to 100 beds for the needs of the military hospital. In that time women also found employment in the medical field, due to the absence of numerous male employees.
The new hospital in Cellerstrasse had an excellent reputation throughout the Braunschweig region as "a major hospital run by excellent doctors with highly efficient special departments".
The Development until the end of the Second World War
Between 1910 and 1948, Prof. MD Adolf Bingel headed the Department of Internal Medicine. Due to his scientific achievements in three fields, he left lasting contribution to the development of the clinic and substentially influenced the whole generation of Braunschweiger specialists.
After the end of World War I, the hospital was renamed to "Landeskrankenhaus Braunschweig" (State Hospital of Braunschweig). From 1919 onwards, the supervisory authorities established here the State medical college.
The contractually regulated medical care provided by the nurses of the Red Cross was terminated in 1923. A pharmacy was founded in the basement of the Clinical Department. The patient wards were set up with a lower number of beds in order to meet the new organizational demands. The extensions of the years 1926 to 1930 concerned mainly the Surgical Clinic and the Women's Clinic.
The National socialist regime also affected the institution. In 1935 the management unit of the hospital was restructured due to the new management regulation "Führergrundsatz": the decision-making power for all administrative issues got the minister newly appointed by the Minister of the Interior Affairs. The employment of deaconesses at the hospital no longer corresponded to the "spirit of the time". In August 1935, ten of the National Socialist Nurses (NSV) had to be admitted to the staff. On June 30, 1936, the treaty with the Marienstift was dissolved, and the nurses were taken over by Nazi Medical Organization, the so-called "Brown Nurses". The existing prayer room had to serve as a room for community purposes. Air raids on the Allies caused particular great damage in 1944: all the roof racks burned out, the remaining floors were disintegrated and heavily distroyed with fire. Therefore, most of the patients had to be accommodated in the bunkers until the end of the war.
Postwar Period and the Takeover by the City of Braunschweig
Due to a lack of workers and material, the elimination of bomb destruction was extremely tedious. Only after the hospital was taken over by the municipality of Braunschweig on February 1, 1948 could the reconstruction and restoration works be proceeded more rapidly. The new general plan for the hospital on the Celler Street presupposed the establishment of a medical clinic, a large women's clinic, a powerful radiation institute and a clinic for oral, maxillofacial and facial surgery.
In 1965, the reconstruction and rebuilding of the women's clinic was predominantly completed. The new radiological clinic was launched in 1967. In 1975 the clinic for oral, maxillofacial and facial surgery started ist work. Between 1970 and 1982, the interior areas of the Surgical and Medical Clinic were rebuilt. The counselor and long-term chairman of the health committee, Dr. Anton Vorwerk, earned great rewards for their contribution to the of reconstruction and restructuring of the clinical units.