Handing over the Key at the Charité Clinic in East Berlin (1982)
On June 14, 1982, East Berlin’s Charité Clinic, a tradition-rich teaching hospital, welcomed the official opening of a new, 23-story concrete high-rise building, which boasted 1,156 beds and 24 operating rooms. For Erich Honecker, this elaborate new building functioned as a prestige object and as visual proof of his socio-political program. Therefore, on the occasion of its opening, Honecker stressed that “the completion of this new clinic according to plan offers renewed proof of our determination to continue advancing our proven policy, to the benefit of the people, into the 1980s.” In 1985, on the clinic’s 275th anniversary, the Senate of the Academic Advisory Board of Humboldt University characterized the new building as “the greatest investment project in the field of higher education and health care in the history of the GDR.” This photograph shows the key for the new high-rise building being ceremoniously handed over in the presence of Honecker, who can be seen behind the foreman. Photo by Gerhard Kiesling.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Gerhard Kiesling