About 100 kilometres north of Berlin is a small town called Lychen. In the early twentieth century, the city was a health resort with a health center called the Heilanstalt Hohenlychen. In 1935, SS officer and doctor Karl Gebhardt became head of the clinic and transformed the clinic from a treatment center for tuberculosis patients to an orthopedic clinic. In 1938, SS chief, Heinrich Himmler, appointed Gebhardt to become his personal doctor. During the war, the clinic became a hospital/treatment center for the Waffen-SS. Several senior Nazi leaders and SS officers received treatment at Hohenlychen for various ailments, including Rudolf Hess and of course Heinrich Himmler. In addition to Gebhardt, several other SS doctors also served at Hohenlychen. It was also at Hohenlychen that Heinrich Himmler in February and April 1945 on three occasions met with the vice president of the Swedish Red Cross, count Folke Bernadotte, to discuss the release of norwegian and danish women in German concentration camps. On the first visit in April, according to Bernadotte’s statements, SS-Brigadeführer Walter Schellenberg, with Himmler’s knowledge, raised the question of the possibilities for Bernadotte to present a proposal to Eisenhower for a separate peace. This was the beginning of a failed attempt at peace negotiations.

Current status: Preserved with information board (2011).

Location: 53° 12' 5 N, 13° 19' 34 E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Dr Karl Gebhardt was tried in Nuremberg in 1947 and sentenced to death and hanged in 1948. After the war, the area was taken over by the Soviet Red Army, which remained there until 1993. Since then, the entire area is cordoned off and in decay.

Follow up in books: Longerich, Peter: Himmler: A Biography (2009).