September 22, 2022

Germany’s Waldfriede Hospital Celebrates a Century of Service

The Adventist health-care institution is the second oldest in the Berlin area.

Adventistische Pressedienst, and Adventist Review
[Photo: ©Vanessa Schulz/APD ]

The Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin, Germany was to celebrate its 100th anniversary in April 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the anniversary ceremony finally took place on September 10, 2022, in the auditorium of the University of Berlin. While the hospital is now 102 years old, the Akademie Waldfriede, founded on July 1, 1922 as a state-recognized nursing school, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year.

Centennial Celebration Ceremony

In her welcome address to 800 guests, Ulrike Gote, Berlin Senator for Science, Health, Nursing, and Gender Equality, attested to the “excellent reputation” of the 160-bed Waldfriede Hospital, founded in 1920. It is a modern facility that has constantly developed and specialized since its inception, she said.

Gote emphasized in particular the holistic concept of the hospital. She also underlined its work for women, such as the establishment of the first baby hatch (called a baby cradle) in a hospital in Germany, in 2000, and the opening of the Desert Flower Center Waldfriede in 2013 as the first treatment center for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Detlef Albrecht, managing director of the Association of Protestant Hospitals in Berlin-Brandenburg, thanked Waldfriede for its good cooperation. After a difficult beginning, the hospital has continued to develop, he said. Today, it can certainly compete with larger institutions. Waldfriede is also active in providing free services to people, including refugees from Ukraine.

Bernd Quoss, director of Waldfriede Hospital and managing director of all its subsidiary enterprises, said he sees his task as leading the hospital to the highest level of medical and nursing care with the help of the staff. For this reason, he says, it is particularly important for them to be among the best hospitals in Berlin and Germany in terms of medical treatment quality and patient satisfaction. “We want to continue to prove this, for example, through robotic surgery, scientific studies, certification of our cancer centers, and international hospital cooperation,” Quoss said.

The Waldfriede health network has around 1,000 employees, according to Quoss. The facilities treat about 15,000 inpatients and 150,000 outpatients per year. The Waldfriede Hospital has the largest outpatient surgery center in Berlin.

Anniversary Service

The ceremony was followed by an anniversary service. In his sermon, Johannes Naether, president of the North German Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, referred to Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. “The question about who is our neighbor is not a theoretical discussion,” Naether said. “Faith and action belong together.” 

Werner Dullinger, president of the South German Union of the Adventist Church, and Gunnar Scholz, president of the Adventist Church in Berlin and Central Germany, both dealt with the motto of Waldfriede, “Our Service to Man Is Service to God,” in their speeches. Since the hospital was founded in 1920, the world has changed fundamentally. Nevertheless, Waldfriede stands by its Christian values and is constantly developing them so that they can also be understood and experienced in the 21st century, they said.

Inter-European Division president Mario Brito said he wished for more institutions to be like Waldfriede in Europe. General Conference health ministries director Peter Landless also thanked Waldfriede for its great performance as part of the global network of Adventist health-care institutions.

Chronicle and Book Series

After the service, each guest received the 336-page book 100 Years of Waldfriede Hospital. It was commissioned by the hospital and written by author Corina Bomann, who chronicled the ups and downs of the institution during the past 102 years.

Bomann is currently writing her Waldfriede Saga. Based on true events and inspired by ecclesiastical, political, and social chronicles, she tells of the birth and development of the Waldfriede Hospital. The first and second novels in her series The Sisters of Waldfriede have already been published. The third volume of the series is slated for release on December 28, 2022, and the fourth volume on May 24, 2023.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventistische Pressedients.