SPIEGEL bestselling author Corina Bomann is working on a novel series about Seventh-day Adventist hospital Waldfriede, located in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Germany. The series is entitled Die Schwestern vom Waldfriede (The Nurses of Waldfriede) and tells stories from the history of this medical institution founded in 1920. The first volume, entitled Sternstunde, was recently published by Penguin and immediately made it to the bestseller list of the renowned DER SPIEGEL magazine.
Berlin writer Bomann, known for the novel series Die Farben der Schönheit, also a SPIEGEL bestseller, spent 10 days at Waldfriede Adventist Hospital in Berlin in autumn 2019 for an operation. She wrote about her stay, “There, they gave me hope for a good recovery from the start, and thanks to capable doctors and loving nurses, I got back on my feet.”
Based on a Nurse’s True Experiences
During her stay at the hospital, Bomann discovered historical photos depicting the medical staff as well as historical utensils. She saw, for example, sewn-together bed sheets from the time shortly after World War II, which were displayed in a glass case there. This aroused her interest in the history of the hospital, and she contacted the hospital management, who then sent her the diary of nurse Hanna Rinder. She had worked at Waldfriede from its founding in 1920 until her retirement in 1956.
In her diary, Hanna Rinder described many adventures of the doctors, nurses, and orderlies. Rinder reported on weddings and deaths, on joy, hardship, and sorrow. “Thirty years full of … emotion, longings, and love. The idea for my new saga was born,” Bomann said. This is how “Nurse Hanna” became the protagonist of the series. Based on her experiences, it tells the birth and later history of Waldfriede Hospital. As Ulrike Schweikert's series about the Charité hospital in Berlin has shown, novels about hospitals often attract a lot of attention.
First Adventist Institution Honored in a Series
“Out of all Adventist institutions worldwide, our hospital is the only one whose history is being published in a four-part novel on the occasion of its 100th anniversary,” Bernd Quoss, director of Waldfriede Hospital, said.
The other volumes of the novel series Die Schwestern vom Waldfriede are entitled Leuchtfeuer, Sturmtage, and Wunderzeit (Beacon, Stormy Days, and Wonder Time). They will be published by Penguin through mid-2023, each as a paperback, e-book, and audio book.
About Waldfriede Hospital
Non-profit Waldfriede Hospital is located in the Berlin district of Zehlendorf and is an academic teaching hospital of the Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin. It has been certified several times according to statutory quality requirements and has received numerous awards for its medical and nursing quality. About 15,000 inpatients and 120,000 outpatients are treated at the Adventist health-care institution every year.
Walfriede Hospital is supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which manages about 900 medical facilities worldwide, and is a cooperation partner of AdventHealth in the United States.
The institution is part of the Waldfriede Health Network, which includes, among others, a day clinic, an academy for health and nursing care, a senior citizens' home, the PrimaVita Health Centre, the Nikolassee private clinic, and the Desert Flower Center, which works with victims of female genital mutilation.