Government Hospital of the Ministries
Approximately 30 minutes North East from the centre of Berlin is a long road often clogged with commuting traffic, to one side is scrubland and trees and to the other are sets of large gates that no-one today notices as they continue from A to B, but only a few decades ago they would be glanced at sideways and hurriedly as to not attract attention of the guards which stood in front of the gates checking everyone who wished to enter...
The guards were STASI, which meant that they were from the Ministry for State Security and on the road behind the gates was the Regierungskrankenhaus, a specialised Hospital solely for the upper echelons of the DDR elite.
The hospital was for the member of the central committee of the SED, those who sat at the top of local office, ambassadors (only if they were communist!) their families and also prominent artisans, scholars and athletes who had pledged the allegiance to socialism publically.
To get in was difficult but if you made the list you could have the best medical care available to you, with the best East German Doctors to provide it, Doctors who were called to work at the clinic received a 25% pay rise above what they could expect on their usual salary.
The care and drugs available were the best and if something was not available, the pharmacist would have a quick chat to the to the resident STASI official and within as little as 2 hours he would be back from West Berlin with what was needed.
Security was tight and a “ring of silence” operated amongst the staff with nothing that they had heard or seen ever being allowed to be discussed outside the walls of the hospital; this was enforced by a strong STASI presence including a man who knew everyone … but no one knew his name! There were informers in all departments and medical stations. A very sensitive area was the laboratory, because all the findings and diagnoses were there.
Despite the strong STASI presence the Politburo (top ranks of the government) did not feel secure, so a wing was set aside and devoted entirely to their needs, this was Ward or Station 3A, this had its own entrance and guard stations, a bunker (with 20 person lift access), each member of the Politburo had his own assigned room, staff were specially assigned and could only enter the room of an official they were treating in the company of a STASI man.
Should the worst happen and they had to go into the bunker even this was fully equipped with wards, generators and even an operating room!
After the fall of the wall the exclusivity of the hospital disintegrated and for a time during 1990 the hospital opened its doors to the “Neue Deutchland” and welcomed workers from Berlin companies and then to the wider country as a whole, but as Germany became one a lot of the staff realised that they no longer had to work in such a place and could become independent, the hospital was sold in 2001 by the Berlin Senate to “Helios-Kliniken” who used the original buildings for a while before building a brand new modern clinic in the site and mothballing the old building. It now sits as a reminder of times past just out of sight, unless you look carefully through the large gates.