In 1895, Prof. Dr. Carl von Noorden, a world-renowned expert in metabolic diseases, and Dr. Eduard Lampe founded the first diabetes clinic in Europe in Schifferstrasse in the Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt. People from all over Europe contacted the “Private Clinic for Diabetics and Dietary Treatment”. In the “pre-insulin era” the oatmeal diet with which Carl von Noorden revolutionized the dietary treatment of diabetes at the beginning of the 20th century was a blessing and the only treatment option for diabetics. The bread unit (BU) invented by Carl von Noorden was a qualitative breakthrough in diet planning and management. Von Noorden is considered to be a pioneer in insulin therapy since he was the first in Germany to clinically test insulin and successfully used it in the treatment of diabetes.
After World War II it was von Noorden's successor who made a significant contribution to the development of the insulin pump. At present there is a specialized department of endocrinology and diabetology in the clinic. under the personal supervision of the head physician. However, in the late twenties of the last century, the diabetes clinic was expanded to a general hospital which, along with diabetology, included special disciplines of internal medicine, surgery and traumatology, anesthesia, gynaecology and obstetrics.
In 1927 the German Diaconal Community (DGD) sent the first deaconesses to take care of patients in the hospital in the Sachsenhausen district, and in 1932 it took over the funding. On November 5, 1944, as a result of the bombing, most of the hospital lay in ruins, whereas by miracle not a single person was injured. In January 1945, the deaconesses took the remaining property and went to Bad Soden to organize a temporary hospital there. Although the work of the hospital was determined by the cramp and huge shortage of food and medicine, the deaconesses managed to provide patients with medical care in the hospital with 100 beds. Shortly after the end of the war, the DGD, with more active support from the deaconess in Frankfurt, began to rebuild the hospital in the Sachsenhausen district. In October 1948, the temporary hospital in Bad Soden ended its existence, and a private clinic in the Sachsenhausen district reopened its doors.
At first, 160 beds were a blessing to the population of the largely destroyed city which experienced a decline in health care. The medical school that was founded in 1929 and did not work during the last years of the war resumed its work in 1945. Despite the almost complete lack of financial resources, by the mid-fifties the hospital had been brought close to its pre-war level in terms of architecture. The general hospital now housed 340 beds; and in what was left of the previously world-famous specialized clinic for diabetics, a specialized department for metabolic diseases was opened. Until 1959 it was managed by Eduard Lampe's son Hans.
History of the Sachsenhausen Clinic
Further continuous, mandatory changes that included not only the expansion of the old buildings and the construction of new ones determined the subsequent history of the hospital. In addition, the name of the clinic was changed. In 1968, 73 years after its foundation, the private clinic in Sachsenhausen became the Sachsenhausen Clinic. With its own funds, subsidies from the city of Frankfurt and subsidies from the state of Hesse, the hospital continues to be built and modernized, to this very day.
At present the Sachsenhausen Clinic is an ultramodern and innovative clinic with 211 beds and five specialized departments. For many Frankfurt residents on both banks of the Main, it is a hospital which for many young as well as older people is more than a place where they receive good medical care. However, the area served by the hospital, thanks to the high professionalism of its doctors, goes far beyond the borders of Frankfurt.
In the book “Diakonie im Zentrum ‒ Das Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen von 1895 bis 2010” (Diaconia in the Center of Attention ‒ Sachsenhausen Hospital from 1895 to 2010), the changing history of the hospital is also successfully documented in text and images and is kept for future generations. This chronicle written in honor of the 115th anniversary, can be obtained at the front stand of the hospital administration by making a deposit of 15 euros.