1910 - 1915

1910 Building Site

The building site in Luisenstraße 58/59 is acquired by the Berlin Medical Association (BMG) in 1910 for 603,000 Marks.
In 1913, BMG and German Surgical Society (DGCH) form an unlimited partnership (LVR GbR) to build and administer the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus.

1914 Topping out ceremony

The site is cleared for construction in February and March 1914, and the topping out ceremony takes place on July 14th, 1914 – a magnificent achievement.

Luisenstraße 58/59

1915 Completion

The building is opened on August 1st, 1915 by the two directors of the LVH GbR, von Trendelenburg (DGCH) and Landau (BMG), in a simple inauguration ceremony.
The Berlin Medical Association meets for the first time under Orth on October 15th, 1915.

1920 - 1949

1920 Official opening

It is only after the war, on April 7th, 1920, that the German Surgical Society holds an official opening ceremony on the occasion of its 44th Congress, with August Bier, then President of the Association.

Großer Hörsaal

1915-1945 Meeting place

Between 1915 and 1943, DGCH members convene for their yearly conferences. The BMG holds its scientific meetings here until January 1945.

1945-1949 Occupation

After the end of the war, the building is occupied by the Soviet military authority until November 1949. During this period all the costly internal fittings are plundered, including pictures and furniture as well as the extensive library.

1949 GDR Constituted

The government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) forces the German Surgical Society and the Berlin Medical Association to lease the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus to the government of the GDR for an initial period of five years.
The Parliament of the GDR, the “People’s Chamber”, is constituted in the auditorium and convenes in the Great Hall until 1976.

1953 - 1983

1953 Expropriation

Because the building has been claimed in accordance with the reconstruction ruling of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the property is registered in the Land Registry as “property of the people”. This is done without the consent of the Lord Mayor of Berlin.
The first President of the German Democratic Republic, (GDR) W. Pieck, is elected in the Great Hall of the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus.

1955 People’s Army

On January 18th, 1955, the mustering of the National People’s Army of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is proclaimed in this building by the representatives of the first “Workers’ and Farmers’ State” in Germany.

1963 Compensation

As late as May 1963, indemnifying payment to the original owners of the building is rejected.

1983 Discovery

Thanks to a lucky coincidence, portrait busts that originally stood in the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus are discovered on February 6th, during conversion works in the ground floor of the Charité (surgery).

1989 - 1995

1989-1990 Chance

The collapse of Communism in East Germany in 1989 seems to offer a chance that the property will be returned to the original owners.

1993 Prospects

In January 1993 the Senate for Cultural Affairs in Berlin offers the prospect of returning the property in the near future.

1994 Rejection

Unexpectedly, both the office responsible for ruling on unresolved property questions and the appeals office reject the claim for restitution, reasoning that with the expropriation of the building in accordance with the reconstruction ruling of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the site had become people’s property.

1995 Negotiations

The Senate of Berlin offers joint use with the Charité, to whom the use of the building has been transferred. After lengthy negotiations, the “overall coordinator” for the Charité states that there can be no question of selling back to the original owners in the medium term “because of our own extremely pressing requirements”.

2000 - 2005

2000 Back on site

In expectation that restitution will be approved, the Professional Association of German Surgeons formally rents offices in order to protect the interests of the owners. The DGCH returns from Munich to the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus.

2003 Restitution

Success – after 10 years of legal conflict that often appeared doomed to failure, the building is won back through a judgement of the Berlin administrative court and restored to the German Surgical Society and the Berlin Medical Association in 2003.

2004 Sponsoring

As a company within the B. Braun Group, Aesculap concludes a long term co-operation agreement with the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus GbR, allowing extensive renovation work to be carried out.
At the same time it is created a domicile of the Aesculap Academy as a center of knowledge and dialogue.

2004-2005 Restoration and Opening

Nine months of planning and awarding contracts follow in order to restore and expand the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus. Building starts in August 2004. The topping out ceremony is held on March 9th; the building is handed over to its owners on August 31st.
On October 1st 2005, the German Surgery Association and the Berlin Medical Association opened the newly restored Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus in Central Berlin in a formal ceremony. The building, which was first inaugurated in 1915, is now once again available to professional associations as a centre for medicine.