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By 1843 the German community was the largest immigrant group in the capital. The idea for providing a hospital to serve the needs of these poor German speaking East-enders had been the Prussian ambassador's (Christian Frieherr Von Bunsen). The support of important and wealthy Anglo-Germans was enlisted. The King of Prussia contributed to the scheme. A site was needed for this venture that would be outside the city, in a sunny, clean suburb, and Hackney, with its reputation as a healthy place, fit the bill exactly. The building chosen for the new hospital had previously been the Dalston Infant Asylum. It opened in 1845, under the joint protection of Queen Victoria, Queen Adelaide, The King of Prussia and Prince Albert. The Duke of Cambridge was elected chairman. Florence Nightingale had strong links with the hospital, visiting often, and was trained in Germany by the same religious order responsible for the nursing side of the hospital. The North London Railway was built across part of the lands, and when the German Hospital was rebuilt in 1864 it occupied the southern half of its site, a bridge linking the two parts was built by the North London Railway in 1866. Although most of the patients were German speaking, as a Voluntary Hospital it also catered to the needs of local English people. The Staff was German, and during the 1st war older German doctors were allowed to carry on working. After the War most of the patients were English and there was an increasing demand for private beds. A gift of 16,000 from a former patient (Swiss Mrs B Rienaccher) enabled the hospital to purchase neighbouring land (i.e. part of the West Side of Fassett Square.) Work began on the new wing in1935 and it was opened by Baroness Bruno von Schroder on 10th July 1936. The ultra modern building was designed by Burnet, Tait and Lorne.
All the German staff were interned during the 2nd war and replaced by English doctors.
The National Health Service took it over in 1948. From 1974 it became primarily then wholly a psychiatric hospital. After the National Health Service Rationalisation, the Hospital was closed in 1987. (
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