A Physician tells her story

Sr. Rosemarie in East Germany

Team Bernburg

Team Bernburg

My name is Rosemarie and I am a physician. The last ten years I have been working in a big psychiatric hospital in East Germany in Bernburg, as director of the department for addictive diseases and all other comorbidities. This hospital has a long tradition, it is more than 150 years old, and during the “3rd Reich” it was also a place of extermination of the mentally ill (the so-called T4 Aktion!). In the midst of the area there is the memorial of this time with still a chimney of the crematorium standing.

Our patients come mostly from the “bottom” of our so rich a society: they are poor, “crazy”, mentally and emotionally disturbed, addicted, criminals, homeless and so on, those who are not really wanted or who cannot adapt to all the pressures they are under.

Haus Alzheimer Bernburg

Haus Alzheimer Bernburg

In my work as a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist and a Sister of Sion I am very happy here. Here we meet the challenge to experience God’s presence in each person and to be a witness to God’s love for each one. Here we learn what the bible means when the book speaks about people created in God’s image and what the book teaches us about relationships and a just society. And it is a joy to live it here and with these people.

I am also in part responsible for the teaching and formation of younger doctors. Most of our trainees come from different countries in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Russia, Hungry, Ukraine…). Often – like in East Germany, for more than 40 years under communist government, many spiritual roots are lost. Even the language to express important questions of our existence is forgotten, young people and less younger ones seem so lonely and without values and goals in their lives. So there is a rich field to labor, to present alternatives to a capitalist and neo-liberalistic society, to give an example of other ideas and values and fulfillment in life.

We do not speak a lot about God here, but God is always present.