Bethel around 1900

Since 1867...

The v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel goes back to a care home for people with epilepsy, which was founded by the Inner Mission in Bielefeld in 1867.

The aim was to give the "seizure patients" a new home at a time when less able people were increasingly being pushed to the margins of society. Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, after whom the institution was later named, had a decisive influence on the young institution. Under his leadership - and that of his successors - Bethel developed into the largest diaconal organisation in Europe, where many people received help.

At the same time, we must not lose sight of the fact that people were also wronged at Bethel. Not least influenced by the spirit of the times, decisions were made in Bethel about the treatment and treatment of people that cannot be justified by anything. The period of National Socialism and the welfare education in the early Federal Republic of Germany are particularly worthy of mention.

This gives rise to Bethel's responsibility for historical research and remembrance. A well-founded reappraisal of history and drawing lessons from it for current and future work is an obligation towards all those who experienced suffering in Bethel institutions.

Detailed information on Bethel's history can be found in the brochure "Since 1867... History of the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel". To the brochure.