German President visits Augusta Victoria Hospital

28 Nov 2023

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, as part of their travel to the Middle East. 


AVH - Bundespräsident Steinmeier

President Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender discuss the situation at the hospital with the AVH CEO, Dr Fadi Atrash (right). Photo: Bundesregierung/ Jesco Denzel

Steinmeier says hospital is a "place of humanity” 

(LWI) - On his trip to the Middle East, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem and met patients from Gaza. The hospital on the Mount of Olives is owned and operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). More than 100 patients from Gaza, many of whom are children accompanied by  their relatives, have been at the hospital since early October, unable to return because of the war between Hamas and Israel. 

“This hospital is a place of humanity,” said Steinmeier, praising the facility. “The war currently taking place obviously also impacts the hospital and the patients treated here,” Steinmeier added. “Transporting patients from the Gaza Strip is not taking place now. We will discuss with the staff how we can help those ill.”  

The war that is currently taking place obviously also has an impact on the hospital and the patients who are treated here.

– Frank-Walter STEINMEIER, president of the Federal Republic of Germany 

Meeting with patients 

After a conversation with the hospital management, led by AVH CEO Dr. Fadi Atrash and the LWF representative in Jerusalem, Sieglinde Weinbrenner, the Federal President, and his wife, Elke Büdenbender, met with patients from the Gaza Strip. “They were very caring and touched to meet the children from Gaza with their mothers,” said Weinbrenner. “The mothers who are here with seriously ill children are also extremely worried about their other children in Gaza.”  

The Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, which specializes in cancer and kidney diseases, was founded as a center for German pilgrims in imperial times. It was turned into a hospital to respond to the needs of Palestinian refugees in the wake of the 1948 war. It is currently the only Palestinian hospital in East Jerusalem that offers radiation therapy and pediatric dialysis to patients from Gaza and the West Bank. Around 7,000 patients, including many children, are treated at the AVH every year.


AVH - Bundespräsident Steinmeier and First Lady

The First Lady presents a little patient with a toy. The president and his wife met with patients from Gaza, many of them children, and accompanying mothers. Photo: Bundesregierung/ Jesco Denzel

LWF/C. Kästner-Meyer