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On 4th July 1898 Samuel Blum, the owner of the local parquetry workshop, endowed a foundation in Plešivec, which he donated a self contained house that has become the foundation base of the Institution which was named after him. On 16th October the same year the Institution was dedicated for ten feeble-minded Jewish boys. The Department of Home Affairs and Social welfare of Hungary at that time requested enlargement of the capacity and scope of the Institution, hence Samuel Blum sends his son Rudolf to Germany to study the modern trends of care for freeble-minded. After returning from his studies, Rudolf Blum is becoming the owner of the Institution, which was gradually going through another period of increasing of new buildings in years of 1900-1908-1911 and 1914. Since 1905, 15 to 20 new inmates were accomodated every year and only minimum of them were released. As a result status of patients gradually increased: in 1906 exceeded a hundred and in 1908 there were more than 150 patients in the Institution. Roughly a third of the number consisted of the Epileptics and the remaining two thirds were feeble-minded patients. For instance, vital statistics show that in the year 1909 ten of fourty-five epileptics died in a fit of epilepsy.

Further development was interrupted by World War II, as it had been made available for the Red Cross, wounded and sick soldiers. Department for the feeble-minded was partially reduced and the institute became a makeshift of military hospital with a daily average of 600 military patients and more than ten thousand patients during the entire war. Those difficult times are also reflected in the statistics, for example in 1917, 150 of approximately 230 civilian patients died, almost 100 of them for tuberculosis, which contributed to death by around 50% during the interwar period. After the war and generation of Czechoslovak Republic, the activity of the department was fully restored. However, in spring 1919 the artillery fire of the Red Army near Hungarian border damaged the building departmnent largely. There was established the headquarters of Hungarian Red Army in the Blum´s Institution. After its decline, Plešivec was occupied by Czechoslovak Army headquarters, the regiment thereafter resides in one of the Blum Institution building. Later, on 20th September 1920 Rudolf Blum is dying and his widow Flora Blumová is taking over the management department. However, on 1st April 1921 the Institution was in charge to a former officer of Czechoslovakian army, first lieutemant, who was a regimental commander. John Horak, became a director of the Institution.

During his leadership the Institute was expanded, reconstructed and upgraded. According to a proposal of MUDr. Jaroslav Stuchlík, who was at that time the head of neurological-psychiatric department of public hospitals in Košice and JUDr. Richard Bebr, a chief of the section of Health Department and Physical Education in Czechoslovakia, who visited the Institute in 1924, new Department for deranged patients was established. Blum Institution was renamed: Institution for the mentally ill, feeble-minded and epileptic. MUDr. Stuchlík, as remarked in his memories, had initially led the Medical Institute himself, later MUDr. Joseph Thausz, his secondary doctor became the chief surgeon.

In 1926 outhouse with manning flats was built as well as mews, own constitutional power plant Skoda diesel with underground distribution of electricity, locksmith and machine-building workshop, library for patients. Bibliopegy were patients worked was also built up. Telephone and wire broadcasting was led to all pavilions. Mechanical steam laundry was built up and a special milk kitchen „ a large chillroom of American system „ with the capacity of 100 m3 of the ice, water-supply, canalization, central heating over all the Institution. The territory of the Institution which covered the area of almost 6 hectares was bordered by nearly three metres high concrete wall. In 1929 there was established the biological sewage tank, a greenhouse and automatic irrigational system in the garden. In 1931 a fenced sportsground was built for patients sport needs.

By the end of 1925 there were 96 feeble-minded men and women accomodated in the Institution. In 1929 the number of inmates increased to 428 and 248 of them were the feeble-minded, in the next year the total number was 460 patients and approximately 300 of them were the feeble-minded.The period data sources show, that the Institution had capacity, that could have managed to accomodate up to 800 patients and along with other alternations the capacity of the Institution could be increased to even 2000 patients. There´s no wonder that we can cite from the period press: „... Nor The Institution for the mental patients in Plešivec is the largest one in its specialization these days, it´s also the most modern one in Slovakia, itś honestly controlled and totally equipped.“ Two doctors together with 44 male and female nurses looked after the patients at that time, they were controlled by the chief surgeon of the Institution, by MUDr. Jozef Thaus. The Institution was indoor divided into two departments: a department for the feeble-minded and a department for the deranged. These departments were divided into male and female departments and into departments of calm and restive patients. The calm patients lived in so called Colony, they were fully allowed to move free throughout the park and in the garden, and they were employed in the garden, or in the workshops: wood workshop, fitter´s shop, shoe shop, bibliopegy shop, or they knited baskets and carpets. In the diseases treatment all known modern process were applicated: electrotherapeutics, hydrotherapy, psychotherapy. With good results, progressive paralysis malaria and epilepsy Kobrin was treated. In 1937-38 MUDr. Libuše Richterová, who was in the seventies an editor manager of the magazine Czechoslovakian Psychiatry , worked in the Institution.

An interesting underplot of the history of the Institution is the fact, that the Director of the Institution Ján Horák was at the second period of the thirties, the incorporator and a chief taskmaster of Masonic lodge and their society room was situated in the Institution. According to personnel witness, the president of ČSR Eduard Beneš at that time, took part in the meeting (V.S. 2.10.1937)under conspiratorial circumstances. After the Munich dictate and after rustic formation, on 14.10.1938 the Masonic lodge in Slovakia were dissoluted. On 17.10.1938 an inspection of the lodge rooms had already been carried out, correspondence, a deposit book and the lodge seal were taken away. The belongings were probably successfully taken to Prague by J. Horak yet in time.

After CSR breakdown Plešivec remained a part of territory that was occupied by Hungary after the Vienna arbitration. Before that, J. Horak had already gone to Prague together with his wife where at the time of protectorate both of them found their death: Ján Horák had allegedly commited suicide before arrested by Gestapo, Flora died in the concentration camp Terezín. During the wartime the activity of the Institution was interrupted : patiens were moved to other departments in Hungary. At the beginning there was a refugee camp mainly for Poles, later after 1942 the Institution served as a tuberculosis medical institution for Hungarian soldiers. Along with the front approaching the Institution turned to a millitary hospital for Hungarian and German soldiers at the beginning, later for Soviet and Roumanian soldiers. During the front transition almost all buildings of the Institution were damaged, some of them totally destroyed.

In 1950 began the reconstuction of the preserved buildings, in 1952 the renowned Institution was opened as The National Institution for mind diseases treatment in Plešivec, with 50 beds for women at the beginning. Attested psychiatrist MUDr. František Gašpar was the director at that time, later MUDr. Drienková – Vránová became the director of the Institution. The Institution was administratively liable to KÚNZ Košice.

In 1953 the Institution was renamed and its new name was Psychiatric Institution in Plešivec, in 1954 the capacity increased to 220 and since 1956 to 1961 the capacity was 229 beds. In consideration of perpetual shortness of psychiatric institution, Psychiatric Institution in Plešivec was a transfer institution for Psychiatric clinic in Košice as well as it covered a long-term therapy health care for almost all East Slovak region. After another Psychiatric Institution was opened in Prešov, the overloaded Institution could be gradually unloaded. To 1969 the capacity was 250 beds, since 1971 to 2001 the capacity was 225, at present its 200 beds. In the second period of the fifties, thanks to new psychopharmaceuticals the structure of patients started changing.An Acute Department was belaboured in the Institution, MUDr. Ladislav Koller was the director at that time. Since 1.7.1960, despite of regional transcended designation the Institution became an involved institution of OÚNZ in Rožňava. Since 1962 to the second period of the seventies MUDr. Milan Quischfeld was the director of the Institution, after him MUDr. Ladislav Měchura was the director until his retirement in 1991, in consequence MUDr. Jozef Greškovič was the director.

In this period another phase of the reconstruction of inconvenient compartments was under way, some new objects were built up. It is also necessary to note that along with the integration of the Institution to OÚNZ ( besides the East Slovak Region all Psychiatric institutions underlay KÚNZ) critical conditions were made for stagnation and consistent underdevelopment of the Institution in comparision with the level of most other special psychiatric Slovakian institutions. That was a result of insufficient financial resources, long distance from centres, the absence of „ supporters that lob at the high- ranking officials“, lack of certificated authority and the situation of the specialization as a whole in the area of MEDA for the region with approximately 850 000 tenantry.

Since 1.1.1992 the Psychiatric Institution became an independent organization directly controlled by the Department of Health of Slovakia. Although it was a favourable change at the same time it only let the Institution survive with no chance of the elimination of the ancestral debt becouse of ongoing Health reform together with complicated financial position with lack of funds and with the need of maximal economic and rational operation, if possible without negative effect on the level of healthcare. However, there were also realized severe financial investments (the construction of sewage tank or the reconstruction of boiler house). Since 2004 the health-social compartment was settled in the Psychiatric Institution in Plešivec, which growth was conditioned by the inspection results and by recommendation CPT committee (European committee for prevention from tantalization and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and by decree of the Government of SR. According to them there were afforded facilities to accept inadaptable clients of DSS with behaviour disturbance and with the need of advanced psychiatric care, who were the inmates of the Social Welfare Institution, as they demand intensive and practically a life term treatment in psychiatric institution, because their stay in DSS with inadequate special health surveillance resulted in aggravation of their health state. VÚC has delegated the licence for providing social services, the number of clients is gradually increasing and since May of this year there are already 45 clients on the basis of the contract with KSK that subsidizes according to law of Social support. Lack of funds for larger maintainance in recent years is reflected in the fact that all of the buildings need a reconstruction at present. In regard to present standard and the way of support from the health insurance companies there is no way to accumulate required investment means from their support, so there is a need to find other sources of funding. At present one way that shows to be real is the possibility to obtain required finances for this purpose from EU Opperational programme and to do so is the priority of our aim at present.

We can state with no doubt, that the Psychiatric Institution in Plešivec was going through its greatest fame in the thirties when it was the most modern Institution of sui generis in Slovakia, economically and expertly well led with a high level of health care provided, with period facility that has not been achieved in many thesedays. There is left to hope that the historical sinusoid after 111 years of the Institution existence will bounce back from the bottom and will go up again, that the Institution will refer to its rich and more famous tradition, that it will honourably come back to its place which belongs to the oldest Psychiatric Institution on the territory of Slovakia.

Slovenská verzia
História ústavu
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Staff and patients about Blum Institute in 1901
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Flóra Blumová-Horáková
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Staff of Blum Institute around year 1910
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Ján Horák
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Bronze Medal of free-mason box in Plešivec from 2. 10. 1937 box with the symbols
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MUDr. J. Thausz with wife
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Garden of the Constitution and the present pavilion No. IV. in the postcard from the middle of the twenties of the last century
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Main entrance to Institute from the middle of thirties of the last century
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Current pavilion No. I. around in 1941
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Area of Institute during flood on river Slaná around year 1943.
(in those days Slaná flowed through middle of the Institute area)