Bob Marley's Final Months in Rottach-Egern, Germany (2023)

In late 1980, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley made his way to the picturesque Bavarian village of Rottach-Egern seeking alternative medical treatment for his terminal cancer diagnosis. Nestled along the shores of Lake Tegernsee and surrounded by snow-capped Alpine peaks, Rottach-Egern offered Marley a tranquil setting in which to undergo immunotherapy under the care of controversial German physician Dr. Josef Issels.

Though initially staying in the upscale Hotel Bachmair am See, Marley soon found more comfortable lodging in the centuries-old farmhouse of the Schweinitz family. There, he and his entourage filled the rustic kitchen with aromatic Caribbean cuisine as snow fell heavily outside. Despite his declining health, Marley remained in good spirits, often helping young Christian Schweinitz shovel snow from the walkways in the mornings before heading to appointments at Dr. Issels' nearby Ringberg Clinic.

As Marley's 36th birthday in February 1981 approached, friends visited from Jamaica to celebrate. A cherished Mercedes was gifted to the ailing singer, who had developed a fondness for long, restorative nature walks along the trails surrounding Rottach-Egern during his daily recoveries. Photographs from this period capture Marley's relaxed demeanor amidst the postcard-perfect Alpine setting he had grown to appreciate in his final weeks.

Sadly, Dr. Issels eventually informed Marley that further treatment would be of no help. After briefly returning to Jamaica in hopes of spending his last days at home, Bob Marley succumbed to his cancer just days later on May 11, 1981 during a stopover in Miami. Though alternative medicine could not save his life, the natural beauty and tranquility of Rottach-Egern provided Marley a place of respite and renewal in the closing chapter of his all-too-short time on earth.


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