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The Reverend Dr. Albert Schweitzer (vegetarian): The Peaceful Genius, Part 2 of 2

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As we learned in Part 1, the Reverend Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his wife, Helene Bresslau Schweitzer, established a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. The region had been struck by numerous tropical maladies, and the people were living in meager conditions with insufficient healthcare. During their first nine months, the Schweitzer's treated over 2,000 patients. While traveling by boat on the Ogooué River to visit a patient, a profound phrase occurred to Dr. Albert Schweitzer: “Reverence for Life.” This became Dr. Schweitzer's “unifying term for a concept of ethics.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer became a vegetarian and refused to kill any living thing, including insects. He said: “We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.” After going back to Europe and staying there for several years, Dr. Albert Schweitzer returned to Lambaréné in 1924 to rebuild the hospital on a new site. Treatment was always free of charge. The entire project was financed with the money Dr. Schweitzer earned himself by regularly giving benefit concerts and lectures on culture and ethics in Europe, as well as with donations that came to him from across the world. From the early 1950s onward, Dr. Schweitzer worked tirelessly to abolish nuclear weapons, adding his voice to the likes of fellow Nobel Laureate and vegetarian, Dr. Albert Einstein. In 1952, Dr. Albert Schweizer was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.” Dr. Schweitzer used the Nobel Prize money of approximately US$33,000 to help build the much-needed leprosarium at Lambaréné for his 250 leprosy patients. The Reverend Albert Schweitzer left this world on September 4, 1965, at the age of 90. His daughter, Rhena, and his medical associates continued developing the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, modernizing the facilities with about 70 buildings, and attracting dedicated and talented medical staff from around the world.
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