Written By: Erica Anderson Reviewed Edition: Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York, 1955 No ISBN Shown Hardcover, 144 pages Quotes Table of Contents
The World of Albert Schweitzer is a book of wonderful photographs of Albert Schweitzer, his hospital at Lambarene, and his home in Gunsbach, France. Erica Anderson filmed the Oscar-winning documentary about Schweitzer, and this volume has much in common with the film. It shows Schweitzer at work as a medical doctor, a hospital supervisor, a musician, and an author. There are many superb, arresting pictures of African patients, family members, and hospital workers. I was also interested in the pictures of Gunsbach in the early 1950s, when at least some women still washed their clothes on boards by the river.
While there are a few pages of text giving an overview of Schweitzer's life and work, most of the book is devoted to large, sharp, black-and-white pictures and their captions. Therefore in addition to the usual quotations, I have included scanned images of a couple photographs from the book.
"When Dr. Schweitzer began constructing the new buildings [for the leper settlement at Lambarene], he sent for Monenzalie to come back from his village and again become head carpenter. But Monenzalie relied that he was now too old to work. 'If you come back and keep working, you will get younger every day,' promised the 79-year-old Doctor. And he did."
"One night as Dr. Schweitzer worked late at his desk he heard a baby cry. It was a sick child's plaintive crying, coming from the room of a nurse, who, beyond the call of duty, took care of seven orphan babies every night. He remembered the incident a few months later when he was saying good-bye to this nurse as she left for her home in Switzerland. 'People say I understand something about music,' he said, 'but the sweetest sound I have ever heard came from your room one night, when from the change in the baby's crying I knew that the crisis had passed, and that he would be well again.'"
Picture caption: "The bandages of the lepers are sterilized and
hung to dry in the sun. Cotton cloth, which is sewn into simple
garments for patients, made into sheets, and cut into bandages,
is always in short supply."
The picture caption is a quotation from Albert Schweitzer in
Christendom, Winter, 1936: "I ask knowledge what it can
tell me of life. Knowledge replies that what it can tell me is
little, yet immense. Whence this universe came, or whither it is
bound, or how it happens to be at all, knowledge cannot tell me.
Only this: that the will-to-live is everywhere present, even
as in me."
Table of Contents of The World of Albert Schweitzer
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