Albert Schweitzer is Awarded the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize
Albert Schweitzer (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was a German-French theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician.
He was born in Kaysersberg in the province of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine), at the time in the German Empire. Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at his time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view, depicting a Jesus Christ who expected and predicted the imminent end of the world. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life",expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).
Schweitzer's passionate quest was to discover a universal ethical philosophy, anchored in a universal reality, and make it directly available to all of humanity. This is reflected in some of his sayings, such as:
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace."
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
At Lambaréné, Schweitzer was doctor and surgeon in the hospital, pastor of a congregation, administrator of a village, superintendent of buildings and grounds, writer of scholarly books, commentator on contemporary history, musician, host to countless visitors. The honors he received were numerous, including the Goethe Prize of Frankfurt and honorary doctorates from many universities emphasizing one or another of his achievements. The Nobel Peace Prize for 1952, having been withheld in that year, was given to him on December 10, 1953. With the $33,000 prize money, he started the leprosarium at Lambaréné.