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Hélène and Albert

Friend, wife and collaborator

Friend, wife and collaborator of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, she was the accomplice of more than 50 years of life together, rich in projects, trials and encounters; moreover, an unfailing support in his literary, musical and medical work.

A brilliant and cultured woman, as concerned to help her fellow man as her husband was, she embraced the life of her time as much as she could.

What else could one ask for than to be able to live like this: to stand next to someone one loves, who thinks as one thinks, but in an infinitely reflective way, and what one thinks together, to put it into action, to pass it on to others and to produce works?

Hélène Bresslau, letter to Albert Schweitzer dated 26 November 1905

Albert Schweitzer’s first supporter

After studying music and art history and a few years of teaching, she joined the social services of the city of Strasbourg, where she became an orphanage inspector. She also set up a home for single mothers. As Albert Schweitzer’s first supporter in his project to go and practice medicine in Africa, she studied nursing in order to better support him.

She accompanied him around the world as long as her health allowed before passing away in 1957 at the age of 78.