This article focuses on a man who achieved great things in his life – Albert Schweitzer. He was born 14 January 1875 in the small town of Kaysersberg in Alsace, a town that in 1871 had become part of the German Empire in the renamed region, the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, after being French for more than two centuries. When Alsace became French territory again after World War I, Schweitzer chose to become a citizen of France. Schweitzer was a clergyman and theological scholar, philosopher, physician and musician. In 1952, as recognition for his many years of humanitarian work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1955, Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him Great Britain’s highest civilian award, the Order of Merit. The gold stamp at the top of the page was produced by Gabon to commemorate his life’s work.
Above we have three DDR commemorative stamps from 1965, the year he died aged 90.
With the aim of becoming a medical missionary in Africa, in 1905 he returned to university until 1911 to study medicine. In 1913, with his wife, Hélène Bresslau, who had trained as a nurse and anaesthetist in order to assist him, he set out for Lambaréné in the Gabon province of French Equatorial Africa with the intention of setting up a hospital. The 1955 stamps from Monaco above show their landing site in Lambaréné, a birthday portrait with flora and fauna, the first hospital buildings and Gabonese flora and fauna.
The Republic of Mali produced this stamp sheet to commemorate the life of Albert Schweitzer.
These Ajman stamps from 1971 feature Albert Schweitzer holding two babies accompanied by Hélène Bresslau.
In what would have been Schweitzer’s centenary year the Republic of Upper Volta produced the above beautiful stamp set depicting the following fauna native to Africa: 5f Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), 15f Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus), 150f Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus), 175f Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vultur), 200f King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa).
Another commemorative stamp sheet for what would have been Albert Schweitzer’s 100th year, this time from Liberia.
The two stamp sheets above from the Netherlands to celebrate Schweitzer’s 100th year birth anniversary. They depict an aerial view of the site of the hospital founded by him in Lambaréné, his portrait with the house where he was born in Kaysersberg, a house he owned in Gunsbach and two of his quotes.
In the Millennium year Germany produced the stamp sheet here to commemorate his 125th birth anniversary. The stamps had with Schweitzer’s signature and also two of his quotes in the margins.
Then in 2013 Mozambique issued these stamps to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. Albert Schweitzer died on the 4th of September 1965 and was buried on the banks of the Ogooué river. His grave is marked by a cross he made himself.