Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner , before his marriage in 1893 Bircher (born August 22, 1867 in Aarau ; † January 24, 1939 in Zurich ) was a Swiss doctor and nutrition reformer . He developed the Birchermüesli and coined the term whole foods .
Life - family
Maximilian Bircher was born as the second son of the notary Heinrich Bircher and his wife Berta, b. Krüsi (1845–1928), born in Aarau. He had four siblings:
- Ernst Bircher (1866-1958). Lawyer.
- Berta Luise Brupbacher-Bircher ( Aarau , 1870– Zurich , 1951). From 1907 to 1944 she was housekeeping manager at the “Sanatorium Lebendige Kraft”. Wrote the turning point cookbook in 1927 .
- Emma Fanny Rieter-Bircher (June 22, 1874 to May 1, 1922). Dentist.
- Alice von Brasch-Bircher ( Aarau , 1879– Livonia , 1916). From 1897 to 1907 she was housekeeping manager in the “Sanatorium Lebendige Kraft”. In 1906 she published a cookbook: Dietary Menus and Meatless Cooking Recipes.
Bircher-Benner was already interested in medicine as a child and studied this subject in Zurich and Berlin after completing his Matura at the old canton school in Aarau . In 1891 he completed his studies in Zurich. In 1897 he received his doctorate in Zurich with a thesis on the nevus pilosus . Already during his studies he dealt with naturopathy , hydrotherapy and dietetics . He was greatly impressed by the physiologist Justus Gaule (1849–1939) and the psychiatrist and abstinent Auguste Forel .
In 1893 he married Elisabeth Benner (1872–1945), daughter of a pharmacist from Alsace , who brought a considerable dowry into the marriage. The couple had seven children over the course of ten years:
- Max Edwin Bircher-Müller (1895–1977). Doctor. After internship in America, including at the Battle Creek Sanatorium with John Harvey Kellogg and in the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) , he worked from 1922 to 1929 at the "Lebendige Kraft" sanatorium. In 1929 he opened his own practice in Zurich and later founded his own sanatorium in Oberwil am Zugersee .
- Franklin Bircher- Rey (1896-1988). Doctor. Training analysis with Paul Federn . From 1929 worked in the sanatorium. 1935 to 1939 National Councilor of the LDU . 1939 to 1942 chief physician at the “Lebendige Kraft” sanatorium in Zurich. Franklin was a close collaborator of Paul Niehans , who founded fresh cell therapy in 1931 .
- Willy Bircher-Schwarzenbach (1898–1970). Doctor. Psychotherapeutic training with Wilhelm Stekel in Vienna. From 1924 worked in the “Lebendige Kraft Sanatorium”, which he headed for several years.
- Ralph Bircher-Rauch (1899–1990). Economist. Strasbourg Commercial College, 1925–1931 textile merchant in Iberia, the Caribbean and Central America. Studies in economics, dissertation on the Swiss alpine economy. From 1932 editor of the in-house magazine Der Wendpunkt .
- Elisabeth Favaretto-Bircher (* 1901). In the “Sanatorium Lebendige Kraft” teacher for dance gymnastics and head of a small bookbinding workshop.
- Margret Bircher (* 1902), emigrated to Argentina.
- Ruth Kunz-Bircher (* 1904). Concert violinist. From 1945 to 1993 director of the sanatorium. Her husband Alfred Kunz-Bircher, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, headed the clinic's chemical and clinical laboratory from 1931.
- From 1916 the niece Dagmar Liechti-von Brasch also belonged to the family.
Bircher-Benner was born with a heart defect and died of a heart attack in 1939 at the age of 71
Practice and sanatorium
On December 1, 1891, immediately after completing his studies, Bircher-Benner established himself as a general practitioner in the industrial district of Zurich-Aussersihl (Hafnerstrasse 60). In the late autumn of 1897 he opened a small private clinic on Zurichberg (Asylstrasse 35) and also ran a "Centralbad" in Zurich city center (Waldmannstrasse 9), which he ran with his colleague Heinrich Hotz.
"Living Force Sanatorium"
In 1904 Bircher-Benner opened a sanatorium on the Zürichberg in a prime location above the lake (Keltenstrasse 48), which he called "Lebendige Kraft" and which was expanded from 20 to 80 beds between 1906 and 1914.
In 1907 a “department for the less well-off” with two large rooms with three beds each was set up within this sanatorium. The course price has been reduced to 35 to 56 francs per week (normally 84 to 112 francs). Self-service and cooperation in lingerie, preparing meals and doing housework and gardening were required from the “less well-off” in return. The weekly wage of an industrial worker in German-speaking Switzerland was CHF 29 at the time.
The First World War caused the number of patients in the sanatorium to drop sharply. There was an upswing again in the 1920s.
For the period from 1904 to 1939, the patients of the "Lebendige Kraft Sanatorium" can be divided according to gender, country of origin and social origin:
- By gender: women 60%, men 40%.
- According to country of origin: Switzerland 32%, Germany 30%, Sweden 16%, France 5%, Holland 4%, Russia 4%, Austria 2%, Great Britain 1%, USA 1%.
- For the Swiss, again subdivided according to canton origin: Zurich 46%, Bern 12%, Basel-Landschaft / Basel-Stadt 10%, Lucerne 5%, Sankt Gallen 4%, Aargau 4%, Geneva 3%, Vaud 3%, Schaffhausen 2% , Ticino 2%, Solothurn 2%, Graubünden 2%.
- By occupation or social position: housewives / wives 28%, teachers / professors 11%, pupils / students 10%, self-employed 8%, private individuals 5%, engineers / scientists 8%, artists 6%, employees 5%, doctors / Nurses 5%, civil service 4%, craftsmen 3%, domestic workers 2%, clergy 1%, military 1%. Social worker 1%.
Celebrities as patients of the "Sanatorium Lebendige Kraft" (selection):
- Musicians: Wilhelm Furtwängler (1908), Elly Ney (1915, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1934; 1934 only 4 days - coincident with Ludwig Hoelscher's stay ), Hermann von Glenck (1928), Bruno Walter (1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934), Carl Friedberg (1933), Otto Klemperer (1933 and 1934) (on the recommendation of Georg Klemperer ), Ludwig Hoelscher (1934) and Pierre Maurice (1934). “To save costs” Otto Klemperer rented a room in the nearby “ Waldhaus Dolder ”.
- Writers: Romain Rolland , Rainer Maria Rilke , Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann (1909).
- Politics: King of Siam, Prime Minister of Russia (before 1914).
From 1911 to 1919 the psychotherapist Alphonse Maeder (1882–1971) was a general practitioner at the clinic. Bircher-Benner's sons worked in the sanatorium and contributed their specialist knowledge: Max Edwin (1922–1929), Willy (from 1924), Franklin (from 1929) and Ralph (from 1932). After Bircher-Benner's death in 1939, the “Lebendige Kraft Sanatorium” was renamed “Bircher-Benner-Privatklinik”.
"Public Sanatorium for Order Therapy"
The donation of one million Swiss francs from the industrialist F. Allemann enabled the establishment of a non-profit foundation and the establishment of a “public sanatorium for order therapy”. Planning began in 1937. On April 12, 1938, a plot of land on the Zürichberg (Schreberweg 9) was acquired and the sanatorium was opened in June 1939, five months after Bircher-Benner's death. It offered space for 45 to 48 spa guests. At nine francs per day in five and six-person rooms and twelve francs in two and three-bed rooms, the prices for hospital stays were significantly lower than in the private clinic. The management of the “People's Sanatorium” was initially taken over by the sons Max Edwin, Franklin and Willy. In the statement of accounts for the first year of operation, Franklin Bircher emphasized that the staff of the “People's Sanatorium” recorded zero days of illness for 6205 working days.
"Bircher Benner Private Clinic" - "Zurich Development Center"
After Bircher-Benner's death, the sons Franklin and Willy took over the management of the sanatorium, which was renamed "Bircher-Benner Private Clinic". Between 1942 and 1973 the clinic was managed by Bircher-Benner's niece, Dagmar Liechti-von Brasch . On May 1, 1973 it became the property of the Canton of Zurich. In 1994 it was closed after several head physician changes due to insufficient occupancy and the building was sold to the Zurich Insurance Company in 1998 .
"Bircher-Benner Medical Center"
Since the beginning of the 21st century, Andres Bircher, a grandson of MO Bircher-Benner, has tried to build on the family tradition. After failed attempts in Le Pont, a village in the political community of L'Abbaye in the Swiss Jura, and in Beatenberg in the Bernese Oberland, he is now continuing Bircher-Benner's order therapy and dietetics in Braunwald in the canton of Glarus. He publishes publications on dietetics and therapy for various diseases.
Raw food diets
During treatment for difficult dyspeptic patient for which the colleagues saw no hope proven, Bircher-Benner a carefully pureed raw food - diet and tested them in self-test, when he participated in jaundice ill. He also tried this diet on many other seriously ill people. Bircher-Benner used a diet with exclusively raw food for a few weeks for certain chronic diseases, with the subsequent gradual transition to initially vegan , then lacto- vegetarian whole foods .
Under the soon large number of diet plans and recipes to this vegetarian raw food diet gained its apple diet food, by the patients Birchermüesli called, soon spread worldwide. The muesli (high German muesli) designated Bircher-Benner as "apple diet food", shortly d'Spies . He designed this in such a way that its composition should come as close as possible to that of mother's milk, since the composition of the diet of adult mammals is similar to that of the milk of the mother animal.
In 1903 Bircher-Benner published the text Basic features of nutritional therapy based on energetics . His thesis: Not only the content of nutrients is decisive for the quality of the food, but also the solar energy stored in it from photosynthesis (as early as 1875, the photographer and life reformer Gustav Schlickeysen (1843–1893) had a concept of a "sun-ripened fruit" concept. Obstheilkunde "developed and his interpretation of sunlight presented as" human salvation "). Bircher-Benner looked for a scientific explanation and finally found it in the 2nd law of thermodynamics . In doing so, he explained the “healing power” of the vegetarian raw food diet that regulates the biological system. Bircher-Benner postulated that the "living plant food" contains a high potential of highly ordered energy, which must be available through the storage of light quanta ( photons ) in the living cells of plants that are capable of photosynthesis. Depending on their proximity to photosynthesis, he divided the food into "light accumulators" of the first, second and third order. The experiments carried out in 1923 by the biologist Alexander Gawrilowitsch Gurwitsch on the “mitogenic light radiation” of the onion root and his postulate of a “morphogenic field” confirmed Bircher-Benner.
In 1932, Bircher-Benner formulated what he saw as the main faults in the widespread diet and substantiated them with case studies from his clinic: the reduction in quality due to the cooking process with a lack of “living vegetables” (raw food), the “excess protein”, the use of only the same part Plant-based foods ("breaking the food integral"), the excessive use of table salt, flour, animal fat and sugar, irritants and alcohol. As a consequence, he formulated the need for a “ wholesome ” diet with 70% raw food.
Bircher-Benner's "Integral Law of Nutrition" states that food, as long as there are no toxins in them, should be used in their entirety in order to preserve their ingredients in their entirety. In addition, he formulated a concept of food economy, which says that the composition of food should correspond to the needs of our biological system as precisely as possible, so that the organism receives too much of nothing and too little of nothing, so that neither deficiency symptoms nor storage due to " Metabolic waste "arise.
According to Bircher-Benner , what he called "sunlight food" has the highest nutritional value . This consists of all raw edible plant parts, such as leaves, fruits, seeds, grains, tubers and roots and is therefore so valuable because the plants absorb sunlight directly and because they build organic molecules from inorganic substances and thus “lifeless” into “living” “Transform. Bircher-Benner valued the green leaf as particularly valuable. He rated the nutritional value of cooked vegetable food as lower. From his point of view, all canned food and everything that violates the principle of " wholeness ", for example white flour and "refined sugar ", were inferior . Bircher-Benner banished meat to the lowest end of his rating scale because, in his opinion, the animal had already largely used up the energies supplied from plant food for its own life.
With his diet ideas, which put the raw over the cooked, the vegetable diet over the meat and the carbohydrates over the protein, Bircher-Benner came into opposition to the then valid science, which was based on the research of the German chemist Justus von Liebig (1803 –1873) on plant and animal chemistry and the work of his students on the energy balance of humans. Liebig took the position that the harder a person works physically, the more protein he needs, because every physical activity drains the muscle substance. Liebig's pupil, Carl von Voit (1831–1908), found that a 70 kilogram man with moderate physical work, if he wants to achieve his full performance, daily at least 118 grams of protein, about a third of it in animal form, plus 50 grams I need fat and 500 grams of carbohydrates. Together that adds up to around 3050 calories .
In the 1930s, raw food diets based on the Bircher-Benner concept were used at various medical centers such as the Children's Hospital in Zurich , the Rudolf-Hess Hospital in Dresden and the Royal Free Hospital in London. A separate department was set up in the Royal Free Hospital for the scientifically supported treatment of seriously ill osteoarthritis patients using Bircher-Benner's method. In 1936, a diet treatment inspired by the Bircher-Benner concept was tested there on 12 patients with chronic rheumatism . Treatment began with a raw lacto-vegetarian diet for two weeks, followed by a diet that also included some cooked foods, dairy products, eggs, and some meat and ham. In both phases of the diet, no salt was added, which initially resulted in an almost salt-free diet for rheumatism patients, later still low in salt. As a concomitant, low dose ASA was sometimes given. According to the study publication, 10 of the 12 participants initially “felt definitely better” under this treatment, with two of the successful 10 later experiencing a relapse of their symptoms. At the time, the study author explained the reported improvements in symptoms with the diet-related greatly reduced salt intake.
The order therapy
Bircher-Benner called his sanatorium a "school of life" and an "effective instrument against the degeneration" of the population through an "unnatural" way of life. The daily routine in the sanatorium on the Zürichberg was strictly regulated. A walk was planned even before breakfast, and there was also a program for “physical training” with movement therapy, gymnastics, hydrotherapy, gardening, reclining cures, terrain training and heliotherapy, as well as personal attention to art and music. The night's sleep began at 9 p.m. A prominent spa guest was Thomas Mann , who described the sanatorium in a letter in 1909 as a "hygienic penitentiary". But he praised the effectiveness of the therapy at the “Lebendige Kraft” sanatorium as never before. Here he was inspired for his novel The Magic Mountain .
Bircher-Benner's order therapy represents a treatment that encompasses the whole human being, psyche and soma. Bircher-Benner sees the basic cause of almost all diseases in a violation of the laws of order of the biologically prescribed living conditions of the human being in physical and mental terms. Order therapy requires the patient to be fully informed so that he can actively participate in his healing through a reorganization of his way of life. Bircher-Benner's order therapy included a deep psychological understanding of the psychological causes of the disease. He interpreted the Oedipus saga differently than Sigmund Freud and was friends with Carl Gustav Jung . In Bircher-Benner's view, the Oedipus saga is less about parricide and forbidden sexuality than about the struggle between sensuality in the broadest sense and spiritual impulses, between desire and renunciation, which is at the beginning of every incarnation. He himself described the psychoanalytic concept of transference as induction . In his work entitled: "Der Menschenseele Not" he presented his psychotherapeutic experiences. He described the great importance of the internalized mother relationship as the mother complex and that to the father as the father complex of every adult human being, and the great task of every person to emerge from them to free them so that these inner bonds come fully into consciousness. In an autobiographical presentation of his medical career, he postulated the need for a change in medical thinking in the sense of a holistic understanding of the causes of diseases and holistic medical therapy that does not suppress symptoms but addresses the causes.
Modern reception of the Bircher-Benner diet
Bircher-Benner's level of knowledge corresponds to that at the beginning of the 20th century; his authoritative works appeared before 1938. The theory of the captured rays of the sun contradicts today's knowledge.
Raw food can compare to cooked foods to a more incomplete digestion perform what the absorption of vitamins and trace elements deteriorated and deficiency diseases and flatulence favored. Some vegetable pollutants such as the phasins (certain lectins ) found in legumes and the cyanogenic glycosides are largely destroyed only by the action of heat. During the germination process only part of the phase content is broken down. The cell membranes are broken down more completely by heating , which means that certain nutrients are better available. The vegetable raw food provides a variety of secondary plant substances (phytochemicals) such as flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, saponins, glucosinolates, polyphenols, proteinase inhibitors, terpenes, phytoestrogens, sulfides and the like. a. available in high concentrations, many of which are partially or completely destroyed by heating. In 2005, Fontana et al. Showed that a raw vegetarian diet is long-term associated with low bone mass in clinically important areas of the skeleton. In the 18 study participants examined who had been on a raw vegetarian diet for 18 months or more, the authors found both a significantly reduced bone mineral content and a significantly reduced bone mineral density compared to the comparison group . With a vegan diet, vitamin B 12 must be supplemented .
History of Bircher muesli
Oats are an essential part of Bircher muesli . In the 16th century oat butter was a food of the poor in Swabia, Allgäu and Thurgau.
- “Haber as Galienus says on the first book about the piss in the cap. Auena / ſo it is a eißpeiß of the future animals and not the men. […] But in vil one ends up in the menſchen at vile / dz erſt vnd dz letſt iſt allweg habermůß / as the Algöwer / Swabians and Thürgöwer / there one makes between stuffing brown / porridge / thin / and many things cooked by habermůß / ett thick dz a wolbeſchlagner gul ran over it and not fell. [...] Quite a few milk darzů / forwere whee you werent o rough / nem miraculously / that they are about to burst from this food. Quite a few ſagen the sick ſei gůt ein habermüßlin. No, if I don’t say it is good in any disease […] my advice is you let the horse go to the owners. "
In 1539, in his herb book, Hieronymus Bock contradicted :
- "Habern. ... From the strength and strength. Dje yhenige ſo in Algew / Torgaw / Schwaben / and other rough ends or lendern wonen / they know how to cook the sweet porridge from Habermeel / thin and thick / roast vnd zwerch ſtopffer porridge / Derhalben Pliny doesn on Eessen / and it is not possible to get an on onound person / when ſie is right. There are also the men / ſo ſtets Haber můßer and the same need / ſtercker and geſunder then the old ſo do ſtets Apitios [apitios cibos = goodies? ] have cakes in jren. Who wants to see eye hatt vnnd / the must confess / that more kranckheyt / siechtagen vnnd Auss the full cake vnnd Apotecken / neither sunst grow from natural / after we wöllen vns (wiewol offt warned) beware nit. ... "
Bircher-Benner attached great importance to the fact that "d Spys" was related to the food of Swiss alpine shepherds. In his circle of friends he occasionally told how he had stopped at an alpine hut and the dairymaid had entertained him and his wife with a “very strange meal”. The dish made from ground grain, fruit, milk and chopped nuts is said to have inspired Bircher-Benner for the recipe for his “apple diet dish”.
"Turning point" and "turning point publisher"
In 1923 Bircher-Benner founded the monthly “The turning point in life and suffering”. Editing: 1925–1926 Martha Bircher-Müller (wife of son Max Edwin); 1927–1932 Elisabeth Bircher-Benner; 1932–1978 Ralph Bircher. From 1953 Dagmar Liechti-von Brasch was co-editor of the magazine. Also in 1953, Ralph Bircher and the Frankfurt publisher and wholesaler Emil Schwabe, partner in the German “Reformrundschau”, founded the Bircher-Benner-Verlag, based in Bad Homburg , which published the turning point.
From 1000 at the beginning there were 6000 "turning point" subscribers by 1930; Their number was decreasing in the 1930s crisis years, from 1938 onwards it tended to increase, and in 1944 it was around 8,000, probably the highest level.
Bircher-Benner made the vast majority of the monthly contributions to the "Wendpunkt" himself. He was also responsible for the popular "Questions and Answers" section, for which he answered around 2,000 letters until his death in 1939. He was supported by his sons. The following also made significant contributions:
- Wilhelm Stekel 1926–1929 a series of articles on problems with upbringing, in 1930 a series of articles entitled Die modern Ehe and in 1932 and 1933 the work Development and Basics of Psychoanalysis and Sexuality and Education .
- Erich Stern contributions: 1929 illness as an experience , 1933 on the problem of child neurosis , 1934 a treatise on educational issues, 1937 limits of psychotherapy and 1938 endocrine disorders in children and adolescents .
- Heinrich Meng 1931, 1934 and 1937 contributions to mental hygiene .
- Werner Zabel 1939
- Karl Kötschau 1944, 1954
In the “Original Article from Employees” section, works by Alfred Brauchle , Curt Lenzner, Werner Zabel, Martin Vogel, Werner Altpeter , Werner Kollath , Willi Kraft and Karl Kötschau appeared in varying compositions . At times Kollath had its own rubric under the title "Kollath Words".
In his two-volume work “Der Menschenseele Not” (1927–1933), Bircher-Benner defended the mneme theory of the Jena zoologist Richard Semon , which postulated Lamarck's thesis that acquired properties can be inherited. Bircher-Benner referred to his teacher Auguste Forel .
But this Auguste Forel was also the initiator of compulsory sterilizations for psychiatric indications and thus a pioneer of a practice of “eliminating bad genes”, a practice that in the system of the German National Socialist racial hygiene led to a spiral of coercive measures up to the murder of the sick . Bircher-Benner's point of view regarding eugenic coercive measures has not yet been examined more closely. In a prospectus from the “Lebendige Kraft Sanatorium”, Bircher-Benner wrote around 1906: “We should get to know and control the causes which weaken the flame of life. They are mainly due to food, selection and climate. We cannot put the selection process under police supervision, for the time being we cannot change anything about it. "
As part of the New German Medicine , the naturopath Alfred Brauchle and the orthodox physician Louis Ruyter Radcliffe Grote published the minutes of discussions they had held from May 6 to 16, 1935 on the subject of "orthodox medicine and naturopathy". In it, the orthodox doctor Grote accused the naturopaths of neglecting heredity and rather blaming external influences such as “malnutrition over generations with a gradually increasing, individually invisible, but ultimately hereditary weakening of the constitution” for the development of the disease. In particular, he accused Bircher-Benner of trying to rediscover Lamarckism . Bircher-Benner's health diet would enable “genetically ill individuals to pass on their abilities.” According to the latest findings, however, “ one must act in accordance with the law of July 14, 1933 , which prevents hereditary offspring by preventing their generation . "The naturopath Alfred Brauchle replied:" The exclusive consideration of the genetic makeup in medicine ... would make medicine almost superfluous for the individual and only assign the doctor the task of racial hygienist. "
Bircher-Benner's teaching received greater recognition in the late 1920s as part of a broader medical and public debate about the health value of raw foods and vitamins . His criticism of the degenerative effects of the “civilization diet” corresponded to the attitude of some right-wing conservative and National Socialist doctors, such as Werner Zabel and Karl Kötschau .
Mussolini and the Hitler doctors
In 1932 Mussolini instructed the Italian doctors to carry out a "natural reform of daily habits". Bircher-Benner therefore certified him with "excellent leadership virtues" and a "social-therapeutic insight". At the end of 1933 and beginning of 1934 Bircher-Benner praised the "leaders of the German medical profession". They called on the German doctors to use their own example, a way of life oriented towards nature and a symbiosis of conventional medicine and naturopathy to regain the trust of patients.
In the social democratic daily Volksrecht , the Zurich psychiatrist Charlot Strasser was outraged by Bircher-Benner's praise for the dictators in the north and south. In his criticism, Strasser also included the Swiss doctor Adolf Keller-Hörschelmann , who, as the editor of the magazine Volksgesundheit , had printed a speech by Rudolf Hess verbatim and commented on it with praise. Bircher-Benner replied:
"If the socialist party were to advocate the importance of biological foundations tomorrow as resolutely as Mussolini or Hitler's doctors, it would meet with the same approval from me. My point of view is neither for nor against a particular party. "
In addition to admiration for the health policies of fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany, Max Bircher-Benner also expressed criticism of the political situation in Switzerland. As recently as 1936, he wanted radical changes in health policy in his country, following the example of Italy and Germany, in order to halt what he believed to be the "genetic deterioration of the entire national body" that was also progressing in Switzerland.
The Dresden clinic
Since March 1934, the German medical functionaries Gerhard Wagner and Bernhard Hörmann tried to bring Bircher-Benner to Dresden . He was supposed to take over the management of the “nutrition department” as one of three “biological departments” at the clinic for naturopathy of the Rudolf-Hess hospital . A professorship was to be associated with this activity, which was to be connected first to the Technical University of Dresden and later to the University of Leipzig . Bircher-Benner initially accepted the offers made to him, but there were delays. Finally, in February 1935, he gave up his position as “head of a department” in favor of his German student Werner Zabel , also because the professorship that was promised met resistance. Of the three "biological departments" in the Dresden clinic, the first was headed by the Bircher Benner student and doctor Werner Zabel, the second by the naturopathic doctor Alfred Brauchle and the third by the doctor and hydrotherapist Georg Hauffe . After Werner Zabel “left” in June 1935 and after the death of Georg Hauffe in June 1936, the three departments were combined to form the “Clinic for Naturopathy” under Brauchle's leadership.
Interpretations and evaluations
Up until the 1980s, Bircher-Benner's relationship to the exponents of the “ New German Medicine ” was interpreted by his son Ralph - depending on the date, the appointment to Dresden failed, according to Ralph Bircher, because his father “mainly participated in this honorable but difficult task Could not accept consideration for his strength ”(1937) or“ because he did not want to endanger his personal freedom ”(1974). In 1993 Albert Wirz came to the conclusion that Bircher-Benner at first happily agreed, but then thought better of it and with thanks refused “this honorable but difficult task”. Not for political reasons, but because he felt too old. After describing the intellectual closeness of Bircher-Benner and his son Ralph to the blood-and-soil ideology of the German National Socialists, Albert Wirz made it clear: “Bircher-Benner's father and son thought in many respects similar to fascists and Nazis; however, they were never Nazis or fascists. ”In 2001 Marina Lienert published the hypothesis that the rejection of his request for a professorship also prevented Max Bircher-Benner from accepting the call to the Rudolf-Hess Hospital. In 2010 Uwe Spiekermann's research in the Bircher Benner Archive came to the conclusion:
- “For the leading National Socialist representatives of alternative medicine and life reform, Bircher-Benner was one of them - and for them this included National Socialist thinking, feeling and acting. For them he was not an outsider, but a role model and a leader. He paved the way for a new medical profession and a new commitment. ... At the same time, however, it must be taken into account that Bircher-Benner remained an outsider for most doctors and scientists in the German Reich and was not a pioneer. "
- Basics of nutritional therapy based on the energy tension of food. Berlin 1903.
- The basics of our diet. Berlin 1921.
- The distress of the human soul. Illness and recovery. Wendpunkt-Verlag, Zurich, Volume I 1927, Volume II 1933
- Vegetable medicinal food. In: New German Clinic. Volume 11, Volume 1. At the same time 1st annual volume of clinical training, Urban and Schwarzenberg, Berlin & Vienna 1933, pp. 109–168.
- Dietary curative treatment: experiences and perspectives. Stuttgart 1935.
- On the nature and organization of food energy. Stuttgart 1936.
- On becoming the new doctor: findings and confessions. Dresden 1938.
- Max Bircher-Benner: Laws of Order of Life. Three lectures for the “Food Education Society” . Bircher-Benner, Bad Homburg (formerly Zurich) 1992, ISBN 3-87053-048-0 (reprint of Wendpunkt , Zurich / Leipzig / Vienna 1938).
- Max Bircher-Benner: The prevention of the incurable . Wendpunktverlag Zürich, Leipzig, Vienna
- Max Bircher-Benner: Nutritional diseases part 1 and 2 1928 Wendpunktverlag Zurich, Leipzig
- Ralph Bircher: Bircher-Benner's life and work . 2nd Edition. Bircher-Benner, Bad Homburg (formerly Zurich) 1989, ISBN 3-87053-019-7 ( hagiographic ).
- Michael Eyl: MO Bircher-Benner. Okay and oatmuesli . In: Social Medicine . 15th year Basel August 1988, p. 3-9 .
- Peter Friedli : In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 253 ( ).
- Sonja Furger: With raw vegetables against degeneration. 100 years ago: Max Bircher-Benner founded the “Lebendige Kraft” sanatorium. . In: Swiss Medical Journal . 2004; 85 (05): 236-238
- Dorothea Kollenbach: Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner (1867–1939) pathology and dietetics . Cologne 1974, DNB 751129593 (dissertation University of Cologne 1974, XIX 429 pages, 8).
- Hanspeter Kuster: Dental aspects in disease theory and dietetics by Maximilian Bircher-Benner (1867-1939) . Juris, Druck und Verlag, Zurich 1985, ISBN 3-260-05121-X (Dissertation University of Zurich 1985, 74 pages, 23 cm).
- Jörg Melzer. Maximilian Bircher-Benner: naturopathic empiricism . In: Whole Foods Nutrition. Dietetics, naturopathy, National Socialism, social demands . Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-515-08278-6 (Medicine, Society and History. Yearbook of the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation . Edited by Robert Jütte . Supplement 20), pp. 113–142
- Albert Wirz : Morals on the plate. Depicted in the life and work of Max Bircher Benner and John Harvey Kellogg . Chronos, Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-905311-10-0 .
- Eberhard Wolff (Ed.): Lebendige Kraft: Max Bircher-Benner and his sanatorium in a historical context . On behalf of the Swiss National Museum in German and French. here + now, Baden / Switzerland 2010, ISBN 978-3-03919-163-5 .
- Bircher-Benner Medical Center
- Publications by and about Max Bircher-Benner in the Helveticat catalog of the Swiss National Library
- Literature by and about Max Bircher-Benner in the catalog of the German National Library
- Caroline Jagella-Denoth: Bircher [-Benner], Maximilian Oskar. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
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- Zurich Development Center - Location history
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- therein p. 125: editor's note . At this point I do not want to deny myself a point of principle. I asked Mr. Bircher-Benner to collaborate on this work, because I appreciate in him a very meritorious reformer of health dietetics, whose healing successes may serve as a model for the clinic and the doctors. But I would also like to emphasize that in this area the practice of science has advanced and that the scientific justifications are often still uncertain and unproven. This applies in particular to the theory of excess bases and uric acid retention. Here, the exact methodology will certainly change Bircher's views and explanations many times in the future. In the meantime, we would like to give thoughtful, original practitioners the right to come up with hypothetical reasons for their healing methods obtained from practical observation.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Bircher-Benner, Maximilian Oskar (full name); Bircher, Maximilian Oskar|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Swiss doctor and nutrition reformer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||August 22, 1867|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Aarau|
|DATE OF DEATH||January 24, 1939|
|Place of death||Zurich|