My Life with Alfred Vogel
Obviously, everybody will know that Alfred Vogel and I depended a lot upon each other. Quite simply, I view Alfred Vogel as a genius. On many occasions he surprised universities and medical professionals with his vast knowledge of Nature. He was a practical man and, although small in stature, he had a breadth of vision and achieved a great deal in his lifetime’s work.
Alfred Vogel was an extremely hard worker. He rose early in the morning, and often had a day’s work done before sunrise! He had an unerring enthusiasm and spirit for his work. When I look back over the forty years that we worked together as friends as well as business partners, I miss his personal charm and knowledge. However, comfort is found in knowing that the spirit of his work lives on in the present.
I fondly recall our first meeting in Amsterdam where Professor Zabal gave a lecture on homoeopathy. I sat next to Alfred Vogel, completely unaware of who he was, and during the break he turned to me and asked my opinion on homoeopathy. That was in 1958, just after I had graduated in pharmacy, and I told him that it was good for all old spinsters and vegetarians! He replied, ‘You must have a very small mind!’ We began to chat and I found myself listening attentively to this very interesting man, who had just returned from a meeting with his close friend, Albert Schweitzer. During the conversation he told me that I should study the subject more closely and invited me to Switzerland.
Not long after this meeting, I indeed travelled to meet Alfred Vogel at what was to become Holland’s first clinic of nature cure. One snowy morning, I encountered him walking in the snow, feeling quite despondent because he was unable to ski in Holland. Skiing was a life-long passion and he was a great skier. His last new pair of skis were bought when he was in his nineties! That snowy morning, we talked and it was then that I decided that I wanted to join him and work with him.
I remember arriving at the clinic in Switzerland to see Alfred Vogel hard at work manuring his fields, ensuring that no foreign materials would pollute the soil intended for growing the herbs. He personally oversaw and directed the sowing and every subsequent stage in producing the herbal products. In his view Bioforce products had to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of herbal medicines – and they still are!
I was amazed at the tremendous energy and force this man produced in spreading and announcing his philosophies. Both of us worked together on developing remedies and preparations. I was the only individual that Alfred Vogel fully taught his principles and beliefs to, and I am still very proud of this. Even when other employees were off on holiday, Alfred Vogel told me to work and get on with it! Sometimes we would sleep up in the mountains in the open air. At other times, we visited other cultures around the world and researched the differing and varying illnesses in different parts of the world.
Describing my life with Vogel would fill a book and it is difficult to encompass my feelings about him and his life in this small space. We went through mountains and valleys together, experiencing both defeat and victory. I shall never forget his words as we founded that first clinic of nature cure, bringing our products onto the market in Holland. This was an exceptionally trying time as the Inspector of Health wanted to prevent us from doing so. Alfred Vogel’s response to such negativity was to say, ‘When a thing is honest and justified, honesty will always win!’
Alfred Vogel lived his life along these lines. He was always honest and forthright. He was in tune with nature and often said, ‘Everything in nature is in balance. An imbalance is man’s doing.’
It is with the greatest respect that I think of the life of this man. He was totally dedicated to alleviating human suffering. His legacy lives on as we reap the fruits of his pioneering spirit. Millions of people around the world have greatly benefited from his work, not only medicinally but also from following his wise philosophies on achieving a healthy lifestyle.