Reprinted courtesy Schmidt Nagel Homeopathie
Pierre Schmidt was born on the 22nd of July 1894 in Neuchâtel. He was the oldest in a family of six children. From the age of 10 he wanted to be a doctor. When he was 17, his family moved to Geneva, where he studied. He was a brilliant student, graduating at the top of his class at the age of twenty-six.
During the time of his studies, Pierre Schmidt’s father fell gravely ill, and was successfully treated by a homeopath, Dr. Ubert from Neuchâtel. He therefore determined that his two eldest children, Pierre and Roger, should become homeopaths, and gave them Hahnemann’s “Organon of the Medical Art”. The young Pierre, who was also studying Latin, German, English and Sanskrit at the time, was fascinated by the book.
During his medical studies, Pierre Schmidt once had to treat a 10 year-old child with a serious case of pharyngitis, which looked as though it could be diphtheria. He treated the child with Mercurius cyan., administering 6 drops in a potency of 9CH every 2 hours. The child made a spectacular recovery. This placed him in a dilemma. He had never seen a case of diphtheria whilst practising, and noticed that homeopathic medicine gave him results that he did not obtain with traditional medicine. After hesitating over allopathy, he resolved to put homeopathy to the test. Dr. Schmidt re-read Hahnemann’s “Organon” and “Chronic Diseases” from start to finish. He called on about twenty homeopaths in Switzerland, and Dr. Mende of Zurich insisted on his going to study homeopathy in the USA. Pierre Schmidt also went to London, meeting with the Drs. John Clarke, Margaret Tyler and Sir John Weir, physician to the British royal family. During the same period, he also encountered some mundane homeopaths in Paris who paid him no attention.
Dr. Schmidt goes to the United States to study homeopathy
In 1917 he set out for the USA. He intended to complete his doctoral thesis, which he entitled “Laws and principles applied to current therapy by homeopathy”. He attended courses in homeopathy at the Flower Hospital. He was fortunate enough to be welcomed by Dr. Austin, private physician to John Rockefeller senior, who took him on as a student.
Over a period of several months, Dr. Austin instructed him in Kent’s philosophy, the Repertory and the Materia Medica, and taught him to work with high dilutions (XM). He sent him on an internship with Dr. Gladwin in Philadelphia, where he attended consultations for 3 months. In her will, Dr. Gladwill left him a little book, the only copy in existence. Dr. Austin bequeathed him his own copy of Kent’s Repertory as well as Kent’s diamond ring. It is thanks to the generosity of these two American doctors that Dr Schmidt returned to Switzerland with more than 1000 different books, 4000 high dilutions and a sound basis of knowledge.
Dr. Pierre Schmidt promotes homeopathy in Europe
As soon as he returned, Pierre Schmidt began to promote in Europe. At the age of 28, he married Dora Nagel, a pharmacist. They had two daughters, Gilberte and Yolande, both of whom sadly died at the age of 2 of encephalitis, in spite of the care with which they were surrounded. This loss was a difficult ordeal for the couple. Following the tragedy, Dora Nagel also turned to the field of homeopathy and founded a laboratory in 1927.
From 1921 on, Pierre Schmidt practised homeopathy in Geneva. In 1931 he headed an international homeopaths’ congress in Geneva. He was fascinated by ophthalmo- diagnosis and acupuncture. Dr. Schmidt gave a great many classes. In 1946 he founded a school for homeopathy in Lyon. Forty doctors attended the courses. He gave conferences in London, Barcelona and Brussels. He also trained Dr Künzli, who would go on to teach homeopathy in German-speaking Switzerland. In 1953 Pierre Schmidt became an honorary member of the Homeopathic Academy in Barcelona.
“Do as Hahnemann said”
In 1955, on the occasion of the jubilee marking the 200th anniversary of Hahnemann’s birth, he was invited to Washington together with the personal physicians of both the Queen of England and the Pope, to give a lecture on the founder of homeopathy. He handed on the precious teachings of Hahnemann. His purpose was “to use one arm to promote progress towards my ideal, and to keep the other behind my back to help future generations to achieve perfection in this unique method, the only one moving towards one law and a set of principles for applying remedies to the sick”, as Hahnemann used to say.
Pierre Schmidt passed away in 1987. He left behind some important works, such as the French translation of the 6th edition of Hahnemann’s “ Organon” and the French translation of Kent’s “ The Art and Science of Homeopathic Medicine”. His wife, Madame Dora Schmidt-Nagel, died a few years later. Her laboratory still exists under the name of