Holocaust Survivor Says Plant-Based Diet Is Good for Body and Mind
After reading Power Foods for the Brain by Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener was inspired to tell how a plant-based diet helped his body and mind.
Wiener, who wrote From A Name to A Number: A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography, shared his story in a review of Dr. Barnard’s book:
“At the age of 15, the Nazis detained me in forced labor and concentration camps for a period of three years. I was beaten and starved. It left many physical and mental scars that never received any medical treatment there. I was liberated by the Russian army in May 1945. Their doctors gave me a thorough examination. I weighed 80 pounds, and they told me, ‘Sorry young man, your lifespan will not be long.’ I was 18 years old then; I am 87 now.
“For many years after the war I was a very sickly young man. The most troubling ailment had been my inability to digest common staples of food such as meat, dairy products, etc. My stomach rejected and ejected them. I had been seeking and getting medical treatments; different diagnoses were made and a variety of medications were prescribed which did not help much. A co-worker once suggested to me to adopt his vegetarian diet. I took his advice; at the age of 41, I became a strict vegetarian and a teetotaler. I don’t claim to know what the best diet for everybody’s health is, but having reached the age of 87 I have a valid reason to believe that a purely plant-based diet is good for a healthy body and mind.”
Wiener recently sat down with the Physicians Committee and told more of his story.