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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter I: The end of one life,   pp. 1-17

Page 13

The End of One Life 
these to others. Dr. Ritter was no exception to this rule, but he 
was indeed an exception in being at least as good a listener as a 
talker. His theories often seemed bizarre to many, but this was 
because he had the courage to push every idea to its logical con- 
clusion, a point beyond which almost all thinkers have lacked the 
courage to venture. The intrepidity with which he could look 
things squarely in the face, utterly despising evasiveness and com- 
promise, was perhaps Dr. Ritter's most notable quality. Among the 
usual run of people it is clear that a man like that would lead a 
lonely life, and often be forced into the belief that everything was 
against one who tried to live in absolutes where everything and 
everybody else lived solely by the grace of compromise. This had 
been, in a lesser degree, my own experience too, but I think that 
neither Dr. Ritter nor I ever tended to become melancholy for 
want of being understood. 
  It was part of Frederick's creed to lead a life of absolute sim- 
plicity, but he never attempted to make proselytes for this or any 
other of his ideas. Much of his medical research centered round 
theories of diet. He believed that the problem of dietetics once 
solved, one would have gone a long way towards eliminating half 
the illnesses human beings are heir to. He had worked out a die- 
tetic system for various social classes. Though he himself was a 
vegetarian because he found that this form of nourishment was 
best suited to his type of labor, he included meat in all the tables 
he drew up for people of the working class. I quote this only as 
a very small example of what I think was the rather rare quality 
in him, of never riding his ideas like a pedant but always modifying 
them and adjusting them to various needs. 
I sometimes look back in amazement at my life during the two 
years of my association with Dr. Ritter before we left for Galapa- 
gos. In my own home I was still obliged to play the model Haus- 
frau, appearing with my husband at social functions wearing evening 
dress and high-heeled shoes. With Frederick I was an entirely 
different being, even in appearance. The clothes I wore with him 
were simple in the extreme and had no regard for any fashion, but 
only for comfort and freedom of movement. More than almost all 
of what he called the evil inventions of modem costume, Frederick 

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