International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

Dr Gustav Selss
Member of the first IVU provisional Committee, 1908-1909
Member of the Congress Organising Committee, 1910

Dr. med. Gustav A. Selss was a founder member of the Eden fruit growing colony in 1893, which was a fully vegetarian community at Oranienburg, north of Berlin.

The records of the 1st IVU Congress, Dresden, Germany 1908 show that he was the President of the Deutscher Vegetarier-Bund at that time and that he came from Baden-Baden, so he appears to have left Eden by then.

Some extracts from the reports of that first Congress:

Dr. Selss, president of the German Vegetarian Bund; ... all stayed with Frau. Dr. Thesmar, 9, Munchner Strass, Alstadt. ...Dr. Selss, Dr. Meyroos, and Mr. William Simpson made a suitable response to Herr Dressler's welcome, ...The Congress proper began next day, the 18th August, when the delegates met at 11 o'clock, in the Vereinhaus, Dr. Selss presiding. ... Dr. Selss (Baden-Baden), Dr. Meyroos (Rotterdam), and Mr. Albert Broadbent (Manchester, England), were appointed to act as a Committee. ...At 3 o'clock the Congress re-assembled, Dr. Selss again presiding. ...Dr. Selss reported that in Germany about 90 vegetarian societies had been formed ; and the cause had been furthered by walking contests, sport clubs, and the opening of vegetarian dining rooms in different towns, of which there are over 20 in Berlin alone. ...

... The Congress adjourned at 4.30 p.m. to be photographed, and re-assembled at 8-30 p.m. for the final meeting, which was well attended. Dr. Selss took the chair, and in opening the meeting said the German vegetarians would remember with pride that a Union, having for its object the uniting of vegetarians of all countries had been founded in Germany. ...

... The musical part, which was contributed by friends who had entertained the congress on the previous evening, was interspersed with speeches, and considerable enthusiasm prevailed. ...
The speakers included Dr. Selss, Dr. Meyroos, Herr Dressler ... Dr. Selss expressed gratitude to the Dresden Vegetarian Society for their hearty reception, ...

He was due to attend the 2nd IVU Congress, Manchester, England 1909, but was unable to make it.

At the 3rd Congress in Brussels, 1910, Dr Selss was a member of the organising Committee:

Dr. Sells, the President of the German Vegetarian Union, and Editor of the Vegetarische Warte, spoke of the movement in his own country. Vegetarianism is going ahead in Germany but he regretted that not many doctors had as yet come over. In this respect France and Belgium, with upwards of 100 medical men on their members' lists, lead the way.

[the spelling was 'Sells' this time though possibly a mistake by the English typist]

The is no mention of him in the records of the 4th Congress at The Hague in 1913.

In 1915 the Vegetarian Messenger (VSUK magazine) reported a notice in Vegetarier Warte where Dr. Selss gave his farewell to the Bund as he was offering his medical services to his national government.


If you have any more information about anything on this page please contact John Davis -