Carl Unger (anthroposophist)

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Carl Theodor Unger (born March 28, 1878 in Cannstatt near Stuttgart ; † January 4, 1929 in Nuremberg ) was a German mechanical engineer, theosophist , anthroposophist and author of anthroposophical works.

life and work

Childhood, education, work and marriage

Unger was born on March 28, 1878 in Cannstatt as the third of four children of Julius Saul Unger (1837–1909) and Henriette Elise Unger, b. Mannheimer (1851–1932) born. He grew up in a Jewish family with a learned tradition, but was brought up atheist. His grandfather was the Erfurt mathematics professor Ephraim Salomon Unger (1789–1870), his father was a banker. After attending the humanistic grammar school in Cannstatt, which he graduated from high school in 1896, he suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound during his one year military service in 1897 from a comrade in the military. In the autumn of 1898 he began to study mechanical engineering at the Stuttgart University of Technology and received his doctorate on July 27, 1904.

On October 1st, 1906, with financial support from his father, he founded a factory for the manufacture of precision grinding machines . In 1907 he married Auguste Arenson (* 1886) and the marriage had four children.

As a theosophist

In October 1903 he joined the German Section of the Theosophical Society (DSdTG) and thus became a member of the Theosophical Society Adyar (Adyar-TG). In February 1904 he first heard a lecture by Rudolf Steiner , then Secretary General of the DSdTG, which made a great impression on him and from then on determined his life. At the end of 1904 he was admitted to the esoteric section of the Theosophical Society in Germany, also headed by Steiner . Invited by Steiner, he gave a theosophical lecture at a theosophical congress in Munich in May 1907 , whereupon he gave several hundred other speeches on this topic in Germany and Switzerland in the following years . In 1908 he was appointed to the board of the DSdTG, where he worked closely with Steiner and his later wife Marie von Sivers .

As an anthroposophist

The turn of the year 1912/13 brought the separation of the DSdTG from the Adyar-TG and the foundation of the Anthroposophical Society . Unger followed Steiner's direction and became an anthroposophist . In addition to Marie von Sivers and Michael Bauer , he took over the chairmanship and invested a lot of time and energy in building up the new organization in the years that followed. In 1914 and 1915 he was administrative director for the construction of the Goetheanum in Dornach . In their joint will of March 18, 1915, Rudolf and Marie Steiner appointed Carl Unger as their executor. In the event of the simultaneous death of the two testators, he was also given control of Steiner's literary estate.

Carl Unger joined the movement for social threefolding that flourished after 1919 with great commitment . He was one of the first to transfer his flourishing factory, which at the time had 120 employees, to Der Kommende Tag AG , an association of various commercial enterprises organized according to threefolding ideas.

When he gave a public lecture on January 4, 1929 in Nuremberg on the subject of “What is anthroposophy?”, He was assassinated. The mentally ill perpetrator Wilhelm Krieger was also a member of the Anthroposophical Society, believed to be possessed by an "entity" and, allegedly driven by it, committed the murder - probably motivated by anti-Semitism - with three pistol shots at the victim.


  • Writings , ed. v. HO Proskauer, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 1964ff
    • Volume 1: The Autonomy of Philosophical Consciousness - The Basic Teachings of Anthroposophy - For the Reasonable Processing of Rudolf Steiner's Spiritual Science. 1964
    • Volume 2: Attempt at a positive apologetic development of anthroposophical spiritual science. From the anthroposophical movement and society. Esoteric. 1966
    • Volume 3: From the language of the consciousness soul. Based on Rudolf Steiner's “guiding principles”. 1971
  • What is anthroposophy? A short introduction (Geisteswiss. Lectures 44), Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach 1996, ISBN 3-7235-0974-6


  • Franz Karl Steinberger: esotericist of the West, leader to new humanity . Rohm-Verlag, Lorch 1953.
  • Ronald Templeton: Carl Unger. The path of a spiritual student (pioneers of anthroposophy 8) . Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach 1990, ISBN 3-7235-0564-3 .

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