Rudolf Steiner

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Rudolf Steiner around 1905

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (born February 27, 1861 in Kraljevec , Kingdom of Hungary , today Croatia , † March 30, 1925 in Dornach , Switzerland ) was an Austrian publicist , esotericist and lecturer. He founded anthroposophy , a spiritual worldview, the content of which, according to Steiner's own account, is largely based on clairvoyant insights into the spiritual worlds recognizable behind our sensual world ("the higher worlds") and which is based on the Anglo-Indian theosophy of Blavatsky , Rosicrucianism and the Gnosis connects. Based on this teaching, he developed his own concepts for various areas of social life, including anthroposophical architecture , Waldorf education , anthroposophic medicine , biodynamic agriculture , eurythmy and the Christian community .

life and work

Childhood and youth

Rudolf Steiner's birth house in Donji Kraljevec

Rudolf Steiner came from a simple background. His parents, the railway official Johann Steiner (1829–1910) and Franziska Steiner, née Blie (1834–1918), came from the Lower Austrian Waldviertel . He had two younger siblings: Leopoldine (1864–1927), who lived as a seamstress with his parents until their death, and Gustav (1866–1941), who was born deaf and had to rely on outside help for his entire life. The father previously worked as a forester and hunter in the service of Horner Count Hoyos (a son of Count Johann Ernst Hoyos-Sprinzenstein ); When the latter refused to consent to the wedding in 1860, he resigned and found a job as a rail telegraphist with the Südbahn-Gesellschaft . He worked in three places in quick succession: Rudolf was born on the second, and on the third, in Mödling , the family lived only six months. At the beginning of 1863 he became station master in Pottschach , in 1869 he came to Neudörfl , 1879 to Inzersdorf , 1882 to Brunn am Gebirge .

Steiner was baptized a Catholic . In 1913, as an “established occultist ”, he reported having had his first experiences with clairvoyance as a child . For example, at the age of seven he saw his aunt in a vision, who had committed suicide almost at the same time in a distant place. Since he could not share these inner experiences with anyone, he often withdrew into himself and became increasingly interested in esotericism . In the village school of Neudörfl, Steiner received cross-generational lessons. After three years, he passed the entrance examination to the public school of Wiener Neustadt . He was particularly interested in geometry . As a teenager, he says he read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason .

The 21-year-old student Rudolf Steiner, around 1882

After attending the secondary school in Wiener Neustadt , Steiner was able to study at the Technical University in Vienna from 1879 to 1883 thanks to a scholarship . His subjects were mathematics and natural sciences with the aim of teaching at secondary schools. In addition, he attended courses in philosophy, literature and history, some at the University of Vienna , where he only had guest status without a high school diploma in Latin. In Vienna he lived from 1884 to 1890 in the upper-class house of the Jewish Specht family, as a private tutor and tutor. After eight semesters, Steiner finished his studies in 1883 for financial reasons without taking a final exam. Since he could not achieve an academic degree in Austria without the final exam, he went to Germany, where the universities were more flexible in the 19th century. His attempt at a dissertation at the University of Jena in 1884 failed. Seven years later he submitted a 48-page document to the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Rostock : The basic question of epistemology with special regard to Fichte's science: Prolegomena for the communication of the philosophical consciousness with itself . With the oral examination ( Rigorosum ) on October 23, 1891, he was awarded a doctorate by Heinrich von Stein with the grade " rite " (sufficient). phil. PhD . The work was published in 1892 in a slightly expanded version (preface, practical conclusion and foreword) as Truth and Science - Prelude to a Philosophy of Freedom in the publishing house of Hermann Weißbach in Vienna. The bookseller and publisher Weißbach also published the magazine Litterarischer Merkur - Kritisches und Bibliographisches Wochenblatt , for which Steiner wrote forty-five articles between 1891 and 1893.

The early Steiner

Goethe researcher

Memorial plaque on the house at Prellerstraße 2 in Weimar

From 1882 to 1897 Steiner was the editor of the scientific writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . During this time he obtained two editions, first as part of the German National Literature of Joseph Kürschner , then (from 1890) as an employee of the recently founded Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar under the direction of Bernhard Suphan as part of the so-called Sophien edition - after the Founder of the archive, Grand Duchess Sophie von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach - now known as the Weimar Edition . In Kürschner's national literature, for which Steiner was hired as a collaborator thanks to the recommendation of his Viennese professor of German studies, Karl Julius Schröer , his task was to provide explanatory comments and philosophical introductions, while the Weimar edition was mostly about philological detail work. The first Goethe volumes published by Steiner were received with goodwill and praised in some reviews. They contributed to making the scientific work of Goethe, who had previously been perceived primarily as a poet, known. Early on it was criticized that Steiner did not represent Goethe's worldview in his introductions, but his own. Steiner's philological work in the context of the Weimar edition met with at times devastating criticism, where he was accused of numerous technical errors and negligence. Steiner himself, who initially approached the editorial work with great commitment, increasingly viewed the work in the Weimar archive as an oppressive burden and later wrote that he was "never particularly proud" of what he had done there.

In addition, Steiner published the works of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and the poet Jean Paul . He wrote articles on scientific topics for several encyclopedias. For a time he was also editor of the Deutsche Wochenschrift published in Vienna . Until 1890 he made his living mainly as a tutor and tutor for the four sons of a Jewish businessman. With the appointment to the Weimar archive he found a modest livelihood.

Contacts in Vienna (1879–1890)

The numerous contacts that Steiner maintained during his time in Vienna (1879–1890) include the esoteric Friedrich Eckstein , who introduced him to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's theosophy , and the women's rights activist Rosa Mayreder , his most important interlocutor in shaping his philosophy of freedom. During the Weimar period he made contact with Herman Grimm , Otto Erich Hartleben , Ernst Haeckel , Conrad Ansorge and Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche .

Rudolf Steiner around 1891/92, etching by Otto Fröhlich

First marriage (1899–1904)

In 1892 Steiner moved into the house of his former Weimar landlady, Anna Eunike (1853-1911), who was just widowed eight years older, and her five children in Berlin-Schlachtensee . The two married in 1899. After a few months, the couple moved into a rented apartment in the rear building at Motzstrasse 17. Steiner's second wife Marie von Sievers moved in with them, which Anna Eunike found unreasonable. In June 1904 Anna Eunike separated from Steiner.

Early philosophical works

The following works were created during this time:

  • the epistemological writings Baseline of an Epistemology of Goethean Weltanschauung (1886) and
  • Truth and Science (1892),
  • 1894 the related philosophy of freedom ; (revised version 1918),

His epistemology, which he had developed when dealing with Goethe's scientific writings, based on German idealism and in particular on Johann Gottlieb Fichte, its starting point was the knowing subject . For Steiner, the decisive factor was the experience of one's own thinking: the “observation” of thinking is the “most important” perception of man. Because only what he thinks he can fully understand. With this, "a firm point was gained from which one can look for the explanation of the other world phenomena with justified hope".

Steiner rejected any kind of being that could not be experienced either through perception or thought as "unjustified hypotheses". With this positivistic rejection of any transcendent “reality”, whose existence and at the same time fundamental non-recognizability presupposed other philosophers ( agnosticism ), Steiner also opposed the university philosophy of his time, which was shaped by Kant . For the young Goethe researcher there was only one world and therefore no fundamental limits to knowledge. In this sense, Steiner also called his worldview " monism ". For Steiner, however, this was not identical to the materialistic monism that Ernst Haeckel popularized five years later (1899) in his book Die Weltträtsel . Steiner's relationship with Haeckel was quite ambivalent. When Haeckel's Die Weltträtsel appeared, accompanied by violent attacks on the author, especially from the churches, Steiner sided wholeheartedly on Haeckel's side in a series of essays ( Haeckel and his opponents , 1899). Even later, in his theosophical phase, he described Haeckel's militant advocacy of the theory of evolution as "the most important act of German intellectual life in the second half of the 19th century". Steiner's appeal to Haeckel is considered an important problem of interpretation for understanding his intellectual development.

Steiner viewed his monistic epistemology only as a “prelude”, as a “philosophical substructure” of a radical individualistic philosophy of freedom, with which he closely followed Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner , which he nevertheless did not mention in his philosophy of freedom . Steiner highlighted Nietzsche's “ Übermenschen ”, whom he identified with Stirner's “owner”. For Steiner, the superman is the "man freed from all norms, who no longer wants to be the image of God, a being pleasing to God, a good citizen, etc., but who wants to be himself and nothing else - the pure and absolute egoist."

Cover picture of the second edition 1895 by Friedrich Nietzsche - A fighter against his time , which was published in the year of its first publication due to its great success

Steiner's work The Philosophy of Freedom , published in 1894 , of which only a few copies were sold, received little attention in the academic-philosophical professional world. Eduard von Hartmann, however, sent Steiner back his reading copy with detailed comments, but dispensed with a review. He later criticized the work casually in a footnote. He left a detailed critical review to his student Arthur Drews . Another, largely positive review was written by Bruno Wille .

Steiner failed to gain a foothold in academic philosophy. A habilitation attempt in 1894 failed. Ernst Haeckel, who had been asked to find a position at the University of Jena from Steiner's environment , refused any support.

According to Karl Vorländer ( History of Philosophy ), Steiner's 'theosophy', later draped through anthroposophy , does not deserve to be included in the history of philosophy . Steiner's philosophical work was practically forgotten after a short reception phase, which mainly concerned the philosophy of freedom , except in anthroposophical circles. From an anthroposophical point of view, it appears to the present to be “a deep mystery why Rudolf Steiner's cognitive performance is almost completely ignored by the academic world or, at best, treated as an outgrowth of a strange sectarian spirit”, as Marek Majorek stated in his dissertation in 2002 .

For a short time Steiner worked under Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche on Nietzsche's estate and was under discussion as the editor of the works. As part of this activity he created the first Nietzsche bibliography and the first directory of Nietzsche's library, which became the basis of all catalogs published later. Steiner was also able to view Nietzsche's unpublished autobiography, Ecce Homo , and was allowed to personally meet the mentally deranged thinker on a visit on January 22, 1896. After an uproar over the issue of editing, Steiner broke with Förster-Nietzsche and in 1900 was the first to draw attention to the dubious machinations of the Nietzsche archive in the context of its Nietzsche edition . Steiner had positioned himself not only in a Nietzsche book, but also in numerous magazine articles and reviews as one of the first pioneers of Nietzsche, which was not yet accepted at the time.

Cover picture of the magazine for literature from 1898

Journalistic activity

Steiner continued to earn part of his livelihood by working as an editor, for example by editing the magazine for literature in Berlin together with Otto Erich Hartleben from 1897 to 1900 . During this time, Steiner published numerous essays on artistic, philosophical and political topics. His acquaintance with the German poet and anarchist John Henry Mackay , which had existed since around 1894 , became a close friendship. Steiner's commitment to individualistic anarchism and a campaign for Alfred Dreyfus led to reader protests and proved to be detrimental to the magazine's circulation . Hartleben put down his joint edition in March 1900 because of "inferior gossip" - meaning the discussion with the Nietzsche archive that Steiner carried out in the publication. In September 1900 Steiner also resigned from his editorial position.

Steiner was in serious financial distress at the time. From those around him it was already reported during his time in Vienna that he “lived in a miserable apartment [and was] often downright starving”. It was that bad for him until the Weimar and Berlin days. In addition, a breakdown of the way of life has been handed down. Steiner drank all night long with his poet friends, sometimes he didn't come home until the next afternoon. Rosa Mayreder, the confidante from the Vienna period, even said he was an alcoholic . It was not until the turn of the century that he “took hold of himself very firmly and became who the world knows him as today”. In the first few years in Berlin, Steiner turned to outsiders who were mainly proletarian . His contacts reflected the motto he had chosen for his magazine in 1899 : “Versatility and impartiality”. From 1899 to 1904 he held courses at the socialist workers' training school in Berlin. According to Wolfgang G., Steiner's circle of acquaintances at the time included monists of the Giordano-Bruno-Bund ( Wilhelm Bölsche , Bruno Wille ), champions for free love ( Ellen Key , Margarete Beutler ), self-confessed homosexuals ( Magnus Hirschfeld ) and anarchists (besides Mackay about Benjamin Tucker and Siegfried Nacht).

Steiner himself was reluctant to look back on his time as a bohemian . In 1904, in a letter to his wife, he regretted that he had "let himself into the dirt of these young people". It was "an honest mistake" that he had to atone for with "very dirty gossip".

In the Theosophical Society

Rudolf Steiner with Annie Besant , President of the Theosophical Society


As a well-known Nietzsche connoisseur, Steiner was asked to speak about the radical thinker after Nietzsche's death (1900). In September 1900 he also gave a lecture on Nietzsche and on "Goethe's secret revelation" in the Theosophical Library of Count Cay von Brockdorff (1844–1921) in Berlin. These lectures were well received, and Steiner was immediately able to begin with a series of lectures on The Mysticism (26 lectures up to April 1901). This was followed by lectures on Christianity as a mystical fact the next year , and soon the theosophists , whom Steiner had previously opposed to, were his most important audience, with whom he was even able to earn a living from his speeches. When a German section of the Theosophical Society was founded in 1902 and the German theosophists could not agree on a chairman, Steiner was the compromise candidate. Steiner was elected Secretary General because it was not possible to agree on an "older member as a candidate for this office".

The Theosophical Society (TG) was an esoteric , sometimes obscure, association in which global people came together who were looking for a new spiritual worldview. The teachings of the co-founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky , who died in 1891, played a key role in this. She represented an occultism strongly influenced by Eastern philosophies and is now considered to be the most important pioneer of “modern” esotericism towards the end of the 19th century. Even during her lifetime, however, she had been accused of fraudulent machinations - especially in connection with letters of questionable origin that were supposed to come from Indian masters. Her successor in the leadership of the TG, Annie Besant , was mainly oriented towards Hinduism .

In his lectures in Berlin, before he even became a member of the TG, Steiner had set out two points in which, in his opinion, he deviated from Blavatsky's theosophical teaching. He assigned the human "essence", the ego, a central role on the path of spiritual development. On the other hand, Steiner emphasized the uniqueness and uniqueness of the person of Jesus Christ , who was viewed by the older theosophists only as a highly developed person (a so-called “ master ”) alongside others. Steiner published these views - as written versions of his lectures in the Theosophical Library - in the books The Mysticism in the Rise of Modern Spiritual Life (1901) and Christianity as a Mystical Fact (1902). This independence was in line with the original basic principle of the society founded in 1875: "No religion higher than truth!"

In contrast to the Orientalism that set the tone in the TG, Steiner claimed to develop “theosophy” independently from Western spiritual life. As early as 1903, however, he also admitted to the doctrine of reincarnation and karma , which he in turn described as "ideas necessary from the standpoint of modern natural science" and tried to derive them accordingly.

In accordance with his inner step from thinking experience to spirit experience and his new audience, Steiner's terminology had also changed significantly compared to his earlier writings, for example when he now spoke of higher worlds and mysteries . The advocacy of the theosophical movement led to a break with numerous former friends. Bruno Wille, for example, warned Steiner that the term theosophy was "badly discredited by Buddhist scholasticism, occult superstitions and spiritualistic frauds."

Within the Theosophical (and later the Anthroposophical ) Society, Steiner appeared primarily as a speaker. In the two decades up to his death, he gave around 6000 lectures, mainly in the increasingly numerous local groups ("branches") in Germany and later in other European countries. In addition to these lectures, which are only accessible to members, public lectures were also regularly organized. A written publication of the lectures was not originally planned; But since unauthorized transcripts were soon circulating, stenographers were hired to record the lectures. This resulted in around 4,500 shorthand notes, some of which were published in book form during Steiner's lifetime, but mostly only after his death and are now freely available on the Internet. They make up the greater part of Steiner's written work today and are not without problems insofar as they - with a few exceptions - were not checked by Steiner himself.

"Supernatural knowledge of the world"

In 1904 the book Theosophy was published (with the subtitle Introduction to supersensible knowledge of the world and human determination ), in which he presented the doctrine now represented for the first time in detail. Following on from Johann Gottlieb Fichte , he spoke of a "spiritual eye" which enables us to perceive and explore a spiritual and a spiritual world in addition to the familiar physical world. While traditional esotericists viewed the occult knowledge as “initiation” mediated through a teacher-student relationship, Steiner wanted to guide people towards self-determined knowledge. He deepened these instructions in the essay series How do you gain knowledge of the higher worlds? (1904/05).

From the Akashic Records, book edition from 1939

In the series of essays from the Akasha Chronicle (1904–1908), which began at the same time , Steiner increasingly picked up on topics from the teaching of Blavatsky and other occultists close to her, including the teaching of the " root races ". Despite individual deviations and independent priorities, Steiner had apparently made the basic framework of the theosophical worldview his own.

He published a detailed summary of his esoteric doctrine in 1910 under the title The Secret Science in Outline - a title that is based on Blavatsky's main work The Secret Doctrine ( The Secret Doctrine , 1888). In this publication (as in Theosophy ) the terminology borrowed from Blavatsky is largely receded and Western topics such as the Christian doctrine of hierarchy are taken up instead. This book was reprinted fourteen times during Steiner's lifetime; a few weeks before his death (1925) he wrote the preface to the 16th edition. There were also nine new editions of Theosophy during this period.

The Akasha Chronicle , according to theosophical doctrine, the record of the entire planetary fate of the earth, which is supposed to be in the spiritual world, Steiner described as one of his “spiritual” perception accessible “writing”. With this he connected the claim that he could perceive past events supersensibly; In 1913 he described this ability as a “backward-looking clairvoyant look”. In other places too, Steiner repeatedly claimed that his "spiritual research" was based on an innate ability to be clairvoyant. This empiricism of the supersensible, in which the human mind can not only be thought of in terms and ideas , but can also be experienced directly, must be subjected to the criteria of science in order to become "spiritual science " in the sense it intended. As the basis of his "humanities" representations, Steiner distinguished between several levels of knowledge. In addition to the usual knowledge, there is therefore the " imaginative ", the " inspirational " and the " intuitive " knowledge. According to this doctrine, through strict training, higher and higher levels of knowledge can be reached, which enable a cognitive access to the supersensible world. According to Steiner, this “spiritual science” should enable people to understand the physical world in its connection with the “spiritual” world and to shape the world from this understanding. From this point of view, Steiner eclectically linked his early approaches into a "philosophy of thought-experience".

The tripartite division into imaginative, inspirational and intuitive knowledge became the basis for the classes of Steiner's “Esoteric School”, in which he privately trained students in “humanistic” knowledge. In 1904 he set up the first class in which theosophical literature was read, and in 1907 the second, which was more ritual. For them Steiner adapted the Memphis Misraïm rite , an irregular Masonic high degree system , in which he himself became a member. In this context, Steiner came into contact with the German occultist Theodor Reuss . Whether he also became a member of his sex-magical Ordo Templi Orientis is controversial. Both classes worked until 1914, the third, which was supposed to train the students in their daily work life, apparently did not materialize.

Association conflicts

Over the years there has been an increasing alienation between the world organization of the TG and the German sections and lodges. Steiner was a major protagonist in this dispute. In 1907 he was outraged by Annie Besant's assertion that the Mahatmas had appeared at the deathbed of Blavatsky's successor, Henry Steel Olcott , and had chosen her as his successor. Thereupon he separated his own esoteric school from that of the TG. The next crisis arose when some representatives of the TG - above all Charles Webster Leadbeater - propagated the sixteen-year-old Jiddu Krishnamurti as the coming Maitreya (world teacher) in 1911 and this was seen in some circles as the "reincarnation of Christ". Steiner rejected the growing cult around Krishnamurti and the Order of the Star in the East founded in this context . The board of directors of the German section asked the members of the “Order” to resign either from the Order or from the German section and demanded Annie Besant's resignation as international president of the Theosophical Society Adyar in a telegram . On March 7, 1913, this formally dissolved the German section headed by Steiner. It was replaced by a renewed German section headed by Wilhelm Huebbe-Schleiden . Most of the 2,500 former members joined the Anthroposophical Society , which had already been founded in Cologne on December 28, 1912 , and over 1,000 more members joined within a year. Steiner was no longer in charge of the new organization - Marie von Sivers , Michael Bauer and Carl Unger made up the board of directors - but he was the most important speaker and honorary president.

The late Steiner

After breaking with the Theosophical Society, Steiner also changed the terminological framework of his teaching. " Anthroposophy " was essentially just another name for what he had represented as "theosophy" until it was excluded from the Theosophical Society. In this respect, his books Theosophy (1904) and Occidental Science in Outline (1910) also remained the standard works of anthroposophy. In new editions of Steiner's previous works, the term “theosophy” was largely replaced by “anthroposophy” or “spiritual science”. Instead of Indian wisdom teachings, Steiner relied on Western esoteric teachings on Rosicrucianism and a "Christosophy", at the center of which was the "Mystery of Golgotha". Nevertheless eastern traces remained in anthroposophy recognizable, such as karma and reincarnation or Steiner's ideas of a future spiritual superman ( "Homo divinus"), which he with race performances combined.

The first Goetheanum
The second Goetheanum in Dornach (1928 to today)

The late Steiner turned increasingly to art and architecture. From 1910 to 1913 his four “Mystery Dramas” were premiered in Munich. From 1913 to 1922, under his artistic direction, the Goetheanum was built in Dornach near Basel as the center of the Anthroposophical Society and the seat of the planned School of Spiritual Science . After the wooden structure burned down on New Year's Eve 1922/23 (the contemporary press suspected arson by militant Steiner opponents), Steiner designed a second, larger Goetheanum made of concrete, which was completed in 1928, i.e. only after his death. The expressive architectural style of the new Goetheanum made of reinforced concrete in contrast to its impressionistic predecessor shows that Steiner's architectural style underwent a radical change within a few years. This style developed - under the name organic architecture , among other things - a widespread effect on modern architecture (a preoccupation with Steiner can be proven for Le Corbusier , Henry van de Velde , Frank Lloyd Wright , Erich Mendelsohn , Hans Scharoun , Frank O. Gehry and Hinrich Baller ).

Steiner, who had been in communication with leading politicians before and during the First World War , also worked on a political level after the war. In 1919 he published an "Appeal to the German People and the Cultural World", which Hermann Bahr , Hermann Hesse and Bruno Walter had also signed. During this time he advocated classic concerns of more conservative and national circles. Above all, the question of war guilt was a political concern for him. In 1919 he worked on the publication of a political pamphlet entitled The 'Guilt' for the War in order to influence public opinion in the run-up to the peace negotiations in Versailles . The document concerned the memoirs of Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke , which had already been put down in 1914 , in which he had described the emperor's failure before the outbreak of war. It was published in 1922. In the fight against war guilt charges against Germany, Steiner financed a conspiracy-theoretical text in which Freemasons , Jews and theosophists were blamed for the First World War. This work by the occultist Karl Heise , which was provided with an introduction by Steiner, was later received by the National Socialists.

Steiner's time as a speaker and advisor to the Anthroposophical Society proved to be productive. He came up with his own ideas in all areas of life. Examples of this “applied anthroposophy”, which contributed to the attractiveness of the movement, are Waldorf education , which is based on Rudolf Steiner's image of man and takes up elements of reform education, and curative education . Furthermore, the sacred architecture , for example of the Goetheanum, or the art of movement of eurythmy , which shows similarities with expressive dance with different objectives . Steiner founded with the doctor Ita Wegman the anthroposophic medicine and gave suggestions and advice for the religious revival of the Christian Community . In June 1923, with lectures in Koberwitz near Breslau, he suggested the establishment of biodynamic agriculture ; these lectures took place at the invitation of Carl Graf von Keyserlingk , among others . Many of Steiner's ideas are still powerful today. For example, Waldorf schools and kindergartens , biodynamic farming ( Demeter ) and anthroposophic medicine, including the anthroposophically oriented hospitals, are popular. The business enterprises based on anthroposophical principles, The Coming Day and the Futurum AG , on the other hand, failed after the First World War.

Memorial plaque in Berlin-Schöneberg, Motzstrasse 30
Steiner's tomb in the park of the Goetheanum in Dornach

Rudolf Steiner and his second wife Marie von Sivers (married in 1914, then Marie Steiner-von Sivers, no children) lived from 1903 to 1923 in Berlin-Schöneberg , Motzstrasse 30, where a plaque commemorates them. However, Steiner traveled a lot as a speaker and chairman of the Theosophical and Anthroposophical Society. After the end of the war in 1918, he was rarely in Berlin.

Death in 1925 and burial in 1992

Memorial grove, Rudolf Steiner, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland
Memorial grove, Goetheanum

On September 28, 1924, Steiner gave up his lecturing activities and remained bedridden for the six months that remained until his death, during which time he was only partially able to work . On October 1, 1924, the chronically exhausted Steiner moved out of the Hansi house where his wife lived and set up his warehouse in the workshop near the carpenter's workshop. Opposite his wife, Steiner justified the move with the bathroom facilities in the carpenter's workshop, which were missing in the Hansi house. At the same time, his lover Ita Wegman moved into an adjoining room in the studio in order to be able to care for the sick and provide medical care. In the six months leading up to his death, Steiner still did a lot of work here. When his condition worsened, another anthroposophical doctor, Ludwig Noll , was called in. Rudolf Steiner died on March 30, 1925 at 10 a.m. at the age of 64. More than 1200 people attended the funeral ceremony in the carpenter's workshop.

There is no reliable information about the exact cause of death. In his biography of Steiner, Helmut Zander speaks of a subsequent "cover-up spectacle" and a "cover-up tactic" with which Ita Wegman probably wanted to "cover up what Steiner really died of: cancer". However, there is no evidence to support this diagnosis.

Steiner's body was cremated. The urn was kept in the Goetheanum for almost 70 years until its ashes were buried on November 3, 1992 in the memorial grove of the Goetheanum. In addition to his urn and a memorial stone dedicated to him, the urn of the poet and writer Christian Morgenstern is also buried, who felt a special spiritual bond with Steiner.

Estate dispute

After Marie Steiner became the sole heir of Rudolf Steiner in 1943, the “Rudolf Steiner Estate Administration, Association for the Administration of the Literary and Artistic Estate of Dr. Rudolf Steiner », there were hostilities between anthroposophical factions in Dornach, especially between the estate association and the general anthroposophical society over Steiner's material and spiritual legacy. The judicial disputes were decided in favor of the estate administration, so that Steiner's works could no longer be bought in the Goetheanum until 1968.

The problem of the caesura in Steiner's work

The late Steiner wanted his theosophically and anthroposophically shaped work of the years from 1900 to be understood as a consistent further development of his philosophical work that had arisen up to that point. He described all contradictions in various places as "apparent" or "superficial". In his autobiographical notes, published under the title Mein Lebensgang , which are not always reliable, Steiner drew the picture of a consistent intellectual development. In contrast, many observers see a deep spiritual turning point in him around 1900, which can be seen, among other things, in his changed attitude towards Christianity. A contemporary spoke in retrospect of a “breakneck curve in his intellectual life”, the biographer Gerhard Wehr of “crisis and change”. Steiner, so the chronicler further, had at the turn of the century an "inner turn [completed] the interpretation of which causes the biographer some difficulties". Another example of disparities that Steiner whitewashed afterwards are Steiner's descriptions of his relationship with Nietzsche, which David Marc Hoffmann has proven to be false.

Announcement of four lectures on anthroposophy, Zurich 1917

The early Steiner emerged as an individualist, positivist and free thinker who did not shy away from referring to scandalous philosophers such as Stirner, Nietzsche and Haeckel. His free-thinking culminated in a contempt for religion and belief. He attributed pathological traits to Christianity. Faith in God and Christ appeared to Steiner as a sign of pathological weakness, which he contrasted with "healthy human thinking". Elsewhere he had written that man of the future “will no longer believe that God has sent his only begotten Son to free him from sinful shame, but he will see that innumerable heavens are there to bring him out and his existence in the end to enjoy ”. Such sentences seem like an echo of Nietzsche's criticism of the Christian faith, as he wrote them down in Der Antichrist - Fluch auf das Christianenthum . This attack by Nietzsche on the foundation of Christian beliefs had deeply impressed the young Steiner, as is evident from a letter to Pauline Specht. In 1898 Steiner published the confessional sentence in the Magazin für Litteratur : “We want to be fighters for our gospel so that in the coming century a new generation may arise that knows how to live, that is satisfied, cheerful and proud, without Christianity, without a view of the hereafter . ”Only two years later a transformed Steiner appeared before the Theosophists and spoke about the“ mystical fact of Christianity ”.

In retrospect, the deep intellectual turning point in his life that had taken place around the turn of the century brought Steiner in particular into connection with Stirner and Mackay. Steiner's spiritual turn was radical. If he had initially called Stirner “the freest thinker”, “whom modern mankind has produced”, for him he has become a “terribly clear symbol of the declining [bourgeois] worldview”. Nietzsche's Antichrist was now also regarded as the epitome of the Satanic. His chapters have "often such a devilish content", said Steiner and ascribed them to Ahriman , the evil god of Parsism , who in his interpretation of the human soul wants to block access to the soul and spirit world, in order to limit its consciousness with materialistic temptations to the physical To chain corporeality.

Rudolf Steiner around 1900

Gerhard Wehr speaks of a "change event" in Steiner's Berlin years and that Steiner was aware of the rapid change despite emphasizing the continuity of his intellectual development. During this time, Steiner, the former critic of the religions of revelation, said he had a kind of Christian awakening experience, which he described as "having a spiritual confession before the Mystery of Golgotha in the most serious, most serious celebration of knowledge". Gerhard Wehr thinks Steiner's “modern Damascus experience ” is obvious.

Contemporaries, alluding to Steiner's personal circumstances, often interpreted the change with reference to purely secular motifs. This is shown by a whole series of obituaries in which reference was made to the material improvement in Steiner's situation after he turned to theosophy. So John Schikowski, the music critic Richard Specht and the writer Max Osborn

There is no widely accepted interpretation for the "caesura" in Steiner's work in literature. Anthroposophists, based on Steiner's retrospective self-interpretation, assume an inner coherence of personal development.

Steiner in the judgment of his contemporaries

From the early 1890s in Weimar there are some memories of the emancipatory writer Gabriele Reuter , who was soon very successful and to whose circle of friends Steiner belonged.

The writer Stefan Zweig got to know the 40-year-old Steiner shortly before he turned to theosophy in the Berlin literary group Die Kommenden and later reported on it.

After turning to theosophy, Steiner's fame grew steadily. In his lectures he recently filled entire concert halls. Some of his lecture tours were organized by a Berlin concert agency (e.g. the so-called "Wolf-Sachs" tours in 1921 and 1922, at the height of his popularity). The flow of visitors to the lecture halls had to be partly regulated by the police. The Neue Freie Presse reported on "minutes of applause and trampling" in completely sold-out halls. This is an expression of a mass suggestion that Steiner had exercised. The speaker Steiner met with unreserved enthusiasm and resolute, sometimes even militant rejection. Most of the journalists approached Steiner with reserve, mostly aloof, ironic to mockery or even maliciously. Since 1919 in particular, Steiner often appeared in contemporary newspaper reports as a kind of charlatan or blender.

Call for a people's assembly with a lecture by Rudolf Steiner from 1919

Kurt Tucholsky wrote a particularly malicious comment on a lecture by Steiner in the legendary left-wing weekly Weltbühne .

According to the Norwegian social economist and historian Wilhelm Keilhau, many commentators explained Steiner's effect on his audience with his rhetorical talent, which hardly anyone in the audience denied .

The contemporary judgment was often negative and malicious, but anyone interested in contemporary cultural life could not ignore Steiner. This is shown by numerous judgments by important contemporaries who, although they referred to Steiner as puzzling or semi-silky, but also took note of its effect. Even Albert Einstein is reported to have attended Steiner's lectures but showed no understanding. He stated that Steiner lacked knowledge of non-Euclidean geometry and described supernatural experience as nonsense.

Even Franz Kafka made an effort to understand the phenomenon Steiner, but a final judgment could make about him. Kafka even went to Steiner personally once to ask him for help in life, but the conversation did not meet his expectations.

Invitation to a special lecture by Rudolf Steiner due to the great demand, Stuttgart 1919

Some writers and poets tried to gain access to Steiner, or at least to get an assessment. Hugo Ball , for example, attended a lecture by Steiner to find out its effect and reported on it in a letter. Hermann Hesse rejected the use of anthroposophical sources for his works, as these had been suspected on various occasions.

Despite all the rejection that Steiner experienced, he also had sympathizers and admirers among important contemporaries. Albert Schweitzer, for example, reported a special feeling of spiritual togetherness that has bound him since his first personal encounter with Steiner. Christian Morgenstern became an enthusiastic supporter of Steiner when he heard some of his lectures in 1909. He dedicated his last, posthumously published volume of poetry to him, We found a path (1914) and even considered proposing Steiner for the Nobel Peace Prize. In a letter to Friedrich Kayssler he wrote: "In the whole of today's cultural world there is no greater spiritual pleasure than listening to this man than to be given a lecture by this incomparable teacher". Even Selma Lagerlof attempted an explanation.

There were few contemporaries who were indifferent to Steiner. He had a strong polarizing effect. His audience was divided into supporters and opponents. The diverse impulses for various areas of life that Steiner exercised were little received outside of the anthroposophical context.



Steiner's work was already very controversial during his lifetime. One of the controversial issues was the proclaimed scientific nature of anthroposophy, which was not accepted by representatives of university science, and the Gnostic approaches of its Christology , which were sharply condemned by the official churches. It is understandable that Steiner used the publications of other authors such as Ernst Haeckel and Tuiskon Ziller for his own purposes. His culture level theory - which was already considered unscientific back then - forms the basis for epoch teaching in Waldorf schools to this day .

The point of criticism of the mixing of scientific and religious freedom relates primarily to Steiner's "occultism". For example, the religious scholar Hartmut Zinser thinks that Steiner arbitrarily shifts the criteria of what is considered scientific. This is shown, for example, when speaking of "humanities or occult science" and "clairvoyant research". Everything that is not compatible with the knowledge and methods of the sciences is therefore presented as "higher knowledge". Zinser says: “With this, the 'supernatural worlds' assumed by R. Steiner become statements of faith as they are known from some (not all) religions. However, he denies the character of belief in these statements and gives them as objective, the 'occult vision', the 'clairvoyant awareness', the 'spiritual vision' (go p. 25) in 'meditation' and 'contemplation' (go p. 18) and accessible facts through 'imagination, inspiration and intuition' (go p. 24). ”Steiner is subject to one of the epistemological fundamental errors of modern occultism, since no distinction is made between perception and interpretation.

Racism allegations

After the Second World War, it was mainly Steiner's statements on the race question and Judaism that were criticized. For about two decades, especially in Germany, Steiner's views on human races have been exposed again and again , most recently when the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth submitted an application for the indexing of two Steiner works in September 2007 - after a citizen's advice submitted to the Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM). The works are suitable "to disorient children and young people from a socio-ethical point of view [because they] contain racially discriminatory statements". The works mentioned are two lecture manuscripts from the years 1909 and 1910 with the titles: Humanities and The Mission of Individual People's Souls - In connection with Germanic-Nordic mythology . Jana Husmann-Kastein , Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin , and Andreas Lichte came as reviewers to the conclusion that Steiner's work "contains theses on the different values ​​of 'human races'". The BPjM decided in September 2007 not to include Steiner's works on the index. The question of possible anti-Semitism or racism in Steiner's work was discussed intensively in public in November 2007. The occasion was a criminal complaint against Rudolf Steiner Verlag, which distributed a book by Steiner in which it said: "[Judaism] as such has long been lived out, has no justification within modern national life, and that it has nonetheless been preserved, is a mistake in world history ”. The publisher complied with the request to withdraw the volume and to add comments to the passages in new editions. These passages had already been discussed in detail in 2004. The historian and religious scholar Ralf Sonnenberg had summed up that Steiner had taken individual elements from the racial theoretical discourse of his time and placed them in a theosophical, i.e. universalistic and cosmopolitan context. Steiner dealt only marginally with Judaism and moved “in the field of tension between an enlightened anti-Judaism that unconditionally demands assimilation and the church-Christian tradition of soteriologically underpinned hostility towards Jews”. From his philosophical sources of the 18th and 19th centuries he favored the "conviction of the obsolete nature of Judaism [...] and a step model that is volatile in history". His demands for the assimilation of Jews and his portrayal of Jewish life contained “elements of an 'anti-Semitic code' of right-wing and left-wing liberal circles” of his time. At the same time, however, he repeatedly distanced himself from the anti-Jewish, nationalist and racist discourse, so that Steiner should not be included in the manifest (racial) anti-Semites and his previous history. The cultural scientist Jana Husmann-Kastein criticizes Steiner's use of race and gender-specific stereotypes. Steiner uses a race system that relates to skin colors and ascribes certain characteristics to them. For example, the “white race” is explicitly associated with the “thought life”, the “black race” with the “instinctual life” and the “yellow race” with the “emotional life”. Furthermore, gender-specific patterns are used, for example when Steiner ascribes a “female passivity” to non-European peoples. She came to the conclusion that Steiner was developing “no closed race theory for contemporary humanity, but several models based on race theory. The differentiation systems themselves contain essentializations and discrimination and are connected with a 'cosmological determinism'. The color and gender-symbolic codings of the West are clearly inscribed. "

Jan Bathsien , representative of the Evangelical Church in Baden for ideological issues, recognizes a structural anti-Judaism and racism.

According to a study commissioned by the Anthroposophical Society , Steiner's 89,000 pages of text contain 50 passages which from today's perspective can be interpreted in a racist manner. The investigation comes to the conclusion that Rudolf Steiner's image of man is based on the “equality of all human individualities and not on the supposed superiority of one race over another”.

Wolfgang Benz , head of the Berlin Center for Research on Antisemitism , emphasizes that Steiner expressly distanced himself "from the racist-folk anti-Semitism of his time" and sums it up: his "plea for assimilation distinguishes him from the adherents of racial anti-Semitism."

The historian Clemens Escher sees in Steiner's statements up to 1918 a tendency for Wilhelminism to demarcate Germany's alleged "imperial and hereditary enemies", who for Steiner also included black Africans and Jews in addition to the French, Jesuits and socialists . Nevertheless, he was neither a convinced racial theorist nor an anti-Semite, but an eclectic who made use of the discursive offers of his time and his environment.


The complete edition of Rudolf Steiner's works comprises 354 volumes, 340 of which have been published. It is divided into volumes with writings, around 5611 lectures and his architectural and artistic work. Around 4500 lectures were recorded as shorthands ; there are qualitatively different transcripts or notes of the others. Around 700 lectures have not yet been published, but have been taken down, albeit in fragments. Steiner's lectures first appeared in private print and in magazines, from 1908 in the Philosophisch-Anthroposophischen Verlag, Berlin. By 1953, almost 500 publications, the majority of Steiner's work, had appeared in it. In 1943, Marie Steiner founded the Rudolf Steiner Estate Administration as sole heir of the author's rights , the association for the administration of the literary and artistic estate of Dr. Rudolf Steiner . This so-called estate association began in 1961, on Rudolf Steiner's hundredth birthday, with the publication of the complete edition (GA) in its own Rudolf Steiner Verlag . It should be completed by 2025, the hundredth anniversary of Steiner's death. Since 1961, individual volumes have also been published as paperbacks: first by Verlag Freies Geistesleben , from 1972 by Rudolf Steiner Verlag, with around 140 titles today. Since 2004, eight years after the expiry of the copyrights, the Rudolf Steiner editions have been issuing their own publications from the work, to this day 68 2-euro books (14 as audio CDs), 21 paperbacks and 53 volumes (as of December 2015) .

In the lecture work, a distinction must be made between different sections, which are aimed at very different listeners:

  • The lectures for members of the Theosophical and Anthroposophical Society (GA 88–346): They were originally not intended for publication by Steiner. Because more and more transcripts, some of which were questionable, were circulating, he commissioned his wife to have these lectures professionally stenographed and to publish them with the note that these texts can only be understood by those who are familiar with the fundamentals of anthroposophy. In 1915 Steiner entrusted the professional stenographer Helene Finckh with the stenography and transmission of his lectures. By 1924, in close collaboration with Marie Steiner, around 2500 transcripts were made.
  • Public lectures (GA 51–84): Here Steiner represented his anthroposophy without any preconditions. These texts demonstrate how he wanted to link his anthroposophy to the “Central European” spiritual life.
  • Workers' Lectures” (GA 347–354): Lectures to the workers on the construction of the first Goetheanum. Steiner mostly answered specific questions from the workers. In total he gave 144 lectures in this way, 115 of which have been preserved.

The artistic work includes volumes, art portfolios and single sheets with reproductions of his numerous sketches and pictures. In particular, his around 1500 sketches on eurythmy (the so-called “eurythmy forms”) were documented in nine volumes and his 1100 “blackboard drawings” were documented in 30 volumes.

The Complete Edition (GA) is not a historical-critical edition. This will only be tackled after the current edition, designed as a reading and study edition, has been completed. The complete edition is also available as an online version on the Internet.

Fonts (selection)

  • Introductions to Goethe's Scientific Writings (GA 1), 1883–1897 ( online version )
  • Basics of an epistemology of the Goethean worldview, with special regard to Schiller (GA 2), 1886 ( online version )
  • The basic question of epistemology with special regard to Fichte's theory of science: Prolegomena for the communication of the philosophizing consciousness with itself , Rostock, Univ., Diss., 1890 (digitized version)
  • Truth and science. Prelude to a "Philosophy of Freedom" (GA 3), 1892 ( online version )
  • The philosophy of freedom. Basics of a modern worldview - psychological observation results according to the scientific method (GA 4), 1894 ( online version )
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, a fighter against his time (GA 5), 1895 ( online version , online version Project Gutenberg )
  • Goethe's Weltanschauung (GA 6), 1897 ( online version )
  • The mysticism in the rise of modern spiritual life and its relationship to the modern worldview (GA 7), 1901 ( online version )
  • Christianity as a Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity (GA 8), 1902 ( online version ; as well as the 24 lectures on which this work is based (PDF)
  • Theosophy. Introduction to supernatural knowledge of the world and human determination (GA 9), 1904 ( online version )
  • How do you gain insights from the higher worlds? (GA 10), 1904 ( online version )
  • From the Akasha Chronicle (GA 11), 1904–1908
  • The Levels of Higher Knowledge (GA 12), 1905–1908 ( online version )
  • Secret Science in Outline (GA 13), 1909 ( online version )
  • Four Mystery Dramas (GA 14), 1910–1913
  • The spiritual guidance of man and humanity. Humanities results on human evolution (GA 15), 1911 ( online version )
  • A way of human self-knowledge. In eight meditations (GA 16), 1912 ( online version )
  • The threshold of the spiritual world. Aphoristic remarks (GA 17), 1913 ( online version )
  • The history of the riddles of philosophy depicted as an outline (GA 18), 1914 ( online version )
  • From the human riddle. The spoken and the unspoken in the thinking, looking and senses of a number of German and Austrian personalities (GA 20), 1916 ( online version )
  • Of soul puzzles. Anthropology and anthroposophy. Max Dessoir on anthroposophy. Franz Brentano: An obituary. Sketch-like additions (GA 21), 1917 ( online version )
  • Goethe's spirit in its revelation through his "Faust" and through the fairy tale of the snake and the lily (GA 22), 1918 ( online version )
  • The key points of the social question in the vital necessities of the present and future (GA 23), 1919 ( online version )
  • Essays on the threefold structure of the social organism and the period 1915–1921 (GA 24), 1961 (in this compilation)
  • Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion (GA 25), 1922 ( online version )
  • Anthroposophical principles. The Path of Knowledge of Anthroposophy - The Michael Mystery (GA 26), 1924/25 ( online version )
  • Fundamentals for an expansion of the healing arts based on the humanities (GA 27; with Ita Wegman), 1925 ( online version )
  • My life course (GA 28), 1925 ( PDF ( Memento from January 16, 2006 in the Internet Archive )) ( online version )

Critical edition

Starting in 2013, a critical edition of the writings (SKA), edited by Christian Clement, will be published by the Stuttgart-based science publisher frommann-holzboog in eight volumes.



This list offers a short selection of mostly recent books on the person and work. Further bibliographical references can be found at Lindenberg or Zander.

Web links

Commons : Rudolf Steiner  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Rudolf Steiner  - Sources and full texts


  • Felix Hau: For a rediscovery of the early Rudolf Steiner. A heretic letter. Info3, September 1998 ( Memento from January 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  • Hartmut Zinser: Rudolf Steiner's "Secret and Spiritual Science" as modern esotericism. Lecture manuscript. Conference: Anthroposophy - Critical Reflections . Organized by the Cultural Studies Seminar, in cooperation with the Graduate College “Gender as a Category of Knowledge”, Humboldt University Berlin (PDF; 180 kB), July 21, 2006.
  • Jan Badien: The fascination of the Akasha Chronicle. A critical introduction to the spiritual world of anthroposophy. Lecture manuscript. Conference: Anthroposophy - Critical Reflections, Humboldt University Berlin (PDF; 211 kB), July 21, 2006.
  • Ralf Sonnenberg: Judaism, Zionism and anti-Semitism from the perspective of Rudolf Steiner. haGalil July 7, 2004.

Individual evidence

  1. In the official documents, as was customary at the time, the date of baptism was given, February 27th. In a handwritten note by Steiner, it says: "My birth falls on February 25, 1861. Two days later I was baptized." (Documented for the first time in contributions to the Rudolf Steiner Complete Task, issue 49/50). According to new documents that emerged in 2009, February 27 is the birthday and also entered as such on the baptismal certificate. At least that's what Günter Aschoff means (see Rudolf Steiner's birthday on February 27, 1861 - New Documents. In: Das Goetheanum. No. 9/2009, p. 3 ff. ( PDF; 1.6 MB ( Memento from June 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ))). According to Aschoff, Steiner himself incorrectly assumed at times that he was born on February 25th. The birthday question is not finally resolved - Aschoff closes cautiously with the statement: "All this, and also what Rudolf Steiner said in lectures and published himself, points to February 27, 1861 as his date of birth".
  2. Kraljevec (Hungarian: Murakirály) was then part of the Kingdom of Hungary ( Zala County , Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia ).
  3. Helmut Zander: The anthroposophy: Rudolf Steiner's ideas between esotericism, Weleda, Demeter and Waldorf education. Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh 2019, ISBN 978-3-506-79225-9 , p. 212.
  4. Cees Leijenhorst: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 2, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 1084.
  5. Helmut Zander: Rudolf Steiner. The biography . Piper, Munich 2011, pp. 18-19.
  6. Heiner Ullrich: Rudolf Steiner. Life and teaching . Beck, Munich 2011, pp. 15 and 17.
  7. Miriam Gebhardt: Rudolf Steiner. A modern prophet. DVA, Munich 2011, p. 63 ff.
  8. Helmut Zander: Rudolf Steiner. The biography . Piper, Munich 2011, p. 83 ff.
  9. Rudolf Steiner: Truth and Science. Prelude to a philosophy of freedom. ( online at, accessed April 26, 2015).
  10. More on this from Jutta Hecker : Miracle of the word - life under the spell of Goethe. Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-373-00322-9 , pp. 67-81.
  11. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, pp. 454–469.
  12. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 123, p. 395, p. 533.
  13. Miriam Gebhardt: Rudolf Steiner. A modern prophet. DVA, Munich 2011, p. 196.
  14. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 241.
  15. On this, cf. Special Volume 4a of the Complete Edition (Documents on the Philosophy of Freedom) , published in 1994, which shows the corrections and additions made by Steiner's hand in a complete facsimile.
  16. Steiner: Philosophy of Freedom . 3rd chapter
  17. ^ Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 112.
  18. Steiner: Autobiographical sketch. 1907.
  19. Gerhard Wehr: '' Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography ''. Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 120.
  20. Rudolf Steiner: Individualism in Philosophy. 1988, p. 99 ff. Online version , quoted by David Marc Hoffmann: Rudolf Steiner and the Nietzsche Archive . 1993, p. 25 f.
  21. These and other reactions printed in: Rudolf Steiner: Documents on the "Philosophy of Freedom". GA 4a, pp. 421-500. Rosa Mayreder wrote to him: "It seems to me that what the spirit of man has striven for thousands of years to express in mysterious, fantastic, abstruse images and ceremonies, has for the first time raised into the realm of reason and given it clear conceptual formulations." Quoted from Christoph Lindenberg: Rudolf Steiner. 1992, p. 152.
  22. Jaap Sijmons: Phenomenology and Idealism. Structure and method of Rudolf Steiner's philosophy. Schwabe, Basel 2008, p. 62.
  23. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 538.
  24. David Marc Hoffmann: Rudolf Steiner and the Nietzsche Archive - Letters and Documents 1984–1900 , 1993, pp. 20–40; Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 115 ff.
  25. Walter Kugler: Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. An introduction to his life's work. DuMont, Cologne 2010, p. 170 ff.
  26. Ralf Sonnenberg: "Mistakes in World History": Judaism, Zionism and Anti-Semitism from the perspective of Rudolf Steiner . ( Memento of October 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) July 7, 2004.
  27. Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 74.
  28. Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 76.
  29. Quoted from Fred Poeppig: Rudolf Steiner - The great unknown. Leben und Werk , 1960, p. 85. See also Wolfgang G. Vögele (Hrsg.): Der Andere Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, pp. 74 f., P. 86 f. and p. 293 ff.
  30. See Werner Portmann, Die wilden Schafe, Max and Siegfried Nacht. Two radical, Jewish existences , 2007 ( online version ).
  31. Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 76.
  32. Heiner Ullrich: Rudolf Steiner. Life and teaching. Beck, Munich 2011, p. 52.
  33. Norbert Klatt: Theosophy and Anthroposophy. New aspects to their history. Göttingen 1993, p. 75.
  34. ^ Gerhard Wehr: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky . Dornach 2005, pp. 122ff and 129 ff.
  35. Rudolf Steiner: Reincarnation and Karma . Article in the journal Lucifer . 1903, today in GA 34. Online version
  36. ^ Rudolf Steiner Archive: Sources ( Memento from July 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  37. Georg Otto Schmid: Anthroposophy . , 1999.
  38. Christoph Lindenberg: Rudolf Steiner - a chronicle. 1988, p. 621.
  39. Rudolf Steiner: From Akashic Research. The Fifth Gospel Lecture in Kristiana (Oslo), October 2, 1913 ; GA 148, p. 23; on Steiner's claim to be able to perceive the supernatural, see Miriam Gebhardt : Rudolf Steiner. A modern prophet. DVA, Munich 2011, p. 9 ff. And ö.
  40. Cees Leijenhorst: Anthoposophy. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 1, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 88.
  41. Peter Heusser: Spiritual active factors in the human organism? In: the same and Johannes Weinzirl (ed.): Rudolf Steiner: Its importance for science and life today. Schattauer, Stuttgart 2013, p. 116 ff.
  42. Cees Leijenhorst: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 2, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 1089.
  43. Harald Strohm: The Gnosis and National Socialism. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1997, p. 164; Peter-R. König : Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925): never a member of any O. T. O. (1998), accessed April 18, 2015; Cees Leijenhorst: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 2, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 1089.
  44. Cees Leijenhorst: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 2, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 1089.
  45. Cees Leijenhorst: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Volume 2, Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005, p. 1089.
  46. Norbert Klatt: Theosophy and Anthroposophy. New aspects to their history . Göttingen 1993, p. 124.
  47. ^ Ulrich Linse : Theosophy / Anthroposophy. In: Metzler Lexikon Religion. Present - everyday life - media. J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2005, vol. 3, p. 492.
  48. ^ Johann Fäth: Rudolf Steiner Design - Spiritual Functionalism Art. Diss. Univ. Konstanz, 2004. Online version , p. 19 ff .; Documents in FN 36; see also FN 88, p. 261 f.) Otherwise Walter Kugler, Simon Baur (ed.): Rudolf Steiner in art and architecture. DuMont 2007.
  49. Helmuth von Moltke: Memoirs, Letters, Documents 1877-1916. A picture of the outbreak of war… . Edited by Eliza von Moltke, Stuttgart 1922. See also Annika Mombauer : Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War , 2001, ISBN 0-521-79101-4 ( excerpt as PDF ), here p. 8.
  50. ^ Karl Heise, Entente Freemasonry and World War I , Basel 1918; Reprint Wobbenbüll 1982, ISBN 3-922314-24-4 . See Franz Wegener, Heinrich Himmler - German Spiritism, French Occultism and the Reichsführer SS , 2004, ISBN 3-931300-15-3 , p. 112; Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 991; the same: Social Darwinist racial theories from the occult underground of the empire. In: Uwe Puschner , Walter Schmitz, Justus H. Ulbricht: Handbook on the Völkische Movement 1871-1918. 1999, p. 235; Uwe Werner: Anthroposophists in the time of National Socialism (1933–1945). 1999, pp. 13, 70, 245 f. Arfst Wagner : Documents and letters on the history of the anthroposophical movement and society in the time of National Socialism. Volume IV, Rendsburg, June 1992.
  51. Ulrich Linse: Article Theosophy / Anthroposophy. In: Metzler Lexikon Religion. Present - Everyday Life - Media , edited by Christoph Auffarth and others with the assistance of Agnes Imhof and Silvia Kurre. B. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2000, ISBN 3-476-01533-X , Vol. 3, p. 493.
  52. ^ Ulrich Linse: Theosophy / Anthroposophy. In: Metzler Lexikon Religion. Present - everyday life - media. J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2005, vol. 3, p. 493.
  53. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 1161.
  54. ^ John Paull: The Home of Rudolf Steiner: Haus Hansi. In: Journal of Biodynamics Tasmania. 126, 2018, pp. 19-23.
  55. Helmut Zander: Rudolf Steiner. The biography . Piper Verlag, Munich a. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-492-05448-5 , p. 462
  56. Miriam Gebhardt: Rudolf Steiner. A modern prophet. DVA, Munich 2011, p. 333.
  57. Helmut Zander: Rudolf Steiner. The biography . Piper Verlag, Munich a. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-492-05448-5 , p. 467.
  58. ^ Helmut Zander: Anthroposophy in Germany. Theosophical worldview and social practice 1884–1945 . Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, p. 124 f.
  59. The estate administration was transferred to a foundation in 2015. The new name is "Rudolf Steiner Estate Administration, Foundation for the Preservation, Research and Publication of the Scientific and Artistic Estate of Rudolf Steiner".
  60. Helmut Zander: The anthroposophy: Rudolf Steiner's ideas between esotericism, Weleda, Demeter and Waldorf education. Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh 2019. p. 21.
  61. S. for example the critical statements on the source value of the memories in Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 119; for examples in which diary notes are demonstrably incorrect, see e.g. David Marc Hoffmann, Rudolf Steiner and the Nietzsche Archive, p. 32 ff .; Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 50.
  62. Willy Haas : He gathered supporters around himself and his school. In: Die Welt , July 8, 1963, quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (Hrsg.): Der Andere Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 176 ff.
  63. Gerhard Wehr: '' Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography ''. Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 128.
  64. Gerhard Wehr: The inner way . 1994 (2nd edition), p. 33.
  65. ^ David Marc Hoffmann: Rudolf Steiner and the Nietzsche Archive. P. 32 ff .; Lorenzo Ravagli, in: Yearbook for Anthroposophical Criticism , 1997 ( | wayback = 20070202054506 online ). Gerhard Wehr: '' Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography ''. Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 119.
  66. So Gerhard Wehr: '' Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography ''. Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 132.
  67. Rudolf Steiner: Methodical Foundations of Anthroposophy. Collected essays on philosophy, science, aesthetics and psychology 1887–1901. 1961, p. 559. Quoted from Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 133.
  68. ^ Letter from Rudolf Steiner to Pauline Specht, Christmas 1894, in: Rudolf Steiner: Briefe II. S. 181. Quoted from David Marc Hoffmann, Rudolf Steiner and the Nietzsche Archive - Letters and Documents 1894–1900 , 1993, p. 16; s. also Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 131.
  69. ^ Rudolf Steiner: Publications from the literary early work. Volume 5, 1958, p. 44. Quoted from Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 134.
  70. Rudolf Steiner: Stirner's civil egoism as downfall. GA 192, 1919, pp. 61-80. ( Online version )
  71. Lecture of July 20, 1924, in: Esoteric observations of karmic connections , Volume VI, p. 73. On the issue see also Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 131; David Marc Hoffman, On the History of the Nietzsche Archive , 1991, pp. 492–496.
  72. ^ Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 136 f.
  73. ^ Gerhard Wehr: Rudolf Steiner. Life, knowledge, cultural impulse. A biography . Diogenes, Zurich 1993, p. 137 f. For a discussion of Steiner's “initiation” and the connection to Christianity, see also Felix Hau, Rudolf Steiner integral , Info3 May 2005.
  74. Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, pp. 108, 63,
  75. ^ Gabriele Reuter: Encounter with Friedrich Nietzsche ; Quoted from the features section of an unnamed newspaper after Wolfgang G. Vögele (ed.): Der Andere Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 71 f.
  76. ^ Stefan Zweig, Die Welt von Gestern. Memoirs of a European , 1944, pp. 119–122. Quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, pp. 129–132.
  77. Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 303.
  78. Alfred Winterstein, Der Rattenfänger - On the occasion of the conference of the Anthroposophical Congress , Neue Freie Presse, Vienna, features section, June 20, 1922, quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 271 f.
  79. Ignaz Wrobel (pseudonym of Kurt Tucholsky), Rudolf Steiner in Paris , in: Die Weltbühne, vol. 20, no. 27, July 3, 1924, II, pp. 26–28.
  80. ^ Wilhelm Keilhau, in: Samtiden, 37th vol., Oslo 1926, quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 257.
  81. ^ "Eyewitness reports by Franz Halla. In: Mitteilungen aus der Anthroposophischen Arbeit in Deutschland, No. 32, June 1955, p. 74f and by Rudolf Toepell in a letter to Herbert Hennig , May 20, 1955; Rudolf Steiner Archive; quoted from Wolfgang G . Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, pp. 199f.
  82. Gustav Janouch , Conversations with Kafka , Advanced Edition 1968, p 191-193; quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 186.
  83. ^ Franz Kafka: Diaries in the version of the manuscript. 1990, pp. 30–35, quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): Der Andere Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 186 ff., Here p. 191 f.
  84. ^ Hugo Ball: Letters 1911–1927. 1957, p. 143. Quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 261.
  85. ^ Hermann Hesse: Letter to Otto Hartmann. March 22, 1935. Quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (Ed.): Der Andere Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 243.
  86. Albert Schweitzer, works from the estate. Lectures, lectures, essays , 2003, pp. 229–231. Quoted from Wolfgang G. Vögele (ed.): The other Rudolf Steiner. Eyewitness reports, interviews, caricatures . Futurum, Basel 2011, p. 157.
  87. Michael Bauer: Christian Morgenstern's life and work. 1933.
  88. Walter Kugler: Steiner enemy . Free Spiritual Life Publishing House, Stuttgart 2001, p. 59 f.
  89. Quoted from Walter Kugler: Feindbild Steiner . Free Spiritual Life Publishing House, Stuttgart 2001, p. 61.
  91. Hartmut Zinser: Rudolf Steiner's "Secret and Spiritual Science" as modern esotericism. Lecture manuscript ( Memento from July 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 180 kB), 2006, p. 7 after Theo p. 94.
  92. Marina Mai: These Waldorfs! Anyone who has not developed their 'I-being' enough becomes a 'negro' - said Rudolf Steiner . taz of August 23, 2007; Andrea Hennis: Waldorf Schools Rudolf Steiner on the index? , August 29, 2007; Per Hinrichs: The Doctrine of Atlantis . Spiegel online , September 3, 2007.
  93. Hendrik Werner, How anti-Semitic was Rudolf Steiner? Die Welt , November 29, 2007; Sebastian Christ / Manuela Pfohl, Waldorf Education - Getting up close and personal with the right margin , Der Stern ( Memento from December 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), November 16, 2007.
  94. Ralf Sonnenberg: Judaism, Zionism and Anti-Semitism from the perspective of Rudolf Steiner on , July 7, 2004.
  95. Jana Husmann-Kastein: Black and white constructions in Rudolf Steiner's race picture . Lecture manuscript ( Memento from November 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 411 kB). Conference: Anthroposophy - Critical Reflections. Humboldt University of Berlin, July 21, 2006, pp. 3–18.
  96. ^ Jan Bathsien: Thesis paper on the event: Anti-Judaism in Rudolf Steiner? , University of Paderborn, January 23, 2002.
  97. Anthroposophy and the question of races. Authorized German edition, Frankfurt am Main 1998.
  98. Yearbook for Research on Antisemitism. Campus Verlag, 2002, foreword
  99. Clemens Escher: Steiner, Rudolf. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus . Volume 2: People . de Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-44159-2 , p. 796. (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  100. For editorial problems, see the Rudolf Steiner Archive: ( Memento from May 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) How «authentic» are the postscripts from Rudolf Steiner's lectures? (PDF; 140 kB)
  101. ^ Hans Schmidt: Rudolf Steiner's lecture work. 1978, ISBN 3-7235-0189-3 and database query from . Postscripts from over 300 of these lectures can be found as photo PDFs at Rudolf Steiner in Klartext , .
  102. From 1908 to 1913 the publishing house was called »Philosophisch-Theosophischer Verlag«. Sources: 100 Years of Verlag am Goetheanum and .
  103. In 2005 there was a legal dispute regarding copyrights between the Rudolf Steiner Verlag and the Rudolf Steiner editions (formerly: Archiati Verlag) in Munich. In the judgment of December 16, 2005, the judges confirmed, using the example of the so-called class lessons, that Steiner's texts are fundamentally free of copyright, they just may not be taken directly from the Rudolf Steiner Complete Edition. See judgment (PDF; 324 kB).
  104. ^ Rudolf Steiner Research Edition ( Memento from October 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  105. ^ Research Center for Culture Impulse - Biography Helene Finckh. Retrieved November 20, 2018 .
  106. Steiner: Writings. Critical Edition (SKA) | frommann-Holzboog. Retrieved November 20, 2018 .
  107. Presentation of the edition. Accessed November 20, 2018 .
  108. Rudolf Steiner - The Alchemy of Everyday Life. Retrieved November 20, 2018 .
  109. See: Rudolf Steiner: Universalgenie? - Universal dilettante? - SWI interview with Helmut Zander, on SWI March 13, 2011
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 5, 2005 .