Karl König: Eine mitteleuropäische Biographie

Verlag Freies Geistesleben

Hans Müller-Wiedemanns Biographie würdigt einen Arzt und Heilpädagogen, dessen Geschichte beispielhaft für die historische Herausforderung des Menschen und seine Aufgabe ist. Karl Königs Leben ist untrennbar mit der Camphill-Gemeinschaft verbunden, aus der später die Camphill-Bewegung entstand, deren Mitglieder heute in vielen Ländern tätig sind.
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Verlag Freies Geistesleben
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Nov 21, 2016
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Biography & Autobiography / Religious
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Peter Selg

Wegman spent the last three years of her life in Tessin, in the Casa Andrea
Cristoforo. In this secluded province, largely protected from the destructive
events of those years and imbued with certain forces, she developed a great
work for the future, gathering, leading, and nurturing people both
therapeutically and spiritually, preparing for the war’s end with the full
intensity of her being. Her last three years were a period of devotion to
Rudolf Steiner and his work, as well as to esoteric Christianity—to the
forces of the Archangel Michael and to Christ for the present and future. She
continued to take a great interest in the difficulties of her time and never
ceased to participate in events—taking in refugee children and the homeless,
keeping up extensive correspondences with others, struggling with aid
organizations and various agencies, caring daily for the afflicted and for
patients and colleagues. On March 4, 1943, Ita Wegman passed into the
spiritual worlds, well prepared and with all of the spiritual intentions of a
Christian initiate. This book contributes to documenting the final phase of
Ita Wegman’s life, focusing on the forces of the future that emerged in her.
It draws on her notebooks from her time in Ascona, as well as from her
extensive correspondence and memories of those who lived and worked at Casa
Andrea Cristoforo. She remained upstanding, free, and positive with an
esoteric Christian orientation and felt that she was obligated only to her
conscience and to the spiritual world for which Rudolf Steiner stood and that
she served. This book was originally published in German as «Die letzten drei
Jahre. Ita Wegman in Ascona 1940–1943» (Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach,
Switzerland, 2004). 


Peter Selg

1933 to 1935, Ita Wegman was confronted by both Nazi fascism and internal
crises in the General Anthroposophical Society. During those years, she
traveled to Palestine in the fall of 1934 following a grave illness that
nearly ended with her death. Her correspondence during this period, as well
as her notes on the trip, reveal the great biographical importance to her of
these travels and indeed the whole scope of her spiritual experiences in
1934. Ita Wegman had unambiguous perspectives and a uniquely clear view of
both the political threat and her social-spiritual task during this period.
There was, however, a radical change in her inner stance toward the
opposition, aggression, and defamation she encountered within anthroposophic
contexts in reaction to her intense, purely motivated efforts. She tried to
live and work in true accord with her inner impulses and, ultimately, with
Rudolf Steiner’s legacy, especially within the anthroposophic movement. Doing
so, she increasingly found her way to her own distinctive and uncompromising
path. The author reveals the general nature of those three years—a period
whose distinctive spiritual and Christological task and dramatic dangers
Rudolf Steiner had foreseen in 1923: “If these men [the Nazis] gain government
power, I will no longer be able to set foot on German soil.” Ita Wegman’s
efforts in 1933 to confront the dark powers of National Socialism and the
convulsions in Dornach, which she experienced firsthand, as well as her
subsequent illness and the clarity of her “Christological conversion” in 1934
to ’35, reveal a very specific, intrinsically comprehensible and
forward-looking quality whose spiritual signature is clearly prefigured in
Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual-scientific predictions. In this book, Peter Selg
focuses exclusively on Ita Wegman, her development, and her words, simply
presenting the processes she went through and, implicitly, their
extraordinary spiritual nature, without any attempt at interpretation. This
focus arises from the governing premise that the mysteries of a great life
such as that of Ita Wegman reveal themselves in the details. Tracing the
subtle steps in her life allow us deeper insight into Ita Wegman’s being. She
herself wrote, “In general meetings or gatherings, people always understood
me poorly because I lacked a smooth way of expressing myself. But people of
goodwill always understood what I meant.” This book was originally published
in German as Geistiger Widerstand und Überwindung. Ita Wegman 1933–1935 by
Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, 2005.


Peter Selg
Krehbiel-Darmstädter (1892–1943), who was killed at Auschwitz, was a highly
gifted pupil of Rudolf Steiner and a member of The Christian Community. Born
into a Jewish family in Mannheim, she was deported to Gurs camp in the
Pyrénées on October 22, 1940, where she survived harsh conditions and helped
many of her fellow inmates. Following temporary sick-leave (under police
supervision) in Limonest near Lyon, and a failed attempt to flee to
Switzerland, she was brought to Drancy transit camp near Paris before being
taken to Auschwitz.<p>This book offers unique testimony of an
individual rooted in esoteric Christianity and Spiritual Science who found
sources of inner resistance during one of history’s darkest periods. As the
portrait of a highly ethical and sorely tried woman amid catastrophic
conditions, it describes her existential efforts to summon powers of
concentration, meditation, and dedication to others, showing how these
continued to inform her outlook and actions to the very end.<p>Polish
Jews in Drancy referred to Maria Krehbiel-Darmstädter as Mère Maria. They
experienced her distinctive spirituality and personal qualities and a
profound religiosity that retained an inner connection with the Christian
sacramental world, even in the most desolate circumstances.<p>From Gurs
to Auschwitwitz adds an important voice to literature on the Holocost and
shines a light on the nature of spiritual, inner resistance during the dark
years of World War II in Europe.
Peter Selg
 The first chapter of this volume looks at Rudolf Steiner's years in Weimar, beginning with his work at the Goethe Archives editing Goethe’s scientific works. It was in this capacity that Steiner was able to comprehend the great spiritual depth of Goethe’s life and work, which became the foundation for his own lifework. This chapter also looks at his social circles and the writing and publication of his works Truth and Knowledge (CW 3) and The Philosophy of Freedom (CW 4). It also highlights his encounter with the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, his visits to the Nietzsche Archives in Naumburg, and the writing of his book Friedrich Nietzsche: Fighter for Freedom (CW 5). Rudolf Steiner's time in Weimar comes to a close with the creation of his second book on Goethe: Goethe's World View (CW 6), a fruit of his work at the Archives. The second chapter focuses on Rudolf Steiner's time in Berlin, where he worked as editor of a cultural periodical, Magazin für Litteratur, and accepted a position as lecturer at the Workers' School. There he was able to grow into his capacity as a teacher and where, although he encountered many ideological challenges, his insight into historical development found wide appreciation among students. The third chapter covers the turn of the century and Rudolf Steiner's inner transition to speaking and writing more openly of his esoteric observations on the evolution of consciousness, the "I," and the training of cognition. His decisive 1899 essay, Individualism in Philosophy, marked this impulse, followed by invitations to lecture freely before the Theosophical Society, where Rudolf Steiner presented the esoteric nature of Goethe's fairy tale and the content of what later became his own books Mystics after Modernism (CW 7) and Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity (CW 8).
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