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2486RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Rudolf Hess

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  • Frank Thomas Smith
    Feb 26, 2004
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      Peter wrote:

      Hi Daniel, you wrote:
      "Peter, you state that "...abundant evidence is contained in two anthroposophist sources..." I am hoping you can be more specific, because I haven't been able to find it."
      You haven't? Werner's book has an index. It contains 44 references to Hess. There are whole sections with titles like "Hess' erneuter Einsatz für die biologisch-dynamische Wirtschaftsweise." Are you saying that you disagree that Hess played a major role in protecting anthroposophists and their projects during the Third Reich?
      "For example, where did Hess get the information that he used to formulate his diet? Did he read Steiner, or get it from a magazine article?"
      I don't know. How might one find out something like that? The sources I cited say that he was fastidious about keeping a biodynamic diet.
      "On the other hand, if he formed his views on information from a friend of a friend, then the connection to Steiner is rather tenuous."
      I can't entirely agree with that understanding of "tenuous". We aren't looking for instances of personal influence, are we? I think we're looking for the influence of specific ideas, practices, and so forth, which are very frequently conveyed third-hand, or via magazine articles, and so forth.
      Hess was interested in biodynamic agriculture and did help them as well as at least the Dresden Waldorf school survive. It was the last one to stay open, but was eventually closed too. The interesting thing here is not that Hess liked biodynamic Kartoffeln, but that anthroposphical institutions attempted to stay operative during the Third Reich, even if they had to kiss the Führer's ass. And the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach helped them do it. In hindsight, a moral mistake. It reminds me of when Peron returned to Argentine from exile in Spain. The rumor was that all schools would have to hang portraits of him and Evita in all the classrooms, as had been the case during his previous dictatorship. I said that if it came to that we should either close or not obey and let them close us. (As a foreigner I was more secure against disappearing than the others, most of whom were Argentines, so I wasn't exactly a hero.) No one said anything pro or contra, but I sensed that they didn't want to do either. Peron turned out to be a weak old man and died soon after, so no decision had to be made.    

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