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Steiner's racial teachings in 1923

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  • Peter Staudenmaier
    ... Those are good questions, and it s nice to see a Waldorf admirer taking the historical aspects of this subject seriously. (Her further remarks about
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 19, 2010
      Tom quoted a Waldorf parent:


      > Yes. Me, being the person that I am in 2010 can call this nothing other
      > than racist. But do you have a sense for how racist or
      > pseudo-scientific it would have been considered in 1923? What actions
      > were to be taken as a result of such "knowledge?" Finally, do you know
      > if there is any connection between the contents of this lecture and the
      > contents of Waldorf teacher training today such that this is considered
      > to be true and useful?


      Those are good questions, and it's nice to see a Waldorf admirer taking the historical aspects of this subject seriously. (Her further remarks about Waldorf and "cutting-edge ed reform" and so forth seem a good deal less informed, unfortunately.) I think the questions she asked about Steiner's 1923 racial teachings are worth exploring.

      In order to get a sense of how racist or pseudo-scientific these teachings would have been considered in 1923, for example, it helps to put Steiner's racial doctrines into historical context. There are a number of worthwhile studies available in English for anybody who would like to learn about that topic. Some good places to start include Dante Puzzo, “Racism and the Western Tradition” Journal of the History of Ideas 25 (1964), 579-86; George Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (New York 1968); John Haller, Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority 1859-1900 (New York 1971); Nancy Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain 1800-1960 (London 1982); George Mosse, Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism (New York 1985); Elazar Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States between the World Wars (Cambridge 1992); Neil Macmaster, Racism in Europe 1870-2000 (New York 2001); George Fredrickson, Racism: A Short History (Princeton 2002); John Jackson and Nadine Weidman, Race, Racism, and Science (Rutgers 2006); Ali Rattansi, Racism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2007).

      Racial themes were broadly discussed in German-speaking Europe in the 1920s, and the discussion was quite lively, with some -- like Steiner -- espousing racist theories while others severely criticized such theories. (This was not only the case in 1923, by the way, it had been the case since before the turn of the century.) Some of the critical literature includes William Babington, Fallacies of Race Theories as Applied to National Characteristics (London 1895); W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks (Chicago 1903); Jean Finot, Race Prejudice (London and New York 1906); W. J. Roberts, “The Racial Interpretation of History and Politics” International Journal of Ethics 18 (1908), 475-92; Jean Finot, The Death-Agony of the “Science” of Race (London 1911); Friedrich Hertz, Moderne Rassentheorien: Kritische Essays (Vienna 1904); Friedrich Hertz, Rasse und Kultur: Eine kritische Untersuchung der Rassentheorien (Leipzig 1915). It was by no means the case that teachings like Steiner's went unchallenged in 1923.

      One particularly pertinent historical factor that is crucial to understanding Steiner's March 1923 lecture on "Color and the Races of Mankind" is the very public campaign of racist hysteria against black troops stationed on German territory, a campaign which reached its crescendo in early 1923. Most of the scholarship on this topic is unsurprisingly in German or French, but there are a number of very good studies in English, including Robert Reinders, “Racialism on the Left: E.D. Morel and the "Black Horror on the Rhine"” International Review of Social History 13 (1968), 1-28; Keith Nelson, “The ‘Black Horror on the Rhine’: Race as a Factor in Post-World War I Diplomacy” Journal of Modern History 42 (1970), 606-27; Sally Marks, “Black Watch on the Rhine: A Study in Propaganda, Prejudice, and Prurience” European Studies Review 13 (1983), 297–333; Iris Wigger, “‘Against the Laws of Civilization’: Race, Gender, and Nation in the International Racist Campaign Against the ‘Black Shame’” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 46 (2002), 113–31; Jared Poley, Decolonization in Germany: Weimar Narratives of Colonial Loss and Foreign Occupation (Oxford 2005); Julia Roos, “Women’s Rights, Nationalist Anxiety, and the ‘Moral’ Agenda in the Early Weimar Republic: Revisiting the ‘Black Horror’ Campaign against France’s African Occupation Troops” Central European History 42 (2009), 473-508.

      The other question raised by the Waldorf mom is whether Waldorf teachers today consider Steiner's 1923 racial teachings to be true. In many cases the answer, unfortunately, is yes. Quite a few current or former Waldorf teachers have explicitly defended and endorsed these teachings, including Bruce Jackson, Charlie Frey, Felix Brunner, and a number of others. Detlef Hardorp, the public relations liaison for a large federation of German Waldorf schools and perhaps the most prominent German spokesman for Waldorf education, goes considerably further; he not only defends Steiner's 1923 racial teachings at length and in detail, he portrays the 1923 lecture as a pre-eminent example of anti-racism. A variety of official statements from German Waldorf leaders from 2006 through 2009 quite explicitly endorse and defend Steiner's 1923 lecture and insist that there is no reason for the Waldorf movement to distance itself from these teachings. In other words, a significant portion of Waldorf representatives today appear to believe that the presence of black people in Europe is troubling, that there is a connection between skin color and intelligence, that different races have different tasks, that some races are higher than others, and so forth.

      I very much encourage Waldorf admirers to look into this question for themselves and raise it with their fellow Waldorf supporters. Greetings to all,


      Peter Staudenmaier
    • Tom Mellett
      ... Peter, I told her about your response and encouraged her to join the fun here, but I think she s been spooked because she s now desperate for Detlef to
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 20, 2010
        --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@...> wrote:

        > Those are good questions, and it's nice to see a Waldorf admirer taking the historical aspects of this subject seriously. (Her further remarks about Waldorf and "cutting-edge ed reform" and so forth seem a good deal less informed, unfortunately.) I think the questions she asked about Steiner's 1923 racial teachings are worth exploring.
        ---------------------------

        Peter,

        I told her about your response and encouraged her to join the fun here, but I think she's been spooked because she's now "desperate for Detlef" to explain the context of anthroposophical history for her.

        Here is her latest response:

        http://smrtlernins.com/2010/11/16/ask-a-smrt-homeschooler-about-the-waldorf-method/#comments

        ------------------------------------

        I need to do some further reading about anthroposophic responses to these particular lectures. If anyone has links to Detlef Hardorp's comments on the 1923 lecture, please forward. I am already well acquainted with the history of racial theories (thus the genesis of my rhetorical question) but at present I do not have a nuanced interpretation of what was "mainstream" at that particular moment in order to put Steiner into context. I'll read up but I'm willing to take any input. :)

        I'm also not settled on whether or not anthroposophy has adequately addressed this past. For me, the issue is not with the existence of these statements as much as with their treatment by the standard-bearers after WW II. (Please don't take that to mean I condone these viewpoints as part of my personal worldview.) I seem to remember a good paper published in an anthroposophical publication by a 3rd party scholar who addressed questions of racism in anthroposophy? Does anyone have that handy? At the time I read it I thought it was well done.

        Before I sign off I'd like to reiterate my last point: "In order to justify the proposition that Waldorf education is racist (not just that Steiner gave pseudo-scientific lectures on race) one must show how these ideas (which are abhorrent to the contemporary person) are influential today."

        I'm frustrated that critics don't seem to take seriously the standard of evidence that should be required to make such a large claim about the pedagogy and how it is practiced. After all, even critics will concede that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism. If it were me and I were a compatriot in at least that regard I would be very uneasy maligning thousands of families as racists by virtue of their willing participation in what I believed to be a racist endeavor.
        -------------------------------------
      • Tom Mellett
        I just posted this response to the Waldorf Mom: http://smrtlernins.com/2010/11/16/ask-a-smrt-homeschooler-about-the-waldorf-method/
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 20, 2010
          I just posted this response to the Waldorf Mom:
          http://smrtlernins.com/2010/11/16/ask-a-smrt-homeschooler-about-the-waldorf-method/
          =================================================

          Honestly, Keizie, the racism of that passage I quoted is so obvious and blatant, you really don't need any further context for it --- (although Steiner sets his own context for the lecture at the outset which I will post at the end.)

          However, since you do ask for context and you do mention Detlef Hardorp, then I need to give some context about him. Detlef Hardorp is the primary public relations figure for Waldorf schools in Germany, so it is his mission to make sure the Waldorf "brand" is kept clean and shiny and spotless in its presentation to the public. (in a word: whitewash)

          But Detlef's father was also a past president of Weleda in Germany and so Detlef has an even greater interest in protecting the Weleda brand from any bad publicity. If you were to Google "Detlef + Hardorp + Dachau + Weleda" you would be able to read a spirited discussion about the role Weleda played in supplying the Nazi medical doctors with substances they needed for their experiments. You see, there was a bio-dynamic plantation at Dachau Concentration Camp outside Munich and it was overseen by Franz Lippert, who was an anthroposophist and SS officer and former head gardener at Weleda. Of course Detlef portrays Lippert as a "guardian angel" who saved a lot of inmates, and perhaps he did, but also many other inmates died under very harsh conditions working the plantation.

          I really don't think it's appropriate to carry on this discussion on Smrt Mama's blog here, especially when it involves the complicity and accommodation of many anthroposophists and Waldorf school figures to the Nazi regime. I fear we may already be "wearing out our welcome" here --- kind of like guests who stay too late at a party and don't know when to leave. So I encourage you and others to come over to the Waldorf Critics Yahoo group, whose archives are open to the public, so you don't even have to join.

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/

          And Keizie, I know of no better website than this WC list for coming to terms with the past of anthroposophy and Waldorf. You just need to do some word-searching and digging through the archives, but it's all there waiting.

          Finally, I am now going to quote from the very opening of the lecture Steiner gave on March 3, 1923 entitled "Color and the Human Races." Here he sets the context for the study of races as important to one's individual spiritual development.

          ------------------
          "Good morning! Now, gentlemen, in regard to the last question concerning colors, of course, I have not answered it entirely. We wish to pursue it further --- even bring it to a conclusion. The first thing we will consider today is something of the greatest interest for us, namely, human color itself. Now it is obvious to everyone that, all over the earth, human beings manifest different colors. As for Europeans, to which group we belong, we can say that we represent the white race. Now, it's also obvious to you that Europeans are not completely healthy, if they are "[pale] cheesy white," but they are healthy when they show a fresher, more natural color, which they produce on the inside, and which shows itself outwardly as white.

          But now, in addition to this European skin color, we also have four other major skin colors. And we want to investigate that today a little bit, because, in reality, we may only understand all of history and the entire [past] social life --- as well as today's social life --- only if we can really delve into the racial characteristics of human beings. And only then will we be able understand everything spiritual in the true sense [of that word], if we occupy ourselves first [and foremost] with how this spiritual essence in human beings functions precisely through skin color itself."
          --------------------------------


          --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellett" <TomBuoyed@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@> wrote:
          >
          > > Those are good questions, and it's nice to see a Waldorf admirer taking the historical aspects of this subject seriously. (Her further remarks about Waldorf and "cutting-edge ed reform" and so forth seem a good deal less informed, unfortunately.) I think the questions she asked about Steiner's 1923 racial teachings are worth exploring.
          > ---------------------------
          >
          > Peter,
          >
          > I told her about your response and encouraged her to join the fun here, but I think she's been spooked because she's now "desperate for Detlef" to explain the context of anthroposophical history for her.
          >
          > Here is her latest response:
          >
          > http://smrtlernins.com/2010/11/16/ask-a-smrt-homeschooler-about-the-waldorf-method/#comments
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > I need to do some further reading about anthroposophic responses to these particular lectures. If anyone has links to Detlef Hardorp's comments on the 1923 lecture, please forward. I am already well acquainted with the history of racial theories (thus the genesis of my rhetorical question) but at present I do not have a nuanced interpretation of what was "mainstream" at that particular moment in order to put Steiner into context. I'll read up but I'm willing to take any input. :)
          >
          > I'm also not settled on whether or not anthroposophy has adequately addressed this past. For me, the issue is not with the existence of these statements as much as with their treatment by the standard-bearers after WW II. (Please don't take that to mean I condone these viewpoints as part of my personal worldview.) I seem to remember a good paper published in an anthroposophical publication by a 3rd party scholar who addressed questions of racism in anthroposophy? Does anyone have that handy? At the time I read it I thought it was well done.
          >
          > Before I sign off I'd like to reiterate my last point: "In order to justify the proposition that Waldorf education is racist (not just that Steiner gave pseudo-scientific lectures on race) one must show how these ideas (which are abhorrent to the contemporary person) are influential today."
          >
          > I'm frustrated that critics don't seem to take seriously the standard of evidence that should be required to make such a large claim about the pedagogy and how it is practiced. After all, even critics will concede that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism. If it were me and I were a compatriot in at least that regard I would be very uneasy maligning thousands of families as racists by virtue of their willing participation in what I believed to be a racist endeavor.
          > -------------------------------------
          >
        • petekaraiskos
          Do Waldorf proponents take seriously the evidence that Waldorf is teaching racism TODAY! I m not about to chase around every Waldorf discussion that takes
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 20, 2010
            Do Waldorf proponents take seriously the evidence that Waldorf is teaching racism TODAY!

            I'm not about to chase around every Waldorf discussion that takes place on the internet (I've turned over a new leaf and directed my focus on Highland Hall) - but CLEARLY, at Highland Hall, they teach racist ideas including the white race is more evolved than all other races. They taught this to my child. I protested and they tried to defend themselves calling it "Out of Africa" theory - (completely wrong - that wasn't what they were teaching). This is happening - not 80 years ago... but TODAY!

            The Greek Olympics is an exercise in racism.

            That parents are duped by Waldorf to the point of not seeing what's clearly in their faces doesn't excuse Waldorf from what they do. What they teach is racist. Unfortunately, for them, I caught them at it!


            PK
            Sharks feed in muddy Waters
            http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=4

            --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellett" <TomBuoyed@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In waldorf-critics@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier <pstaud@> wrote:
            >
            > > Those are good questions, and it's nice to see a Waldorf admirer taking the historical aspects of this subject seriously. (Her further remarks about Waldorf and "cutting-edge ed reform" and so forth seem a good deal less informed, unfortunately.) I think the questions she asked about Steiner's 1923 racial teachings are worth exploring.
            > ---------------------------
            >
            > Peter,
            >
            > I told her about your response and encouraged her to join the fun here, but I think she's been spooked because she's now "desperate for Detlef" to explain the context of anthroposophical history for her.
            >
            > Here is her latest response:
            >
            > http://smrtlernins.com/2010/11/16/ask-a-smrt-homeschooler-about-the-waldorf-method/#comments
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > I need to do some further reading about anthroposophic responses to these particular lectures. If anyone has links to Detlef Hardorp's comments on the 1923 lecture, please forward. I am already well acquainted with the history of racial theories (thus the genesis of my rhetorical question) but at present I do not have a nuanced interpretation of what was "mainstream" at that particular moment in order to put Steiner into context. I'll read up but I'm willing to take any input. :)
            >
            > I'm also not settled on whether or not anthroposophy has adequately addressed this past. For me, the issue is not with the existence of these statements as much as with their treatment by the standard-bearers after WW II. (Please don't take that to mean I condone these viewpoints as part of my personal worldview.) I seem to remember a good paper published in an anthroposophical publication by a 3rd party scholar who addressed questions of racism in anthroposophy? Does anyone have that handy? At the time I read it I thought it was well done.
            >
            > Before I sign off I'd like to reiterate my last point: "In order to justify the proposition that Waldorf education is racist (not just that Steiner gave pseudo-scientific lectures on race) one must show how these ideas (which are abhorrent to the contemporary person) are influential today."
            >
            > I'm frustrated that critics don't seem to take seriously the standard of evidence that should be required to make such a large claim about the pedagogy and how it is practiced. After all, even critics will concede that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism. If it were me and I were a compatriot in at least that regard I would be very uneasy maligning thousands of families as racists by virtue of their willing participation in what I believed to be a racist endeavor.
            > -------------------------------------
            >
          • Peter Staudenmaier
            ... I think that isn t a helpful way to think about racism. There are a lot of sociologists, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists, historians,
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 20, 2010
              Thanks to Tom for forwarding this. I am particularly intrigued by the last paragraph of Keizie's response:


              > I'm frustrated that critics don't seem to take seriously the standard
              > of evidence that should be required to make such a large claim about
              > the pedagogy and how it is practiced. After all, even critics will
              > concede that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up
              > of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism.
              > If it were me and I were a compatriot in at least that regard I would
              > be very uneasy maligning thousands of families as racists by virtue of
              > their willing participation in what I believed to be a racist endeavor.


              I think that isn't a helpful way to think about racism. There are a lot of sociologists, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists, historians, and other scholars who study racism. For such scholars, the term 'racism' is a descriptive category that refers to specific beliefs about race, not an insult or a reproach or a pejorative label or an attack term or a moral condemnation. From the point of view of historians who study the development of racial thought, to argue that a particular historical figure held racist views is not really an accusation, as many anthroposophists believe; it is simply an analysis, a conclusion based on evidence, a comparative classification of various ideas about race. Recognizing this usage of the term 'racism' can help facilitate a meaningful discussion about Steiner's racial teachings.

              Since I haven't followed the blog discussion I don't know what "large claim" Keizie has in mind here, but in my experience Waldorf admirers often mix up very different sorts of claims when this topic arises and thus frequently misunderstand what critics of Waldorf are saying. A perfect example of this confusion from a Waldorf spokesperson is Steve Sagarin's work, though there are of course many other examples. Because of this confusion, it is often hard to tell whether Waldorf supporters mean to examine and respond to episodes of racism within Waldorf contexts today, or instead attempt to exonerate Steiner's work from the 'accusation' of racism. Those two issues are fundamentally different and call for different modes of evidence and analysis. If Keizie is interested in discussing the issue, here or elsewhere, I encourage her to clarify which of these points she has in mind.

              In my view, it is easier to talk calmly and reasonably about Steiner's racial doctrines if we keep the historical background in mind and keep Steiner's work in perspective, and if we distinguish between claims about anthroposophical race doctrines and claims about Waldorf pedagogy. For anthroposophists and Waldorf promoters, Steiner obviously has a special role, but for external observers of anthroposophy, scholarly or otherwise, Steiner is simply one historical figure among many, and there is no special opprobrium involved in pointing out that some of his stated views about race were racist. Failure to recognize this means that many Waldorf statements on the matter amount to apologias for anthroposophical racism.

              A further interesting aspect of Keizie's paragraph above is the notion that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism. In Germany and North America and a number of other contexts this is often true, though it isn't true for anthroposophy in Italy or Russia, for instance. To my mind, however, Keizie's conclusion quite misses the point on this score. It is not unusual to find that left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism are nevertheless beholden to a variety of racist beliefs, and this is unlikely to change if their compatriots leave such beliefs unquestioned and unchallenged. It is hard to see how challenging racist ideas will malign anyone. In any case, to my mind the willing participation of thousands of families in Waldorf endeavors does not make these families racists; most Waldorf families are presumably unaware of anthroposophy's racial teachings. That is why Waldorf teachers, Waldorf administrators, Waldorf proponents and Waldorf supporters have an obligation to address anthroposophy's racial teachings straightforwardly.

              Thus rather than worrying about whether Waldorf families will be maligned by pointing out the racist aspects of anthroposophy, it seems to me we would do better to consider Keizie's other question: whether or not anthroposophy has adequately addressed this past. With a few exceptions, the answer is unfortunately no. (Keizie can of course judge this for herself by reading the English summary of the Dutch Report or Sagarin's publications or Stephen Usher's publications or Bernard Nesfield-Cookson's publications or Ravagli and Bader's work or the Frankfurt Memorandum or the Stuttgart Declaration or the statements from the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship or the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education or any of the other relevant texts.) The problem is hardly confined to public relations figures like Detlef Hardorp. The same denials and apologias are offered by Jeremy Smith, for example, the communications specialist for British Waldorf schools, among many others. As for Hardorp's work, most of it is naturally of in German; one particularly pertinent example is here (an official Waldorf statement, not merely Detlef's private musings):

              http://www.waldorf.net/html/aktuell/3sat.htm

              Here Hardorp quite explicitly and emphatically defends Steiner's March 1923 lecture on race. For a substantial document in English co-authored by Hardorp, see here:

              http://www.steinerwaldorfeurope.org/downloads/OvercomingRacismthroughAnthroposophy.pdf


              Tom additionally mentioned Hardorp's wholehearted defense of anthroposophist SS officer Franz Lippert, who oversaw the biodynamic plantation at Dachau. This is a very instructive example of whether or not anthroposophy has adequately addressed its past. Hardorp depicts Lippert as a great humanitarian whose inspiring story brings tears to the eyes. Hardorp writes in glowing terms about "the deep humanity of Franz Lippert" and how "courage and humanity rays out through Franz Lippert." Hardorp says that reading about Lippert's activities at Dachau "moved me to tears." (Keizie can see for herself by looking at Hardorp's posts to this list from February 5, 2000 and May 29, 2007.) This is how a very prominent anthroposophist and Waldorf official portrays his Nazi predecessor. Far from critically examining the contexts within which anthroposophists became Nazis, a Waldorf spokesman actually celebrates such figures. That is a stark indication of how far much of the Waldorf movement still needs to go in order to come to terms with anthroposophy's past.

              The problem, of course, extends well beyond Hardorp and Lippert. Anthroposophists today continue to defend and promote the work of the most prolific anthroposophical racists, from Richard Karutz to Ernst Uehli to Massimo Scaligero. It would be a fine thing if Waldorf admirers who do not share this admiring view of anthroposophy's past and its continued promotion in the present would undertake a critical examination of the subject for themselves and encourage their fellow Waldorf supporters to do the same. Greetings to all,


              Peter Staudenmaier





              > I need to do some further reading about anthroposophic responses to
              > these particular lectures. If anyone has links to Detlef Hardorp's
              > comments on the 1923 lecture, please forward. I am already well
              > acquainted with the history of racial theories (thus the genesis of my
              > rhetorical question) but at present I do not have a nuanced
              > interpretation of what was "mainstream" at that particular moment in
              > order to put Steiner into context. I'll read up but I'm willing to take
              > any input. :)
              >
              > I'm also not settled on whether or not anthroposophy has adequately
              > addressed this past. For me, the issue is not with the existence of
              > these statements as much as with their treatment by the
              > standard-bearers after WW II. (Please don't take that to mean I condone
              > these viewpoints as part of my personal worldview.) I seem to remember
              > a good paper published in an anthroposophical publication by a 3rd
              > party scholar who addressed questions of racism in anthroposophy? Does
              > anyone have that handy? At the time I read it I thought it was well
              > done.
              >
              > Before I sign off I'd like to reiterate my last point: "In order to
              > justify the proposition that Waldorf education is racist (not just that
              > Steiner gave pseudo-scientific lectures on race) one must show how
              > these ideas (which are abhorrent to the contemporary person) are
              > influential today."
              >
              > I'm frustrated that critics don't seem to take seriously the standard
              > of evidence that should be required to make such a large claim about
              > the pedagogy and how it is practiced. After all, even critics will
              > concede that the various anthroposophical movements are largely made up
              > of left-leaning people who claim to be against such things as racism.
              > If it were me and I were a compatriot in at least that regard I would
              > be very uneasy maligning thousands of families as racists by virtue of
              > their willing participation in what I believed to be a racist endeavor.
              > -------------------------------------
            • awaldenpond@shaw.ca
              Peter wrote: In my view, it is easier to talk calmly and reasonably about Steiner s racial doctrines if we keep the historical background in mind and keep
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 20, 2010
                Peter wrote:
                "In my view, it is easier to talk calmly and reasonably about Steiner's racial doctrines if we keep the historical background in mind and keep Steiner's work in perspective, and if we distinguish between claims about anthroposophical race doctrines and claims about Waldorf pedagogy."

                The fact that Waldorf promoters/leaders have so far been unwilling to talk calmly and reasonably about Steiner's racial doctrines should tell prospective Waldorf families something about those schools. The pedagogy is one thing but until its practitioners can discuss its historical background and foundation, these nagging questions and websites and blogs will continue to haunt them. After all, why would a movement ostensibly concerned with "education" ignore and revise its own history?

                -Walden

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