Herbert Hahn

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'Herbert Hahn' (* 5 May 1890 in Pärnu Estonia, then part of the Russian Empire; † 20 June 1970 in Stuttgart) was a German teacher and Anthroposophist

Pärnu City in Pärnu County, Estonia

Pärnu is the fourth largest city in Estonia. Located in southwestern Estonia on the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Livonia in the Baltic Sea. It is a popular summer holiday resort with many hotels, restaurants, and large beaches. The Pärnu River flows through the city and drains into the Gulf of Riga. The city is served by Pärnu Airport.

Estonia Republic in Northern Europe

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), water 2,839 km2 (1,096 sq mi), land area 42,388 km2 (16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second most spoken Finnic language.

Russian Empire former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.



Hahn grew up in the old Hanseatic city of Pärnu in the Governorate of Livonia, the fifth child of city gardener Carl Wilhelm Hahn († 1905) from Mecklenburg and his wife Pauline from Riga. At home, German was spoken and at school Estonian and Russian.

Hanseatic League Confederation in Northern Europe

The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.

Governorate of Livonia governorate of the Russian Empire

The Governorate of Livonia was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire, now divided between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia.

Mecklenburg Historical region of Germany

Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest cities of the region are Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, Wismar and Güstrow.

Between 1907 and 1913 he studied Philology in Dorpat, Heidelberg, Paris and Berlin; and completed a Phd from the University of Rostock in 1921. In January 1909 he met Rudolf Steiner and became a member of the Theosophical Society three years later. After obtaining his Russian teacher’s diploma in the summer of 1912, he worked as a French language teacher in a private school in Mariupol. and in 1914 passed his examinations as secondary school teacher in Moscow. In September 1913 he married Emely Hasselbach from Ladenburg and by 1924 they had four sons. After the outbreak of WW I during his summer holidays in Germany, he became a German citizen and from 1915 onwards did military service as an interpreter.

Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection between textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics. Philology is more commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist.

Heidelberg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a university town in Baden-Württemberg situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, with roughly a quarter of its population being students.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris is one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

From 1919 onwards Hahn taught French at the first Waldorf School in Stuttart, becoming a Class Teacher between 1921 and 1927 and finally History and German language teacher in the high school. Steiner entrusted him with the task of giving “free religion lessons” (for those children who did not belong to any of the denominations) and within this context he held the first “Sunday Service” in 1920. From 1931 until 1939 he taught at the Vrije School in The Hague.

The Hague City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.

During WW II he was once again deployed as interpreter and in this way returned to Russia after 25 years absence. In 1943 he married his teaching colleague Maria Uhland (1893–1978). After the war, he returned to the Stuttgart Waldorf School, re-founded after the Nazi period and served as its unofficial director until his retirement in 1961. Of his numerous works as an author especially his recollections of Rudolf Steiner and his main work, Vom Genius Europas, his outline of an anthroposophical Cultural psychology that may be mentioned. Most of his works are unavailable in English.

Cultural psychology is the study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members.

Literary Work

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Biographischer Eintrag in the Online-Documentation of the anthroposophical Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls

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