Herbert Witzenmann

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Herbert Witzenmann (16 February 1905, Pforzheim, Baden – 24 September 1988, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg) was a German philosopher and anthroposophist.

Pforzheim Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Pforzheim is a city of over 120,000 inhabitants in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, in the southwest of Germany. It is known for its jewelry and watch-making industry, and as such has gained the nickname "Goldstadt". With an area of 97.8 km2 (38 sq mi), it is situated between the cities of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe at the confluence of three rivers. It marks the frontier between Baden and Württemberg, being located on Baden territory. From 1535 to 1565, it was the home to the Margraves of Baden-Pforzheim.

Grand Duchy of Baden grand duchy between 1806 and 1918

The Grand Duchy of Baden was a state in the southwest German Empire on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918.

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.

Career

Witzenmann received his decisive study and work impulses through personal conversations with Rudolf Steiner. In the 1930s Witzenmann studied with Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg. His thesis On the Concept of Work According to Nietzsche and Hegel could, however, no longer be accepted because of Jaspers' forced exile under the National Socialists. Evidence for Jasper's acceptance of Witzenmann's promotion candidacy has not been presented. According to Witzenmann his dissertation manuscript was destroyed by fire due to phosphor bombings of Pforzheim by U.S. airplanes in World War II.

Rudolf Steiner Austrian esotericist

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.

Karl Jaspers German psychiatrist and philosopher

Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept the label.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

After studies in mechanical engineering, Witzenmann was employed by the family firm in Pforzheim for many years. Witzenmann expressed his regret that he had refused to attend lunch held at his family home by his father for Adolf Hitler, who sought financial support for his political ambitions. Witzenmann had refused to attend out of protest against Hitler. In retrospect, Witzenmann regretted not having met Hitler because of the latter's later most destructive historical role.[ citation needed ]

In 1963 Witzenmann was "co-opted" as a member by the Executive Committee of the General Anthroposophical Society. Several years later Witzenmann was suspended because he refused to accept a new policy advocated by the majority i.e. all other members of this Committee regarding the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung. His door key literally no longer fit the lock to his office as member of the Executive Committee of the Anthroposophical Society. Presumably by order of his four other colleagues, after he walked out of an annual General Assembly meeting of the Anthroposophical Society in protest. At this meeting Witzenmann did not sit in front with his Executive Committee colleagues, but at the rear of the auditorium. [ citation needed ] In 1973 he founded the "Seminar for the free Striving of Youth, Art and Social Order" in Dornach, Switzerland.

Anthroposophical Society

The General Anthroposophical Society is an "association of people whose will it is to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world." As an organization, it is dedicated to supporting the community of those interested in the inner path of schooling known as anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

His work has been published by the Gideon Spicker Verlag, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, and Rudolf Steiner Press. Very little has been translated into English because those persons in control of the copyrights discouraged translation (note above reference to U.S. airplanes by one of these persons) and refused to allow translation published. His work is believed by some to be among the most significant in furthering Rudolf Steiner's work in The Philosophy of Freedom .

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Eleanor Merry, was an English poet, artist, musician and anthroposophist with a strong Celtic impulse and interest in esoteric wisdom. She studied in Vienna and met Rudolf Steiner in 1922 after becoming interested in his teachings. She went on to organize Summer Schools at which Steiner gave important lectures, and was secretary for the World Conference on Spiritual Science in London in 1928.

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Rudolf Steiner wrote four plays that follow the initiation journeys of a group of fictional characters through a series of lives. These plays were intended to be modern mystery plays. Steiner outlined the plot of a fifth play to be set at the Castalian spring at Delphi, but due to the outbreak of First World War, this remained an unfulfilled project.

Johannes Tautz (30 September 1914 in Koblenz am Rhein to 13 March 2008 in Dortmund, was a Historian, Religious scholar, Anthroposophist, Author and Waldorf teacher. He concerned himself with a better understanding of National Socialism and with questions of education in the twentieth century.

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References

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