The Christmas Conference
Part II. The Proceedings of the Conference
V. The Foundation Meeting, 25 December, 11.15 a.m.
Dr. Steiner greets those present with the words:
My dear friends!
Allow me forthwith to open the Foundation Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society. My first task is to announce the names of the General Secretaries who will speak on behalf of the national Societies:
America, the United States: Mr Monges.
Austria: On behalf of the Council: Count Polzer.
Belgium: Madame Muntz.
Czechoslovakia: Dr Eiselt, Dr Krkavec.
Denmark: Herr Hohlenberg.
England: Mr Collison.
Finland: Herr Donner.
France: Mademoiselle Sauerwein.
on behalf of the Council: Dr Unger.
on behalf of the Free Anthroposophical Society: Dr Büchenbacher.
Holland: Dr Zeylmans van Emmichoven.
Honolulu: Madame Ferreri.
Italy: On behalf of the Council:
Baroness de Renzis, Rome,
The Duke of Cesaro, Fräulein Schwarz, Milan.
Norway: Herr Ingerö.
Sweden: Fräulein Henström.
Switzerland: Herr Steffen.
Secondly I have to read to you a telegram which has arrived: ‘Please convey to the gathering our cordial greetings and best wishes for a good outcome, in the name of Sweden's anthroposophists.’
Before coming to the first point on the agenda I wish to ask whether in accordance with the rules of procedure anyone wishes to comment on the agenda?
Then let us take the first point on the agenda. I call on Herr Steffen, who will also be speaking as the General Secretary of the Society in Switzerland, within whose boundaries we are guests here.
Albert Steffen speaks:
He concludes by reading a resolution of the Swiss delegates:
The delegates of the Swiss branches have decided to announce publicly today, on the occasion of the Foundation Meeting, the following resolution:
‘Today, on the occasion of the Foundation Meeting of the General Anthroposophical World Society in Dornach, the Anthroposophical Society in Switzerland wishes to express its gratitude and enthusiasm for the fact that the Goetheanum, which serves the cultural life of all mankind, is to be built once again in Switzerland. The Swiss Society sees in this both good fortune and great honour for its country. It wishes to verify that it will do everything in its power to ensure that the inexhaustible abundance of spiritual impulses given to the world through the works of Rudolf Steiner can continue to flow out from here. In collaboration with the other national Societies it wants to hope that the pure and beneficial source may become accessible to all human beings who seek it.’
Dr. Steiner: My dear friends, in the interest of a proper continuation of the Meeting it seems to me sensible to postpone the discussion on announcements such as that we have just heard to a time which will arise naturally out of the proceedings.
For the second point on the agenda I now wish to call for the reports to be given by the various Secretaries of the various national Societies. If anyone does not agree with this arrangement of the agenda, please raise your hand.
It seems that no-one disagrees, so let us continue with the agenda. Will the different General Secretaries please come to the platform to speak to our friends. I first call on the General Secretary for the United States of America, Mr Monges, to speak.
Mr Monges gives his report.
Dr. Steiner: I would now like to call on the General Secretary for Belgium, Madame Muntz, to speak.
Madame Muntz expresses her thanks for this honour, declares herself in agreement with all the statements that have been made and wishes the Meeting all the best.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the General Secretary for Denmark, Herr Hohlenberg, to speak.
Herr Hohlenberg reports.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the representative of the Council in Germany, Dr Unger, to speak.
Dr. Unger reports on the work of the German national Society. He concludes with words which have been recorded in the short-hand report:
At present we require in some aspects a rather comprehensive structure to accommodate this Society. This will have to be brought into full conformity with the Statutes presented here by Dr. Steiner for the founding of the General Society. We declare that the Anthroposophical Society in Germany will incorporate every point of these Statutes into its own Statutes and that these Statutes as a whole will be given precedence over the Statutes or Rules of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. In addition I have also been especially called upon to express deep gratitude to Dr. Steiner for taking on the heavy obligations arising out of the founding of the General Anthroposophical Society. Out of all the impressions gained from this Conference, the question will have to be asked whether every aspect of the work done in a large Society such as that in Germany can participate in and wants to participate in what is wanted by Dornach. Ever since Dr. Steiner took up residence in Dornach, ever since there has been work going on in Dornach, it has always gone without saying that what took place in Dornach was seen as the central point of all our work. Whatever else needs to be said about the work of the Society in Germany will be better brought forward during the further course of our gatherings. Let me just say, however, that in recent months we have begun a very intensive public programme. Hundreds of lectures of all kinds, but particularly also those arising out of a purely anthroposophical intention, have been given, especially in the southwestern part of Germany, even in the smallest places. All those who have participated, and there are many, agree without reservation that even in the smallest places there is a genuine interest in Anthroposophy, that everywhere hearts are waiting for Anthroposophy, and that wherever it is clearly and openly stated that the speaker stands on the soil of the spiritual research given to the world by Dr. Steiner it is really so that people feel: I am reminded that I have a soul and that this soul is beginning to be aware of itself once more. This is the case in all human souls, even those found in the smallest places, so we may look with confidence towards continuing our work in future.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the representative of the Free Anthroposophical Society in Germany, Dr Büchenbacher, to speak.
Dr Büchenbacher reports and concludes with the words: I would like to express our feeling of deepest gratitude to Dr. Steiner for taking upon himself the leadership of the Anthroposophical Society. This gives us the will and the courage to work with what strength we have on the general stream of forces of the Anthroposophical Society. We express our profoundest thanks to him for having done this deed. And we request that the Free Anthroposophical Society for its part may be permitted to work according to its capacity towards the fulfilment of the tasks which Dr. Steiner has set it.
Dr. Steiner: May I now call on the General Secretary of the English Anthroposophical Society, Mr Collison, to speak.
Mr Collison reports.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Finland, Herr Donner, to speak.
Herr Donner reports.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in France, Mademoiselle Sauerwein, to speak.
Mademoiselle Sauerwein reports.
Dr. Steiner: I now call on the Dutch General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society, Dr Zeylmans van Emmichoven, to speak.
Dr Zeylmans van Emmichoven reports.
Dr. Steiner: May I ask you to remain in your seats for a few more moments, dear friends. First of all, even during this Conference forgetfulness has led to the accumulation of a number of items of lost property. These have been gathered together and may be collected by the losers from Herr Kellermüller on their way out.
Secondly, the programme for the remainder of today will be as follows: At 2.30 there will be a meeting of the Vorstand with the General Secretaries, and any secretaries they may have brought with them, down in the Glass House, in the Architects' Office. This meeting will be for the Vorstand, the General Secretaries, and possibly their secretaries, only.
At 4.30 there will be a performance of the Nativity Play here.
Because of a eurythmy rehearsal my evening lecture will begin at 8.30.
I now adjourn today's meeting of members till tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. I shall then have the pleasure of calling on the representative of Honolulu, Madame Ferreri, to speak, and representatives of other groups who did not speak today. The meeting is now adjourned till tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.