agreement and disagreement 3

agreement and disagreement 4

 

From: at
Date: Tue Mar 9, 2004 5:54 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter,

I hope the following is the type of comment you were looking for when you joined the list.

You wrote:

In the writings and lectures that I consider tendentially antisemitic, Steiner did not espouse the kind of racial antisemitism that was becoming increasingly prominent during his era; instead his stance remained emphatically assimilationist throughout his life. I do think, however, that his mature views on Jews can only be understood in conjunction with his broader racial doctrines. In Steiner's opinion, the best response to what was then known as the 'Jewish question' was for "Jewry as a people" to disappear by blending into other peoples. He viewed this disappearance of Jewishness as the solution to aggressively antisemitic agitation and hatred, as well as to the ostensibly closed and anachronistic nature of Jews themselves.

I don't think that Steiner's "tendentially antisemitic" lectures were primarily concerned with "fixing" the problem of aggressively antisemitic agitation and hatred (thought that was certainly a secondary goal). While Steiner of course frequently spoke out against hatred of all types as well as agitation in general, his pro-assimilationist views were simply an extension of his general philosophy, and completely consistent with his views on race and nationality. Any and all group ties that have a basis in heredity Steiner felt were harmful in the then-present, and he predicted that they would become even more harmful in the future (our present and future). There have been a number of quotes posted here that speak to this. That the individuals overcoming of heredity influences would also of consequence eliminate "Jewishness" as it existed in his time was merely a side effect of his philosophy of individual autonomy. On the few occasions when he was asked about Jews (and these were really only a few occasions over decades, or a couple of dozen pages out of 89,000) this was the background out of which he answered. Of course, in as much as any assimilationist view is "tendentially antisemitic" this applies to Steiner as well. But Steiner did not have a separate approach for Germans and Jews; his warnings and efforts applied to both in equal measure, as well as all other nationalities and all races. That Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich is testified to by the Nazis themselves in their systematic denunciations of Anthroposophy and Steiner himself and their unambiguous efforts to destroy the Anthroposophical Society.

In addition to understanding the historical aspects of Austrian and German anti-Semitism during Steiner's lifetime and beyond, it is necessary to have a comprehensive view of Steiner and a thorough understanding of his philosophical foundations in order to come to this type of overview. Picking out a score of isolated quotes from 300 volumes of Steiner's work and selecting a few counter-examples from the history of the Third Reich (from the inconsequential Agricultural Ministry, of all places) is not sufficient to understand the full historical context. If you are serious about reaching an honest understanding of Steiner and his work (even an extraordinarily narrow selection of his work) it is not possible to avoid coming to terms with Steiner's central philosophy.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:07 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Hi Daniel, thanks for an informative and interesting reply. You wrote:

While Steiner of course frequently spoke out against hatred of all types as well as agitation in general, his pro-assimilationist views were simply an extension of his general philosophy, and completely consistent with his views on race and nationality.

I agree with the "consistent" part, though not with the "simply" part. Steiner singled out Jews as his favorite example of group-soulness and national insularity. They evidently played a special role in his broader thinking about race and ethnicity.

Of course, in as much as any assimilationist view is "tendentially antisemitic" this applies to Steiner as well.

It is not the case that any assimilationist view is tendentially antisemitic. The kind of assimilation that mainstream German and Austrian Jews strove for during Steiner's lifetime was not tendentially antisemitic. Steiner's version of assimilation differed fundamentally from their version. His version, when combined with the foolish claim that Jews are closed and insular and tied to the past, played right into a number of the crucial antisemitic prejudices of the time.

But Steiner did not have a separate approach for Germans and Jews; his warnings and efforts applied to both in equal measure, as well as all other nationalities and all races.

I disagree. Where are Steiner's statements that the existence of Germans as such is a mistake of world history? Where are Steiner's statements that the German people ought to disappear? For that matter, if your reading were correct, what could Steiner possibly have meant when he said that Jews should dissolve into the other peoples? In other words: Why did Steiner focus on Jews as the ones who need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples?

That Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich is testified to by the Nazis themselves in their systematic denunciations of Anthroposophy and Steiner himself and their unambiguous efforts to destroy the Anthroposophical Society.

I think that's a non sequitur. The Nazis denounced and disbanded all sorts of aggressively racist and nationalist groups, from the ariosophists to the Ludendorffers. This hardly means that these groups were opposed to racial and national chauvinism.

In addition to understanding the historical aspects of Austrian and German anti-Semitism during Steiner's lifetime and beyond, it is necessary to have a comprehensive view of Steiner and a thorough understanding of his philosophical foundations in order to come to this type of overview.

I think what you and I really disagree about on this score is what counts as comprehensive and thorough. It seems to me that a genuinely comprehensive view of anthroposophy in the sense relevant here would include the work of people like Heise and Thieben, for example, and would only tangentially include Steiner's work on architecture or eurythmy, if at all. Those latter phenomena do not impinge upon his philosophical foundations, in my view.

Picking out a score of isolated quotes from 300 volumes of Steiner's work and selecting a few counter-examples from the history of the Third Reich (from the inconsequential Agricultural Ministry, of all places)

A quick aside: I think you'd do well to re-think that characterization. The Agriculture Ministry had the fourth largest budget of all the myriad Nazi ministries even well into the war. Darre was a very prominent Nazi leader.

is not sufficient to understand the full historical context. If you are serious about reaching an honest understanding of Steiner and his work (even an extraordinarily narrow selection of his work) it is not possible to avoid coming to terms with Steiner's central philosophy.

I don't think I've avoided that. I think you and I simply have disparate analyses of his central philosophy on several key points. I think that his theory of racial evolution toward the Universal Human was a very important component of his central philosophy, for example.

Thanks for another good discussion,

Peter

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From: at
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:53 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Hi Daniel, thanks for an informative and interesting reply. You wrote:

While Steiner of course frequently spoke out against hatred of all types as well as agitation in general, his pro-assimilationist views were simply an extension of his general philosophy, and completely consistent with his views on race and nationality.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I agree with the "consistent" part, though not with the "simply" part. Steiner singled out Jews as his favorite example of group-soulness and national insularity. They evidently played a special role in his broader thinking about race and ethnicity.

Daniel:

Steiner singled out Jews as his favorite example of group-soulness and national insularity only in the few quotes you have pulled out. This is simply not representative of his approach to the issue of group-soulness and national insularity in general; he was strongly and in principle agains all forms of group-soulness and national insularity, and mostly talked in general on the theme. You have found the few places where, because he was specifically asked, he talked about Jews in particular. Jews most certainly did not constitute anything like his favorite example to be trotted out whenever the theme arose. His spoke about Jews and Jewishness very infrequently.

Daniel wrote:

Of course, in as much as any assimilationist view is "tendentially antisemitic" this applies to Steiner as well.

Peter Staudenmaier:

It is not the case that any assimilationist view is tendentially antisemitic. The kind of assimilation that mainstream German and Austrian Jews strove for during Steiner's lifetime was not tendentially antisemitic. Steiner's version of assimilation differed fundamentally from their version. His version, when combined with the foolish claim that Jews are closed and insular and tied to the past, played right into a number of the crucial antisemitic prejudices of the time.

Daniel:

I don't think you have understood Steiner very well, even as you have pulled out quotes that ought in principle to help you in this. I just posted a translation of a quote that you shortened severely. I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Daniel wrote:

But Steiner did not have a separate approach for Germans and Jews; his warnings and efforts applied to both in equal measure, as well as all other nationalities and all races.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I disagree. Where are Steiner's statements that the existence of Germans as such is a mistake of world history? Where are Steiner's statements that the German people ought to disappear? For that matter, if your reading were correct, what could Steiner possibly have meant when he said that Jews should dissolve into the other peoples? In other words: Why did Steiner focus on Jews as the ones who need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples?

Daniel:

How, if Steiner talked repeatedly on how ALL forms of nationalism are harmful, does this somehow NOT apply to Germans? How, if Steiner talked repeatedly about how ALL forms of nationalism should be replaced with a universally human cosmopolitanism, does this somehow NOT apply to Germans? Steiner did not focus on Jews as the ones who need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples. He mentioned it on a few occasions when directly asked. He repeatedly spoke on the general theme without prompting.

Daniel wrote:

That Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich is testified to by the Nazis themselves in their systematic denunciations of Anthroposophy and Steiner himself and their unambiguous efforts to destroy the Anthroposophical Society.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think that's a non sequitur. The Nazis denounced and disbanded all sorts of aggressively racist and nationalist groups, from the ariosophists to the Ludendorffers. This hardly means that these groups were opposed to racial and national chauvinism.

Daniel:

Granted, the mere fact that the Nazi's banned Anthroposophy does not say anything about the content of Anthroposophy. But if you actually read their careful justification for the ban, you will notice that they had a very accurate understanding of Anthroposophy, and were very specific about why they were banning it. It is these denunciations that demonstrate that Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich. I can point you to the relevant documents, if you are not familiar with them.

Daniel wrote:

In addition to understanding the historical aspects of Austrian and German anti-Semitism during Steiner's lifetime and beyond, it is necessary to have a comprehensive view of Steiner and a thorough understanding of his philosophical foundations in order to come to this type of overview.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think what you and I really disagree about on this score is what counts as comprehensive and thorough. It seems to me that a genuinely comprehensive view of anthroposophy in the sense relevant here would include the work of people like Heise and Thieben, for example, and would only tangentially include Steiner's work on architecture or eurythmy, if at all. Those latter phenomena do not impinge upon his philosophical foundations, in my view.

Daniel:

Granted, every last thought of Steiner's is takes us too far afield. You could restrict yourself to his main themes, for example, just the things he mentioned more than twenty times, to set a rather arbitrary threshold.

Daniel wrote:

Picking out a score of isolated quotes from 300 volumes of Steiner's work and selecting a few counter-examples from the history of the Third Reich (from the inconsequential Agricultural Ministry, of all places)

Peter Staudenmaier:

A quick aside: I think you'd do well to re-think that characterization. The Agriculture Ministry had the fourth largest budget of all the myriad Nazi ministries even well into the war. Darre was a very prominent Nazi leader.

Daniel:

Granted, the budged of the Agriculture Ministry may have been large. But just how much influence did it have? Darre may have been prominent, given his position, but how much influence did he have? Gordon Craig's "Germany 1866-1956" devotes just over a page (out of 800) to agriculture in the Third Reich, and does not mention alternative techniques at all. Walther Darré gets a simple name check

"As [Hjalmar] Schlacht has written, Darré was more a philosopher than a practical administrator; he took seriously the rhetoric about the mystique of the soil that had been the stock-in-trade of party orators in rural parts before 1933...” (page 609)

Most historians of the era find the whole issue of agriculture in the Third Reich almost irrelevant.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:04 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

HI Daniel, you wrote:

Steiner singled out Jews as his favorite example of group-soulness and national insularity only in the few quotes you have pulled out.

Don't be silly. We haven't even begun to discuss all the texts where Steiner singles out the Jews as the primary embodiment of group-soulness. Take a look at The Universal Human, for example ("I have often pointed out that consciousness of this group-soulness existed preeminently among the ancient Hebrews." p. 10); or check out Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen pp. 100-101 or 191-192.

This is simply not representative of his approach to the issue of group-soulness and national insularity in general; he was strongly and in principle agains all forms of group-soulness and national insularity, and mostly talked in general on the theme.

Yes, and when he gave examples he usually pointed to the Jews. I have found one passage where he mentions group-soulness among the ancient German tribes. Do you know of any others?

You have found the few places where, because he was specifically asked, he talked about Jews in particular.

He was not specifically asked about Jews in any of the instances we've examined other than the 1924 lecture. What are you talking about?

Jews most certainly did not constitute anything like his favorite example to be trotted out whenever the theme arose.

Can you substantiate that claim? What do you think his favorite examples were, and where does he discuss them?

I just posted a translation of a quote that you shortened severely.

I did not shorten the quote. In fact I provided a sentence and a half more of the preceding text than you did. You can easily verify this for yourself by simply reading my initial post to this list, which you can find here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/2117

I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Assimilationist Jews did not want Jewry as a people to cease to exist. Rudolf Steiner did want Jewry as a people to cease to exist. Are you having some sort of trouble grasping the distinction?

How, if Steiner talked repeatedly on how ALL forms of nationalism are harmful, does this somehow NOT apply to Germans?

Your'e not answering the question. If you believe that Steiner denounced German national insularity and ethnic particularism in the same way as, or as frequently as, he denounced Jewish nationalism and ethnic particularism, then please tell me where you have found such passages in his published works.

Steiner did not focus on Jews as the ones who need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples.

You could easily demonstrate that claim by giving a counterexample. Show me where Steiner says that Germans need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples.

But if you actually read their careful justification for the ban, you will notice that they had a very accurate understanding of Anthroposophy, and were very specific about why they were banning it.

I disagree that Heydrich's understanding of anthroposophy was accurate.

It is these denunciations that demonstrate that Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich.

That's the very same non sequitur you just made and then corrected. How could such denunciations by Nazi officials demonstrate anything about what Steiner was trying to do?

Granted, every last thought of Steiner's is takes us too far afield. You could restrict yourself to his main themes, for example, just the things he mentioned more than twenty times, to set a rather arbitrary threshold.

He mentioned Jews a lot more than twenty times. He mentioned race much, much more often.

Peter

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From: at
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:46 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

HI Daniel, you wrote:

Steiner singled out Jews as his favorite example of group-soulness and national insularity only in the few quotes you have pulled out.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Don't be silly. We haven't even begun to discuss all the texts where Steiner singles out the Jews as the primary embodiment of group-soulness. Take a look at The Universal Human, for example ("I have often pointed out that consciousness of this group-soulness existed preeminently among the ancient Hebrews." p. 10); or check out Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen pp. 100-101 or 191-192.

Daniel:

Peter, I must urge you to cease the sillyness. Steiner talked about the harm of racism and nationalism in about 80% of his lectures from 1914 to 1920 (that is probably between 2000 and 3000 times). It was one of his main themes during and after World War I. Against this, the dozen or so statements on Jews is proportionally small indeed.

Basic Math (You indicated previously that it would be no disprespect to point out your self-professed ignorance of Calculus; I hope you won't mind if I go over some even more foundational concepts just in case):

Proportion refers to the relationship of a part to the whole. It is not possible to calculate the proportion from the part alone.

If you state that, against over 2000 statements on the harm of racism and nationalims, two additional examples will make a significant difference in the overall proportion, that is silly indeed.

Daniel wrote:

This is simply not representative of his approach to the issue of group-soulness and national insularity in general; he was strongly and in principle agains all forms of group-soulness and national insularity, and mostly talked in general on the theme.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, and when he gave examples he usually pointed to the Jews. I have found one passage where he mentions group-soulness among the ancient German tribes. Do you know of any others?

Daniel:

I'll start to look, if you like. I should point out that of course all the examples that you have found so far refer to the Jews; you are looking for all statements about the Jews, and those are the ones you are familiar with. Systematically surveying over 100 volumes for other examples without the aid of an index will take some time.

Daniel wrote:

You have found the few places where, because he was specifically asked, he talked about Jews in particular.

Peter Staudenmaier:

He was not specifically asked about Jews in any of the instances we've examined other than the 1924 lecture. What are you talking about?

Daniel:

Steiner was known in general to usually only talk on subjects for which he had recieved some sort of request (for example, privately before the start of the lecture). This is the type of general background information to the study of Steiner that you seem to lack - the historical context, if you will. In fact, major Steiner scholars have identified just a few themes that Steiner appears to have spoken of without any request. Just because it is not in a question and answer session does not mean that it was not in response to a question.

Daniel wrote:

Jews most certainly did not constitute anything like his favorite example to be trotted out whenever the theme arose.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Can you substantiate that claim? What do you think his favorite examples were, and where does he discuss them?

Daniel:

I'll work on it. It might take some time, but I'll get you an answer. I have already stated that Steiner most often spoke in general on this theme, without any examples. As his listeners were mostly German, it would not be at all unreasonable to imagine that he meant them.

Daniel wrote:

I just posted a translation of a quote that you shortened severely.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I did not shorten the quote.

Daniel:

You are right. Sorry about that.

Daniel wrote:

I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Peter Staudenmaier:

Assimilationist Jews did not want Jewry as a people to cease to exist. Rudolf Steiner did want Jewry as a people to cease to exist. Are you having some sort of trouble grasping the distinction?

Daniel:

And I repeat:

I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews. I tend to think that Steiner wanted Jews not to be recognizable as Jews by any external or cultural cues, so that you could not tell whether a person was or was not a Jew merely by talking to them in a cafe. I don't think he was intent on abolishing all religious practices, religion being an area that he felt to be the responsibility of the free individual. This type of assimilation appears to me to be the goal of a large number of liberal Jews during that time period, and something that has been achieved to a large degree in the US today.

In approaching this paragraph, the subtleties of the German word "Volk" should be observed. I read the statement of Steiner's to indicate that he wanted the "Folk" element of Jewishness to cease being a point of self-identification. As I have pointed out, Steiner wanted the "Folk" element of German-ness to disappear as well; he wanted the "Folk" element of every nationality and ethnic group to disappear. Steiner most emphatically did not want the individual Jews to cease to exist. This can be confusing by rendering the German word "Folk" as "people" as I'm sure you realize with your excellent command of German.

Daniel wrote:

How, if Steiner talked repeatedly on how ALL forms of nationalism are harmful, does this somehow NOT apply to Germans?

Peter Staudenmaier:

Your'e not answering the question. If you believe that Steiner denounced German national insularity and ethnic particularism in the same way as, or as frequently as, he denounced Jewish nationalism and ethnic particularism, then please tell me where you have found such passages in his published works.

Daniel:

Peter, you are simply not following me, so I'll repeat: "How, if Steiner talked repeatedly on how ALL forms of nationalism are harmful, does this somehow NOT apply to Germans?"

Or put in the positive, by speaking to a German audience about how all forms or nationalism based on ethnic self-identification are harmful, he WAS directly telling the Germans that thier nationalism and ethnic particularism was harmful. And if you haven't come across such passages, you have not read much Steiner.

Daniel wrote:

Steiner did not focus on Jews as the ones who need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples.

Peter Staudenmaier:

You could easily demonstrate that claim by giving a counterexample. Show me where Steiner says that Germans need to disappear by blending in with the other peoples.

Daniel:

Steiner's views have been summed up quite nicely by the Nazi's: Steiner's Anthroposophy stood for an international cosmopolitanism over and against German ethnic particularism. I can point you to the relavant documents, if you are not already aware of them. Your obtuseness on this issue is puzzling for someone of you intellect. Understanding this does not require finding a passage with the exact same formulation and a different object. I thought you were a historian. Figuring these types of things out is the basic work of a historian.

Daniel wrote:

But if you actually read their careful justification for the ban, you will notice that they had a very accurate understanding of Anthroposophy, and were very specific about why they were banning it.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I disagree that Heydrich's understanding of anthroposophy was accurate.

Daniel:

Perhaps, but Hauer was quite a bit more knowledgeable.

Daniel wrote:

It is these denunciations that demonstrate that Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich.

Peter Staudenmaier:

That's the very same non sequitur you just made and then corrected. How could such denunciations by Nazi officials demonstrate anything about what Steiner was trying to do?

Daniel:

I have a little more intelligence than to repeat something that I already said if I thought you had successfully understood it once. Your continued insistence on the supposed non-sequitur shows that you didn't carefully read what I wrote. Here it is again (try to understand it before dismissing it):

Granted, the mere fact that the Nazi's banned Anthroposophy does not say anything about the content of Anthroposophy. But if you actually read their careful justification for the ban, you will notice that they had a very accurate understanding of Anthroposophy, and were very specific about why they were banning it. It is these denunciations that demonstrate that Steiner was trying to prevent the type of racial and national chauvenism that animated the Third Reich. I can point you to the relevant documents, if you are not familiar with them.

Got that? Or do I need to reformulate it?

Daniel wrote:

Granted, every last thought of Steiner's is takes us too far afield. You could restrict yourself to his main themes, for example, just the things he mentioned more than twenty times, to set a rather arbitrary threshold.

Peter Staudenmaier:

He mentioned Jews a lot more than twenty times. He mentioned race much, much more often.

Daniel:

Ok. Great. Now what else did he mention a lot more than 20 times? You seem to have a one-track mind for race and Jews. Try broadening your horizons. It is necessary as a historian.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:25 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Daniel writes:

Steiner talked about the harm of racism and nationalism in about 80% of his lectures from 1914 to 1920 (that is probably between 2000 and 3000 times). It was one of his main themes during and after World War I.

The 80% figure is goofy, but yes, Steiner frequently condemned French nationalism, British nationalism, Slavic nationalism, and so forth. If you have passages where he condemns German nationalism, go ahead and share them.

If you state that, against over 2000 statements on the harm of racism and nationalims, two additional examples will make a significant difference in the overall proportion, that is silly indeed.

You're comparing the wrong two figures. The question was, how many times did Steiner single out specific ethnic groups as emblematic of insularity and particularism. There are lots of cases where he does this with Jews. You haven't provided any examples where he does so with any other ethnic group. How come?

Just because it is not in a question and answer session does not mean that it was not in response to a question.

You think anthroposophists came to him and asked him to expound on Jewishness as the epitome of ethnic insularity and particularism? But you don't think there was significant antisemitism among these anthroposophists??

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews.

Indeed. No Jewish people means no Jews.

I tend to think that Steiner wanted Jews not to be recognizable as Jews by any external or cultural cues, so that you could not tell whether a person was or was not a Jew merely by talking to them in a cafe.

Do you mean that people could tell this in the first place?

This type of assimilation appears to me to be the goal of a large number of liberal Jews during that time period

No, no, no. Go back to Tal's book, will you? "German Jewry understood emancipation in a sense contrary to that in which the Christians understood it, namely, not as the removal of barriers that had hitherto prevented Jews from completely assimilating to their environment, but rather as an incentive to continue to cultivate Jewish uniqueness." (Tal, Christians and Jews in Germany p. 58) The question of continued Jewish identity and existence was precisely what divided liberal Jews from so many of their gentile interlocutors. Steiner's stance was essentially the same one that other non-Jews aimed squarely at liberal Jews. The argument went like this, in Tal's words: "Moreover, the continued existence of Jews in modern times as a separate and singular people in defiance of all reason was preposterous and irritating and not conducive to the growth of brotherly love. This argument was directed not against Orthodox Judaism or Zionist nationalism but against modern Liberal Judaism, the religion of the majority of the German Jews." (Tal p. 293)

As I have pointed out, Steiner wanted the "Folk" element of German-ness to disappear as well

Where does he say this?

Steiner's Anthroposophy stood for an international cosmopolitanism over and against German ethnic particularism.

Funny how anthroposophists at the time denied this, huh?

Perhaps, but Hauer was quite a bit more knowledgeable.

I think you don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. By that time Hauer was a marginal crank obsessed with his own invented pseudo-religion and with a bizarre grudge against anthroposophy. Consequently he wasn't taken seriously by the Nazi leadership, in stark contrast to, say, Schellenberg.

You seem to have a one-track mind for race and Jews."

Yes, that's the focus of my current research. You might try it sometime.

Peter

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From: at
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:11 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Daniel writes:

Steiner talked about the harm of racism and nationalism in about 80% of his lectures from 1914 to 1920 (that is probably between 2000 and 3000 times). It was one of his main themes during and after World War I.

Peter Staudenmaier:

The 80% figure is goofy, but yes, Steiner frequently condemned French nationalism, British nationalism, Slavic nationalism, and so forth. If you have passages where he condemns German nationalism, go ahead and share them.

Daniel:

Your studied obtuseness defies imagination. Shall I repeat it again? Steiner most often spoke in general on this theme, without any examples. As his listeners were mostly German, he was talking to them and about them, and that is how they took it. Whenever Steiner spoke in general on the subject to Germans, it was understood that it was his listeners to whom he was refering. Just a little bit of historical research will make this clear.

Daniel wrote:

If you state that, against over 2000 statements on the harm of racism and nationalims, two additional examples will make a significant difference in the overall proportion, that is silly indeed.

Peter Staudenmaier:

You're comparing the wrong two figures. The question was, how many times did Steiner single out specific ethnic groups as emblematic of insularity and particularism. There are lots of cases where he does this with Jews. You haven't provided any examples where he does so with any other ethnic group. How come?

Daniel:

Read above. Also, it take time to dig this stuff up. Give me a couple of weeks and I can write you a paper on the subject. And don't think it is because such examples don't exist (I remember reading them, and know roughly where) it just takes time to pull them all together.

Daniel wrote:

Just because it is not in a question and answer session does not mean that it was not in response to a question.

Peter Staudenmaier:

You think anthroposophists came to him and asked him to expound on Jewishness as the epitome of ethnic insularity and particularism? But you don't think there was significant antisemitism among these anthroposophists??

Daniel:

As is typical of you, you can only imagine the worst. The question might often have been as simple as the one in the 1924 lecture. You are trying to twist the issue, but it is a rather sad attempt.

Daniel wrote:

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Indeed. No Jewish people means no Jews.

Daniel:

Peter, are you talking with me or just posturing? What do you think I wrote in my original? Did you read it for content, or just hit "reply" and ignore the entire statement?

Daniel wrote:

I tend to think that Steiner wanted Jews not to be recognizable as Jews by any external or cultural cues, so that you could not tell whether a person was or was not a Jew merely by talking to them in a cafe.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Do you mean that people could tell this in the first place?

Daniel:

Um, what do you think, Peter? You are the self-professed expert on the Jewish experience.

Daniel wrote:

As I have pointed out, Steiner wanted the "Folk" element of German-ness to disappear as well

Peter Staudenmaier:

Where does he say this?

Daniel:

In the quote you posted. Did you read it, or just copy and paste? I then wrote about the possible problems with the translation of the workd "volk". Did you read that, or just hit "reply"? Are we having a conversation, or are you wasting my time?

Repeat:

In approaching this paragraph, the subtleties of the German word "Volk" should be observed. I read the statement of Steiner's to indicate that he wanted the "Folk" element of Jewishness to cease being a point of self-identification. As I have pointed out, Steiner wanted the "Folk" element of German-ness to disappear as well; he wanted the "Folk" element of every nationality and ethnic group to disappear. Steiner most emphatically did not want the individual Jews to cease to exist. This can be confusing by rendering the German word "Folk" as "people" as I'm sure you realize with your excellent command of German.

Do you have anything to say on the subject?

Daniel wrote:

Steiner's Anthroposophy stood for an international cosmopolitanism over and against German ethnic particularism.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Funny how anthroposophists at the time denied this, huh?

Daniel:

With their life on the line, I don't think it is in the least bit funny. I wonder how strongly you would stand by your beliefs if faced with death, or even just a "friendly" visit from the local SS.

Really, Peter, try using a little historical imagination.

And of course, the number who guilty of such denial are in extraordinarily small minority. But I forgot, you have no sense for proportion.

Daniel wrote:

Perhaps, but Hauer was quite a bit more knowledgeable.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think you don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. By that time Hauer was a marginal crank obsessed with his own invented pseudo-religion and with a bizarre grudge against anthroposophy. Consequently he wasn't taken seriously by the Nazi leadership, in stark contrast to, say, Schellenberg.

Daniel:

Peter, despite starting off with the vaguely insulting "I think you don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about" you go on to establish my point! Hauer, who was also a marginal crank obsessed with his own invented pseudo-religion and with a bizarre grudge against anthroposophy, was for this very reason knowledgeable on the subject, unlike Heydrich. You are arguing my point back at me.

Daniel wrote:

You seem to have a one-track mind for race and Jews.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, that's the focus of my current research. You might try it sometime.

Daniel:

I thought your current research was Steiner's view on race and Jews? If that is the case, then you will need to understand more than race and Jews to be a historian on the subject. As I stated elsewhere, polemical writing makes no demands of actual knowledge as a prerequisite.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:03 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Daniel writes:

Steiner most often spoke in general on this theme, without any examples.

Yup. You and I were talking about those cases in which he did use examples, remember?

Peter Staudenmaier:

Indeed. No Jewish people means no Jews.

Daniel:

Peter, are you talking with me or just posturing? What do you think I wrote in my original? Did you read it for content, or just hit "reply" and ignore the entire statement?

Are you agreeing or disagreeing with what I wrote above? Do you think that no Jewish people means no Jews, or don't you?

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:29 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Daniel writes:

Steiner most often spoke in general on this theme, without any examples.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yup. You and I were talking about those cases in which he did use examples, remember?

Daniel:

Peter, are you trying to talk with me or are you just wasting my time? Please tell me what my point was, one, two and three posts ago, so I know that you are actually listening. Otherwise I will cease wasting my time repeating myself. If you are capable of this, I will continue the conversation.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Indeed. No Jewish people means no Jews.

Daniel:

Peter, are you talking with me or just posturing? What do you think I wrote in my original? Did you read it for content, or just hit "reply" and ignore the entire statement?

Peter Staudenmaier:

Are you agreeing or disagreeing with what I wrote above? Do you think that no Jewish people means no Jews, or don't you?

Daniel:

No. I am asking you if you read my posts two and three exchanges ago. Did you? What was my point back then? Did you read it before responding? Did you? I will not repeat myself more than three times. Try picking up where you left off.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:29 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Daniel:

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews.

Peter:

Indeed. No Jewish people means no Jews.

I really wanted to limit my participation in these discussions to comic interludes, but this statement by Peter is too much. I can hardly believe he wrote it. If he really believes this - and I think he does - then I see no point in any further argument. He's lost even the tiny shred of credibility he had before that. That guy Tal, whom he quoted below, is much closer to what is meant: "...the continued existence of Jews in modern times as a separate and singular people..." Steiner never said, intimated, nor could possibly have meant, "no Jews". Catholics, Protestants, etc. are not separate and singular peoples. In the U.S. and most western countries today the Jews are not either. Not having lived in Europe in the 19th and early 20th century, I don't know if they were there and then. In fact, Steiner could have been mistaken. But that's not the point. The point is that saying he meant "no Jews", implies they should be eliminated a la "final solution". Steiner wrote somewhere that if the Jews insisted on having a Jewish state (Zionism), anti-Semitism would only grow worse. (Don't ask me for source, it's from memory, probably in Gesamelte Aufsätze.) So by urging assimilation - wrongly or rightly - he wanted to protect them, or have them protect themselves - the opposite of anti-Semitism. Now we have the state of Israel, which I used to visit on business and with which, until recently, I have had great sympathy. Who knows how the terrible situation there will end, and how much it has to do with the fact that it is a Jewish state, something which Steiner called reactionary?

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:59 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Frank on Peter:

The point is that saying he meant "no Jews", implies they should be eliminated a la "final solution".

Hi Frank

This is what bothers me most about Staudenmaeir and how I believe he weasels in and out of this particular point. But he is well aware of where he is leading his audience and Diana and all the rest can decide to believe him but his words speak to this exact point in my understanding.

Dottie

Steiner wrote somewhere that if the Jews insisted on having a Jewish state (Zionism), anti-Semitism would only grow worse. (Don't ask me for source, it's from memory, probably in Gesamelte Aufsätze.) So by urging assimilation - wrongly or rightly - he wanted to protect them, or have them protect themselves - the opposite of anti-Semitism. Now we have the state of Israel, which I used to visit on business and with which, until recently, I have had great sympathy. Who knows how the terrible situation there will end, and how much it has to do with the fact that it is a Jewish state, something which Steiner called reactionary?

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:16 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Frank writes:

The point is that saying he meant "no Jews", implies they should be eliminated a la "final solution".

No, that is not at all what Steiner wanted. He wanted the same sort of "solution" that other assimilationist antisemites wanted, namely, for Jews to quit being Jewish.

Steiner wrote somewhere that if the Jews insisted on having a Jewish state (Zionism), anti-Semitism would only grow worse.

Yes, he did indeed say that. At the time he said this (1897) Zionism was a tiny movement, radically unrepresentative of Jewry as a whole. In the very same article Steiner also said that the Zionists were a greater danger than the antisemites, whom he characterized as "harmless", and he further said that widespread concern over antisemitism was due to "Jewish hypersensitivity".

So by urging assimilation - wrongly or rightly - he wanted to protect them, or have them protect themselves - the opposite of anti-Semitism.

That is not the opposite of antisemitism. Lots of assimilationist antisemites supported the kind of assimilation Steiner preached. Assimilationsist Jews forcefully rejected the kind of assimilation that Steiner preached.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:27 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter:

No, that is not at all what Steiner wanted. He wanted the same sort of "solution" that other assimilationist antisemites wanted, namely, for Jews to quit being Jewish.

Peter, what does 'quit being Jewish' mean in your understanding?

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:20 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

I asked Daniel:

Do you think that no Jewish people means no Jews, or don't you?

And Daniel replied:

No.

Okay, so you don't agree that no Jewish people means no Jews. Could you (or Frank) explain how there can be Jews if Jewry as such has disappeared and the Jewish people has dissolved and ceased to exist?

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:31 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Dottie writes:

Peter, what does 'quit being Jewish' mean in your understanding?

To stop identifying themselves as Jews, and to stop being identifiable to others as Jews, by blending in to the other peoples, that is, by becoming simply Germans, French, Danes, and so forth. What Steiner rejected was the possibility of being simultaneously German and Jewish. This combination of Germanness and Jewishness is precisely what assimilationist Jews defended.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:03 pm
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement

Peter:

To stop identifying themselves as Jews, and to stop being identifiable to others as Jews, by blending in to the other peoples, that is, by becoming simply Germans, French, Danes, and so forth.

So, how do you personally identify a Jewish person, Peter? And what is it in your opinion that identifies a person as Jewish?

Peter:

What Steiner rejected was the possibility of being simultaneously German and Jewish.

Dottie

Well that seems like an assbackward explanation Peter. Seriously. You might want to rethink that point you have written above. What it looks like from here is that if he didn't want them to be German Jews what did he want from them in your opinion? I know its tough but once again you are back at an assinine explanation as he wanted them to disappear: ie: final solution. Make a decision Peter get off the fence it's about that time.

And I don't think he wanted anything other than peace for them and the world and that can be seen in his thoughts regarding his whole take on blood and nationality issues brought forther here and in his works regarding the world.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:40 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier:

I asked Daniel:

Do you think that no Jewish people means no Jews, or don't you?

And Daniel replied:

No.

Okay, so you don't agree that no Jewish people means no Jews. Could you (or Frank) explain how there can be Jews if Jewry as such has disappeared and the Jewish people has dissolved and ceased to exist?

Daniel:

I did? I really said that? (Just like Steiner talked about "root races" in GA 121, I suppose). Peter, you seem to have an extraordinarily difficult time with subtleties. For the third (and hopefully final) time, here is my thought. Try reading it.

Daniel wrote:

And I repeat:

I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews. I tend to think that Steiner wanted Jews not to be recognizable as Jews by any external or cultural cues, so that you could not tell whether a person was or was not a Jew merely by talking to them in a cafe. I don't think he was intent on abolishing all religious practices, religion being an area that he felt to be the responsibility of the free individual. This type of assimilation appears to me to be the goal of a large number of liberal Jews during that time period, and something that has been achieved to a large degree in the US today.

In approaching this paragraph, the subtleties of the German word "Volk" should be observed. I read the statement of Steiner's to indicate that he wanted the "Folk" element of Jewishness to cease being a point of self-identification. As I have pointed out, Steiner wanted the "Folk" element of German-ness to disappear as well; he wanted the "Folk" element of every nationality and ethnic group to disappear. Steiner most emphatically did not want the individual Jews to cease to exist. This can be confusing by rendering the German word "Folk" as "people" as I'm sure you realize with your excellent command of German.

...................................................................................................................................

From: Jo Ann Schwartz
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:57 pm
Subject: Small Note on Assimilation in the US [WAS: agreement and disagreement]

Daniel wrote:

And I repeat:

I find nothing in Steiner's statement to preclude Jews from maintaining some form or their religious practices and assimilating precicely as they desired (and as you claim Steiner was against).

Perhaps there are different ways of understanding what the phrase "as a people" might mean. You seem to imagine that Steiner meant that Jews would no longer be Jews. I tend to think that Steiner wanted Jews not to be recognizable as Jews by any external or cultural cues, so that you could not tell whether a person was or was not a Jew merely by talking to them in a cafe. I don't think he was intent on abolishing all religious practices, religion being an area that he felt to be the responsibility of the free individual. This type of assimilation appears to me to be the goal of a large number of liberal Jews during that time period, and something that has been achieved to a large degree in the US today.

I can testify to this. Although raised Lutheran, I am frequently mistaken for a Jewish woman on the strength of my last name alone. I once dated a fellow in college who didn't have the heart to tell his father that I was not "a nice Jewish girl." (His father's comment on hearing my name, "At last, a nice Jewish girl!!") Of course, this same fellow used to crack that the worst part of visiting his much more orthodox relatives in NYC was that they wouldn't allow him to put any swiss cheese on his ham sandwiches.

Of course, he also allowed as to how some of his Jewish neighbors down in Baton Rouge, where he grew up in the late 60's - 70's, used have crosses burned on their lawns by the local KKK. (I hear tell they also burned crosses on the lawns of Catholic families in other parts of the south.... sort of equal opportunity bigots, the Klan.) So how assimilated you get to be might depend on where you live....

Musing on why assimilation has to be a bad thing....

JoAnn

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:07 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Small Note on Assimilation in the US [WAS: agreement and disagreement]

Jo Ann wrote:

Musing on why assimilation has to be a bad thing....

In order to resolve this racist thing once and for all, I urge all to read http://southerncrossreview.org/16/knockonwood.htm for a primer on Italian (Sicilian), wasp-American and Afro-American conflict-harmony-conflict-resolution (of sorts) is accomplished.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:19 pm
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement

Dottie writes:

What it looks like from here is that if he didn't want them to be German Jews what did he want from them in your opinion?

Germans.

I know its tough but once again you are back at an assinine explanation as he wanted them to disappear: ie: final solution.

That isn't what final solution means. Final solution means physically annihilating every person designated as Jewish according to ostensibly racial criteria. Steiner did not want anything like this. He wanted Jews to stop being Jewish. He wanted the Jewish people to cease to exist by dissolving into the other peoples, not by murder.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:56 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Dottie writes:

Peter, what does 'quit being Jewish' mean in your understanding?

To stop identifying themselves as Jews, and to stop being identifiable to others as Jews, by blending in to the other peoples, that is, by becoming simply Germans, French, Danes, and so forth. What Steiner rejected was the possibility of being simultaneously German and Jewish. This combination of Germanness and Jewishness is precisely what assimilationist Jews defended.

Peter

Ridiculous. German Jews were already German. What Steiner wanted was for Jews not to consider themselves a separate "Volk" - as the Germans, French, Armenians, Kurds, Serbs, etc. considered themselves to be. If they were a separate Volk, they would necessarily need a separate nation-state, as, fe, the Basques terrorists want now and all those nationalities of the Balkans wanted, which led to immeasurable suffering.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Frank writes:

German Jews were already German. What Steiner wanted was for Jews not to consider themselves a separate "Volk" - as the Germans, French, Armenians, Kurds, Serbs, etc. considered themselves to be. If they were a separate Volk, they would necessarily need a separate nation-state, as, fe, the Basques terrorists want now and all those nationalities of the Balkans wanted, which led to immeasurable suffering.

That makes no sense, Frank. The vast majority of German Jews during Steiner's lifetime quite explicitly rejected the idea of a separate nation-state. This stance therefore obviously had nothing to do with "Jewry as such" or with "Jewry as a people". How exactly did you manage to miss that rather simple fact?

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:28 pm
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement

Peter:

He wanted Jews to stop being Jewish. He wanted the Jewish people tocease to exist by dissolving into the other peoples, not by murder.

Peter, Dr. Steiner was speaking on how things in the world would be better for all peoples if we moved away from blood and national ties. That wars and such would be non existant if we found a way to love our neighbor like we love ourselves, that we are all truly one big family. Is that such a terrible thing Peter? What is wrong with speaking on these things in your mind? It is part of Arch Angel Michaels task in that we are boundaryless in our hearts, minds, nations and worlds. Is to want, for the world, this kind of brotherhood a bad thing Peter, something to be skeptical of?

It seems you got rootrace on the brain and will not let go. I think the students have shown you to be way off base in your understandings. Just by the way you handle all other subjects, especially including your interpretations of a thing, that boggle the mind, your work is suspect. It's the OJ Simpson debate with 'everyone is wrong but me'.

Do you take issue that your work is considered polemic? Is that a dirty word for a wanna be historian? I can see no way around the way you write and debate a thing that your work is anything other than high polemics. I am sure you could run with the best of them in this particular format.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: holderlin66
Date: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:05 pm
Subject: Define Antisemitism please

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=5119

Washington - An Arab-American organization is demanding that the Merriam Webster company drop references to "opposition to Zionism" and "sympathy for the opponents of Israel" from its definition of anti-semitism.

The American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, the leading Arab civil rights organization, yesterday sent a letter to Merriam Webster demanding that the changes be made to the "Third New International Dictionary - Unabridged." The Arab group asked that Merriam Webster publicly repudiate the definition, send errata sheets to correct the dictionaries in libraries and rephrase the definition in future editions.

The current entry on anti-semitism reads as follows: "1) hostility toward Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, political or economic discrimination (2) opposition to Zionism (3) sympathy for the opponents of Israel."

In correspondence with Dan Walsh, a Maryland graphics artist who has recently launched a public campaign to differentiate between anti-semitism and expressions of opposition to Israel, Merriam Webster stated that the latter part of the definition is a "relic" and "will most probably disappear from the next edition of the International" dictionary. The publication house refused, however, to issue a public clarification or a correction.

The Arab group's communications director, Hussein Ibish, wrote a letter to Merriam Webster's senior editor Steve Perrault, arguing that the dictionary "conflates the first sense of the definition with two spurious ones, thereby diminishing and even trivializing the very concept of anti-Semitism... Smears and impugns the motives of all those who support the human and political rights of Palestinians, undermines the efforts of Arab and Jewish groups working for Middle East peace and stigmatizes legitimate political opinions and activities."

Perrault said that the letter was passed along to the president of Merriam Webster. A spokesman for the company, Arthur Bicknell, told the Forward March 4 that a new edition of the dictionary, with an updated entry, is expected by the end of this decade. He said that sending errata sheets to libraries as a temporary fix is beyond the capacity of a small publishing house such as Merriam Webster.

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:31 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Hi Dottie, thanks for your post. You wrote:

Peter, Dr. Steiner was speaking on how things in the world would be better for all peoples if we moved away from blood and national ties.

Yes, exactly. We agree about that (though I think we disagree about what its significance is, but that's another story). From my perspective, the problem is that Steiner portrayed Jews as especially representative of blood and national ties. This claim was not only untrue, it was an important component of the antisemitic discourse of Steiner's era. Steiner thereby contributed to this very damaging false belief about Jews.

That wars and such would be non existant if we found a way to love our neighbor like we love ourselves, that we are all truly one big family.

Yes, that's great. But Jews had virtually nothing to do with starting World War I, and they did not pose an obstacle to humankind becoming one big family.

What is wrong with speaking on these things in your mind?

Nothing. What was wrong with Steiner's statements, in my view, was his specific claims about Jews.

Is to want, for the world, this kind of brotherhood a bad thing Peter, something to be skeptical of?

No, not at all. But if somebody makes Jews out to be a stumbling block to this sort of brotherhood, then it's a good idea to be skeptical.

It seems you got rootrace on the brain and will not let go.

That's true, I'm afraid. In fact it's getting in the way of my other research. But I think it's an important topic so I feel I ought to keep at it until I've reached an adequate account of it.

I think the students have shown you to be way off base in your understandings.

Compared to their own understandings, sure. But that's to be expected. I'm not an anthroposophist, I'm a critic of anthroposophy. I don't look at Steiner's work as a source of timeless spiritual truths, I look at it as a historical phenomenon.

It's the OJ Simpson debate with 'everyone is wrong but me'.

I do not think that everyone is wrong but me. I'm wrong all the time. I'm wrong about anthroposophy as often as I'm wrong about anything else. Being wrong is very different, to my mind, from lying, distortion, forgery, and so forth.

Do you take issue that your work is considered polemic?

No, of course not. Much of my work on anthroposophy is indeed polemical. I have a very high regard for polemic. I think it is a very honorable tradition.

Is that a dirty word for a wanna be historian?

No, it isn't. Lots and lots of historians employ polemic. Debates between historians are very frequently polemical. That's a good thing, in my view, not a bad thing.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:28 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Peter:

From my perspective, the problem is that Steiner portrayed Jews as especially representative of blood and national ties.

Peter, what do you think a practicing Jew will tell you about the above? You come off as a cat with zero common sense. Seriously.

And what national ties was Dr Steiner speaking of in regards to the Jews being a 'nation' in your opinion?

Peter:

This claim was not only untrue, it was an important component of the antisemitic discourse of Steiner's era. Steiner thereby contributed to this very damaging false belief about Jews.

Again, Peter, you are missing the point completely. But I don't think one can continue to have these conversations with you as they make absolutely no sense. Truly. Steiner was speaking on all nations and all cultures and the need for a brotherhood of men. To speak on this issue and have it be seen as you are telling it makes no sense to anyone except you and a few others with a leftist/atheistic/hate/racist agenda who pervert the good works of a great man. You want to keep company with that hellish group by all means Peter. And by saying atheistic I am not speaking of regular atheist who just don't believe, I am speaking of the kind like you, Dan Dugan and your friend Mr. Zegers who feel the need to blow air in the straws all day long.

Peter:

Yes, that's great. But Jews had virtually nothing to do with starting World War I, and they did not pose an obstacle to humankind becoming one big family.

Peter, WE ALL had a part in that war. Every last single one of us and yes that includes the Jews as they are as well just like the rest of us. And you are further perpetuating misunderstandings of the real demonic behind such an atrocity by taking the stance you are on Anthroposophy. You play right into the hands of a Hitler and his regime by continueing this farce you have going on here.

Hitler had nothing to do with real spiritual research and Tarjei hit it right on the head with his post. You unfortunately are continuing this ugly way of reading that Tarjei showed in his post of Hitler. Seriously. By mixing up ARIOSOPHY and Anthroposophy you have made a grave error in judgement.

But you know what just came to mind: One of my elderly ladies, blessed be She who just passed a few months back used to say 'Dottie be glad to take the offense of your fellow man, for if it was not you who would be offended it would be someone else. And you are more capable of handling it than others'. And this thought runs parallel to what Dr. Steiner said Jesus felt when he encountered a group of students, don't recall their exact name right now, who thought it was rather wise of them to build a wall that would keep Ahrimanic forces out of their communities. Steiner said that Jesus was affronted by the fact that these same demons that were kept away from a community that could well handle them was then misplaced unto the very people that couldn't.

Peter:

What was wrong with Steiner's statements, in my view, was his specific claims about Jews.

Peter, he spoke on the whole world seen and unseen. He gave his thoughts on Jews just as he gave them on everything. And what your mind fails to understand is that his cosomology is the same as their most ancient unwritten teachings of the Kabbala. He layed to them the greatest gift of mankind: Christ. You are completely mistaken in your understandings as anyone who can discern a thing will see.

Peter:

No, not at all. But if somebody makes Jews out to be a stumbling block to this sort of brotherhood, then it's a good idea to be skeptical.

Dottie

There is no stumbling block to the world Peter. The Jews may have their own inherent stumbling blocks as every culture does, so what. To speak on them in the context of speaking on the brotherhood of man is not a bad thing Peter. What don't you get about this?

Peter:

That's true, I'm afraid. In fact it's getting in the way of my other research. But I think it's an important topic so I feel I ought to keep at it until I've reached an adequate account of it.

Dottie

Peter, if you could only understand what you are reading you would have no problem seeing what the others here have been trying to share with you. Alas, that seems not to be on the horizon and so we will just have to keep dealing with your non understanding of a man with brotherhood of man on his mind and written in his heart. Your'e barking up the wrong tree. Hitler did what he did because he was a twisted monster in the realm of human life and had nothing at all to do with any real spiritual understandings. For if he had only one iota he would never had done what he had. Even just one iota of spritual understanding, just one he did not have. It was just a twisted mangled idiotic understanding of something he could not come to understand. He made it physical in the same way you try to make Dr. Steiners words comprehensible from an intellect only stance. It does not work this way Peter. It is the lacking of 'ears to hear and eyes to see' that stands in the way of those intent on making this physical reality the All. The spirit is lacking in this understanding and at some point it seems one has completely cut oneself off to any higher learning.

Dottie:

I think the students have shown you to be way off base in your understandings.

Peter:

Compared to their own understandings, sure.

Peter, you just do not get it do you? You have shown yourself to have a great lack of spiritual understandings and that is and was your choice. You have come up with your own world view and it is diametricaly opposed to that which Dr. Steiner came to share with the world. Do you really think one can not see past your misunderstandings? We can Peter.

Steiner is not here and you do not want to hear what his students understandings are unless they compare positively to yours. They do not because you work from a different mind set than they. And that is why you can not see the same root base for spiritual understandings that weave in and out of Judaism and Anthroposophy.

Peter:

But that's to be expected. I'm not an anthroposophist, I'm a critic of anthroposophy. I don't look at Steiner's work as a source of timeless spiritua

Nor do you have to Peter. You just have to have common sense. Common sense that is just looking for the truth of a thing. Take all things into consideration and come up with your own conclusion. But unfortunately for you, you have only taken what you want to consider and have thrown the rest of the information away. Well okay, but a Historian that does not make Peter. And if you are so wanting this I think you should reexaming your priorities in coming to an understanding and wanting to share it with the world.

It's funny because deep inside me I know you are better than this. And I think lots of people on this list think this as well. As can be testified by most on this list, the fact that you are an atheist or a communist leaning person with a little 'c', whatever that means, has no real bearing of how we view you as a brother rather it is your insistant way of deciphering a thing that knocks everyone out and causes doubts as to your honesty, integrity and ability to want to understand what others are saying.

Dottie:

It's the OJ Simpson debate with 'everyone is wrong but me'.

Peter:

I do not think that everyone is wrong but me.

Dottie

Yes you do. It reminds me of Fonzie's inabilitly to say the word 'LOVE' on Happy Days.

Peter:

I'm wrong all the time. I'm wrong about anthroposophy as often as I'm wrong about anything else. Being wrong is very different, to my mind, from lying, distortion, forgery, and so forth.

Again Peter, you may not feel the love on this list but it is there. I see how my brothers and sisters keep speaking with you and trying to share their understandings and you just keep pushing them away as if they are idiots are something. Well I have to say I for one am no longer shocked by the depth of the great minds I encounter in Anthroposophy. It truly is a testament to their teacher that he was able to impact great intellects to their hearts in the manner I have seen on this list. These are great men and women here who really keep bringing themselves to something that seems as if it keeps snaking from one explanation to another to avoid being WRONG.

And I for one keep going back and forth unfortunatley, which is a great test for me and I am SO aware of your role in my vacilating, its the good cop bad cop routine you have going on that keeps throwing me for a loop. It would be much easier if I could just say he is a lying no good son of a gun but I know that we are connected and I am learning alot from you and this experience.

Peter:

No, of course not. Much of my work on anthroposophy is indeed polemical. I have a very high regard for polemic. I think it is a very honorable tradition.

Peter, why why why would someone want to engage in this form of writing? What is it that appeals to you about this? Where is the center. You can still be a legend and bigger than the stars themselves if you take all parts that make the whole. YOu can be just as powerful writing history as you can writing polemic. But the difference is you will have respect not just of those who agree with you but those who don't as well. For they will see a man who has come to different conclusions but in an honorable manner.

You have a great ego Peter. And I think that is beautiful. You also have a great heart and a great mind. Use it for something that has integrity Peter. Polemic in as far as I have been able to see does not. It doesn't matter how great the argument if only half of it is shown. It is a lie whether you yourself are lying is irrelevant to a certain extent. Yet, knowing you are only telling half of the story makes you complicit in the lie.

Peter:

No, it isn't. Lots and lots of historians employ polemic. Debates between historians are very frequently polemical. That's a good thing, in my view, not a bad thing.

I don't think of it as a bad thing rather a sad thing. And I would not be able to trust a historian, or anyone else who employed this method of writing or speaking. It's knowing in advance that you are telling only what 'you' understand' and not neccessarily the truth of the whole picture.

Love,
Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:33 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Peter:

Yes, that's great. But Jews had virtually nothing to do with starting World War I, and they did not pose an obstacle to humankind becoming one big family.

And according to my Rabbi it was a G-d thing. And the Jews definitely had a part in this. Have you ever spoken to a Rabbi about this particular subject? I realize everyday thinking people would be astounded to what the Rabbis say on this subject. It takes nothing away from the horror, rather, what I understand it is their accountability to God. Are you aware of this?

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:57 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

Peter, what do you think a practicing Jew will tell you about the above?

That very much depends on which practicing Jew you ask. Are you trying to say that you believe that Jews are especially representative of blood and national ties? Or are you simply trying to say that you don't think that Steiner believed this?

Again, Peter, you are missing the point completely.

Okay, what do you think the point is?

Peter, WE ALL had a part in that war.

Neither you nor I was alive in 1914. Did you mean a previous incarnation?

Every last single one of us and yes that includes the Jews as they are as well just like the rest of us.

Well, except that the Jews didn't have a state or a military, unlike the Germans, the French, the Russians, and so forth.

Hitler had nothing to do with real spiritual research

So what? When you're trying to make sense of historical figures, your job is not to choose between "real" and "fake" versions of spirituality, your job is to pay attention to what the figures did and said.

Peter, he spoke on the whole world seen and unseen. He gave his thoughts on Jews just as he gave them on everything.

Sure. Some of the thoughts that he gave on Jews were antisemitic, in my view.

He layed to them the greatest gift of mankind: Christ.

Yes, quite so.

To speak on them in the context of speaking on the brotherhood of man is not a bad thing Peter.

I think it is a bad thing if someone says that the existence of Jewry as such is a mistake of world history and that the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to cease to exist.

Steiner is not here and you do not want to hear what his students understandings are unless they compare positively to yours.

No, quite the contrary. I pay very close attention to the racist statements of Steiner's students, particularly the first generation.

Take all things into consideration and come up with your own conclusion. But unfortunately for you, you have only taken what you want to consider and have thrown the rest of the information away.

I think those two sentences point to the same thing. Why do you think they are opposites? When you take all things into consideration, you find that some of those things are accurate and worth holding onto, while other things are inaccurate and can be thrown away.

Again Peter, you may not feel the love on this list but it is there.

Thanks, but no thanks. I didn't come here for love, I came here to talk about Steiner's racial and ethnic doctrines.

Peter, why why why would someone want to engage in this form of writing?

Because it's a good way to figure out which ideas make sense and which don't.

And I would not be able to trust a historian

That's exactly right, you shouldn't ever simply trust what another person says about historical matters, regardless of their writing style.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:30 am
Subject: The Essene Gates (was: agreement and disagreement)

At 19:28 13.03.2004, Dottie wrote:

But you know what just came to mind: One of my elderly ladies, blessed be She who just passed a few months back used to say 'Dottie be glad to take the offense of your fellow man, for if it was not you who would be offended it would be someone else. And you are more capable of handling it than others'. And this thought runs parallel to what Dr. Steiner said Jesus felt when he encountered a group of students, don't recall their exact name right now, who thought it was rather wise of them to build a wall that would keep Ahrimanic forces out of their communities. Steiner said that Jesus was affronted by the fact that these same demons that were kept away from a community that could well handle them was then misplaced unto the very people that couldn't.

Jesus had a lot of contact with the Essenes, a Jewish sect that stayed pure by observing certain rules of ethics, hygiene, and asceticism. RS spoke about this in "The Fifth Gospel":

For some time already, Jesus of Nazareth had witnessed a atrange spectacle when he came to places where gates had been made for the Essenes - gates without images or pictures. Jesus of Nazareth could never pass through these gates without sorrow. He saw the bare gates, but he perceived spirit-forms around them; at either side of the gates there always appeared to him the Beings we know in our studies under the names of Ahriman and Lucifer. And gradually the vision, the impression had been confirmed in his soul that the aversion of the Essenes for pictures on their gates must have something to do with the evocation of spiritual Beings; that pictures on the gates were, in reality, images of Lucifer and Ahriman. Jesus of Nazareth had often been aware of this.

Anyone who experiences such things will not find it good to brood upon them unduly; they are too overwhelming. One very soon feels also that human thoughts cannot fathom their depths, that human thoughts are not capable of approaching them. But the impressions not only engrave themselves deeply into the soul - they become part of the soul's very life. One feels bound up as it were with the part of the soul in which such experiences have been gathered - bound up with the experiences themselves, and one carries them on through life.

So it was that Jesus of Nazareth carried on with him through life the two pictures of Ahriman and Lucifer he had seen at the gates of the Essenes. To begin with, the only effect of this was to make him realise that a mystery prevailed between these spiritual Beings and the Essenes. Moreover, since these experiences had come to Jesus of Nazareth, mutual understanding with the Essenes was not as easy as it had been before. For there was something in his soul of which he could say no word ti the Essenes - something seemed lacking as they conversed together. His experience at the Essene gates always stood in the way. One day, after a memorable conversation on lofty spiritual matters, Jesus of Nazareth was passing out through the gate of the main Essene building when there came before him the figures he recognised as Lucifer and Ahriman. He saw Lucifer and Ahriman fleeing away from the gate of the monastery. And the question sank into his soul, not as if he himself were asking it, but as if it were being forced into his soul with deep elemental power: Whither are these Beings fleeing, whither are Lucifer and Ahriman fleeing? For he knew that the very sanctity of the Essene monastery was responsible for their flight; but the question: Whither are they fleeing? - ingrained itself into his very soul, and never left him. As he went about during the following weeks, it was with him every hour, nay every minute. Whither are Lucifer and Ahriman fleeing? This was the question that burnt like fire in his soul when after that deep conversation he had gone through the main gate of the Essene building.

- "The Fifth Gospel" [Aus der Akasha-Forschung. Das Fünfte Evangelium - GA 148], Lecture Four, Oslo, 5th October, 1913

I also recommend a book by Christian Ginsburg: "The Essenes, Their History and Doctrines / The Kabbalah, Its Doctrines, Development and Literature."

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:08 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Dottie:

Peter, what do you think a practicing Jew will tell you about the above?

Peter:

Are you trying to say that you believe that Jews are especially representative of blood and national ties? Or are you simply trying to say that you don't think that Steiner believed this?

Dottie:

What the hell is that supposed to mean Staudenmaier? Whew. Did you even read what I wrote?

Have you or have you not asked a 'practicing Jew', meaning one who goes to the Synagogue and hearkens unto the Rabbincal way of understanding the question you sought an answer to?

Peter:

Okay, what do you think the point is?

Dottie:

Oh, okay, got no time to play tiddly winks with you Peter.

Dottie:

Peter, WE ALL had a part in that war.

Peter:

Neither you nor I was alive in 1914. Did you mean a previous incarnation?

Dottie:

Mankind Peter. Mankind of which we are a part.

Peter:

Well, except that the Jews didn't have a state or a military, unlike the Germans, the French, the Russians, and so forth.

Dottie:

Nice of you to cut my sentence to such an extent that one including me does not even know what has just been said. You are absolutely incredible, as in no credibility when you play silly games like this. No wonder Daniel has been holding your feet to the coals.

Dottie:

Hitler had nothing to do with real spiritual research

Peter:

So what? When you're trying to make sense of historical figures, your job is not to choose between "real" and "fake" versions of spirituality, your job is to pay attention to what the figures did and said.

Dottie:

God, I so love you Peter. Well, here is where you make your crucial mistake: not to make sense of what is real and what is fake. And you would have no idea of knowing because you did not care to cultivate the spiritual aspect within you. So it is all fake and we are all wrong. And this is why you can not see the fundemental difference between ARIOSOPHY and Anthroposophy.

And so, we are back at stage one where we discussed the idea of someone listening to a speaker and then twisting the interpretations to meet his own twisted mentality. Who does one blame. Well if your a polemic writer you have no care as to who is to blame it only depends on what side of the line you fall on, to hell with the rest.

Dottie:

Peter, he spoke on the whole world seen and unseen. He gave his thoughts on Jews just as he gave them on everything.

Peter

Sure. Some of the thoughts that he gave on Jews were antisemitic, in my view.

Dottie:

It doesn't mean you have to believe in what he spoke Peter but it does mean that this is a statement of fact: Dr. Steiner shared on the relation of spirit and earthly relation to one another.

And Peter, you are welcome to hold the view you have that Dr. Steiner was antisemitic and that does not make you right. And if one takes in the rest of the story you have neglected to share in trying to prove your point, because then you would be shown to have no point, they will easily see your mistake by his words on brotherhood and all cultures of the world.

You want to keep seperating the Jews from the brotherhood discussion for some reason and I will have to ask why is that? Do you hold that the Jews are a separate brotherhood of man? I don't and I know Dr. Steiner did not just by the works he left to the world.

Dottie:

He layed to them the greatest gift of mankind: Christ.

Peter:

Yes, quite so.

Dottie

Is that a problem for you Peter? Whether you believe in Christ is irrelevant to the discussion. What is not irrelevant is the idea that Christ in the mind of millions of people was the Messiah. Jews continue to wait for the Messiah. But they are both hearkening onto the same spiritual revelation. What don't you get about this?

Dottie"

To speak on them in the context of speaking on the brotherhood of man is not a bad thing Peter.

Peter:

I think it is a bad thing if someone says that the existence of Jewry as such is a mistake of world history and that the best thing would be for Jewry as a people to cease to exist.

Dottie

Oops. You say he said that Jewry is a mistake of world history yet you agree that he holds the Christ event as the greatest thing offered to mankind and the offerer was the Jewish line? How do you reconcile this broken line of understanding within yourself regarding this point?

And again, Jewry as a people is about the brotherhood of mankind including the Jews as all people are included in this. It seems because people are looking for this hopefull happening you think it a bad thing to aspire to as a people of the earth. Why is that? And to you this makes a man antisemitic? Semantic drivel. You keep the Jews separate for some reason again I ask you why is that?

Peter:

No, quite the contrary. I pay very close attention to the racist statements of Steiner's students, particularly the first generation.

Dottie:

You are so full of shit. You put together a handful of regular everday people and call this the first generation of racists. You are so full of shit.

Dottie:

Take all things into consideration and come up with your own conclusion. But unfortunately for you, you have only taken what you want to consider and have thrown the rest of the information away.

Peter:

I think those two sentences point to the same thing.

Dottie

You think your work shows that you took all things into consideration? You are definitely deluding yourself. Your work and the process of a polemical study speaks to the averse.

Dottie:

Again Peter, you may not feel the love on this list but it is there.

Peter:

Thanks, but no thanks. I didn't come here for love, I came here to talk about Steiner's racial and ethnic doctrines.

Dottie

I didn't say you did. Its' just something people who hearken unto Christ are called to find within themselves. We are asked to go out in the world to those who do not love us and love them. But not in a mechanical way rather it would have to be something we found within ourselves we were able to do.

So, you are loved. Take that:) the big L word...Fonzie in the house well whatta ya know.

And it is always funny what a mind thinks it came for and thinks its doing. It almost is always the opposite. We would never take ourselves to the place where it hurts and yet that is the place where learning is the most available. Parents will try to protect their children to the end but it doesn't matter the kids are gonna fall down and skin their knees and then learn from it. It happens like this through our whole lives. Just because we now know not to put our hands on the lit stove does not mean life has nothing more to teach us. Life teaches us everyday if we are so willing to look. My thoughts.

Dottie:

Peter, why why why would someone want to engage in this form of writing?

Peter:

Because it's a good way to figure out which ideas make sense and which don't.

Dottie

Bullshit. Polemical writing is a good way to always be right. Again you have an issue with the W word: WRONG. And in such a downfall as this, which can be changed any time one is willing to really look inside to see what horse is riding on your back and cracking the whip, you lose your credibility with other great minds like those on this list for starters.

Dottie:

And I would not be able to trust a historian

Peter:

That's exactly right, you shouldn't ever simply trust what another person says about historical matters, regardless of their writing style.

Dottie:

Wrong. And thanks for cutting out once again the thing that I said to make sense. But I am sure it is as Diana says and you are just trying to save bandwith, LOL.

You have to take into consideration if it is a one sided story, which normally one can tell if they know anything of the subject they are reading on. Polemic and History are two opposing ideas in my mind. Its the reference work Peter, and the interpreting unto the truth of the matter versus ones ego that has decided it is right and will pursue the same line of thinking against all logic.

Love,
Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:39 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Hey, Sophia, please place this over the Portal of Anthroposophy Tomorow under: "Man, know thyself"

[Dottie:]

Again Peter, you may not feel the love on this list but it is there.

[PS:]

Thanks, but no thanks. I didn't come here for love, I came here to talk about Steiner's racial and ethnic doctrines.

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:49 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

PS wrote:

Frank writes:

The point is that saying he meant "no Jews", implies they should be eliminated a la "final solution".

No, that is not at all what Steiner wanted. He wanted the same sort of "solution" that other assimilationist antisemites wanted, namely, for Jews to quit being Jewish.

When you say that Steiner meant "no Jews" you are making a direct connection with the Nazis whose solution for "no Jews" was the gas chambers. Therefore I suggest you be a lot more careful with the way you express yourself. Furthermore, your expression "that other assimilationist antisemites wanted" is very explicit in meaning that Steiner was an anti-Semite. I will not use your Hal-like answer: "This is here we disagree", but rather say that you are deliberately either trying to provoke, or to convince others by dialectic distortion, or you simply have a screw loose. I also suggest that to call a German assimilationist of those times anti-semitic is an oxymoron. A true assimilationist was one who welcomed the Jews into the community, wanted them as neighbors. Do you know what an anti-Semite is? Ask me. I lived in Germany for ten years, after the 2nd War of course, when there were practically no Jews left, but close enough to it that I had contact with Germans of the war generation who grew up under the Nazis. Some said they didn't know about the holocaust, some even questioned that it even happened. Their general opinion was that Adolf went too far in killing them, deportation would have been better. Today, despite pockets of neo-Nazis, the situation is very different. I also lived in the U.S., in Brooklyn, at a time when that slice of heaven was at least half Jewish. The war generation in the working class neighborhood (but not poor) where I grew up was anti-Semitic, and that includes my whole family, despite having Jews as neighbors. "Actually, Mrs. Furth is very nice, despite being a Jew". My generation was, in general, not anti-Semitic, possibly because we grew up with Jewish kids, were invited (some of us) to their bar mitzvahs, or maybe because we were better educated. I have also lived in Argentina for many years, which has the second largest assimilated Jewish community outside the US. Latent anti-Semitism only becomes active during military dictatorships. The Church (parts of it) is also anti-Semitic, and I cringe to think of the effect "the Passion" will have here. A true anti-Semite believes that Jews are somehow evil, whether because they killed Christ or because they kill Christian babies or because they could intermarry with Christians and pollute the blood. Do you see now, Peter, why you piss me off so when you say that Rudolf Steiner was an anti-Semite, and why I must equate you with anti-Semites because you are ignorant of the truth of the matter and speak from prejudice instead of knowledge and experience?

Frank

[Frank:]

Steiner wrote somewhere that if the Jews insisted on having a Jewish state (Zionism), anti-Semitism would only grow worse.

[PS:]

Yes, he did indeed say that. At the time he said this (1897) Zionism was a tiny movement, radically unrepresentative of Jewry as a whole.

They may have been small in numbers, but very vocal and with increasing influence.

In the very same article Steiner also said that the Zionists were a greater danger than the antisemites, whom he characterized as "harmless", and he further said that widespread concern over antisemitism was due to "Jewish hypersensitivity".

I no longer have the article, so I can't comment directly, except to say that he didn't only say that, and to understand the meaning one can't only snip words that appear to buttress one's own viewpoint. If I remember correctly, it was for a Jewish anti-Zionist periodical - but I'm not sure of that.

[Frank:]

So by urging assimilation - wrongly or rightly - he wanted to protect them, or have them protect themselves - the opposite of anti-Semitism.

[PS:]

That is not the opposite of antisemitism. Lots of assimilationist antisemites supported the kind of assimilation Steiner preached. Assimilationsist Jews forcefully rejected the kind of assimilation that Steiner preached.

There you go with the oxymoron again. Steiner didn't "preach" anything, he said that assimilation was a better solution - or the ideal - than trying to remain a separate "Volk". For the meaning of Volk..well I'll go into that later.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:02 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter wrote:

Frank writes:

German Jews were already German. What Steiner wanted was for Jews not to consider themselves a separate "Volk" - as the Germans, French, Armenians, Kurds, Serbs, etc. considered themselves to be. If they were a separate Volk, they would necessarily need a separate nation-state, as, fe, the Basques terrorists want now and all those nationalities of the Balkans wanted, which led to immeasurable suffering.

That makes no sense, Frank. The vast majority of German Jews during Steiner's lifetime quite explicitly rejected the idea of a separate nation-state. This stance therefore obviously had nothing to do with "Jewry as such" or with "Jewry as a people". How exactly did you manage to miss that rather simple fact?

I didn't miss any simple fact, simply because it has nothing to do with what I stated. And, on the contrary, I think it makes a lot of sense. First a definition of "Volk", (taken from one of your articles)which shows why I use the word instead of "people"

Indeed, as Mosse observes, the German word "Volk" is a much more comprehensive term than "people," for to German thinkers ever since the birth of German romanticism in the late eighteenth century "Volk" signified the union of a group of people with a transcendental "essence." This "essence" might be called "nature" or "cosmos" or "mythos," but in each instance it was fused to man's innermost nature, and represented the source of his creativity, his depth of feeling, his individuality, and his unity with other members of the Volk.

It is irrelevant that the majority of Jews did not want a Jewish state. It was a time of growing anti-Semitism and Zionism was in the wind, something which gave ammunition to the anti-Semites. Steiner's use of the terms "Jewry as such" and "Jewry as a Volk", obviously applies not to their religion, but to a dangerous religious "völkische" nationalism, which he considered reactionary.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:04 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

----- Original Message -----
From: Frank Thomas Smith
To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 12:49 AM
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

PS wrote:

Frank writes:

The point is that saying he meant "no Jews", implies they should be eliminated a la "final solution".

[PS:]

No, that is not at all what Steiner wanted. He wanted the same sort of "solution" that other assimilationist antisemites wanted, namely, for Jews to quit being Jewish.

[Frank:]

When you say that Steiner meant "no Jews" you are making a direct connection with the Nazis whose solution for "no Jews" was the gas chambers. Therefore I suggest you be a lot more careful with the way you express yourself. Furthermore, your expression "that other assimilationist antisemites wanted" is very explicit in meaning that Steiner was an anti-Semite. I will not use your Hal-like answer: "This is here we disagree", but rather say that you are deliberately either trying to provoke, or to convince others by dialectic distortion, or you simply have a screw loose. I also suggest that to call a German assimilationist of those times anti-semitic is an oxymoron. A true assimilationist was one who welcomed the Jews into the community, wanted them as neighbors. Do you know what an anti-Semite is? Ask me. I lived in Germany for ten years, after the 2nd War of course, when there were practically no Jews left, but close enough to it that I had contact with Germans of the war generation who grew up under the Nazis. Some said they didn't know about the holocaust, some even questioned that it even happened. Their general opinion was that Adolf went too far in killing them, deportation would have been better. Today, despite pockets of neo-Nazis, the situation is very different. I also lived in the U.S., in Brooklyn, at a time when that slice of heaven was at least half Jewish. The war generation in the working class neighborhood (but not poor) where I grew up was anti-Semitic, and that includes my whole family, despite having Jews as neighbors. "Actually, Mrs. Furth is very nice, despite being a Jew". My generation was, in general, not anti-Semitic, possibly because we grew up with Jewish kids, were invited (some of us) to their bar mitzvahs, or maybe because we were better educated. I have also lived in Argentina for many years, which has the second largest assimilated Jewish community outside the US. Latent anti-Semitism only becomes active during military dictatorships. The Church (parts of it) is also anti-Semitic, and I cringe to think of the effect "the Passion" will have here. A true anti-Semite believes that Jews are somehow evil, whether because they killed Christ or because they kill Christian babies or because they could intermarry with Christians and pollute the blood. Do you see now, Peter, why you piss me off so when you say that Rudolf Steiner was an anti-Semite, and why I must equate you with anti-Semites because you are ignorant of the truth of the matter and speak from prejudice instead of knowledge and experience?

Frank

Hi Frank,

there is another little dime to add.

If you investigate in deep the "Literature of Denial" about the Shoah (Rassinier, App, Butz, Zundel, Faurisson, Irving and so on), it is easy to find there most of the techniques used by PS',DD,amd by the others zombies of their brainwashed Ctuhlu-cosca..

The "Deniers" are used to twist or falsify data and quotes (Irving is the master here) to dismiss facts ( minimizing or emphasizing them ad libitum) to claim on , on and on their three or four "evidences" for years.

What a lack of creative capacity.........

A.

[Frank:]

Steiner wrote somewhere that if the Jews insisted on having a Jewish state (Zionism), anti-Semitism would only grow worse.

[PS:]

Yes, he did indeed say that. At the time he said this (1897) Zionism was a tiny movement, radically unrepresentative of Jewry as a whole.

They may have been small in numbers, but very vocal and with increasing influence.

In the very same article Steiner also said that the Zionists were a greater danger than the antisemites, whom he characterized as "harmless", and he further said that widespread concern over antisemitism was due to "Jewish hypersensitivity".

I no longer have the article, so I can't comment directly, except to say that he didn't only say that, and to understand the meaning one can't only snip words that appear to buttress one's own viewpoint. If I remember correctly, it was for a Jewish anti-Zionist periodical - but I'm not sure of that.

[Frank:]

So by urging assimilation - wrongly or rightly - he wanted to protect them, or have them protect themselves - the opposite of anti-Semitism.

[PS:]

That is not the opposite of antisemitism. Lots of assimilationist antisemites supported the kind of assimilation Steiner preached. Assimilationsist Jews forcefully rejected the kind of assimilation that Steiner preached.

There you go with the oxymoron again. Steiner didn't "preach" anything, he said that assimilation was a better solution - or the ideal - than trying to remain a separate "Volk". For the meaning of Volk..well I'll go into that later.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:10 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

What the hell is that supposed to mean Staudenmaier? Whew. Did you even read what I wrote?

Yes, but I didn't understand it. You evidently disagreed with my claim that Steiner portrayed Jews as especially representative of blood and national ties, but I don't know what part you disagree with. Do you disagree that Steiner held this position, or do you disagree that this position is false?

Have you or have you not asked a 'practicing Jew', meaning one who goes to the Synagogue and hearkens unto the Rabbincal way of understanding the question you sought an answer to?"

Yes. The practicing Jews that I know do not believe that Jews are especially representative of blood and national ties. Many of them recognize that this is a commonly held antisemitic view about Jews.

Nice of you to cut my sentence to such an extent that one including me does not even know what has just been said. You are absolutely incredible, as in no credibility when you play silly games like this. No wonder Daniel has been holding your feet to the coals.

Yes, I've noticed that you seem to have the same short-term memory problem that occasionally afflicts Daniel. I confess that I have little sympathy for this problem. If you don't remember what you wrote yesterday, just check one step earlier in the thread.

So it is all fake and we are all wrong.

No, exactly the opposite. I think that the various anthroposophical racists and antisemites have a "real" understanding of anthroposophy, not a "fake" one.

And Peter, you are welcome to hold the view you have that Dr. Steiner was antisemitic and that does not make you right."

No, of course it doesn't. In order to know which view is right, we need to look at what Steiner said and wrote about Jews and look at what the predominant forms of antisemitism were at the time.

You want to keep seperating the Jews from the brotherhood discussion for some reason

On the contrary, I want to keep introducing Steiner's statements about Jews into the brotherhood discussion. Saying that the existence of Jews obstructs human brotherhood is antisemitic, in my view.

Oops. You say he said that Jewry is a mistake of world history yet you agree that he holds the Christ event as the greatest thing offered to mankind and the offerer was the Jewish line?"

Yes, exactly. Since Christ arrived two thousand years ago, the mission of the Jewish people has long since been fulfilled, in Steiner's view. That's why the existence of Jewry today is a mistake of world history. This was a common antisemitic view during Steiner's era.

And again, Jewry as a people is about the brotherhood of mankind including the Jews as all people are included in this.

That sounds great, but the Jewish people can't be part of this brotherhood if it ceases to exist.

It seems because people are looking for this hopefull happening you think it a bad thing to aspire to as a people of the earth.

No, I think that human brotherhood and sisterhood is a very good thing, not a bad thing. But I also think it is antisemitic to say that this sort of brotherhood has to come at the expense of the Jewish people.

You are so full of shit. You put together a handful of regular everday people and call this the first generation of racists. You are so full of shit."

The first generation of Steiner's students (not the first generation of racists) included Ernst Uehli, Guenther Wachsmuth, Karl Heise, Ludwig Thieben, Richard Karutz, and others. I think that these people made racist and antisemitic statements in their anthroposophical works.

Polemic and History are two opposing ideas in my mind.

Yes, that's a big part of the problem here.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:45 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Dottie

And again, Jewry as a people is about the brotherhood of mankind including the Jews as all people are included in this.

Peter

That sounds great, but the Jewish people can't be part of this brotherhood if it ceases to exist.

Peter, you have absolutely no understanding of the subject you speak on. None. How you continue to fool yourself I have no idea.

And in as far as 'not remembering what we wrote the day before' you are wrong. The issue is that you somehow keep replying to only one sentence of a post that you are able to make a point in irregardless if it was the point the poster intended. And what it is, is you talking to yourself. That's all. No real dialogue going on, just you talking to yourself period.

Yesterday I was going to copy and paste to show you and today there is another great example of you using one sentence of mine from a previous post to make a point that has nothing to do with what I posted. But I got better things to do than play around with you and Screwtapes Uncle.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:44 pm
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement

Peter:

I often don't know what you intended. When I ask you to explain what you intended, you sometimes get upset and refuse to respond. I would be happy to follow a different procedure for when I don't understand what you're getting at, if you have one to recommend.

Peter, I am never upset. I am just always amazed by you. Truly. I am amazed that such a great intellect can have such little understanding of a thing it purports to study.

And the procedure would be to 'please don't worry about saving us bandwith', just keep the 'intent' of the paragraph in tact. That would be a start and would make most of us happy and give you a little more credibility which is hanging by a thread over here. Reading Jasons post it comes to mind that you really are just committed to your own version of a thing. There is absolutely no thinking only a sideways kind of dance you do. I can't believe you are okay with being a slave to what you have come to and it gives you know chance to evolve your thoughts. They are just stagnating your mind.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:36 pm
Subject: Re: agreement and disagreement

Dottie:

And in as far as 'not remembering what we wrote the day before' you are wrong. The issue is that you somehow keep replying to only one sentence of a post that you are able to make a point in irregardless if it was the point the poster intended. And what it is, is you talking to yourself. That's all. No real dialogue going on, just you talking to yourself period.

You got the Bush problem happening in your game: someone asks him a question and he ignores it and tells what he specifically wants to get across. Same thing Jason seems to say of you. Seems it is not only with the Steiner students you apply this method but with others as well. God, I was so glad to see Jasons post. He pegged you to a T it is the same game you got going on over here on AT and also at the critics.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:41 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Hi Frank, you wrote:

When you say that Steiner meant "no Jews" you are making a direct connection with the Nazis whose solution for "no Jews" was the gas chambers.

No, assimilationist antisemitism is very different from exterminationist antisemitism.

Therefore I suggest you be a lot more careful with the way you express yourself.

Because you think readers can't tell the difference between assimilation and extermination?

Furthermore, your expression "that other assimilationist antisemites wanted" is very explicit in meaning that Steiner was an anti-Semite.

Yes, indeed it is.

I also suggest that to call a German assimilationist of those times anti-semitic is an oxymoron.

That would explain why you think I have a screw loose. The most infamous antisemites of the Wilhelmine era were German assimilationists, Frank. Does your sentence above mean that you do not consider Treitschke, Stoecker, Wagner, and Lagarde antisemites?

A true anti-Semite believes that Jews are somehow evil, whether because they killed Christ or because they kill Christian babies or because they could intermarry with Christians and pollute the blood.

Only some antisemites believed that. Many antisemites did not. Many of them promoted intermarriage as one of the best ways to overcome Jewishness.

Do you see now, Peter, why you piss me off so when you say that Rudolf Steiner was an anti-Semite

Yes, I think it has to do with your general views on what antisemitism meant in Germany during Steiner's lifetime.

Steiner's use of the terms "Jewry as such" and "Jewry as a Volk", obviously applies not to their religion, but to a dangerous religious "völkische" nationalism, which he considered reactionary.

Yes, we agree on that. Steiner used "Jewry as such" and "Jewry as a people" to mean dangerous nationalism. That usage was part of the classic antisemitic canon in his day. Jewry as such and Jewry as a people were not in fact especially nationalistic -- quite the contrary in the case of German Jews.

In an effort to go beyond simply repeating the crucial historical background here, perhaps I can try to re-state what I think you're getting at. If I misunderstand it, please say so. It sounds like you are arguing two things at once: that most German Jews endorsed the same kind of assimilation as Steiner did, and that when Steiner rejected "Jewry as such" and "Jewry as a people" he really meant Zionism. I think those two things flatly contradict one another. If German Jews really were hyper-assimilationists, then they could scarcely function as stand-ins for Zionism.

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:53 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter:

No, assimilationist antisemitism is very different from exterminationist antisemitism.

Staudenmaier, who the hell do you think you are fooling with all this philosemetic,antisemitic, assimilation philo semitic and now a new one exterminationist antisemitic none sense....whew........ ......as if they really mean something outside your own brain. All these words to stop you from feeling your everyday life. What a waste.

I really have to find another phrase other than you are so full of shit because I would be embarrassed if Eloise showed up here and found me to be talking in such a manner....... but saying you are full of baloney just doesn't feel right.............maybe, maybe, yes, I know, I could say 'Peter, you are so full of peanut butter....yes, that is a good one.

:) Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:29 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Aw Dottie,

That's not fair to peanut butter OR baloney!

: ) Christine

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:32 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: agreement and disagreement

Hi Dottie, you wrote:

And in as far as 'not remembering what we wrote the day before' you are wrong. The issue is that you somehow keep replying to only one sentence of a post that you are able to make a point in irregardless if it was the point the poster intended.

I often don't know what you intended. When I ask you to explain what you intended, you sometimes get upset and refuse to respond. I would be happy to follow a different procedure for when I don't understand what you're getting at, if you have one to recommend.

Peanut-buttery greetings,

Peter

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:00 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier:

Don't be silly. We haven't even begun to discuss all the texts where Steiner singles out the Jews as the primary embodiment of group-soulness. Take a look at The Universal Human, for example ("I have often pointed out that consciousness of this group-soulness existed preeminently among the ancient Hebrews." p. 10); or check out Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen pp. 100-101 or 191-192.

Daniel:

It occurred to me that the problem with this specific example is that it refers to the ancient Hebrews. Since Peter does not have much of an understanding of Anthroposophy, he wouldn't know that to Steiner everything has it's proper place and time, and that for the ancient Hebrews, embodying the element of group-soulness was a very good thing, and high praise of the Hebrews. In Steiner's world-view, that time was the period (the pre-Christian era) where group-soul characteristics were proper, good, and healthy. 2000 to 2600 years later, Steiner considered a continuation of such a trend unhealthy. But if you don't have an understanding of Steiner's evolution of consciousness, you would miss this. A proper researcher, on the other hand, would take this into consideration.

Daniel Hindes

Continued in another thread

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:24 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):

Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd." I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.

Daniel:

Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.

Thanks.

Daniel

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Wed Apr 8, 2004 12:55 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):

Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd." I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.

Daniel:

Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.

Thanks.

Daniel

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:20 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):

Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd." I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.

Daniel:

Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.

Thanks.

Daniel

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:07 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Another one of those interesting points that is too much effort to substantiate, I suppose. It is easy for Peter Staudenmaier to make claims, but when asked to back them up, he runs away.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----
From: at
To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] agreement and disagreement

Peter Staudenmaier (back in February):

Sure. Daniel said a few days back: "To anyone who has done a comparative study of the two, similarities between Rosenberg and Steiner are tenuous at best. Claiming that Rudolf Steiner's teachings became official mythology of Nazi Germany is patently absurd." I think the second sentence is more or less accurate, if a bit overheated, but I disagree with the first sentence.

Daniel:

Peter, could you perhaps elaborate on how you see Rosenberg being similar to Steiner? I would find it helpful to hear some examples of specific instances where they agree. I am curious to determine whether this is another example of confusing similar terms for similar concepts, or if the case is perhaps made from such generic points of agreement that have nothing at all to do with race.

Thanks.

Daniel

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