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Timeline - The Origin of Steiner Schools in the Threefold Social Impulse


Conversations concerning the threefold social order take place between Rudolf Steiner and Richard von Kühmann (German Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Prince Max von Baden (later, in 1918 briefly Imperial Chancellor). Steiner meets with the German ambassador to the USA to discuss the threefold social idea.


Otto von Lerchenfeld (a member of the Bavarian Royal Cabinet) and Ludwig von Polzer-Hoditz meet Rudolf Steiner in the summer of 1917 to discuss the peace process and perspectives for the post-war world. Polzer-Hoditz discusses the threefold idea with the Austrian Cabinet and the proposal is sent to the Austrian Emperor. 


In March 1918 following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the end of World War 1, Rudolf Steiner

begins to lecture publically on the threefold social impulse.


Emil Molt, Carl Unger and others wish to start a popular threefold social movement together with

Rudolf Steiner. In November, various committees are founded in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.



In February Rudolf Steiner holds lectures in Switzerland, on the basis of which the book The Threefold Social Order (now entitled Towards Social Renewal) is written. In April the book appears in print and sells 30,000 copies in the following months. Besides this, speeches are given to the employees of Daimler and Bosch.


On 22nd April the "Association for Threefolding" is founded in Stuttgart.

On 23rd April 23 Steiner gives a lecture to the workers and management of the Waldolf-Astoria cigarette factory (owned by Emil Molt) on the subject of the cultural-spiritual sphere of the threefold social order, with a focus on education. The workers and management then ask Steiner to found a school for their children and this is immediately planned.


From July onwards, the weekly publication Threefolding the Social Organism is published by the Association. The newsletter Social Future appears in Switzerland, edited by Roman Boos.

A building is purchased and the first Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf) school opens in Stuttgart on September 7th, 1919.

From: The Goetheanum website/Section for Social Sciences/About Us/History. 



Steiner Education Centenary Revival

A booklet of specially selected excerpts from Rudolf Steiner's thoughts on education and the threefold social order. All proceeds are donations to the Education for Social Renewal Foundation. Click here to make an order. 

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