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Elisabeth Vreede


Elisabeth Vreede, Ph.D. (1879-1943), was a native of The Hague, Holland. She was interested early on in the starry sky, read the works of Camille Flammarion and learned French at the same time. At the University of Leyden, she studied mathematics, astronomy, philosophy (especially Hegel), and Sanskrit. She and her parents were theosophists, and her first meeting with Rudolf Steiner took place early on at the Theosophical Congress in London in 1903. After receiving her diploma in 1906, she gave instruction at a higher girl school in mathematics until 1910. From 1910, she lived in Berlin, worked on her dissertation and occasionally worked as a secretary for Rudolf Steiner. In April 1914, she moved to Dornach to help in the building of the first Goetheanum and was often be found there carving wood. After World War I, an intense interest in Steiner's idea of a threefold social order, and she was the first to bring the idea to England. Around 1918 Vreede began to construct the library and archive at the Goetheanum. Using her own means, she purchased the expensive lecture transcripts as soon as they were typed from notes. Occasionally friends contributed to her efforts to build the archive.In 1920 she moved to Arlesheim, Switzerland, where she had built for herself a little house. It was the second house for which Steiner had given the model in 1919. In 1924, Steiner appointed her to head the Mathematical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science of the recently reestablished Anthroposophical Society. In 1935 the separation within the Anthroposophical Society took place and she was expelled from the executive council, while her section was passed to other leadership. After internal discussions in the Anthroposophical Society, she was excluded along with Dr. Ita Wegman from the board of directors. She was also cut off from the observatory and archives that she herself helped assemble. Rudolf Steiner is reputed to have said that Dr. Vreede understood hi

Author's photo

Author's Books

The Bodhisattva Question Revised

Krishnamurti, Rudolf Steiner, Valentin Tomberg, and the Mystery of the Twentieth-Century Master


Astronomy and Spiritual Science

The Astronomical Letters of Elisabeth Vreede