Letter number one from the Youth Section at the Goetheanum

Dear friends from all over the world,

Hopefully you know that there is a Youth Section at the Goetheanum! Perhaps you are asking yourselves, ‘What are they actually doing ? Are they doing anything at all?" We have discovered that we are pretty unknown and that is why we now are writing this letter. We would like to present ourselves and our work.

In the Youth Section, there is a team working together. We all have different tasks and initiatives:

Fransesca Chuisano, from Italy, is a free student at the Goetheanum, working with Giordano Bruno and his Spiritual Science theories. She is responsible for the daily work in the office and is the friendly voice who answers the phone. She is especially interested in building up contact with the Anthroposophical Movement world-wide, including the seminars and schools, with the aim: Everywhere, everyone should know that there is a Youth Section, and that they are invited to take part in it!

Jesse Osmer, from the USA, is also a free student with economics as his theme. He is responsible for our web site, updating it and putting out our monthly newsletter. He is working with the question, "How can we create a path of knowledge for young people?" Most importantly, perhaps, is his question, "Is it possible to create a preparatory school for young people, within the School of Spiritual Science?" Jesse also writes many of our English texts. It is very important that everything we write and publish is in German and English.

Reinoud Meijer, from Holland, had been working at the Goetheanum stage as a light technician, until last month. He knows the life at the Goetheanum very well and all people working there. This is very important for us. He is now putting all his efforts into the Youth Section! With the intention of improving student-life in Dornach, he is currently working on various projects which range from setting up a student information and welcoming center to enlarging the "Teestube" (our student café across from the Speisehaus) as well as putting on a conference, in April 2003, for12th grade Waldorf students world-wide and finding affordable housing for students and young visitors.

Nanna Bauer, from Germany, is a free student with Pedagogy as her theme. She is active in every initiative and does many practical things. She helps with visas for people coming from Eastern -European countries, organizes accommodations and translates and corrects German texts. On the weekends, we have a night café, which Nanna organizes and even cleans-up afterwards!!

Benjamin Kolass , from Germany, is a free student with "Germanistik" as his theme. He wrote our first newspaper "Pictures from our world", and is working on the next edition which will be part of our newsletter. He is the "oldest" member of the team, having been active in the office for about three years, He knows the infrastructure at the Goetheanum, which means a lot for the new co-workers. He is responsible for our finances, trying to stretch every Frank as far as possible. He works present the Youth Section in such a way, that many different people and groups will support us. He likes to write, and hopefully he will write about his recent trip to Israel.

Rahel Uhlenhoff , from Germany, is in the Basic Studies Year at the Goetheanum. Every Friday she organizes a "Cultural Evening". The themes range from Stories by Selma Lagerlöf to a talk with Sergej Prokofieff; from "Electro.-smog" to having people share their experiences from their world travels. She also organizes parties in Haus Julian.

Andrea D'Angelo , from Brazil, a free student in the Natural Science Section. Her theme is the observation of plants and preparations used in biodynamic agriculture. She takes care of our surroundings, like the garden. Our rooms are beautifully "decorated" with fresh flowers and leaves. This brings an extra touch to the atmosphere. She recently visited Prague and is still in contact with a youth group there.

Juliana Hepp , from Germany/Switzerland, is studying at a nurse school in Basel. She has many interests one of which is, "How can we make Anthroposophy and the Goetheanum available to young people?" and "How can all the prejudices be overcome that are living about the movement and the place." She has already organized two open houses and will continue this impulse. She is very interested in adventurous pedagogy and brings much life into our initiatives and meetings.

Leila Basmajian , from the USA, is a speech artist who will complete her therapeutic speech training this Summer. She helps us translate into English. When she goes back to the USA, she will be a very important contact person for us "over there", being a teacher in the upper classes in Santa Rosa, California.

Tatyana Nikolayeva from the Ukraine, lives in the house and makes it shine! She is a student in a Speech Formation school. She plays the guitar and sings and takes part in our cultural events. She also takes good care of our guests.

Gert Schuckmann, from Dornach. The former leader of „Begegnungszentrum". She is cooking lunsch for the students every day in our Teestube.

I am Elizabeth Wirsching , from Norway. I moved to Dornach in the Autumn of 2000 to take over the task as the leader of the Youth Section. I am working to develop and create a space where new initiatives can be born, initiatives and impulses belonging to a new generation. I travel to visit new youth groups in different parts of the world. Last year I went to the USA, the Ukraine, Sweden and England. This year I will travel to Japan and New Zealand. At the moment, I am doing some research on Maria Röschl’s impulse and its relevance today. Maria Röschl was the first leader of the Youth Section, from 1924 to 1931. The other themes I am working with are, pictorial thinking, new qualities of the Human Being in the Age of Light and the signatures of our Time: The new youth movement connected to the NGO. It is important for me to advice, help, guide, strengthen and support impulses from young friends all over the world.

Now I would like to tell you about some of our initiatives this year.


The first week of the New Year we had three small meetings at the same time: Eurythemy, Schooling and the Foundation Stone. 35 young people met and enjoyed the quietness of the New Year.

In February, we had an intensive workshop with Christopher Budd on finances: "The Colour of Money – an introduction to associative economics".

We have invited a smaller group of people to a colloquium on Maria Röschl in March.

In April, we will have the first workshop with the title: "Know the world –know yourself." The main theme is, "The bridge between inner and outer experiences, world - events."

This workshop will "continue" in November with, "How to work with biographies and how to connect with the leading motives in life and take them seriously.

In May there will be a Youth Conference at Emerson College, outside London, "Imagination – the signature of the Human Being."

In June there is a workshop in Järna, Sweden about "Meditation – what is it to meditate?"

Our yearly international conference will take place in Järna from August 4th to 10th. We are busy preparing it and we will write about it in our next letter. What seems to be a wish, is to invite "older" people to cooperate in workshops dealing with questions like, "How can we LIVE the Anthroposophy?"

The week before the Michaelmas Conference at the Goetheanum,2002, we will have our yearly international initiative meeting, inviting young people from many countries for exchanges, planning and support and determine what will be important to focus on in the coming year.

A New Year’s meeting will take place again January 2003. For April 2003, we have invited 12th grade classes from all over the world to take part in a Festival. Evenings there will be 12th graders performing their plays, and during the day workshops centered around the theme, "What are the new professions for the future?" Hopefully this Festival will be an "every second year event" at the Goetheanum.

These are, in short, our plans. Our initiatives are discussed in our Thursday team meeting. We meet for 2 hours starting with studying Rudolf Steiner’s lecture, "Practical training in Thought. Sometimes we invite interesting people to tell us about there initiatives or impulses."

Every Friday, we have a cultural evening, every Wednesday you may take part in a folks dance course and every Thursday there is a choir for students. It is even possible to take a German course for foreigners. Every Sunday afternoon, students meet in our Conference Room to study Rudolf Steiner’s, "A talk to Young People" and sharing their experiences from the week.

Dear friends – please contact with us, we always have time for a talk. You may also visit our web-site.

In the next letter, we will tell you more about our main initiatives: the Järna Conference and building up a youth center at the Goetheanum.

Sincerely yours,

Elizabeth Wirsching. Dornach, February 2002.


Address: Jugendsektion. Dorneckstrasse 1. CH 4143 Dornach, Switzerland
Phone (+41)( 61) 706-4391 Fax 706-4392
mail@youthsection.org - www.youthsection.org