Carl Stegmann’s life spanned nearly a hundred years of one of the most world-changing centuries in human history. He was awake to his time with spiritual insight, his vision always on the future and his deeds of social action ever in the present. He was born in Kiel, Germany, one of seven children to a working class family.
Carl always loved America and longed to come here all his life. Carl and America were made for each other. He understood the will - the deep driving soul forces that brought millions to America in hope of a better life. He recognized that in this soul capacity lies tremendous spiritual power if rightly awakened.
Trained as a locksmith, he served as a soldier in WWI and saw the terrible suffering of war. He was twenty-two when he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and became one of the first Christian Community priests, though not before strong questioning for he could not agree with much which had been done in the name of traditional Christianity. Above all he valued human freedom. When he asked if he might join though he didn’t have an academic background, Rudolf Steiner said,
“We need his fiery will!”
He began a worker’s school for the unemployed making furniture during the day and teaching Anthroposophy at night. The Nazis shut it down as they later did the Christian Community. He was twice arrested and narrowly escaped. He and his wife Christine, a eurythmist, had seven
children. They went to the Youth conferences Steiner gave. They became exemplary life-long representatives of Steiner’s philosophy of freedom and his enlightened spiritual world view.
They followed the American dream to come here when they were in their seventies and having spent fifty years gathering all Rudolf Steiner’s comments about America. With his powerful and moving rhetoric, Carl along with Christine brought together the people and gave the inspiration for the founding of Rudolf Steiner College on February 22, 1976, the 200th anniversary year of the founding of the United States and George Washington’s birth date. Carl wanted all Americans to know the powerful and challenging influences in world evolution of this country’s destiny and wrote his seminal book The Other America. In the preface to the second edition he wrote, “May these reflections aid orientation and compel motivation to strengthen the “spiritual America” by means of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science, at a time when the terrifying, distorted image of America likewise tries to push to the surface.”
The courage and moral ideals of Carl and Christine inspired their own children and all those around them. Together they strengthened and inspired countless lives.
This conference is dedicated to Christine's and Carl’s visionary spirit as respected seers of our time and the spiritual America.