Herbert Witzenmann

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Herbert Witzenmann (16 February 1905, Pforzheim, Baden – 24 September 1988, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg) was a German philosopher and anthroposophist.


Witzenmann received his decisive study and work impulses through personal conversations with Rudolf Steiner. In the 1930s Witzenmann studied with Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg. His thesis On the Concept of Work According to Nietzsche and Hegel could, however, no longer be accepted because of Jasper's forced exile under the National Socialists. Evidence for Jasper's acceptance of Witzenmann's promotion candidacy has not been presented. According to Witzenmann his dissertation manuscript was destroyed by fire due to phosphor bombings of Pforzheim by U.S. airplanes in World War II.

After studies in mechanical engineering, Witzenmann was employed by the family firm in Pforzheim for many years. Witzenmann expressed his regret that he had refused to attend lunch held at his family home by his father for Adolf Hitler, who sought financial support for his political ambitions. Witzenmann had refused to attend out of protest against Hitler. In retrospect, Witzenmann regretted not having met Hitler because of the latter's later most destructive historical role.[citation needed]

In 1963 Witzenmann was "co-opted" as a member by the Executive Committee of the General Anthroposophical Society. Several years later Witzenmann was de facto fired, because he refused to accept a new policy advocated by the majority of this Committee regarding the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung. His door key literally no longer fit the lock to his office at the Goetheanum after being changed after he walked out of an annual General Assembly meeting of the Anthroposophical Society in protest.[citation needed] In 1973 he founded the "Seminar for the free Striving of Youth, Art and Social Order" in Dornach, Switzerland.

His work has been published by the Gideon Spicker Verlag, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, and Rudolf Steiner Press. His work (along with that of Georg Kühlewind, Friedemann Schwarzkopf, and Massimo Scaligero) is believed by some to be among the most significant in furthering Rudolf Steiner's work in The Philosophy of Freedom, and had considerable influence on Jonael Schickler.[citation needed]


  • Klaus Hartmann, Herbert Witzenmann 1905–1988. Teil I: 1905–1961, Spicker, Dornach 2010, ISBN 978-3-85704-198-3.