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Karl König

About

Dr. Karl König (1902–1966) born on September 25th 1902 in Vienna, Austria, the only son of a Jewish family who owned a shoe shop. He studied zoology, biology, and medicine at the University of Vienna, graduating in 1927. During his studies on embryology, König encountered the works of Rudolf Steiner through Goethe's scientific writings. He immediately identified with Steiner and was soon acquainted with a number of his followers, including Ita Wegman.

Upon graduation, König was offered several high-profile positions in Vienna, but instead accepted an invitation from Ita Wegman to join her clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland.

König's time at the Clinic would shape the Camphill movement. It was here that he met his wife and co-founder, Tilla Maasberg, and it was here that he first witnessed the Advent Garden. During this festival, during which children with learning disabilities circle a spiral of moss, lighting a candle from a large central beacon, he promised to dedicate his life “to the care and education of these children.”

Following his time at Arlesheim, König moved to Germany and was involved in founding the Pilgramshain Institute—one of the early curative educational (therapeutic) centers based on anthroposophy. However, due to the political pressure of the Nazi regime, König was forced to leave Germany in 1936. He returned to Vienna, where he operated a successful medical practice and led anthroposophic study groups until 1938.

Fleeing Austria after Nazi annexation in 1938, König became part of a small group of doctors, teachers, and artists to be granted political asylum in the United Kingdom in 1939. König moved to Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where this group founded a home for children with learning disabilities, which became the beginning of the Camphill movement. After World War II, more schools were established, as well as curative education villages for adults with disabilities, based on the ideal of working together as a community.

In the following decades, König's Aberdeenshire community grew and expanded into Britain, Europe, and North America, becoming the Camphill movement we know today. During this period, König worked tirelessly to help children and adults with special needs through publications, talks, and seminars—as well as by establishing communities around the world.

Karl König returned to Germany in 1964 and began yet another community, this one near Überlingen, on Lake Constance (Bodensee), where he died in 1966. 

Author's photo

Author's Books

Karl König Archive Series

Music Therapy

Research and Insights

Karl König
Introduction by Katarina Seeherr
Paperback
$24.95
Karl König Archive Series

The Seasons and their Festivals

Human, Earthly and Cosmic Rhythms

Paperback
$27.95
Karl König Archive Series

Before Birth and beyond Death

The Transformation of the Human Being

Paperback
$24.95
Paperback
$25.00
Karl König
Translated by Guy Cornish
Paperback
$29.95
Karl König Archive Series

Social Farming

Healing Humanity and the Earth

Paperback
$29.95
Karl König Archive Series

Animals

An Imaginative Zoology

Karl König
Series edited by Richard Steel
Introduction by Imanuel Klotz
Translated by Richard Aylward
Paperback
$26.95
Karl König Archive Series

Brothers and Sisters

The Order of Birth in the Family

Karl König
Contributions by Alfons Limbrunner
Introduction by Richard Steel
Edited by Richard Steel
Paperback
$20.00
Karl König Archive Series

At the Threshold of the Modern Age

Biographies around the Year 1861

Paperback
$40.00
Karl König Archive Series

Becoming Human: A Social Task

The Threefold Social Order

Karl König
Edited by Richard Steel
Translated by Carlotta Dyson
Paperback
$30.00
Karl König Archive Series

An Inner Journey through the Year

Soul Images and “The Calendar of the Soul”

Paperback
$25.00
Paperback
$30.00
Karl König Archive Series

Seeds for Social Renewal

The Camphill Village Conferences

Paperback
$25.00
Karl König Archive Series

The Child with Special Needs

Letters and Essays on Curative Education

Paperback
$25.00
Karl König Archive Series

Karl König: My Task

Autobiography and Biographies

Paperback
$18.00
Paperback
$20.00

The First Three Years of the Child

Walking, Speaking, Thinking

Paperback
$17.95

Being Human

Diagnosis in Curative Education

Paperback
$18.95
Peter Selg
Contributions by Karl König
Translated by Regina Erich
Paperback
$20.00
Peter Selg
Introduction by Peter Selg
Contributions by Karl König
Paperback
$18.00