Emil Molt

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Emil Molt
Born (1876-04-14)14 April 1876
Died 16 June 1936(1936-06-16) (aged 60)
Nationality German
Occupation industrialist
Known for Waldorf school
Spouse(s) Bertha Molt

Emil Molt (14 April 1876, in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Kingdom of Württemberg – 16 June 1936, in Stuttgart) was a German industrialist, social reformer and anthroposophist. He was the director of the Waldorf-Astoria-Zigarettenfabrik, and with Rudolf Steiner co-founded the first Waldorf school. Hence, Waldorf education was named after the company.


Molt was born in southern Germany and was orphaned as a teenager.[1] He enlisted in the military and worked for Emil Georgii after he was discharged. Georgii's son Emil Jr. hired Molt to work at Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory at Stuttgart. He later became its general manager and owner.[1]

A biography written by Molt's daughter detailed how he purchased the Waldorf Astoria brand name from the tobacconist shop in a New York hotel owned by the Astor family.[2]

Waldorf school[edit]

Molt's association with Steiner began due to his interest in spirituality, particularly after he signed up as a member of the Theosophical Society in 1906. Steiner was regularly invited to speak in its gatherings.[3] The industrialist also became a follower of Steiner's esoteric philosophy called anthrosophy.

After World War I people believed it was possible to initiate new social arrangements.[4] It was the same for Molt who decided to address the educational needs of his factory workers and their children.[4] For this initiative, he was drawn to Steiner's holistic proposition in education, which holds that teaching must attend to multiple aspects of human experience.[5] Following a series of consultations, Molt and Steiner founded the Waldorf school after meeting and seeking the approval of the German minister of culture in May 1919.[1] Molt bought the Uhlandeshohe Restaurant as school's first school building and altered it according to Steiner's specifications.[6] The adjoining properties were later purchased as the school expanded.[6] The Waldorf School opened with twelve teachers.[7]

Waldorf school became the largest independent school movement in the world.[8][9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sherman, Zander (2012). The Curiosity of School: Education And The Dark Side Of Enlightenment. Penguin Canada. ISBN 978-0-14-318649-6.
  2. ^ Stehlik, Thomas (2019). Waldorf Schools and the History of Steiner Education: An International View of 100 Years. Cham: Springer Nature. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-030-31631-0.
  3. ^ Robert A. McDermott, "Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy", in Faivre and Needleman, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, ISBN 0-8245-1444-0, p. 288ff
  4. ^ a b Steiner, Rudolf (2013). Rudolf Steiner Speaks to the British: Lectures and Addresses in England and Wales. Rudolf Steiner Press. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-85584-432-2.
  5. ^ Nielsen, Thomas William (2004). Rudolf Steiner's Pedagogy of Imagination: A Case Study of Holistic Education. Berlin: Peter Lang. pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-3-03910-342-3.
  6. ^ a b Tautz, Johannes (2015). W. J. Stein: A Biography. Forest Row: Temple Lodge Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-906999-76-6.
  7. ^ Barnes, Henry (2005). Into the Heart's Land. Great Barrington, MA: SteinerBooks. ISBN 978-0-88010-857-7.
  8. ^ drazil, Tomas (2018). "Theorie-Praxis Verhältnis in der Waldorfpädagogik". In Kern, Holger; Zdrazil, Tomas; Götte, Wenzel Michael (eds.). Lehrerbildung in der Waldorfschule. Weinheim, DE: Juventa. p. 34. ISBN 9783779938293.
  9. ^ Provenzo, Eugene; Renaud, John Phillip (2008). Encyclopedia of the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. p. 952. ISBN 978-1-4129-0678-4.