Holland

In Holland, a study was published April 1, 2000 on the question of the view of different races in anthroposophy. The study was done under a mandate of the Anthroposophical Society in The Netherlands by a commission chaired by the anthroposophical lawyer Dr. Th. A. van Baarda, an expert on discrimination legislation. 

The reason for the study was the appearance of publications in the media about a supposed racial doctrine of Rudolf Steiner and the fear that this doctrine might have an effect on the teaching in Waldorf schools. It led to investigations by the State Education Inspection service to find out if racism could be found at the Steiner Schools in the Netherlands.

See here for a description of the background to the problem in Dutch colonialism.

The key question for the mentioned following study was whether Rudolf Steiner taught a racial doctrine, in the sense of a seemingly scientific theory on the basis of which the superiority of one race is supposed to be legitimized at the expense of another.

The 720 page study, based on an extensive documented analysis of the issue of racism and a discussion of 245 quotations from the 89,000 page collected works of Rudolf Steiner related to the issue, answered this in the negative.

The extensive study however came to the conclusion that 16 of the discussed 245 quotes by Steiner, if made in public today, some 80 - 100 years later, in Holland as isolated statements, would be in violation of present day very well developed and sensitive Dutch law on discrimination.

In general, the result is in agreement with a prior report and judgment of Dutch Government Education inspectors (Onderwijsinspectie), that racism in general cannot be found in Waldorf schools in Holland. In spite of the general lack of racism in Dutch Waldorf schools, the schools in 1995 took measures to prevent it from developing and in 1998 supplemented the measuers with their own anti-discrimination code and an independent commission that monitors compliance.

For a press summary of the report by the commission, see here.

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