The Loheland settlement, near Fulda in Germany, was started in 1919 by Louise Langgaard and Hedwig von Rohden, both of whom were influenced by the counter-culture of the period, such as the Wandervogel movement and, from the early 1920s, Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy.
Similar to the Frauen Kommune Schwarzerden – The Women’s Commune at Schwarzerden, their idea was to have a settlement where young women could develop as free individuals and also could be trained as gymnastic teachers. The 42 hectare property consisted of arable land, meadows and woodland, where houses and workshops were built, and where women could live together, work in the gardens, on the land, in the workshops (including a photo studio) and undertake training courses. The school and the products of the workshops were well promoted, especially through the photography, and the settlement became well known for its expressionist dancers.
Loheland in the 1930s
As pressure from outside to train national-socialist oriented women grew, Hedwig von Rohden left the settlement (1937). Langgaard continued her work and was able to resist both the integration of the gymnastic school into the nazi system (Gleichschaltung) and to prevent its closure. During this period, the women helped to save handicapped people from the nazis and to hide a small number of jewish people and anti-nazi resisters. From 1941, the community gave refuge to upto 200 children.
Nowadays, Loheland describes itself as the oldest anthroposophical land settlement in Germany.
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