The Builders of Camphill

Lives and Destinies of the Founders

Edited by Friedwart Bock

Out of print

Quick Look

The story of Camphill's founders, including Alix Roth, Anke Weihs, Thomas Weihs, Carlo Pietzner and Peter Roth.

234 x 154 mm
Floris Books
Special Needs Education; Steiner-Waldorf Education
100 b&w photographs
288 pages
Publication date:
29 Apr 2004


In 1939, a small group of young Austrian refugees, together with Dr Karl König, formed a community to help children with special needs. From this small beginning developed the Camphill Movement.

This is the story of Camphill's eleven intrepid founders. Alix Roth had worked as a photographer in Vienna; Anke Weihs was a dancer; Thomas Weihs had studied medicine in Vienna and Basel; Carlo Pietzner was an artist in Vienna; and Peter Roth began medical studies and later became a priest. This book documents how these and other diverse talents came together to form a network which now numbers over 100 homes, schools and villages.


'This new book has succeeded in weaving together a very full picture of the strong personalities who came together. Admirably honest. Builders of Camphill is full of humour and wonderful stories -- a rich and inspiring read.'
-- Ian Parker, Camphill Pages, Summer 2004

'A biographical account of the founders by those who knew them with many photos and direct quotations from the subjects themselves. An important document.'
-- Scientific & Medical Network Review, Summer 2004

'A wonderful tapestry of a book. Each of the portraits is written with great insight and affection. Friedwart Bock should be wholeheartedly congratulated on bringing this project to fruition.'
-- Jonathan Stedall, Camphill Correspondence, September 2004

'This book is a labour of love. Each chapter is written by someone who really knows the person described. It will certainly appeal to all those who knew the people concerned but also to those who would like to know more about what makes the atmosphere of many Camphill places so special.'
-- Susanne Mainzer, New View, Summer 2004

'Each chapter is written by a different person, which I found helped to bring the people described to life. It was helpful to read about people's weaknesses as well as their strengths. I found I could not read this book quickly as each person's life needed time to be absorbed and was quite filling. I was struck by the importance of this book, for it serves as a record of the lives of people who together created a real deed for humanity.'
-- Maria Mountain, Camphill Correspondence


Friedwart Bock was co-Principal of Camphill-Rudolf Steiner Schools in Aberdeen. He died in 2010.


Other books available on Camphill:
Discovering Camphill: New Perspectives, Research and Developments edited by Robin Jackson
Holistic Special Education: Camphill Principles and Practice edited by Robin Jackson
The Lives of Camphill edited by Johannes Surkamp
A Portrait of Camphill: From Founding Seed to Worldwide Movement edited by Jan Martin Bang

Another book about the wider ecovillage movement:
Ecovillages: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities by Jan Martin Bang

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