The Spirit of Camphill

Birth of a Movement

Karl König

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • Explains the guiding principles behind Camphill in König's own words
  • Reveals the inner motivations of König and his colleagues
  • Includes diary excerpts and photographs

Seven essays by König which explain the principles behind the worldwide Camphill Movement.

216 x 138 mm
Floris Books
Karl König Archive
40 b/w photographs
272 pages
Publication date:
17 May 2018
Karl König Archive


Fleeing from Nazi Europe in the late 1930s, Austrian-born Karl König and his colleagues founded the first Camphill community, for children with special needs, outside Aberdeen in the north of Scotland. The seven essays by König in this book explain the principles behind what would grow to become a worldwide movement.

The insights in this book reveal the inner motivations that drove König and his team to persevere with their social project, and help modern-day readers to understand how they succeeded in building a network that now numbers over one hundred communities in twenty countries around the world.

Includes extensive diary excerpts, documents and photographs from the Karl König Archive.


'We are not only looking into an historical archive but have here a book which aims to clarify the present through the past and into the future... [the book] offers inspiration to take up the baton and continue the legacy of Konig's three-star personalities, of Steiner and Konig himself to decide for the positive when surrounded by negativity, to create good out of tragedy and to have faith in one's ideals.'
-- New View


Karl König (1902-66) was well-known as a physician, author and lecturer. He began his work at the Institute of Embryology at the University of Vienna. In 1940 he founded the Camphill Movement in Scotland. Based on Rudolf Steiner's insights into human development, the special education schools for children and villages for adults with special needs are now established in many parts of the world.

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