support for Kindergarten

from Life of Baroness von Marenholtz-Buelow, by her niece the Baroness von Buelow

Froebel, von Marenholtz-Buelow, von Weimar, von Meiningen

My aunt says in her book LABOUR AND NEW EDUCATION; Among the women who had already in 1849 given their support to the cause (i.e.KINDERGARTEN) at the time Froebel came to Liebenstein, the Duchesses, Ida von Weimar, and the reigning Duchess von Meiningen, must not be left unmentioned . . . With the help of these noble ladies we were able even in 1850 to open a kindergarten in Liebenstein and shortly afterwards others in Saltzungen, Weimar, Meiningen and Phillipsthal, etc.

Through the help of my gracious friend the Duchess Ida, who took part with the greatest interest, in all that took place within the circle round Froebel, I had also obtained a seminary for the first kindergartners (ie future kindergarten teachers) in the hunting castle (Jagdschloss) Marienthal near Liebenstein. To her help I owe also the opportunity of winning the interest of the Weimar court to Froebel's efforts. The death of the noble woman is to be mourned as a great loss for the propaganda of Froebel's method of education.

The Baroness von Marenholtz-Buelow gave lectures every week in her drawing room to which everybody was welcome who wished to interest themselves in the Froebel cause. A fairly numerous and mixed society of ladies and gentlemen used to attend them. In the middle of the room, the Froebel materials were spread out on a large table. On one day, she told her niece, the Baroness von Buelow, to look after the audience and to serve them with beer and sandwiches, and thereby surprised her niece considerably. "Must they have beer?" she murmured. Her aunt explained how most of these people were occupied with their professions up till the hour of the lecture, and therefore had no time to take their usual supper. She felt herself therefore obliged to see after them a little, for they could not be expected to follow her explanations if their strength was quite exhausted.

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