death of Friedrich Froebel

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

The year 1852 was a particularly sad one for Baroness von Marenholz Bülow. In March her beloved step-daughter Sophie died, and she herself, very ailing, stayed in Pillnitz, near Dresden, with her son Alfred and a niece Charlotte von Marenholtz [of Dieckhorst]. Then the news came that on the 21st of June, at half past six in the evening, Friedrich Fröbel after a short illness, had departed this life.

In her Reminiscences: she writes -

"It seemed in the first moments as if everything were falling together, and the thousands of unuttered questions which we had still to ask could never be answered."

Herself still weak and ill, she went to Liebenstein on the 20th of July, 1852, and her first words to Middendorf were: "What will ever become of the Cause?" and he answered: "A truth never will be lost."

All that Middendorf told her of Fröbel's death and his funeral must be read in her "Reminiscences." Nothing more touching and at the same time more elevating can be imagined.

"As a child, Friedrich Fröbel, the friend of children and the apostle of child-happiness, fell asleep. Without a struggle and without pain ended a life which never for a moment had had an egotistical thought but which had been entirely dedication to mankind and childhood,"

"Even in death," Middendorf told her, "no trace of pain was to be seen on Fröbel's face. A holy earnestness and inward cheerfulness shone from it. It was as if his gaze had turned inwards and had only left a sweet and happy smile. The countenance showed an extraordinary tenderness; the lips were slightly opened as if the mouth wanted to speak of the secrets of the other world: "I now see in light, what I have seen indistinctly till now. Believe and follow the truth, it guides you to freedom and to bliss," and softly she added, once more, "Thus I, too, should wish to die."


Above the tomb of Friedrich Froebel was placed the sphere, cylinder and cube of the second gift carved in granite. The sphere and the cube together represented Knowledge, Beauty and Life. The sphere predominantly corresponds with the feelings or heart, (affective) and the cube to thought and intellect (cognitive).

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