Rudolf Steiner's Words of Welcome
to the Social Gathering

1 January, 4.30 p.m.

These words of welcome were taken down in shorthand by Helene Finckh. The gaps at the beginning arose because, as the greeting had not been announced, it took her by surprise.

... on the occasion of this painful anniversary ... at such a crowded gathering I imagine that out of this grave mood the minds and souls of our anthroposophical friends must find one another in personal conversation. We need it, my dear friends. There will always be a need in our Society for human being truly to find human being, for heart to find heart, and for soul to find soul. But we need it particularly here where we have to gather in this makeshift room while directly next door stand the remains which so painfully remind us of what we endeavoured to have as an external sign for our sacred cause. It seems to me that each one of us must feel the urge this afternoon to find an opportunity in many directions to speak his or her mind about the pain and the sorrow, but also, in contrast, to fire the development and unfolding of the hope, courage and strength that we shall need for the future. Though spoken out of heartfelt sorrow, may these words, my dear friends, serve as a starting, point for many and varied fruitful exchanges amongst us as anthroposophical friends this afternoon. May it be so!