Ernst Lehrs

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Ernst Lehrs

Ernst Lehrs (* 30 July 1894 in Berlin; † 31 December 1979 in Eckwälden|) was a German anthroposophist who worked as a teacher, lecturer and writer.


Ernst Lehrs was born in Berlin in 1894 to assimilated Jewish Protestant parents. He enlisted as a war volunteer at the beginning of World War I. After the end of the war, he studied natural sciences and graduated with a doctorate in 1923.

Together with other young people, Lehrs became acquainted with anthroposophy around 1920, which immediately fell on fertile ground with him. With untiring zeal he also devoted himself to Goetheanism throughout his life, to which his main work «Man and Matter» in particular bears witness. He writes about it:

„Before beginning the actual discussion of optical phenomena in the light course, we are pointed to the necessity of adding to the investigation of purely centrically oriented fields of force, as science has hitherto unilaterally pursued, that of fields of force of peripheral order, that is, of forces whose dynamics are polar opposite to that of gravity. With regard to the present rejection of Goethe's theory of colours, Rudolf Steiner says: "We will perhaps speak of colours in the sense of Goethe when another castle has been stormed which is considered even more solid and which has actually already begun to totter today. That is the castle of gravitation. This hint prompted me to form a doctrine of lightness strictly on the lines of pure observation, which necessitates the development of the concept of the magical as distinct from the mechanical causation of processes in nature, as well as the concept of regality as an autonomous property of matter as opposed to its property of inertia, which is regarded one-sidedly today, and which in its further development also demanded, among other things, a reorientation of the concept of space on the basis of what George Adams Kaufmann first worked out in the geometrical field.“ (Lit.: Lehrs 1953)

After several personal encounters with Rudolf Steiner, the latter also gave him a number of pointers for the esoteric path of training. In 1922 Lehrs was decisively involved in the founding of the Esoteric Youth Circle.

Lehrs became a teacher at the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart. In 1935 he emigrated first to the Netherlands, where he taught at a Waldorf school, then to Great Britain. During his internment there he met Karl König in 1940. In 1952 he returned to Germany and worked as a lecturer at the newly founded Seminar for Anthroposophical Curative Education in Eckwälden|, where he lived until his death in 1979.


  • Man or Matter, London 1951 online; deutsch: Mensch und Materie. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1953, 3. A. 1987, ISBN 3-465-00285-7
  • Der rosenkreuzerische Impuls im Leben und Werk von Joachim Jungius und Thomas Traherne. Freies Geistesleben (Studien und Versuche 5), Stuttgart 1962
  • Vom Geist der Sinne. Zur Diätetik des Wahrnehmens. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1973, 3. A. 1994, ISBN 3-465-02651-9
  • Spiritual Science, Electricity and Michael Faraday, London 1975
  • Rosicrucian Foundations of the Age of Natural Science, Spring Valley 1976
  • Gelebte Erwartung. Mellinger, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-88069-088-X