Friedrich Froebel

Letters to the Friend of Children and Humanity

translated by Johannes Froebel-Parker, from the German "Mein Lieber Herr Froebel!, Briefe an der Kinder und Menschenfreund"
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Most esteemed uncle!

I am sending you these heartfelt greetings via Mrs. Traun and Mrs. Wuestenfeld. Many thanks for your dear lines with the essay about Kindergartens. Our departure to Hamburg is now settled. Hence, the groundwork is now laid for an activity for which I have hoped since my earliest childhood. It first seemed possible to me only when I learned of your system. Its success in Switzerland, which you had prophesied to me in Dresden, was not expected.

Our undertaking, which so deeply touches the holiest matters of womanhood, will be most easily advanced under the protection of our Womenís League. That is, if it is able to be performed at all given the current conditions. Even a temporary association with you would have crowned all our wishes. However, I have given in and now hang on the prospect of once again being your student and being able to attend your lectures. There I can work with all my energy to propagate your system.

As I have already stated, I could only count on little and very slow success here. Nevertheless, the kindergarten which was established here last May 1 has ten children. Nine of them pay full tuition, which is two and a half Florins per month. These receipts It would be enough to ensure a kindergarten teacherís existence, if she could decide to take over here independently.

I am dedicated to every possible sacrifice in order to not let the little seed sprout die. I will therefore take all necessary steps.

I would be pleased to do everything in my power to help make her position here pleasant. If only you knew if one of your students who would have the courage to carry through your cause here. Perhaps that person would also have some resources. She should especially have Swiss-like individualism. I also thought about Allwina Middendorff, especially as her fatherís essay about Kindergarten particularly pleased a very influential lady here. If you can do something to help here, things will soon begin to happen.

My dear guests are departing today, hence the circumstances allow me to write only a few quick lines. My husband sends his regards, and, as I, is looking forward to seeing you again in Hamburg.

Your truly devoted niece,
Johanna Froebel

Allwina Middendorff would find the climate here advantageous, as well as swimming in the lake. That has strengthened my nerves.

Johanna Froebel participated in the Pedagoguesí Convention 1848 in Rudolstadt; ended her visit to the course January 1849 in Dresden; married Friedrich Froebelís nephew, Karl Froebel, and worked at his educational institute in Zurich.

read the German text in "Mein Lieber Herr Froebel!, Briefe an der Kinder und Menschenfreund" Berlin (DDR): Verlag Volk und Wissen, 1990

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