Marienau – A Daughter’s Reflections

In 1929, Max and Gertrud Bondy opened the doors to Marienau, a progressive boarding school in rural Germany. After fleeing the Nazis in 1939, their daughter Annemarie and her husband George founded The Roeper School, still thriving today. These are Annemarie’s intimate memories of her childhood at Marienau. They render a portrait of the milieu that would birth the Bondy/ Roeper family’s humanitarian philosophy-one that would evolve to profoundly impact the history of gifted education. Order from Amazon (click here).

Listen to Annemarie recall her early life at Marienau, through to WMS in the documentary called Across Space and Time (click here).

Curator’s Note: If you loved Windsor, this book is a must read to understand not only the genesis of our school, but also the genius of Max and Gertrud. It is amazing to realize that in the midst of the abject poverty and chaos of post World War 1 Germany the childhood paradise of Marienau was born … the creation of the founders and their students. Despite Max’s belief of “Don’t Conform – Adjust”, the school continued under the Nazis reign for many years until 1939 when he was forced to sell Marienau and flee the country. Max was never able to recover from the loss, further saddened by not being allowed to reclaim Marienau after World War 2. Amazing still is how Max and Gertrud reinvented Marienau in Windsor VT (moving it to Lenox MA) as Windsor Mountain School. It remains unclear why Annemarie and George, who both taught at Windsor and sent their children there, split off and moved to Detroit to start the Roeper School. No doubt there were mother/daughter issues and the early passing of her father Max. So for those of us who admired Gertrud and always felt she was an incredible and unique woman … her daughter’s book will, as they say, tell the rest of the story.