Robert Gettleman’s Rememberance

As a childhood polio survivor, I was experiencing the beginnings of post-polio syndrome in the mid 1970s in my mid- 30’s. I was told by a physician that I should as a childhood polio survivor, I began to experience the weakness of post-polio as a syndrome in the mid 1970s in my mid-30s. I was told by a physician to resign myself to resuming wearing a brace and using crutches. Then I met Anne. As anyone who knew her would attest, she’d have none of that. She put me to work with her “body education” exercises in her apartment and had me walking briskly, sometimes goosing me along when I fell out of line. My wife, Joyce, and I spent many hours with Anne as she changed my life and my confidence in my own body’s capabilities.

November 14, 1938

The following sentences were written on Posters and cards for my window downstairs, fully aware they are not smart or intellectual, they were the best I could do under the circumstances to express my work and therefore want to remember them for the attempt

Every window has brought us new students. I have tried writing a lot – tried writing very little, tried few pictures, then many pictures, books newspaper articles etc.  It seems always to offset the previous window.  This building has several schools with hundreds of young girls passing my window every day, Now what puzzles me is why don’t they show more interest in Body Training, our work is modern, clean, the pictures show a fluent alive approach, what now must be done to get these youngsters who show visible physical neglect interested in our work. —–

This next window must be planned for them.

It is time, what an English orator once said

Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world — There is nothing I would wish for more than this —

Artists  Poets  Singers have expressed the world over, in all ages, the glory of the human body. Before a beautiful body even the empty headed creatures of fashion stared for a moment with a catch in their throat and sense here is something of divine secrets

If Cold Marble stirs us, how much more the warmth and vitality of living Beauty

Women lose their grace of Motion by relying on artificial means – They forget how immeasurably they can control not only their clothed appearance,  but the very structures of their bodies by the things they do and eat, by the very thoughts they think.

Do You Know?!!   (My own!)

1.  That 99 out 100 women have a the age of 25 broken down the form of their bodies and lost the beauty of form

2. Do you belong to the passive, ignorant and indifferent lot of passerbys and onlookers, or do you belong to the solitary few who don’t take pills and need artificial means to camoflauge health – youth – beauty?

3. What is the purpose of body education

4. (If) you belong to the group of “Ifs”:

If I only had time, if it weren’t too hot, or too cold, if I only was young enough, if I was only strong enough, if I wasn’t so lazy, if it only fell on a better night, if I wasn’t tired, if I wasn’t too fat, if I wasn’t too skinny, if I didn’t have an inferiority complex. 

The reasons we have to listen to, if taken seriously on our part, would have been enough to close the school and hibernate, if it hadn’t been for those who came, saw, and were won over.

5. That to reeducate people to the use of their bodies is the job of Hercules – man conquers the universe and physically is going backwards.

6. That there is no sensation more satisfying more thrilling, more wonderful, than to know you possess a body and can masters its movements, valuable to carry a living one and not a dulled body around.

7. That the Anne Rudolph School is to popularize Body Education for everyone.

The aims of the Anne Rudolph School are:

  • To modernize Body Movements
  • To make them available to all
  • To teach Body Consciousness
  • To help eliminate, not disguise
  • To help avoid human unbalancements
  • To help unite Body – Mind and Soul to a harmonious whole.

At one time I was informed how fortunate that we have the lake: on one side Skyscrapers – Busy Business Life and when we wish so close to Sun, Air and Water. Body Movements are thrilling and glorious activity in a perfect setting – Out Doors.

Come with us some times, join our groups.

Shore up for a rainy day —-

Cooped up in Modern prisons, we the privileged people of civilization and culture know only of the rebirth of nature  by stray whipps of air and wind that gives us a yearning to throw off our burdens + get out — To lie in the Sun, to be carefree.

All we can do is yearn and exist.

Correct Body Training brings you into the realm of great musicianship.

Bodily expression in pictures hears a close relation to the objective and plastic language of pantomime.  Pantomime is not in the least concerned in what the actor thinks, but is very Much concerned with what the beholder thinks the actor thinks.  Similarly the actual feelings + thoughts of the model in a picture matter not at all. What does matter is whether the beholder is given an impression of thought and feeling

Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all ~ Tennyson

That salt of life, which does to all a relish give

Its standing pleasure and intrinsic wealth

The Body’s virtue and the soul’s good fortune



Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, But is, when unadorned, adorned the most

~ Thomson Cornet to a Mother

Monday December 12, 1938

This weekend came to many conclusions, among them were: 1. To now announce the formal grouping of the New Body League. The time is ripe to do this, we must wait no longer.  Shall call in a meeting of a number of people and make this announcement.

Several months ago, I had called in a group of people among which were a number of outsiders, I had thought that maybe these people due to their wide experiences etc. could help, but I soon saw that what I really wanted to do, they did not understand so dropped the matter.  Found that no outsider could help, but that the foundation group must be made up of people who came to this work with no other thought but that it could help them. 

I will make an outline of what I want to do.

We stumbled on the Name situation.  I gave the movement the tentative title New Body League.  Many suggestions were made, but none were better.  Saturday I felt this movement should carry my name. – This way I felt it could be protected against commercialism, exploitation or any other danger, also a name gives the matter a closeness that a general name cannot do.

Who was the founder of the GMEA? Who of so many movements?  It does sound immodest to want your own name, but heavens I don’t even feel it is me that is doing all this, I am only an instrument, but I do want to control this movement, because I have been called as to sincerity and honesty in my belief in this work.

There are many people identified by names.  We are inquisitive as to what these people did, they are an inspiration  they are human. There’s the Mensendieck system of motion in Germany, did we say “Do you do Gymnastics?” No, we said “Do you Mensendieck?” There is the Dr. Allanson White Foundation, which gives you a direct personal touch. Y.M.C.A can embrace many people, cover up many things.  Not a personal touch.  At any rate I shall bring up the matter

We went in the afternoon to Miss Souvarisce’s [sp?] home, she and her brother called for us.  I stopped at the school, got some material, and then we went on – it was a lovely day. Her father, a man who found his place in life, a painter who paints portraits on commissions, and paints landscapes and compositions for his pleasure and that of his family that are not for sale.  Fine feeling for father – build up a cellar that lives and breathes, that is his world.  Tool corner looks like a surgeon’s chest, everything in its place.

Sweet Mother, lovely brothers, little sister.  Had fine supper, ate like a pig, behaved like one, was immediately at home. Little Dona, always at my side.  Later did some sewing on my scarfs for X-mas. Dona, Hugo and Nuta [sp?] helped, so that now we will have to call it the Anne Rudolph Industrial Aide Inc. What a Title. Mrs. Souvarisce always holds her Hand to her back, has constant pain, told me she has seen many physicians was even operated for gall bladder, physicians believing that this ailment had influenced spine.  After operations pain came back – Had physician order surgical corset for her which was so awful that the pain was impossible to stand, her son Hugo made her take it off.  Saying that if the pain increased when putting it on, then it was better to go without.  When the Dr. was told about this, he said he couldn’t understand, that she was going through a change of life.  She has had these pains continually for 9 years.  That to me is too much.  I cannot accept this point of view.  Doctors say the spine is not decreased but…

Wednesday December 14, 1938

Am I believing myself that I am discontinuing to worry?  I am afraid I am not getting rid of this companion so easy.  It is perfectly natural that classes would not be so heavily attended, and I should not worry, but where do we pay expenses with? At least I must make some kind of arrangements by which we can keep track of our schedules, many just come a few times, discontinue, and do not pay. Although I am aware of this I cannot alter it alone. Students also must sign up for a longer term, maybe in the beginning a 3 months term, later on pay by the month. This of course can only be done if we have a large attendance.

I have already used 100.00 of Father’s money, which I meant to use for the magazine. If I hadn’t had Fathers money, I would have been doomed.

Our school has been redecorated,  I am now beginning to enjoy it. My contact with the students is growing deeper and the work is taking on a definite form, I am soon possibly to make an outline how to work. It is good that I found out that things to be good, must grow.

Here as a green beginner I wanted a definite system by which to work and now after 12 years am I finding at last a pole on which to hang.  I have been very happy this week, at last I saw with my own eyes the truth in this work.  Saw something I have never seen anywhere before.  Something for which to work was good.

Also have a plan by which to so simplify the work, so that it can easily be taught.  I don’t want 4 disciples as I thought I had last year, I want legions. I must bring the truth home to everyone, they must be their own teachers.  Oh what a future, what possibilities do I see ahead?  We can be real helpers to all people and to all progressive thought.  How much can we care – how little does one need – The Slums, these awful abodes in which humans exist would be easier abolished through education, than through any man made laws.  Youth would have a goal, an ideal, an outlet for its energies and its strength. Education is needed.  Women and Men would understand each other better.  I see a glorious future, be that we are educated as humans.

I have had much inspiration from a source I least expected and I am still hoping with all my heart it continues.  I cannot and dare not face the individual desire to be part of this movement.  It must come from them themselves,  they must want it.  and here is a young man who not only sees the need for this work but wants to help:  George Storm. We have had endless discussions about the work, he now is ever working with me.  Physically & mentally he is brilliantly equipped to be a leader and teacher.  He is strong, self reliant and what is more important than anything else confides in himself. I have listened with mingled feelings to his talks.  This work that should enthuse every living being was so poorly represented by people during this last century that it is the forgotten art of man, how tragic – we live in this body and are so far away from understanding its simplicity its beauty, its magnificent construction, its marvel of creative endeavour.  Rich gift left untouched till time comes and prematurely destroys what never had a chance to bloom and speed of its light and beauty into others.

It fills one with infinite sadness to see this wealth abused and thrown aside – valuable life destroyed

Should this continue – no – the 20th Century must rediscover the body and to help must be one goal.

I am rearranging the window downstairs, I had two inquiries and one new student from it, but I had a purpose in arranging the window as I did.

In this building daily several hundred young girls enter, ranging from 18 up, and some below.  What wondered me was now, why didn’t they inquire about this work?  I asked myself many reasons.  Surely Motion is tempting, surely we do not look static, anything like other schools have to offer.  These months I have looked upon that window as my organ to impart information, I have changed it every month even oftener, I have done everything. I know we have had new students from every window but always the more mature. So this time I set about planning to address them directly. I wrote one paragraph on before 20, and from then on, all my writing was directed towards them, I even lowered the rate by 50%, thinking maybe money is lacking. (They all look well dressed that enter the bldg.) I even scolded them a little, showed pictures how we work out of doors.

To no avail. I am changing the window – and will continue trying in another manner.

Back to George Storm. Three people have been an inspiration of all the thousands I have met – Howard for his unending patience belief and faith, his undying devotion and help.  For putting all his personal demand on me in the background. He was my steady source of inspiration then. 2 years ago on a trip with Howard to the Smokies – we stayed overnight in a Tourist Cabin. It was not very late, but I was tired, so I retired.  Howard was outside, had taken a walk and I heard him chatting with a woman, the wife of the owner: She inquired about me I heard her distinctly ask: “Doctor, what does the young lady do? Because she has a look on her face, that is very spiritual and whatever she does, she loves to do.” There doctor told her I was a teacher of Body Education, which did not mean much to her, he told her how hard I worked, that he always had to get me out by force to avoid a breakdown and that we were on a trip to recuperate.  He was very sympathetic, I felt like crying.  But she answered: “She works hard and loves it, that’s all that matters.”  I lay on that bed stunned, I had to come to the Smokies in a wayside Tourist Camp to hear from a simple old woman through the window a word of encouragement.

Every one here asked me not how the work was growing, but how many students do we have, how much money do we make, this nauseated me and often made me resentful – Even today, where I oftener hear words of encouragement, someone will ask how many students we have.  I tell them I do not know, as we do not count them, are glad they are here. I really don’t know sometimes we are very many, too many, sometimes 3 and 4 and less.  Well each kind is nice. And now this man. He heard I wanted curtains, he brought us some.  Beautiful black velvet curtains that cover one whole window.  He saw my collection of books then told me he had two out in the country who would think of buying such books. He has brought me many books, he brings ideas, he helps me with my pictures, he drives me to write down my ideas, had to promise to keep a note book for spontaneous thoughts, he even suggested having a stereograph so that I needn’t write but dictate and of all things today I have my first dictation Monday morning.

Mr. Storm came in, we talked again about the work, he helped me with the hanging of the curtains, when a young woman came in and asked for a job.  She is from out of town, Indianapolis.  Dawn.  I told her I trained my own assistants but what else could she do?  Do Stereography? Yes.  I immediately felt I may be able to use her.  Mr. Storm was taken into the matter.  He helped me interview her.  She told us she and her sister left home with enough money for train fare and staying a few days without work..  It was Monday, she had lived on a dollar from Friday to Monday, had enough left for one meal.  I called up Mrs. Singer if she could use a maid, send the girl over.  I asked her why she didn’t try nightclub work, she didn’t want that, she wanted the Artistic Dance.  Well if she is willing to do anything to earn her bread and proves good material I will help her.  I gave her 50 cents on account and made arrangements for her to do some work for me.  .35 cents  an hour.  I think that is very cheap, but Mr. Storm tells me that he pays that to a girl who comes from an unemployment agency. So it seems one thing works into the other. I don’t know yet what I shall talk about, but there are articles that should be under way.  Publicity to be taken care of.  Plans made for our League Hundred and other things to be done: write to Germany, get presents ready.  Letter yesterday – Mrs. Dribleiu [sp?] died.  What will he do without her, Where she helped him?  It’s hard.  Must stop now, am going to the Psychiatric Luncheon, hate to leave but must, I know it will be worth it.

Saturday December 17, 1938

11 A.M.  I have neglected teaching lately and done more work in the study.  Getting pictures in order, cataloging various matters.  Especially notes and clippings and in going over them, new ideas come.

Last night Miss Ripton [sp?] told me of an individual that is worth noting.  One of her fellow workers desired to come to our school, told her friend who is a sister to a ‘Gym teacher” who warned her from coming, stating we worked all in angles. This of course shows definitely a lack of knowledge of the work as nothing is done with the intention of creating an interesting surface appearance, and angles or any other kind of form is secondary to what we want to achieve.

This is a lie and gross misrepresentation of our work, but sooner or later this will come as we are criticizing standard rules and activities which is naturally researched.  Even if this were the case, we still are the only private school making an attempt to help the individual understand how to guide himself.  All around us we see the defeat of mankind brought about by human stupidity, I at least have never willfully abused or hurt one soul down here. That has been the most difficult task of all – to make people realize that fine bodywork is gentle, soft, deep, not obvious mechanical movements. I am now becoming more determined than ever, many new students come and want a “trial” lesson or “watch” as if they know what they need, but till I establish myself as an authority this will continue.  I have not yet been able to work as I should but as I said to the girls, if I wait till we have perfect conditions, we’ll never get anywhere, because what we do to-day is the support for to-morrow.

When I think of Diana telling me two years ago that I lacked a system.  When she a stupid ignorant unintelligent girl had done absolutely nothing in way of developing herself either mentally or physically, never contributed a worthy thing, paid no tuition, worried me and then telling me, who has been searching and questioning this work and myself all these years, suffered the darked home of my life, eating, drinking this work never away from it, I lacked a system.  Whereas at that time I was already clearer and deeper in my approach then any other existing school I knew, Chicago exempt. Today I am just beginning to see how I want to build up my work.  Yes, as a beginner I wanted everything orderly, well arranged, soon there I sensed the superficiality of this attempt and gave it up.  And I was free to admit that yet I had no system but it’s coming, it’s coming.

The approach to the work is rapidly becoming understood by the lay students.

Last night went to Dance Concert given by Abraham Lincoln Brigade Bernice Holms, Leigh Lucatsky [sp?], Katherine Dunham, David Moll [sp?]. Bernice was a pitiful sight, with her theatrical approach, all eye on her audience, she was a ham dancer.  Technically is a fine dancer, but I must question her mentality and her taste. And she means it. After working hard found her in her dressing room, intense heat, she sweating surrounded by her woman admirers smoking a cigarette.  Lungs wide open to inhale this poison, surely a foolish girl.  Congratulated Lucatsky also, met her in the corridor, looked like a little Jewish matron, charming sweet, not an artist, her work is very well rounded technically speaking but does not convey her subject strong enough, lacks emotional projection but still young enough. Katherine Dunham is a spotlight figure, charm, personality.  All that but lacks technical finish, in themes where strong emotional appeal or feeling is necessary not yet there.  Her Haitian Dances very very lovely.

Found Clara Zippin and Juanita Julien in her dressing room, all smoking, and chatting as if they belonged there.  The door wide open, everyone could come in

This I certainly don’t like, opening my intimate behavior to all people, also this gushing and congratulating. I don’t like it, I do want to be alone, I usually feel very depressed and feel I did not do my best and then to be congratulated, no, I don’t like it.  Yesterday brought a strong emotional reaction, result of Thursday – First Happy – Sad – Hurt.  Hurt – Offended – Ridiculous – Stupid – Ugly – Resentful – Hurt.  Indifferent – Cold – Detached – Hurt and these feelings changed from one to the other all day.  Friday was felt there – Apology – Excuse – Hurt – Defended by me – and now – Indifferent. These feelings are all awful, but they help no matter how terrible to show you your fragile place.

12 A.M. Still writing. One more thing, the 100.00 Father gave me nearly gone, just think of it all this work, this salvation idea and the worry about finances, and the many months ahead, sometimes I grow so weak, all our time our thoughts our efforts are thrown into a state of severe tension by a holiday, an epidemic, hot or cold weather etc.  Now the month nearly gone and all the bills that still have to be paid.  Students stop, don’t call, don’t pay, it is my fault and this must change.  Would like to arrange teacher’s courses for the summer, now is the time to get out attractive circular ads, I will do that now. And even have them for our February Concert.  That’s an idea how will I do it?

Monday December 19, 1938

Spent a very quiet Sunday – read – slept – ate – went for a long walk with Howard, ate at Yonkers, came home, sewed on scarfs, George came over, played cards with Dr., did not feel well, we gave him hot water, even whiskey, I suspected hunger.  Later went to bed, thought all day continuously of my forthcoming recital and what I wanted to dance, thought of the body league and more and more it is becoming clear to me the need of such a movement.  What its members couldn’t all do!  We would have power of the polls, influence people, help make better places to live in and maybe help adjust human nature.  George left.  I had been reading Ibsen’s Lady by the Lake.  Thought of that, Howard came, we turned out light.  I couldn’t sleep.

At 1:30 bell rings – Helen is at door, highly excited, George very sick, Doctor there, must go to hospital.  H. lets her in, I dress, go to her house, speak to the Dr. (her stepfather). George does not want to go to hospital, I cannot help him, took what little money I have left to send Helen for medicine.  I am not sorry for him, only thought of mother and whatever I do for him is for her sake.  These 4 years here have not changed him.  Not a single attempt did he make to improve himself, a beggar who begs things together, pennies here and there, comes to me and knows how I slave.  I just will not give him anything anymore.  No self respect, actually is working on the W.P.A. Spends all in one week, hungers the next, completely irrational and then let others take care of him. To save him and help him gain respect for effort I must be hard.  Helene wanted me to telegraph father for funds, I won’t do it, let him do it.  Father hasn’t got it and let him go to the County Hospital.  He looks very run down.  Dr. thinks he has stomach ulcers, I think he has certainly abused his health. I took him home, put him on the couch, this morning he was up.  Well, Bernice can take care of him and if he isn’t any better, let him go to the hospital.  He’s too proud to be in a ward with others, but can beg his way around, certainly a peculiar form of pride.

If he would make one effort at being a useful human being.  This way I cannot be any more than considerate, he brought it on himself. He will not return home, he doesn’t do a worthwhile thing and could at least be a companion to mother, but no, he prefers this half dead, rotten existence.

Elleusolius’ [sp?] office called, want to know when they can get some money, told the girl I hadn’t “forgotten” or had “no time” as she presumed, but thought of it and just did not have it. I don’t forget any bills, I don’t forget one debt.  Nothing I do I remember as well as a debt I owe, no matter how long ago it may be and nothing is more important than to pay them and pay them I will.

Our classes are exceedingly small and payments are scarce.  This is to be expected, so I must do something.  Do something, yes, I know what should be done, but don’t do it.  I always find excuses for myself. Motion Choir was very beautiful on Saturday, it seems it’s getting to the finishing point.  The last section of the study is still very muddy, but when we have that, we are finished and can start something new. —–

Josephine is doing better or am I doing better, I guess I am very hard on people.  As far as her dancing goes, I am worried.  Her legs are still her weakest part.

Teaching was better this week.

Miss Vance is back.  Was hurt and offended over a chance remark made by Ray —- How delicate one must be in every way. ——-

Mr. Stomes – Father, 62 years old, in for a lesson.  Beautiful kept body, very youthful looking. Most flexible spine I have seen in years, showed him off to the girls, was thrilled.  Hope I was cautious enough.  ——

Children doing fine work.  Bodies changing – Ruth always new and interesting, most interesting student in improvisation in School

Esther for first time used whole body

June who was the dullest moving slowest witted girl we’ve had is showing marked mental and physical improvement. Annemarie is changed thats good

Ballet has harmed her a lot, but maybe we can still get it out of her system, she is inspired working I can see that. Jean Kissler very interesting to watch, has head on her shoulders, seems to be a person deigned to lead.

Curtains give workroom dramatic effect. —– Feel like on the stage. Piano tuned $2.50, reasonable and too much for us, but again to hear clear tunes is a relief.  How those keys jarred me, they made me ill. ——

Shall I practice Czerny. ——-

Presents will be few this year. —-

I would like to give all the time not once.  It is a travesty with the world at one on others throats is Held.

War in Spain still going on —– War in China continuing. Italy and Germany still on the Killer’s List.

Humanity has reached a new low in bestial butchery. Philosophy – science – Religion. Books written, men dying for their felt truths —- Where is there human active progress? —– We are so inexplicably stupid and low, there is no word base enough to give man as a race. —– We are rotten to the very core. And in this world where every being wants things for himself first and last, with this attitude how can we succeed in elevating man — Never —- and still we must believe there is hope and try for it.  But first in our selves be cleansed, then we are good.

Tuesday December 20, 1938

It seems so many things are clarifying themselves and for what I suffered and wanted to force years ago, now it seems is becoming clearer to my mind.  So many things pertaining to this existence of ours, that I looked upon as set, as perfect, as finished are beginning to lose their power and necessity, seem ridiculous and frail.  And still all these laws of stupidity are, they maybe the best safeguards against our weak minds and spirits.  —

—–Sunday I couldn’t lose the thought of what did I know positively and I became frightened of the things I did not know. —- But the uncertainty of the many was a great contrast to the certainty of the little. —– One fills your being with the horror of the things one commits unknowingly and are harmful against the good one does knowing.

This knowing in my work has made me kinder, more tolerant, and instead of wanting to love one being, want to love the world.  I don’t need children of my own to express my love, that makes me selfish, when I see those little children come into the school a well of Happiness surges in me and no mother could feel more or want to do more for their children, nay, I may be better, there in loving all, I can balance and help these little ones.  Those mothers feed their children, fill them with their own stupidity, where as I learn from them how not do it and can give the children that what their mothers lack.  They come to me, put their little arms around me, there is love in their eyes, they would live with me, no we must learn to love everyone and everything and not put fences around what we term our property. —–

George is better and is up.  I hope he now will seriously adjust himself, at least make an effort to find himself.  I think I will try another way to help George, more patience and more love.

A book called The Yankee Soul was loaned today to me by Mr. Storm.  We have often spoken of forming a colony of people who feel and think alike.  —– Whereas my thoughts were on this for years, hazy and not very clear, he had already definite plans, to follow, could we find a group. —– But as much as I want to help build a colony I feel it must grow till it becomes a conviction.  Only recently have I become conscious of my place in life, that I am destined to be a leader.  Till now it may have been a feminine instinct that wanted to do things quietly, secondary, a sort of under cover existence, I shied from the thought of being in public —– Now I feel it growing in me, that I must take this leadership, it is needed and I see nowhere around me women or men willing to work for an active, very visible and strong cause, whereas many are willing to work if they have a leader.  So many things done down here prove to me that I must do it.  We do need a spiritual life As a young girl I read and read everything that came under my fingers: Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller, Schleier Macher, Huder, Holduline, Heine, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Nickelie, Selupeuhauer (not entirely sure of spellings of some names), history, biographies, war books, The Bible. I read for over a year about 23 times books on everything, I fussed and stormed over my poor memory, that could not remember so started to memorize, believing that was learning. Meeting men and women who were years older was a mania, I couldn’t stand young people around me, time spent with them was useless.  I couldn’t understand how they could waste their time with silly parlor games with laughing and joking, with girls shy and modest on the surface, where I knew how clever they were and what schemers they were alone, or boys how gentle and mannered when they were with “good girls”, but the servants that was different.  I lived a world of imagination, where I could not distinguish truth or reality from unreal, but that was unpardonable and I thought all older people honest and wise and therefore sought their company. ——

I have only read a few pages in this book and already feel a new world opening up, as I read I wonder if it would not be better to lay the book aside and not read, as to-day I want to know, when I do things, do I do them, feel as I do, from own observation and experience or have I been influenced? I don’t today want any more to find out about life and people through books.  Yes they are an expression but just as impossible as it is for me to put to paper all the intricate patterns and designs that form themselves in my mind, so is it impossible to write all, and I want more than that. —– When you are brought up to see the ultimate of love in one human being, then through circumstances this is not fulfilled, we call it sin, to go on to another because we are bound.  Oh these invisible cords are stronger than any visible ones —- and still I think it beautiful to live in a group where we are free to act, think, and feel. In a true community nothing is taken away, all remains.  I see this in my relationship to Howard, to my school, and to people. Years ago I could not touch people affectionately, I was repulsed.  Not man or woman.  I craved affection and love more than anything else in the world but could not show it.  A kiss from a woman nauseated me.  I fought this feeling off towards my mother and learned to kiss her as I believed it to be something lost not to do it.  Years later I did the same towards Father, never allowed anyone to touch me. Howard received the first voluntary kiss – Now I touch people show my affection, my esteem by a touch, I thought a great deal on this point.  It’s true nothing remains so part of one as a physical touch.  No gift is so lasting as the touch of an understanding being. With this touch I show my innermost feeling of wanting to be with this person of one thought.

7:15 PM – Wednesday December 22, 1938

To-day an eventful life – to-day an experience that was worth all these years of devotion and effort – I found a person who believes in my work. He calls it The Work – The Cause – Saying it was bigger than one person – bigger than me, that I just was an instrument. I could and do rejoice – sees this work the great thing – not me – only so can it live and go on – where the person is excluded, where it becomes the property of man – what it has taken all these years in me to form and of which I hardly dare speak, he tells me, he mentions it.  He sees the difference, he understands.  Wants my work to have a definite name – organize it – yes, I believe I now can do it, these last few months show me the way how and from where to begin. He spoke of how I wasted much time and effort, but I told him it was not wasted, that with the knowing and not groping I was becoming more concise, more sure, more certain, that these years of groping were necessary to have arrived at this point. —–

He says I reach people emotionally and not intellectually, I could kiss him for this, he thought he may hurt me and I know of no greater compliment to be paid, this is just what I wanted, I cannot reach these people intellectually first. It must be emotionally, then to keep them and have them grow, I reach their mind. To keep this work going, only the mind degrees and not the emotions AND the mind dictates if they should believe it or not.

Body awareness is mind awareness. Only emotion and it soon would die, live by impulses, but with the unity of all, we live.

He also told me, I was coming into a new era.  I was now a woman, dignified, big, sure, born for big things, he believes this. —- Have I tried moving mole hills and steadily plodded my course, now I feel I can tackle bigger things.

I know what I want to do, I know I shall devote all my years to this, I have no other path, no other choice but now I have others who want to tread it with me. —-Now where there was one, there are two, then three, then four and now more and more and people who have ideals and hopes, not decayed and morose

He also said I still had to become bigger, that there was still much smallness in me, that my love for beings must become larger, less selfish.

Hellmuth, Howard, Koncaad [sp], three great factors in my life, 3 kind, good men, three men in whom truly there is the spirit of Christ.  How can I but be anything but desirous of working and building.  That the greatest faith and encouragement should come to me from men. —-

Here I sit in my school, alone the quiet in me is a deep happiness A fulfilled hour.  These three will go with me forever for their contributions, it is truly a Festival hour in me. I am rich, rich beyond understanding. For Howard and me a better XMas, I only hope, sincerely hope, that as time grows a great understanding between these two men will grow too.  Both are superior to me in countless ways, both are such help in the work.  Both are so needed.

            We talked all afternoon about the work I was amazed and stunned and only pray it lasts.  —–  I will work and grow that way.

            Yesterday the idea for a children’s Summer Retreat grew, that I want to work out and a program explaining our work. —– An important point he brought out, was that my work resembled the natural movements of daily life that is the continuous flow from one to another. He asks me many many questions. ——

December 22, 1938

The Dead City

Gabrielle d’Annuzio

His language is beautiful, his insight in the feelings of people is true and feel.  So many passages are of deep understanding and beauty.  It was not just reading, but I feel I was there, lived there and was Anna. These thoughts that she expresses could have been mine, when I came out of the depths of depression – it was Joy, the joy brought to me by a being that helped me.  My greatest happiness and my greatest sorrow was given me by humans and not things, so it is the human that dictates us and our doings.

It is there you would like to live. There, there is joy. All your being asks for joy, needs joy.  Ah, how brilliant your youth should be to-day.  The desire of living radiating from your person like the heat of a fire place.  Let me warm my poor hands.

I cannot take my thoughts from this last sentence, I read it last night and all through my waking hours it followed me.  Let me warm my poor hands.  It is full of sadness and sorrow, it is a feeling one can have for anything anyplace.  Our poor souls, let us warm them.  Haven’t we all hungry souls that cry out for compassion and understanding and even the vilest among us are souls in need of compassion.

He asked me not to say “Life is real” anymore.  He sensed this was said at a time when I was harassed, worried.  I meant it there, and to-day I would use it easily as a remark.  How well he knows me.

To-day our Christmas Party in the school, I am looking forward to all the people coming.  I love to have gatherings in the school and although we are far from ideal conditions, that group of men and women -deep thinking, acting and doing, we may have a well spring of joy opened and can play. ——- (This late, over to Mme Sai, who, when I come in, will say ‘Hello Anne, come in Child’, then I rattle off and she will say ‘Come kiss Mama’ and I brush her cheek, still shy, but beginning to enjoy it, I am always so suspicious of people and their kindness to me, because why should they be kind, I don’t do anything active to deserve it, as a matter, most of the time I am too wrapped up in the work and make others listen to my blatherings. ——- But there I sit and relax, and tell her all that happens, there she takes care of my hair and massages my head – one place, one person who hears me well and I do not pay, I owe so much, I hope I never forget these generous deeds. To-day I did very little, it seems, I just am loaded with so much and writing brings a little release. People are so kind to me, Mrs. Hinsfeld brought presents for the grab bag, she is not coming.  —-  What a Colony we should have, where no thought is so daring that cannot be expressed and freedom is from within

Tuesday December 27, 1938

Christmas is over, outwardly very quiet, inwardly constantly busy thinking. Saturday Mr. Storm told me a few things:

1. My movements fundamentally lyric, as a whole at present too lyric. A sameness has crept into my work. Feels I have great ability for the Dance but did not work hard enough.

Explanations on my part are many and could be even more —- Thinks my Pantomime great. —- One sympathetic person, one encouraging soul.  Any little dancing student received and still receives more encouragement than I do.  It is difficult to answer all these whys – One is the realization that there is more to the Dance than just moving – I think only to-day do I understand what dancing should mean and does and maybe now I am not a dancer anymore.

To think I have never given a Concert in America under favorable circumstances, this intense struggle for the work eliminated all thought about my self.  Our school has never been a profit, now it must become self supporting. Right now it is beginning to mean more than a school.

One student wrote: ‘Here’s for bolder and bolder flights’

Another: ‘The Cause is Great, the Woman greater, Anne Rudolph please take care of your health.’

All this show of love and thoughtfulness scares me, scares me terribly, after all these years of elbow pushing, now these returns.  Its difficult ground to travel on.  One is uneasy, will it last?

Mr. Storm did something the fighting spirit already kindled, is now blowing into a flame.

            I haven’t even the money for a pianist, should I rehearse and spend, when down here money is so badly needed. I will – I will work like I never have. —-

            When I think of all the labor and planning in this coming affair, I’d like to turn around and run, a funny sickening fear is in my body, but I know I will go through with it, regardless how difficult.  He told me to stop reviving but to use my rich imagination and do new things.  I can still see the flash in his eyes and hear the demanding authoritative voice: “I am intently interested in this Concert and want to see you dance.”

It sounded to me as if, through this Concert, he would know my very innermost self.  He is the first person demanding of me artistic endeavour through my very own self.

Had I met a person like that only earlier —– Then to-day, what?

Yes, I would have expressed myself but where would the Cause be? Yes, my mind wanders on and on.  And I think this was the right path

I am finding Patience, Time and Love, love to my fellow human beings and that is more important than all the accomplishments in the world.

            Finished A Yankee Saint. Took me into a rarefied atmosphere of Peace and Goodwill, now I am questioning, asking, wondering, strongly influenced by what I said, this book is a tremendous document. — Complex marriage male continence – Stirpiculture – Selection of parents – freedom of mate. This all in New England  – A community of frugal, active, respectable people, held to-gether by a brilliant mind.  —- What were they, Sheep or thinking people? What were their innermost thoughts, why did they do it?  They rebelled and were independent. I would like to have lived to see this Colony.

My mind, so set on developing one myself, I would like to know why so many were started, failed and a few are still in existence.  We have their experience to go by. —- But as advanced as this, I dare not even breath to myself. —- This man Noyes was great.

He has 3 kinds of Matings:

            Amativism – The Mating of a man and woman drawn to-gether, feeling they need each other to complete a full union both spiritually and physically That only this person can give.  As I understand it, completely for the two alone.

The second – The mating with procreation following.

The third – promiscuous Mating, base, vile, as ill fitting as masturbation.

That is the damnable one —-

He understands man and speaks his mind, he is right. —- How much serious damage could we avoid if instead of completely wanting to possess one person alone for your whole life, you were willing to share that person.  To share Howard would not be difficult, if I knew the person was worthy of him, would not damage him but help him.

He is wonderfully kind and lovely, I cannot completely absorb him.  I shouldn’t, he must have other people who love him also around, otherwise I will not be a help, but a detriment.  Often when I say “Well, when I am dead you must carry on,” he will say, “There’ll be no carrying on, I die with you.”  In the beginning, feeling as I did then, I was thrilled and willing to die together, to-day I am not.  —- Outside of this school the other purpose is to find a place for Howard.  He gives so much love and needs it in return.

I have felt for the last year, after the terrible experience with Hellmuth and Howard, a great widening in myself, a love for all people and that love must become great and rich, bigger as I grow older. I look up to Age — Not down.

But the infirmities of Age I do not want. —–

A very cold day.  Came down early, taught several students – I like this kind of weather.

Mrs. Barbers mother came in – gave her a treatment and in 30 min. rattling of shoulder joints had subsided.  Complained of constant pain, good looking body, Mrs Barber comes of good stock. —- I often feel like thrusting my head against a dark and heavy block – No knowledge of medicine – This makes me impatient and unhappy

If I knew more —I could scream for knowing so little.

Why did I move so slow in all my body work – There is a great thing going towards its solution.

Visible and invisible motion.

Very active movements.  Tempo inwardly.

What is the moderation in motion?

Why moderation? Why is it that there is one basic tempo and all the rest are variations? Moderato is the basic – How active can we be, without visibly showing it? See where we are sick, racked with fever, with pain, we feel like traveling in a whirlwind and are in reality barely moving.  Birth of a child — We are arrested and still moving.  All the greatest feelings are shown in physical Motion.  The climax death.

I based our work on slowness and discovered the missing link to body development.

All good things develop slowly.

There is a seed planted that is this work and me, we are still under the ground, but the earth is cracking and those who look will see, a plant will soon come up, but we found our place to plant the seed.  Glorious – We found our place. —–

To-day I was asked if This work was My Religion. I answered yes – if helping others is  a religion then this work is mine. —-

Also asked by this stranger who happened to see our window and came up, what I did to prevent death? I told him nothing, but that I did want to help premature death. —- What I did about the hereafter, I told him nothing, as I hadn’t found the solution yet. —-

I know I shall – Some day find also that. —–

In lecture, stress all the fine points of our work – Slowness, Continuity etc.  Also how each person must become his own teacher – to be a trustful leader, stress it distinctly and clearly. 7:30 P.M –  Miss Kagan came in and told me exactly the same thing Mr. Storm did, that I had so many possibilities but did not do enough about them – That she could weep over all the things I could do and did not.  That she learned a lesson, wants a new piece every month.  I told her that I was glad over what she said, that a sympathetic person was all one needed and wanted.  To think two people at one time who took interest in Anne Rudolph the Artist, I told her that my dancing to me to-day was that I had been given little morsels here and there, just enough to keep me alive, but decisions to live on, I kept going. That now we were all either going up together or down. —- That I don’t apologise for one single act, committed in hanging this work before the public, that to our critics I say “We do” and you?  What one single action do you know you did in service? —- So they believe I can dance —- That is worth something most assuredly to me, they will know that on that stage at the Goodman an assured young woman stands who knows what she wants and does it.  Behind me stand the hopes and the strength of a group.

Wednesday December 28, 1938

20 min. to 4 —

Will give you a ring when I have more time.

All of us have our own little worlds to conquer – In to it and out of it.  To-day very quiet outside – 2 calls. I had conference with Robert Wolf, we talked over our forthcoming Concert. I told him what I wanted to do —-

No Composition alike, every one entirely different in expression, thought, technique, Costuming, Music, told him of Woman Song.

Made arrangement with Goodman Theatre for Concert February 19 at 8 P.M.

Now the hard work begins and a spartan regime should set in. Here is a test for myself, if I should succeed this once to do a concentrated thing I feel for the future secure.  It is not me alone anymore, and I must think of that. Must forget entirely personal things and consider only my work.  If I accomplish that, then I will be Master and not slave.

So much work to do – Read – Finished Mothers petticoat, will finish the scarf for Mme Sai to-night.  My whole inward being is in an uproar – Work – Concert etc. Will write Hellmuth, have not heard from him for over two months, will write Max, Mother, Father.  I am now glad much has happened, self discipline is something one must fight to acquire, I am in the midst of this terrific struggle and to lose is so easy. —- I am so close, I want to give up.  I am selfish ——– The biggest love is to sacrifice, and do it gladly. For the other, have no resentment, just be thankful for what came once close to you, thank all and give up. ——-

Friday, December 30, 1938

3 P.M – Just received a letter from Papa, stating his sailing January 4 for Home.  It is so terrible, I cannot see him again, why all this living apart? — I wrote him a letter and am sending mothers pkg. to the boat, this way she will receive it. — I wired for an extra $100.00 – I had contacted the telegraph Co. then hung up, thought it better to fight it out, then to borrow.  On second thought though did send the wire. —- I weakened when I thought of all the work I had to do to get this Concert going.  All the internal and external effort.  So I hope I get it.  Fathers 200.00 certainly helped me these months.  What a triple hell it would have been without.  Just think, never even been able to support myself and I work all the time and am in a field of work so badly needed.

I see things to-day differently and know if you want something badly you try getting it.  If you don’t want it badly you try forgetting it. — I am convinced this is what is happening, one leads, the others are being led.  If one says things are still as they were, they are not – they are exactly different. In stating the very thing one wants to hear, we are showing out just the opposite.  They are not, therefore, honorable. Retreat is better than passive waiting, what will happen?

Honorable Retreat and strong action on certain plans.

Honorable Retreat and Strong Drive Forward – the plan for 1939.

——- 4 P.M. Just returned from the Post Office

Sitting here in the study, I feel before we leave this year I should write a few happy thoughts, I should be glad of so many things and really learn to be thankful of all the kindnesses shown me.

Have retained Old Friends, made many new.  The work has grown, I have grown

It’s snowing outside, gently the snowflakes are dancing their lively moods.  Robert playing the piano and the radiator buzzing accompaniment, it is close to twilight and in me I feel the quietness of the hour. —–

When I leave this valley of tears and isolation, may I have done my share.  May I have learned to understand the irrungen und wirrungen of myself to have been bäudigt and really not been too selfish —-

May I knowingly never hurt or harm a person, may I never do anything unkind and not be envious or selfish.

Now I shall set to work, sew, think plan and scheme. —-

To-day Mr. Gale told me unless my rent was completely paid, my lease could not be renewed.  How I should pay up all this next month, Heaven may know I don’t. —- But this makes me want to be more business like then ever.  I told the girls of the importance of making our Concert a Threefold success:  Artistically, Financially and Scientifically.

The last part of our First big Motion Choir was finished last night. —-

Now we will work on the Handel Suite.

Will have them named on the Posters Circulars – Even write what their purpose is and what we aim to do.

4.45 – Just had a call, came suddenly. Cannot make out many things.  But from shock recovering – gladness, no – but glad to know a sense of thought does prevail, helps matters glide into clearer waters.

Tuesday second rehearsal with Robert Wolf – Feel very bad about my dancing. Will leave right after evening class —–

Will not talk to Mr. Baumgarten, I am not sure he means sincerely yet and therefore witholds my utter confidence. An easy matter is to say ‘not here’ when he calls, but he would sense that, so should he come in on Tuesday I will leave earlier, that tells the story also and from there on, I will make a definite cut.  His Plan for everything is fine, but I believe not possible to be fulfilled and therefore I shall pleasantly withdraw, it is better to stay neutral and not be involved in things that are dynamite.  And many of his plans are dynamite. —-

It does good to write many words off your chest—Thats why I guess I scribble so much these days — No one to speak My innermost thought to —- and bursting, therefore I need some outlet. —-

”At the waters edge the women sat and wept

At the waterside the women sat and wept.

Last day of the year, 1938

4 P.M.  Did a lot of thinking – to all lines and all kinds of work – very few pupils this month so could spend lots of time to quiet thinking which was needed.

Served on Costume this morning

Trying on the gold shimmering material felt good — Yesterday there was nothing.

Then the red was adjusted, then this morning the Gold overthrow, planned it for the lecture – But now want to open the Concert with it —

Griffes Sonate —- Blue Ribbon around the waist. —– Festive mood. —- Very nice work done with the children, 10 min. for their part of the Program, told them the School in the sun was only to be had through work, they were missionaries and as such must be honest and sincere

Between me and nothing was nothing

Then Mrs. Bunke gives me $1.00 and later Mrs. Bartoline $2.00 – And was I glad, it was so close again this time borrowed from H. again over $11.00

Letter from Hellmuth, lovely, sweet, I shall always love him, never give him up, he knows this and this faith in him will help him up, I do want to help him he needs it.

Last New Year, my thoughts were black, Life did not seem worth living.  My thoughts wandered over the Clouds, the ringing of the Bells to my loved one.  This time so many will be with me to hold communion.  Rest and Peace I found with Howard and I am happy with him.  His loyalty is beautiful. Hellmuth, Mother, Howard, Father, Eugen, My poor dead friends, the world, the 3 little souls, their father, for all I will give thanks and be grateful for the future, I hope continued strength, courage and love for my work, for people – Less selfishness More consideration for others – More for my personal joy and desire – More Dance. 2 years of rich living, dancing, spending joy and beauty – Just 2 years.

Ode 1938 – It was a good year to me.

February 1, 1951

Yesterday after waiting several months a package with several items that I had taken abroad to let H. read at long last were returned to me. — Due to being so overloaded at the Airport in Paris I entrusted them to Mrs. Silves. —  I had long thought them lost. — Q. wrote and inquired twice. — Then Mrs. S. Confessed she had not sent them – But after a long struggle with…