[Verlag Der Rudolf Steiner-Nachlassverwaltung, 1961.]
The image on the cover represents the first Goetheanum,
which was destroyed by fire. Anthroposophists have long claimed
that the fire was arson, perpetrated by Steiner's enemies,
but no proof has ever been produced.
The workers to whom Steiner delivered the "forbidden lecture"
were erecting the second Goetheanum, a concrete structure.
I am reliably informed that "Color and the Human Races"
is not the only forbidden or suppressed work of Steiner's.
I will quote from a message posted by historian Peter Staudenmaier,
identifying various portions of Steiner's work omitted from translations:
1. The original English translation of Steiner's essay "The Occult Significance of Blood" was published as Rudolf Steiner, “Blood Is A Quite Peculiar Fluid,” Theosophical Review (October 1907), pp. 105-117; this version entirely omits the paragraph on “the race question”. A number of current translations omit the reference to black people.
2. Both of the English translations of Steiner's book Gesundheit and Krankheit — Steiner, Health and Illness vol. 2 (Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1981), and Steiner, From Comets to Cocaine (London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000) — omit the paragraph on "Negro novels".
3. The English translation of Steiner's book Welt, Erde und Mensch is Rudolf Steiner, Universe, Earth and Man (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1987). In this edition, all of the specific references to “the black race,” “the Malayan Race,” “the Mongol race” and “the American Indians” as “degenerate races” have been excised. None of these gaps is marked in any way.
4. Steiner’s entire 1924 lecture on “The Essence of Jewry” was omitted from the otherwise complete English translation of the book it appeared in: Rudolf Steiner, From Beetroot to Buddhism (London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999).
5. Steiner's entire 1923 lecture on “Color and the Races of Humankind” was excised from the otherwise complete English translation of the book it appeared in: Rudolf Steiner, From Limestone to Lucifer (London: Rudolf Steiner Press,1999).
You can find some of this suppressed material
elsewhere here at Waldorf Watch.
Thus, you might look at
"Also Forbidden", "'Negro'", "RS on Jews", "Races",
"Steiner's Racism", "Differences", and "Steiner's Bile".
Use this link to go to the second half of
 This is one of numerous lectures Steiner delivered to the workmen constructing the Anthroposophical headquarters, the Goetheanum. Here he is referring back to his previous lecture, delivered on February 21. Steiner generally spoke to the workmen on Wednesdays and Saturdays, although the schedule was somewhat flexible.
 This, presumably, is a little joke. Steiner points out that white people are not really white. If a “white” person were the color of chalk, s/he would be quite unhealthy. (Ho, ho.) Elsewhere, Steiner says that the skin color denoting spiritual health is peach-blossom — what whites have been accustomed to calling “flesh color” or “skin color.” If memory serves, when I was a boy one of the crayons in a standard Crayola box was marked “flesh” — the crayon was a sort of muted, tannish pink.
Steiner on "peach-blossom" skin:
"Just as we sense in green the dead image of life, so we can feel in the peach-blossom color of the healthy human being the living image of the soul ... You experience the world as color and light if you experience green as the dead image of life; peach-blossom color, human flesh-color, as the living image of the soul; white as the soul-image of spirit; black as the spiritual image of death.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE ARTS AND THEIR MISSION (Anthroposophic Press, 1964), pp. 93-94.
 Steiner accompanied this lecture with several sketches he drew on a chalkboard. Only one of these sketches is reproduced in VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS WESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS. I will reproduce it in its place within the lecture.
 Steiner was deeply upset by the movement of blacks to Europe. He railed against the French, who brought blacks from colonial French possessions to France itself.
“The French are committing the terrible brutality of moving black people to Europe ... It has an enormous effect on the blood and the race [of the French] and contributes considerably toward French decadence. The French as a race are reverting.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), pp. 558-559.
 Steiner is wrong. Black objects do not absorb all the light that hits them, nor do white objects reflect all the light that hits them.
 This is utterly wrong. There is no light inside a solid black object. Light hits the object, and it is absorbed as heat, not light. Steiner's next statements come a bit closer to reality.
 No they don’t. See endnotes 5 and 6, above. And bear in mind that just as "white" people are not really white, "black" people are not really black.
 Steiner's portrayal of blacks generally consists of racist stereotypes. Blacks are stupid, he said. They have strong bodies and weak minds. They follow their strong instinctive drives rather than thinking things through. They are heated (by passions, by sexual drives). Blacks can seem observant, but this is only because of their powerful hindbrains.
According to Steiner, blacks are essentially childlike:
“[A] centre of cosmic influence [is] situated in the interior of Africa. At this centre are active all those terrestrial forces emanating from the soil which can influence man especially during his early childhood ... The black or Negro race is substantially determined by these childhood characteristics.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 75.
In Steiner's system, children up to age 7 live mainly through their wills; older children, up to age 14, live mainly in their feelings; children from 14 to adulthood begin to live a thinking life.
"On the level of human development, these forces unfold in discrete seven-year periods: willing dominates the first seven years of life, feelings become accessible to the child in the second seven-year period, and independent thinking blossoms after age fourteen." — Eugene Schwartz, Foreword to THE RENEWAL OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 2001), p. 12. The book is a collection of Steiner's essays and statements.
Steiner posited a hierarchy of races, from the most childish (blacks) to the most adult (whites). He taught that young souls incarnate first as blacks, then — if they live moral lives — they move up into higher races in subsequent reincarnations. Thus, when a soul reincarnates as an Asian, s/he is in the second stage of spiritual childhood, when emotions predominate. (We will return to this point.) When the soul rises high enough to reincarnate as a white, s/he enters a phase of life when thinking predominates — s/he is a spiritual adult.
"For peoples and races are but steps leading to pure humanity. A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation. Man must finally appear in harmonious perfection." — Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF HIGHER WORLDS; full text available online: http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Books/GA010/English/GA010_index.html]
Steiner said that no one should be prejudiced against members of lower races. Yet his formulation of a racial hierarchy is inherently racist. Racism does not necessarily entail hostility. We are racists when we evaluate people wholly or largely on the basis of race, and particularly when we judge people to be lower or higher because of their race — which is precisely what Steiner did. According to his teachings, a black person is inherently less mature, less evolved, less intelligent, and perhaps indeed less moral than members of "higher" races. There can be individual variation, of course — but this is precisely what Steiner's system minimizes.
 Steiner sometimes said that modern science would confirm his teachings, and he generally claimed that he himself was a scientist — a scientist of the spirit. But often he acknowledged that there is no scientific support for his teachings, and he blamed science, arguing that it is blind to truth. [See "Steiner's 'Science'" and "Science".] Here he says that science does not accept the things he is saying about race — and he does not realize that this is a damning indictment of his statements.
 Steiner is saying that white people have a healthy skin color because their inner whiteness — think purity and virtue — shines through the surface of the skin. Note, too, how in this paragraph Steiner indicates that the races are stages of development. He argues that black people are less evolved than yellow people — Asians stand at the "Mongol stage" of evolution, at a "higher level" than blacks. Whites are higher still, according to Steiner. [See "Steiner's Racism", "Races", and "Rankings".] In part, Steiner argues, white superiority is shown by white self-reliance or self-sufficiency. Compared to the lower races, whites are far less dependent on energies received from outside themselves, Steiner says. This does not mean that whites are perfect, of course. Great vistas of further human evolution lie in the future. Nonetheless, although whites are at present prone to certain errors, such as materialism, whites will lead the human evolutionary advance. (Steiner will develop this theme later in the lecture. And he will return to white materialism when discussing American whites.)
It is also worth noting, at least in passing, that Steiner seemed to think that Eskimos are whites who have been denied intense exterior heating. In fact, Eskimos are native Americans — which he sometimes called Red Indians. I quote him to this effect later on this page.
 This, presumably, is another small jest. Steiner does not consider whites “poor” in any sense — he places them at the top of the racial hierarchy. “Poor” us, he says in effect; we must lead our lower brothers.
 That is, his essential nature is internal.
 That is, the healthy glow of white (i.e., peach-blossom) skin comes from the blood below the skin.
 That is, they are earthy.
 The Sun, very hot in Africa, excites the interior of the black man — it “cooks” him internally, according to Steiner.
 That is, mastery of the outside world — as through the development of science and technology — comes from the white race, which uses its forebrain.
 Like his portrayal of blacks, Steiner's portrayal of Asians consists of racist stereotypes. Asians are inward-looking, dreamy, unworldly. To a Western mind, they often seem inscrutable. They believe themselves to be superior, but they lack such capacities as the ability to create their own inventions. At the level of technology, they merely copy the West. (We might note that because of such stereotypes, the West was shocked, at the beginning of World War II, to find that Japanese weapons were not simple copies of Western designs — many Japanese machines were superior to anything in the West.)
 Steiner goes beyond his contention that Asians cannot create their own inventions — he suggests that Asians cannot even operate sophisticated devices.
 Here Steiner tries to give a beneficent sheen to his racial theories. He says that people of various races need to help each other because they have different innate capabilities.
 That is, they stand midway between blacks and whites.
 That is, internally they are Asians.
 Steiner taught that each race has a rightful place on the Earth, and each should stay where it belongs. If races migrate to other areas, they tend to die off, he said. He made an exception for whites, however, saying they can go anywhere.
 These trips were made in chains, aboard slave ships.
 Atlantis. [See "Atlantis and the Aryans" and "Atlantis".]
 Steiner says that American Indians are the descendants of blacks who moved too far west. Like virtually everything else in the essay, this statement is false.
 As Steiner uses the term here, an alien is a person who does not belong in a particular region.
 They are like their forebears, black Africans, according to Steiner.
 Steiner often spoke of American Indians as if they had all died out. In part, he attributed the near-extermination of American Indians to white settlers, but in part he said the nature of Amerindians themselves led to their decline.
“Not all of the people living on the earth today stand at the same level of development. Alongside those people that stand at a high stage of civilization, there are primitive peoples that have lagged culturally far behind ... We have before us in the American race a primitive aboriginal people that has remained far, far behind, among other things in regard to its religious worldview. But this race has retained the belief in a monotheistic god, which speaks to it from all the sounds of nature ... But the Europeans have ascended to a higher level of culture, while the Indians have remained behind and become decadent. One must always pay attention to this evolutionary process. It can be described as follows. In the course of millennia our planet transforms itself, and this transformation also demands a development of humankind. Those side branches that no longer fit in to current conditions become decadent. Thus we have an upright evolutionary trunk as well as side branches which decay." — Rudolf Steiner, MENSCHHEITSENTWICKELUNG UND CHRISTUS-ERKENNTNIS, pp. 243-44; provided by Peter Staudenmaier.
 Whites are so superior, Steiner says, that they virtually transcend race. He taught that in the future whites, will evolve to become “universal humans” and then all races will disappear. Steiner's defenders often refer to this doctrine when they argue that Steiner was not really a racist. But this overlooks Steiner's clear indications that nonwhite races are inferior and indeed they tend to self-destruct. The abolition of "inferior" races is necessary, in Steiner's view, for humanity to evolve higher. Moreover, although Steiner generally said that all humans evolve upward through the racial hierarchy, moving from black to white — a doctrine that implies fundamental equality — he also taught that many people evolve downward toward lower racial forms, and some may fall so low as to cease to be human.
“We now stand in the Fifth Root Race. The Sixth Race will see quite another race, noble and beautiful, in contrast to the thrown off [i.e., retrograde humans, bad souls], decadence which will be a race of men, horribly ugly, animal-like, sensual, vicious, far more horror-provoking than our present humanity, because these will go on developing downwards.” — Rudolf Steiner, DAS CHRSTLICHE MYSTERIUM (Dornach, 1981), GA 97.
“[Future human evolution] cannot happen in the world without the most violent struggle. White mankind is still on the path of absorbing spirit more deeply into its essence. Yellow mankind is on the path of preserving the period when the spirit was blocked from the body ... [T]he result will have to be that [mankind’s next step upwards] cannot happen differently than as a violent fight between white mankind and colored mankind in the most varied areas ... You see, we stand before something so colossal that, if we regard it through the diverse perceptions of spiritual science [i.e., Anthroposophy], we will in the future recognize it as a necessary occurrence.” — Rudolf Steiner, KOSMISCHE UND MENSCHLICHE GESCHICHTE - DIE GEISTIGEN HINTERGRÜNDE DES ERSTEN WELTKRIEGES (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1974), p. 38.
 Steiner distinguished between soul and spirit. Your soul is the spiritual part of yourself that you possess during a single life or incarnation. Your spirit is your undying spiritual member, which you carry through life after life.
 Here Steiner is talking about Aryans. The Aryans, users of an Indo-European language, migrated to India around 2000 BC. In some modern usages, the term “Aryan” has become synonymous with whites and, in particular, highly-evolved Germanic whites. [See "Atlantis and the Aryans".]
 This refers to subcontinental Asian Indians — residents of India — not American Indians.
 According to Steiner, whites can move more or less freely to all parts of the Earth, because they are more self-sufficient than other races. However, moving away from their rightful place in Europe does have some effects on them. (This is either a contradiction or modification of Steiner's other statements about the ability of whites to go where they please.)
 Because white Americans are white, Steiner holds out hope for them — eventually they will gain the spiritual knowledge that white Europeans possess. he indicates. But for the present, Steiner criticizes white Americans as being thoroughgoing materialists. (Of all the statements he makes in this lecture, this one comes perhaps closest to truth. But even here he badly exaggerates. Thomas Merton, to give just one example, was a white American.) Steiner says that, because they came to America — the home of degenerate former blacks, who rely heavily on the hindbrain — whites in America become somewhat dependent on the hindbrain. Hence, they are not as smart or as spiritual as European whites.
 This refers to American Indians, not Asian subcontinental Indians, residents of India. As noted previously, Steiner indicates that American Indians are "decaying negroes."
 That is, when the European migrates to America. (Bear in mind that Steiner was addressing white Europeans.)
 Because Americans' arms grow longer, they might seem ape-like. But any comparison between humans and apes is intolerable and inaccurate, in Anthroposophical belief, and Steiner says that the legs of American whites grow longer, too, thus reducing the resemblance to apes. (Steiner speaks explicitly about monkeys later in the lecture.)
 That is, the immigrant’s legs don’t grow, but his descendants’ legs will be extra-long.
 Steiner tosses in a reference to the midbrain, here, suggesting that for American whites the impulses of the hindbrain are moderated by the midbrain.
 That is, Europeans — being so intelligent — weigh the evidence, and often this means no definite conclusion is reached. Europeans are too sophisticated to settle for easy answers.
 There are limits to the value of thinking or reasoning things out. Steiner often disparaged the importance of the head and brain. Here he states that truth comes not through the brain but through the entire human organism.
Another statement by Steiner concerning the brain:
“The brain is an instrument for purely intellectual apprehension. Intellectualism and materialistic thinking are one and the same, for all the thinking that goes on in science, in theology, in the sphere of modern Christian consciousness — all of it is the product of the human brain alone, is materialistic. This manifests itself, on the one hand, in the empty formalism of belief; on the other, in Bolshevism [sic: emphasis by Steiner] ... [T]he materialistic brain represents a process of decay: materialistic thinking unfolds only through processes of destruction, death-processes, which are taking place in the brain.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), pp. 147-148.
 Thoughtful Europeans may be stymied, struggling to weigh evidence and find logical proofs. Steiner indicates that Americans are unhindered, they just leap to conclusions and act reflexively. This is a more backward approach, but in some ways it is a better approach.
Elsewhere, Steiner says that humans will evolve beyond the need for thinking — they will instantly intuit truth. This will not be the same as instinctively jumping to conclusions, but will be similar — it will be a form of immediate apprehension. [See, e.g., "Thinking".]
 Steiner advocated Goethean science, which relies heavily on observation rather than experimentation. [See "Goethe".] So here he finds a further advantage in the backward American approach: Americans observe (and leap to conclusions, and act) while Europeans ponderously ponder things. The European approach is higher, and it will lead to still higher states of consciousness, but the lower American approach bears some similarities to the coming, higher consciousness.
Steiner's understanding of color was based, at least in part, on Goethe's theories about light, color, and vision. From THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA:
"In 1791...a completely new scientific issue began to obsess [Goethe]: the theory of colour. Convinced that Newton was wrong to assume that white light could be broken into light of different colours, Goethe proposed a new approach of his own. Colour was to be seen as emerging from the mingling of light and darkness. At first he attempted, unconvincingly, to expound these ideas as new, alternative laws of physics (Beiträge zur Optik [1791–92; Optical Essays]). Later, however, he saw that it is of the essence of colour to require cooperation between the physical behaviour of light and the human perceptual apparatus. Goethe’s colour theory has real originality as a theory of vision rather than as a theory of light." — "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe." ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, Online, 17 Jul. 2011.
As usual, Steiner rejected conventional science — and thus, as usual, he went astray.
 The vernal equinox — the beginning of spring — comes around March 20 in the northern hemisphere. Steiner delivered this lecture on March 3.
 American whites will produce their own civilization — they will be less false — when the age of Aquarius begins. (Steiner will return to this point.) Note that Steiner has shifted from discussing the annual rotation of the zodiac to a much longer evolution: the precession of the equinoxes. He is not saying that the first real American civilization will come in a few months — he taught that it will come in a few centuries. Specifically, he forecast the American Age as beginning in 5733 AD and extending to approximately 7900 AD. [See "Oriphiel".]
 America intervened in World War I, joining the nations fighting Germany. [See, e.g., "Steiner and the Warlord".]
 Steiner taught that the Great War, World War I, broke out because Europeans had lost track of their spiritual mission. His own cultural efforts following the war — including the creation of Waldorf schools — were aimed at getting Europe (and in particular Germany) back on track.
 The word “anthroposophy” means knowledge of the human being. Steiner says that white Europeans were able to develop the true, spiritual Anthroposophy. (He himself was the founder of Anthroposophy.)
 According to Steiner, European Anthroposophy arises from within, from the spiritual essence and creativity of Europe. All true spiritual develop arises from within.
 Europeans who forget their spiritual mission bring disaster to Europe — as they did during the Great War.
 Americans do not face the higher possibilities of both spiritual evolution and spiritual destruction to the same degree that the more advanced Europeans do. Their time has not yet come. This is even more true of Americans who are transients — those who will return to their original homelands.
 The word Steiner uses here is “Rasseeigentümlichkeiten” — the sort compound noun of which Mark Twain complained (see "The Awful German Language"). Broken down, the word becomes "Rasse eigentümlichkeiten," meaning peculiarities of race.
 That is, Europeans have a true understanding of human beings (Anthroposophy), because they see into the spiritual nature of humanity. Americans also have an understanding of human beings (a sort of anthroposophy), but it is superficial, focusing only on the physical body.
 That is, a fanatical believer in Anthroposophy. Steiner sometimes cautioned his followers that merely memorizing and thinking about Anthroposophical doctrines — that is, approaching Anthroposophy through the intellect — does not lead to true Anthroposophy. (True Anthroposophy comes from the inner spirit, not through the brain.) An Anthroposophist who works through the brain is thus prone to fanaticism, s/he is not a true practitioner:
“A man who would receive Anthroposophy with his intellect kills it in the very act.” — Rudolf Steiner, LIFE, NATURE, AND CULTIVATION OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain, 1963), p. 15. [See "Steiner's Specific".]
 That is, American knowledge of the human being is artificial (superficial, materialistic). It is dead or “wooden.”
 Steiner acknowledges that Americans are not really wooden, of course — they are not made of wood. As whites, they hold much promise, and eventually they will realize their promise. (There is a suggestion here that Americans are merely marionettes, mouthing European concepts that they do not understand. Eventually, however, Americans will gain their voice and become able to speak spiritual truths.)
 That is, Americans are still stuck in nature, in the material world.
 Fanatical Anthroposophists (those who do not truly understand Anthroposophy at a spiritual level) become very angry about Americans — they feel threatened by them. And here Steiner indicates that Americans are indeed rather like apes or monkeys. But, he says, no real human being should feel threatened by a comparison to monkeys. True human beings are far too high for that. Still, the American caricature of Anthroposophy (i.e., the American materialist perspective on human nature, which might say that humans and monkeys are closely related) — this caricature can understandably upset good Anthroposophists.
 Steiner is speaking about the spiritism practiced by mediums in seances. He is also taking a swipe at Theosophy. Both spiritism and Theosophy flourished for a time in America. [For some background information on these things, from an Anthroposophical perspective, see "The Semi-Steiner Dictionary".]
 Steiner is returning to the idea that Europeans, having higher souls and spirits, have higher mentality. Americans are lower in all these ways, he says.
 That is, Americans are childlike materialists, but they are working their way toward the spirit. If a European were wholly materialistic, s/he would die. Americans, however, can live as materialists because it is in their nature, and for them it is a passing stage of development.
 America, a young country, is like a young child, who begins life with only a physical body and hence is materialistic. But as the child grows, it acquires an etheric body, and astral body, and an “I”. [See "Incarnation".] Then it is a full, spiritual human being. This is the path America is on as a nation.
 The European mission is to spread their high civilization, elevating all peoples toward the spirit. It is not the European mission to complain endlessly about the lowly Americans.
 Steiner despised Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States. Here Steiner says that Wilson was false — he was one of those false Americans who ape European ideas without understanding them. Thus, Wilson was not a “true” American — one who is on the path toward the Spirit. (It is not irrelevant to remember that Wilson brought America into the Great War against Germany, thereby ensuring Germany's defeat. [See "Woodrow".])
Steiner argued that Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin (Communist leader of the Russian Revolution) were much alike, leading humanity into the clutches of the arch-demons Ahriman:
“We need to be clear that Ahrimanic forces [i.e., demonic forces] are increasingly breaking in upon historical events. Two leading personalities, [Woodrow] Wilson and [Vladimir] Lenin, died from the same illness, both from paralysis, which means both offered an opening for Ahrimanic forces.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 700.
 This more or less ends Steiner’s American digression. In the next paragraph, he returns to his main theme, characterizing the various human races.
 That is, it loses its footing on Earth, focuses too much on the universe beyond, and thus wounds itself.
 Steiner summarizes the two great white migrations he outlined earlier. Some whites migrated east to India, creating one sort of new civilization there, and others later migrate west to America, creating a different, new society. The central, best civilization remained in Europe.
 We find the right path only through strenuous effort. In part, the correct path for each individual is determined by his/her racial characteristics.
 That is, false science, naturalistic science, what people generally call real science. Steiner generally opposed such science, finding it vastly inferior to his own “spiritual science” — Anthroposophy. [See "Steiner's 'Science'" and "Materialism U."]
 Steiner’s criticism of the modern world extended well beyond his disagreements with the natural sciences. He dismissed almost all modern scholarship and the work of most modern educational institutions. [See "Materialism U."]
You may also want to note the tone of mockery in this passage. Steiner's humor often turned to mockery when discussing his opponents.
 In his sweeping condemnation of modern life, Steiner offered his own vision for social renewal. He called it “threefolding.” It would strictly divide the three primary spheres of human life — economic, political, and cultural. Each sphere should be wholly self-guiding, free from interference from the other spheres. [See "Threefolding".]
Steiner often plugged his own books (here, he refers to "the first chapter of my 'key points of the social question'"). English-language publications setting forth Steiner's social vision (including his "key points of the social question") include THE THREEFOLD SOCIAL ORDER and THE SOCIAL FUTURE, both published by the Anthroposophic Press.
 Steiner offers himself as virtually the sole source of wisdom and human salvation. The calamity of the Great War was brought about, he says, by the blindness of the middle classes, and scholars, and scientists — that is, just about everybody except Steiner and his followers.