Foto: Photo: Rowohlt Verlag

Moritz Rinke

Born in Worpswede, one of the leading writers of his generation and directs the Author's Program at the Berliner Ensemble.

"A few days ago I spoke on the phone with my former English teacher from the Waldorf School in Ottersberg, who also supervised and directed the theatrical performances at the school, for example our 8th grade class play. In the meantime, she must be around 90 and had spontaneously grabbed the phone to congratulate me on my appointment to the Berliner Ensemble. I heard her old, still familiar voice and it was as if I was suddenly back on the Waldorf stage and in the middle of my childhood. Probably that's what I'm so grateful to my school for. She let us be free, she allowed us to act, try things out, and fantasize for longer than is usually allowed pupils in a society that was perhaps already at that time very  focused on high-performance. And I can say for myself that I have gained everything through this experience."

Foto: Photo: Rowohlt Verlag

Sarah Wiener

The bee ambassador of Waldorf 100, she attended a Waldorf school in Vienna and is today a well-known TV chef. In addition, she is committed to "Healthy customers and something sensible to eat" with her foundation in Vienna.

"Bees are fascinating, beautiful and indispensable organisms, a super-organism from which we can learn a lot – neither plants nor animals could survive without the diverse world of bees, not even humans. Our life is closely connected with bees. However, the bee is badly affected by our kind of agriculture and often also by beekeeping itself. I am very pleased that the Waldorf 100 project wants to have at least one colony of bees in each of the more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide. This is a wonderful way for students to learn to understand the complex interrelationships in our ecosystem. And of course, I love the fact that everyone can enjoy the honey! I like being an ambassador for this and spreading the idea to support biodiversity and ecological behavior."

Samuel Weiss

Born in Männedorf near Zurich, he is a well-known theater actor. In addition, he has made guest appearances in film and television productions and is an award-winning radio play narrator. He sits on the jury of the theater competition for Waldorf 100.

When I think of the Waldorf School, I always first think of Joseph Beuys' sentence: "Where have they actually remained, the Waldorf students? All those special people who change the world?" I then always feel that first of all I have this obligation, this burden, to be special. Until now, however, I have neither saved the world nor do I like it when someone asks me if I can dance my name.

I dare not claim that my profession changes the world, and yet I wouldn't have become an actor without the Waldorf School. In the 12th grade I was supposed to play the aged King Lear. The role is also actually too big even for a seasoned actor. At the age of seventeen, at least sixty years too young for the role, I tried to expose myself to Shakespeare's madness and was certainly completely overwhelmed. I wanted to do justice to the monumental nature of the role by stretching my feelings into monumental shape -- cost what it will. So, in my last performance,  it was my greatest wish to be able to cry with the dead Cordelia in my arms, to be able to cry unrestrainedly and realistically, to literally let myself dissolve in a sea of tears. To make sure this worked, I thought up a trick. Shortly before the show, I secretly smeared toothpaste in my eyes. But the desired effect did not materialize.  I stepped on stage not crying, but foaming out of my eyes. Everyone could see the toothpaste, and obviously the whole situation was ridiculous. But then a small miracle happened, the spectators were somehow moved, a process I can't really explain to myself even to this day. Maybe the audience saw behind the silly trick with toothpaste a serious attempt to get a feeling that was bigger than myself. The ridiculous thing about it actually referred to the sublime, if you wanted to see it. Maybe that's what moved the audience, that someone was exposing himself to the contradiction between absurdity and lunacy. Or maybe I was in that second truly something special, or at least something particularly strange. This is where the core lies, the substance of Waldorf School that I was allowed to take with me. On the one hand it was the only place I had the opportunity to make a serious attempt to artistically come to grips with world literature.

On the other hand – and this seems to me to be much more important – the Waldorf School has managed to arouse a curiosity in me, a desire to simply try things out. And it encouraged me to endure the process, even if it seems ridiculous.  In a world that is becoming ever colder and more uniform, I consider this a great gift. But whether or not toothpaste in the eyes is sufficient to make one pass a member of elite in the sense of Joseph Beuys is something one can only decide for oneself.

With this in mind: Dear Waldorf School, Happy Birthday on your first 100 years!"