the aspiration with the change which motivates these "reformers of the life".

old photographs


geographical situation


emission TV on arte




with other sites

the museum

comments on the emission of Arte

this page was carried out by Frantz starting from the documentation found on Internet (see the bonds)


photographs of the colony and the artists and writers, researchers who attended it:

Assemble Verità Gesamtansicht v.l.n.r. Casa Andrea, Casa Gentile, Haupthaus und Casa Anatta (1905

Zentralhaus von Henri Oedenkoven erbaut

Isadora Duncan, Aufenthalt auf Mote Verità 1903

Rudolf von Laban "Der Mönch"

Mary Wigmann, "Hexentanz" 1914

Kraft durch Freude unter Leitung von Maurer Masseur, um 1930

Das Sonnenbad der Vegetarier, 1906

a community


a naturist colonist, worship with the sun

Die Grazien auf der Brissagoinseln, 1930

Eric Mühsam (1878-1934)

(April 6, 1878, Berlin; assassinated by the Nazis in the night of the 9 au10 July 1934 with the concentration camp of Orianenburg)

German poet

Otto GROSS Psychoanalyst, 

(1877 - 1920)

Hermann HESSE (in the center) in Monte Verità

 dance with Mary Wigmann

the utopians of Assembles Verità. While Europe precipitates in the war, from young intellectuals at the edge of the Lake Maggiore release themselves from the constraints of civilization. Anarchists, Socialists, vegetarians, artists, writers and dancers experienced with Assembles Verità, close to Ascona, of new ways of life. The troop of the dancers of Rudolf von Laban is offered to nature in a revolutionary nudity to renew the company of the interior. This early photography color (it acted in the beginning of a slide on glass) anticipates a future technique and reflects intensively, by the faichor preserved of his colors, the aspiration with the change which motivates these "reformers of the life".


the geographical situation of Assembles Verità

 sights on Ascona

Assemble Verità, a history:

In this XIXe century, Europe is shaken by the arrival of the industrialization which upsets the social organization. This crisis is particularly felt in Germany where signs of rejection of the industrial world appear since 1870. Thus, in response to the urbanization generated by a new organization of work, Naturism appears. One tries to flee the pollution of the cities, to create communities and " cities gardens " to live in harmony with nature. Those which share this point of view gather soon around the movement of Reform of the life (Lebensreform, 1892). Contrary to the Reform called by the rosicrucians of the XVIIe century and in the literary Utopias which succeeded to him, scientific progress is felt like a threat at the XIXe century. The movement of Reform of the life drains the followers of the vegetarianism, naturism, spiritism, natural medicines, sanitarianism, the Théosophique Company, as well as artists.

In this mobility, a Swiss theosophist, Alfredo Pioda, try to establish in 1889 a laic convent. The group takes the name of Fraternitas and is installed on the Vérité go up (Verità goes up), close to Ascona (Tessin, Switzerland). Frantz Hartmann and the Wachtmeister countess, of familiar of Héléna Petrovna Blavatsky, takes part in this transitory project. It is undoubtedly this experiment which will inspire in Frantz Hartmann "an institution rosicrucian in Switzerland", the chapter which it will add to the successive editions of its initiatory novel an Adventure at the Rosicrucian brotherhood. Ashes of Fraternitas, Henri Oedenkoven and Ida Hofmann give birth to in 1900 Monte Verità, a community of the same Nombreux  type will be those which will attend Monte Verità, like the writer Herman Hesse, the future philosopher Martin Buber, the politician Gustav Landauer, Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, the inventor of eurhythmics, or Rudolf von Laban, the choreographer and theorist of the dance.


Monte Verità is a splendid natural site which dominates the Lake Maggiore top of a hill with Ascona, Switzerland.  Monte Verità received its name at the beginning of the century when the hill was inhabited for the first time by a small community of people in the search of an alternative way of life, new and healthier: vegetarians there lived in close contact with nature, exposed their naked bodies to the sun, built their huts and houses with their own hands while dreaming with a more peaceful future.  The community, its evenings of discussion, its concerts and its performances, became soon a curiosity not only for people of Ascona but also for travellers of all Europe who started to visit this unusual place.  The community burst before the First World War but something of the spirit of the place remained in more of the vestiges of this time collected by Harald Szeeman for the Museum of Assembles Verità; photographs, tables, books, posters, letters, objects testify to the passage in this place in more of the founders of the community, people like Otto Gross, Rudolf Steiner, Krishnamurti, Isadora Duncan, Hermann Hesse.  In this attractive collection one finds also documents which analyze the particular magnetism telluric of this area (!): a manner of wanting to include/understand why so many great minds were found here and were inspired here.

sight on  the lake since the terrace of the current reception centre

December 10 97 - TELEVISION



' the mountain of the vérité', Alexandre Adler and his ' Wednesdays of the histoire' considers a particular case of the German history. Arte, 20. 45.

To redefine the conditions of happiness by fleeing misery and pollution, by eating vegetarian, by living naked feet... Such was the ambition of a handle of colonists who were installed at the beginning of the century on a small hill of Italian Switzerland to found Monte Verità there, the mountain of the truth. In 1900, seven men and women who had met in a circle of anarchists of Munich buy a few hectares of ground in Tessin, clear and build huts in order to build a better world. During one half-century, some great figures of European intelligentsia meet in Monte Verità. The author of this document isolates four from it: the psychoanalyst Otto Gross (pioneer of the sexual revolution), the ' poet with the feet nus' Gusto Greser (which inspired the vagrants of Hermann Hesse), the choreographer Rudolf von Laban (renovating of the modern dance) and the writer Erich Mühsam (figurehead of the German revolution of 1918). The destinies out of the commun run of these four individuals will reveal the ambiguity of the utopian project which had joined together them. Vêtus of skins of animal, Greser digresses in bombarded Munich, Gross dies in Berlin as an anonymous tramp, Mühsam succumbs under torture Nazi while von Laban lends allegiance to Goebbels and becomes chief of the German ballets. The worship of the sun and the dances in the meadows are well far: the history caught up with those which had believed to be able to forget it, or to transform it. These crossed destinies, told thanks to an important layer of files, show how the topics of the revolt and the destiny are woven. Monte Verità is a revealing adventure of the dreams and nightmares which are ours.

comment on the emission TV: Assemble Verità

The mountain of the truth, documentary of Henry Colomer diffused on Arte Wednesday December 10 at 8 p.m. 45 tries to show the ambiguous role which would have the pioneers of a libertarian community located close of Ancona in Switzerland at the beginning of the century. While following the route of four among those which remained there : Otto Gross, psychoanalyst, Gusto Graeser, vagrant, Rudolf von Laban, choreographer who will put themselves at the service of Goebbels, Erich Mühsam, anarchistic poet assassinated by the Nazis, documentary the richly illustrated one try to reveal that this community would have supported the rise of the Nazism. Wouldn't Erich Mühsam have written an anthem vegetarian in 1905, and Hitler he was not vegetarian? Other sophisms will be used as arguments. However this experiment Community stops in 1920, and apart from the support which Mühsam brought to Otto Gross when this one was interned on the order of his/her father, the bonds between these four characters are not approached. If their fate, apart from that of Laban is tragic, is this a reason to conclude from it that if they failed it is that they were wrong? Must one believe that those which succeed in the life are right?..

Eric Jarry

the reform of the life and naturmenschen:

 (extracted the site:, which does not exist any more)

But, Churward is not the only one to support the existence of a lost continent. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the movement theosophist, also supports the existence of a lost continent, Lémurie. It is to note that Helena Blavatsky made stays in India at one time when Churward itself was confined there (fine 19th century - according to H. Santesson). It was also initiated by "rishi" and it influenced the first research of Churward on the Golden age of humanity. Blavatsky was extrêment influenced by the racist theories of max Muller. Also let us quote the nearest relative of the Theosophy, Anthroposophie (of Rudolf Steiner) affirming that the spiritual capacity is a function of the racial "purity". The theories enacted by Helena Blavatsky are extremely close to the principles of Mahikari:

It is it also which introduced the Eastern religions in Occident.

It thus seem that fine 19th century and beginning of 20th, a certain philosophical mobility, taking again extremely similar principles, with however certain differences, was done day and has joins together Western and Eastern concepts. This mobility will take another turning in the Twenties and Thirties.
After the First World War developed in Germany and Switzerland a movement of return to nature, of rediscovery of the human body, linking dance and gestures. One of these philosophers, Jaques Dalcroze, founded a community of which the goal was to find the harmony with nature. The pediment of its school raised the Eastern symbol of Yin and Yang intermingled. Other communities were installed on a hill of Swiss Tessin that one called "Monte Verità". These "naturmenschen" lived generally naked, cultivated their vegetables (there was a fort running vegetarian) and refused the modern society. They carried out ritual dances, often on a music of Wagner, preferred of certain Adolph Hitler. Certain communities were used as laboratories to certain theosophists. One also found libertarians, anarchists and naturists. All these communities announced a new age and regretted the Golden age (a matriarchy for some), the Lost Paradise. Let us quote the Order of the Temple of the East, Gross (which interpreted with its way the theory of Freud), Graeser or Muck-Lamberty which launched a movement announcing of new times after the German defeat of 14-18. Another movement of the campaigns, WanderVogel (migratory birds), preceded the scouts. The children left to make ballades, to discover nature, sang old Germanic songs idealizing the Gothic Middle Ages, the whole in an iron discipline.
These movements of return to nature and "patriotic scouting" were diverted by Hitler. Admittedly, all WanderVogels did not become Nazi, but they prepared the values of the mode Nazi: racism, exaltation of the force and nature, idealization of the Middle Ages, idealization of the fatherland, harmonizes with the cosmic force, fusion of the individual in the community of the race, etc.
Moreover, the majority of the movements rejected the money and the materialism, just like Hitler which proposed its "national-socialisme", its vision supporter of corporatism of the economy.


anarchistic and socialist vision  , an example:

Erich Muehsam  (1878-1934)

DER junge Schriftsteller, von der Berliner "Neuen Gemeinschaft" enttaeuscht, sah in Ascona die bessere Chance, "ein Zusammenleben auf eigene Faust zu bewirken, wie be Carl Graeser für sich allein ja beinahe schon erreicht hat". Er versuchte eine Umsetzung Gräaeerscher Ideen erst in seinem Schwabing-Asconeser Intellektuellenkreis, dann in DER "Tat"-Gruppe of Sozialistischen Bundes von Gustav Landauer. Muehsam plants die Herausgabe der Schriften von Carl Graeser, den er die "interessanteste, tiefste und bedeutendste Persoenlichkeit unter allen Colonisten" nennt, und duerfte seinen Freund Otto Gross den Graeserbruedern zugefuehrt haben. Centre Versuch, Asconeser Gemeinschaftsideale in der Muenchner Revolution politisch umzusetzen, wurde niedergeschlagen und endete letztlich put seiner Ermordung durch die Nazis.


MUSEI LED MONTE VERITA' - Musei: Tel.+ 41 91 791 03 27 - Fondazione Tel.+ 41 91 791 01 81.

Anatta Put:
the most original house out of wooden of Switzerland, dwelling and seat of the Co-operative Vegetarian Assembles Verità.
Since 1981 permanent museum on the history of Assembles Verità and its Utopias (anarchy, social Utopia, theosophy, reform of the life, psychology, mythology, dance, music, literature).

Selma Put:
hut air-light of the vegetarians of Assembles Verità in 1900, where are preserved other documents on the life of Assembles Verità.

Chiaro Mondo dei Beati:
house drink some in the style Monte Verità, restored in 1986 to present painting the Paradise imagined by the painter Elisar von Kupffer, on a large panoramic circular fabric.

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Sunday 14.30-18.00
Tuesday-Sunday 15.00-19.00

Entry: Fr. 6. - reprocessed /groupes, students, soldiers and Fr. 4. -

liens :

sur Monte Verità

sur Hermann Hesse et Monte Verità

pour Mühsam Eric, Gross Otto

site en français sur Otto Gross


Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman



   Lake Maggiore   episode 16    episode 30      Hermann Hesse

english translations      home      library