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Rudolf Kirst was an extraordinary man who cared for and helped many people in his lifetime. Firstly, as a music and German teacher at the Rudolf Steiner school in Leeds, and then as Headmaster of Whittlesea School in Harrow, for kids with multiple learning difficulties.

dad bellsRudolf was the son of two musicians and Anthroposophists. As a teenager growing up in Cologne during World War II , he was called up by the Youth Division. He refused saying, “Hitler is an evil man and I will not volunteer.”

Standing up for what he believed in became a hallmark of Rudolf's life.  He expressed his opinions as clearly as the bells he is holding.  Rudolf always stood up for the underdog, and in his later years, campaigned against the genetic modification of food, the mass medication of drinking water with fluoride, and for the care and treatment of the elderly; starting with good food and good sleep in hospitals. The bells also represent the 'small' person against the big corporations.

Rudolf’s strong convictions and determination meant that he never gave up on people or causes.  He thanked everyone that he came into contact with and remembered everyone in his greetings and thoughts.

We became great friends and had some wonderful discussions on our trips to the EU Parliament and as members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology.  Rudolf was also a member of the All Party Environment Group, a Friend of the Earth, and part of the GM Freeze campaign.  He supported the Camphill movement and was a keen biodynamic gardener. In 2002, he successfully launched the Ways to Quality symposia in the UK, which is now a recognised course.

Rudolf was an early proponent of the DIY culture, getting things done in the face of apathetic governance, and was an advocate of life-long learning. He is greatly missed.