This post comes courtesy of my dear Facebook friend Sukanya Sinha. Her father Surajit Sinha was the Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University between 1975 and 1980. In Sukanya’s words:
“While rummaging through old papers I came across a postcard that I had never seen before. It was addressed to my father and was written in 1980 by a ninety-four year woman named Edith Geheeb.
The postcard had her photograph printed on it. In the letter it mentioned that she was the wife of Paul Geheeb and Rabindranath Tagore visited them in Germany in 1930.
I had never heard her name before and was curious to find out about her. Fortunately, in the Google age this is possible without stepping outside home. It was like following a mystery trail.
Paul Geheeb was a remarkable educationist , who along with his wife Edith established a special residential school in Germany in 1910 called Odenwaldschule. It was a unique school, implementing progressive non-authoritarian practices and a holistic learning philosophy with emphasis on being a part of a community. The Geheebs moved to Switzerland following the Nazi takeover of the Odenwaldschule and started a new school called Ecole d’ Humanite there in 1935. The postcard had the same address. Rabindranath Tagore visited the Geheebs and their school in Germany in 1930. Their educational philosophies found resonance and they formed a lifelong bond and corresponded frequently. Paul Geheeb was conferred the honorary title of Desikottama by Visva Bharati in 1961. He passed away a few days before the award ceremony. As is evident from the contents of the postcard, Edith remained in touch with Santiniketan over two decades following his death.”
Paul Geheeb and the poet
The postcard to the late Upacharya
More information: http://www.ecole.ch/en/history