This biography comes from the 2010-11 school calendar created to honor the centenary of George Roeper’s birth in 1910.
George and Annemarie grew up in the idyllic setting of Marienau, the German boarding school founded by Annemarie’s parents, Max and Gertrud Bondy. The school had a cozy scale that encouraged community and comfort, offered expansive and accessible natural beauty, but was close enough to a wealthy town to offer a variety of cultural opportunities. This was the model George and Annemarie sought to replicate in their schools.
Citation: Ruff, M (2017). “The Physical Environment,” The Roeper School Archives, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
During the celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Roeper School in 2016-17, School Historian Marcia Ruff wrote histories of several aspects of the school. In this article, she traced George and Annemarie’s path from their upbringing in the progressive boarding school in Germany founded by Annemarie’s parents, Max and Gertrud Bondy, through their flight from the Nazis and the evolution of The Roeper School in Michigan.
Citation: Ruff, M. (2016). “The Origins of The Roeper School,” The Roeper School Archives, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
In 2002, filmmaker Kathryn Golden released “Across Time and Space,” an hour-long documentary about Annemarie Roeper’s parents, Max and Gertrud Bondy, who were progressive, humanistic Jewish educators who established Marienau, a boarding school in Germany where children were taught self-awareness, tolerance and democracy. Annemarie met George when he came as a student in 1924. George was a student leader and helped developed the school’s democratic decision-making structures.
This film features a number of interviews with Annemarie, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 93, and includes archival footage from Windsor Mountain School, as well as new footage from Roeper and Marienau in the 1990s, plus interviews with family members and alumni of the schools. It explains the roots of George and Annemarie’s educational philosophy and how the trauma they suffered in Germany strengthened their belief that democracy, tolerance and non-violence are the only paths to a humane world.
Two clips from the film are available online. The first covers the rise of the Nazi Party and its impact on the Bondy family. The second explores the education at The Roeper School.
The rise of the Nazi Party:
Education at Roeper: