Creator, itinerant guide, sage
1879 - 1958
Leopold Wölfling wrote about the Gräsers, and mainly brother Ernst Graeser in 1931:
This page opens the door to Gusto Gräser's world
|The poet and nature-prophet
Gustav Arthur Gräser was a unique figure in the first half of
the twentieth century. Intellectual leaders of his time saw
him as the personification of the "new human being", the
materialisation of the ideals of Nietzsche and Walt Whitman,
and at the same time a new Francis of Assisi. His life outside
the rules of civilisation was unconceivable for the people; it
generated scandal and hatred. But for others he became an
idol; poets like Hermann Hesse and Gerhart Hauptmann rose him
to a mythical rank.
Most of his own poetry remained unpublished during his lifetime. He distributed epigrams and poems on postcards and handbills, calling mankind for a radical change. Today his image is linked above all to his creation, the "Mountain of Truth" or Monte Verità in Ascona, which has become the symbol of a nature-worshipping counter-culture free of violence.
Gräser was born on 16th February 1879 in Kronstadt, Transsylvania, and he died on 27th October 1958 in Freimann near Munich. Together with friends he created the society-reform colony on Ascona's vineyard. In "Public conversations" in major German cities he called for a cultural renewal. He left a life-work of poetry that revives fundamental human symbols.