Rudolf Steiner was born in Kraljevec, then part of Hungary, now Croatia, in 1861. The extraordinary originality of Rudolf Steiner's mind led him to a philosophy which linked up the world of science with that of spirituality. The first Waldorf School grew out of the political and social devastation throughout Europe following the First World War. In 1919, Emil Molt, an industrialist and the founder and managing director of the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette factory, in Stuttgart, Germany, asked Rudolf Steiner to provide an education which could offer a healing to mankind. Rudolf Steiner passed on his ideas for the kindergarten to Elisabeth Grunelius, a Froebel-trained kindergarten teacher, who took on a kindergarten group in Germany for a temporary period in 1920. After a period of intensive teacher training, the first truly comprehensive, non-selective, non-denominational school. The school was closed by the Nazis in 1938, and in 1940, Elisabeth went to America, where she founded Steiner Waldorf kindergartens.