Hanna Kroeger Founder of Peaceful Meadow Retreat
The history of Peaceful Meadow Retreat is synonymous with the history of Hanna Kroeger Master Healer, their family, New Age Foods ( now Hanna’s Herb Shop), Kroeger Herb Products and the Chapel of Miracles. We invite you to learn about this magical journey through the many pictures and stories.
Hanna Kroeger has been called the “Grandmother of Health” and has received many health awards in her lifetime. New Life Magazine declared her one of the great holistic pioneers of the 20th century along with Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, Ann Wigmore, Dr. Edgar Bach, Dr. John Christopher and Edgar Cayce.
The following excerpts come from The Peaceful Meadow Retreat and can be read in their entirety there.The History of Hanna Kroeger
The War Years
After getting her degree in nursing, Hanna became a village nurse where she went from house to house to change bandages, care of the elderly, dispense drugs, and help people prepare meals. She quickly became bored with the work and felt she needed to learn more. She wrote a letter to Dr. Alfred Brauchele who ran a naturopathic hospital in Dresden and asked if she could study there. At this hospital she would learn how to make compresses, brew herb teas, dress wounds, clean the sores and make gruel for diarrhea and compresses for fever. So, she applied and immediately received a return telegram saying “Welcome”. She later wrote: “At the hospital I learned to dispense allopathic drugs but did not get as much satisfaction from them as I did with the natural treatments I learned from my mother.”
Hanna Kroeger was born on October 5, 1913 in Attabey of Amasya, Turkey, to German missionaries. When she was two years old, her mother took her and 5 older children to their grandparents in the Black Forest region, near Freudenstadt in southern Germany, because her father had enlisted in WWI. He came back from the war when she was 7 years old and decided to take his family back to their home in Turkey. Because the journey was potentially dangerous (they had to go through Moscow and finally were smuggled on a boat to return to Samsung) her parents decided it would be too difficult to take the two youngest children.
Starting Over In America
After a harrowing journey on a tiny ship (Neptunia) which was built primarily for travel around the Mediterranean Sea, Hanna and Rudolf Kroeger and their five children arrived in America in May 1953. They had to wire Hanna’s cousin in Milwaukee to send money so they could buy train tickets for Chicago, as they had not realized that New York was that far from Wisconsin.
New Age Foods
The first thing Hanna did was to find employment. After a couple of short practical nursing jobs, she found a tea and coffee store in downtown Boulder whose owner was ready to retire. She talked the owner into letting her have the store rent-free for three months, added nuts, seeds, raisins, healing teas, and home-baked breads, thereby starting the health food movement. Two years later she bought her own store building and named it New Age Foods. Hanna taught herbal healing classes at the store and began to be known for natural healing advice.
As Hanna’s line of remedies grew to include whole foods, vitamins, minerals, herbs, vibropathics and homeopathics, demand for her advice grew rapidly. A corner of the store was curtained off and became her consultation room. Homeopathics, herbs and literature was strewn everywhere barely leaving room for three chairs. There were usually 4-5 people waiting for her advice every day. She hoped that she could help more people who were obviously struggling but did not have the courage to seek advice from an unorthodox source.
The Story of Lisa
Lisa was the youngest of Hanna and Rudolf’s children. She was a very bright little girl who loved school, hiking, and playing games. In her ninth year the Salk polio vaccine came out and all children were required to be vaccinated. She was eager not to miss school and gleefully went to the doctor with Hanna to get the shot. It took less than 72 hours before she started going into convulsions; convulsions that came every few hours for several days and then stopped for 3 to 6 weeks and started again.
The Teaching Years
It was after the trial that things really starting blooming. Hanna added a second floor to the store, including a small restaurant featuring vegetarian lunches of salads, beans, soups, and breads served buffet style for a few dollars. Four picnic tables were in the main dining area plus 3 more on the outside patio, overlooking the alley. This made for cozy eating with new luncheon friends every day. At lunch time two lines formed, one to buy the lunch tickets and another to see Hanna in the little curtained off area. She probably lost money on the restaurant but it brought her a lot of traffic and publicity as everyone working in downtown Boulder had to try it and take their friends to one of the most unique restaurants in Colorado.
The Final Years
Her classes at the retreat became increasingly large in the 80’s and 90’s. Hanna had a hard time keeping track of people. She also had a difficult time saying “no” when people called her to ask if they could come. For one class over 120 people came expecting to find a bed to sleep in. (The retreat holds about 26 beds). Her sons quickly rented several tents, cots, and blankets to accommodate them. The chapel pews were used as beds. Cots lined the hallways. People were pulled from the class for half a day to help cook in the kitchen. It was hilarious, but people loved it. Where else could you find so many close friends so quickly?