In this series of podcasts, you will be able to listen to Maria Montessori herself. In the first episode, Maria Montessori is advocating for the Rights of the Child on Dutch radio in an interview with Gustav Czopp on 31 October 1936 (in French).
In the early autumn of 1936 Maria Montessori relocated to the Netherlands at the invitation of a former graduate, Ada Pierson. This impactful decision was forced by the Civil War that raged in Spain, a country that had been her main residence for close to twenty years. Montessori did not feel comfortable returning to Barcelona, after the 1936 Congress in Oxford and was delighted when Ada Pierson's offer came to host the family in her parental home for a few months. Montessori education was popular in the Netherlands, the school infrastructure was strong and well developed, there had been an international congress and various courses, all factors we suspect to have been major aspects in reaching the decision to settle in the Netherlands.
The Dutch were of course proud and grateful that Maria Montessori was now part of their society, and yet may have been a little anxious that la Dotoressa would find fault with the Dutch schools. This is why Maria Montessori immediately made it clear in the interview that she had not come to the Netherlands to supervise or monitor existing Montessori schools, but that she was keen to show what her approach to education could mean.