THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
Medium. B. July 27, 1908, Braunau, Austria; d. April 28, 1957, Weyer, Austria.
Rudi Schneider and his older brother Willy were best known for trance phenomena involving materialization and telekinesis. In the early 1920s Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing (q.v.), German physician and psychic researcher, heard of the home seances held by the Schneider family at which objects reportedly moved without physical cause and small hands and even phantoms were said to materialize.
Baron von Schrenck-Notzing launched a series of experiments in his Munich laboratory first with Willy and then, when Willy's powers seemed to be waning, with Rudi, who became the better known of the brothers. Rigid precautions were practiced with the Schneiders, who were searched before sittings and required to wear tightly seamed pajamalike clothing during seances. In some experiments, the medium would sit in a cage with his hands and head protruding from an opening and held by investigators. Nevertheless, objects luminously painted so they could be seen easily - a bell, a doll, a zither and the like - were apparently caused to move about when the Schneiders were in trance. Small materializations would appear: amorphous mases, or a three-fingered hand which could be touched and which made knots in a handkerchief or in the ends of the seance-cabinet curtain.
Rudi Schneider's physical mediumship was observed and studied by researchers in France, Great Britain and Germany and became the subject of lively controversy, notably among British investigators. The geninueness of his phenomena was at times harply questioned, but von Schrenck-Notzing and Dr. Eugene Osty (q.v.), citing the care taken in the Schneider experiments, vigorously rejected allegations of fraud.
Several years before his death, Rudi gave up psychic activities. He was an auto mechanic and in his later years operated a school for drivers.
Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications