Varnhagen von Ense, Karl-August

BORN 21 Feb 1785, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen - DIED 10 Oct 1858, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Mehringdamm 21 (Halleschen Tor), Kreuzberg (7-2-38/39 47 (DV2-2-38/39), Ehrengrab (Feld 2))

Son of a physician, who died when he was fourteen. He studied medicin in Berlin, where he met Fichte, Schelling, de la Motte Fouqué and Chamisso. He also met prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, who died during the Battle of Saalfeld in 1806.

In 1808 he met Kerner and Uhland in Tübingen. In the same year his engagement with the young widow and banker's daughter Fanny Hertz was broken.

After his studies he was an officer in the Austrian army and later in the Russian army. In 1813 he took part in the Napoleontic wars and in 1814 he accompanied Hardenberg to the Congress of Vienna and to Paris.

In 1814 he married Rachel Levin, a literary woman. He worked for the Prussian government in Karlsruhe from 1816 until 1819. He los his position after Metternich considered him to be a possible revolutionary because of his liberal sympathies. In 1825 he was rehabilitated and he served on several diplomatic missions.

In Berlin he and wife wife became the centre of a literary circle. After Rahel's death in 1833 he published "Rahel: Ein Buch des Andenken". He published biographies of General von Seydlitz (1836), queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia (1837), Jacob Keith (1844), Hans von Held (1844) and Graf Bülow von Dennewitz (1853).

In 1856 he gave his collection of manuscripts to his niece Ludmilla Assing. Over the years she published many of the writings of him and Rahel.

• Wife: Varnhagen von Ense, Rahel (1814-1833)

Related persons
• is uncle/aunt of Assing, Ludmilla
• knew Beethoven, Ludwig van
• quarreled with Brentano, Clemens
• cooperated with Chamisso, Adelbert von
• knew Chamisso, Adelbert von
• visited Dirichlet, Peter Gustave Lejeune
• knew Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• was a friend of Lewald, Fanny
• knew Motte-Fouqué, Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Freiherr de la
• knew Uhland, Ludwig


The grave of Rahel and Karl-August Varnhagen von Ense at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (15 Jul 2005)


The grave of Rahel Varnhagen von Ense at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (28 May 2015)


Baedeker Berlin, Baedeker Verlag, Stuttgart, 1994
literarisch-historischer Salon

Varnhagen von Ense, Rahel

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 06 Apr 2022