Assing, Ludmilla

BORN 22 Feb 1821, Hamburg - DIED 25 Mar 1880, Firenze, Toscana
BIRTH NAME Assing, Rosa Ludmilla
CAUSE OF DEATH meningitis
GRAVE LOCATION Firenze, Toscana: Cimitero Evangelico Agli Allori, Via Senese 184, Galluzo (2PPsSD IV 02s)

Ludmilla Assing was the daughter of Rosa Maria Varnhagen, who was a sister of Karl Varnhagen von Ense. Her father was David Assur Assing, a Jewish physician. Her parents were liberal minded and they were visited by Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Hebbel and others. Her older sister Ottilie was a feminist author.

After her parents died she was financially independent and moved to Berlin to live with her uncle. She made pastel portraits of his visitors, including Gottfried Keller, with whom she corresponded for a long time. When Varnhagen von Ense died in 1858 she inherited his papers. She published his diaries between 1862 and 1870, but Bismarck ordered the diaries of the year 1848 to be confiscated.

She fled to Florence and continued her publications from there. She was sentenced to eight months in prison in absence and later to two years in prison. But she continued to live in Florence and was never arrested. In 1874 she married the 25 year old lieutenant Cino Grimelli, but the marriage was dissolved after one year. Grimelli committed suicide in 1878. Ludmilla Assing died of meningitis in 1880. Ottilie suffered from cancer and comitted suicide at the Bois de Boulogne on 21 August 1884.

Related persons
• corresponded with Keller, Gottfried
• drew Keller, Gottfried
• is nephew/niece of Varnhagen von Ense, Karl-August
• published work by Varnhagen von Ense, Rahel


The grave of Ludmilla Assing at the Cimitero Evangelico Agli Allori, Florence.
Picture by Androom (23 Feb 2018)


Ludmilla Assing
literarisch-historischer Salon
Zeitschrift der Varnhagen Gesellschaft 06

Astor, Junie

Published: 06 Jan 2019
Last update: 28 Sep 2021