Henriette Vogel

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Restored gravestone of Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel

Adolphine Sophie Henriette Vogel (born May 9, 1780 in Berlin ; † November 21, 1811 at Stolper Loch, today Kleiner Wannsee [Berlin] as Adolphine Sophie Henriette Keber ) was a friend of Heinrich von Kleist , with whom she died.


Henriette Keber was the third daughter and only child to survive infancy of the businessman Carl Adolph Keber (1746–1815) and his wife Caroline-Marie Tugendreich, née. Saft (1749–1803) born. In 1799 she married the land rent master Friedrich Ludwig Vogel, called Louis, (1773–1843). She was said to have been a wonderful housewife and companion with an understanding of poetry, art and music, who practiced herself in such a way that she could delight in company with piano playing and singing. Between 1800 and 1804 she gave birth to four children, three of whom died as infants. Only the middle daughter Ida Pauline (1802-1892) survived her childhood, later married the doctor Gottlieb Wilhelm Eck and became the mother of Paul Eck .

Henriette Vogel probably got to know Heinrich von Kleist in 1809 through his friend Adam Müller , a classmate of her husband Louis Vogel at the Gymnasium zum Grau Kloster in Berlin, and soon became friends with him because they both found similarities. They shared a love of music and, according to Ernest Peguilhen, Henriette Vogel is said to have asked her friend to explain the art of war to her and teach her about fencing. The relationship between the two became more intimate in the autumn of 1811, but, according to contemporaries, remained not a passionate but a purely spiritual love. This was claimed by Adam Müller, who himself had been in love with Henriette for a while. Even Marie von Kleist , a relative by marriage Kleist, made sure that this claim was scattered. Henriette Vogel's “love litany”, which she wrote to Heinrich von Kleist in November 1811, in which she showered him with affectionate words and love names, became famous.

A received document, namely an entry in the baptismal register of the French Reformed community Berlin-Friedrichstadt from November 16, 1810, proves that Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel, along with twelve other people, were godparents of Isidora Marie Cäcilie Kunigunde Müller, who on October 27 born daughter of Adam and Sophie Müller. Both were present at the child's baptism. Julie Eberhardi, a widowed privy councilor, is also named as godmother in this document. Louis Vogel was probably having an affair with her and married her only a few months after Henriette's death. Henriette bequeathed her in her letter of November 21, 1811 "our little brass coffee machine".

According to the autopsy report, Henriette Vogel had (incurably) uterine cancer . The doctor Johann Benjamin Erhard, with whom Henriette Vogel was being treated, wrote on November 26th, 1811: “The woman consulted me three years ago about an incurable disease that a doctor told her to have; I did not find the matter so bad, gave it a means, and believed it had been made so far, about which I also consulted Professor Froriep, who was here at the time; but the man who developed an aversion to her withdrew from her, but treated her with respect. “Whether she feared an agonizing death has not been proven. However, she often expressed a desire to die but did not dare to take her own life. In Kleist, who had had such thoughts himself since his youth, she had found the ideal partner to die, as did he, the other way around.

On November 20, 1811, she wrote to her husband Louis Vogel: “I can no longer bear life because it attaches itself to my heart with iron ties - call it illness, weakness, or whatever you like it, I know Not to mention it myself - I can only say so much that I look forward to my death as the greatest happiness; (...) ”In Henriette Vogel's letter it goes on:“ I could take all of you I love with me, if you would like to join the eternal wonderful association soon, oh! then I would have nothing to be desired. Kleist, who wants to be my loyal companion in death as he was in life, will take care of my accommodation and then shoot himself. "

On November 21, 1811 Kleist first shot his girlfriend and then himself near the Wannsee near Potsdam . The farewell letters that the two wrote while they were still in Berlin on the day they left for Wannsee and on the night they spent there at the Stimming Inn are now part of world literature.

The common grave of the two at the Kleiner Wannsee (Bismarckstraße) always attracts many visitors. It was redesigned on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of death. On the occasion, a direct access from the Wannsee train station to the grave was built. The stone erected in 1936 was turned over and now bears the original text by the Jewish writer Max Ring, removed by the National Socialists in 1941, “He lived, sang and suffered / in gloomy, difficult times; / he sought death here / and found immortality. ”, a reference to the biblical passage from the request from the Lord's Prayer “ Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors ”( Mt 6.12  EU ) as well as the names and dates of Henriette Vogel's life and Heinrich von Kleist.

Literary reception


  • Günter Blamberger: Heinrich von Kleist. Biography. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-596-15346-6 .
  • Horst Häker: Mostly Kleist. Kleist Archive Sembdner, 2003.
  • Gerhard Schulz: Kleist. A biography. Beck, Munich 2007, 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61596-2 .


Amour Fou (2014) , directed by Jessica Hausner

Individual evidence

  1. The Berlin Kleist researcher Horst Häker ( predominantly Kleist. Kleist Archive Sembdner, 2003, p. 104) found the baptismal register of the Luisenstadt Church , the Book of the Dead of the Matthäikirche, the baptismal register of the Berlin Jerusalem Church and Berlin address books and a. the exact dates of the birth of Henriette Vogel's children were established. Three of them died in infancy. This has so far not been taken into account by biographers because they do not want to deal with it.
  2. ^ Henriette Vogel to Heinrich von Kleist, November 1811 From: Tomorrow I will make Venus jealous myself. The most beautiful love letters from famous women . Edited by Johannes Thiele. Econ Ullstein List Verlag Munich 2001
  3. Horst Häker: Mostly Kleist. Kleist Archive Sembdner, 2003, p. 106f.
  4. Helmut Sembdner (ed.): Heinrich von Kleist's traces of life. Documents and reports from contemporaries. Bremen 1957.
  5. He lived, sang and suffered. November 20, 2014, accessed August 22, 2019 .
  6. Amour Fou. Retrieved May 23, 2020 .

Web links

Commons : Henriette Vogel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files