Madam Melanie Hahnemann


I have the right to put the title of `doctor of homoeopathy’ on my cards; as I really hold that diploma given to me by the Society of Homoeopathic physicians in Pennsylvania, where after Hahnemann, the physicians most skilled in this science are to be found….


SUPPLEMENT 233

CONCERNING HAHNEMANN’S LEGACY.

On behalf of Hahnemann’s daughter Eleonore, widow Klemmen, the solicitor Dr. Aug. Hermann of Kothen wrote, on July 28th, 1845, to the Ducal Government of Anhalt for the release of 700 thalers, which sum in addition to 4,000 thalers was invested in Ducal revenues. In this letter the representative of Mrs. Eleonore Klemmen, nee Hahnemann, says:

The whole sum which was left to Madame Klemmen amounts to 6,000 thalers; the furniture which was left to her, in addition, is valued at the most at 500 thalers. Therefore, the legatee has not received, either according to general or even to French laws, the share due to her from her father, as it could be proved that at his death he left more than 200,000 thalers.

Hahnemann’s executor, C.L. Behr, replied to this on August 20th, 1845:

Mr. Hermann says in his petition that Hofrath Hahnemann had been proved to have left 200,000 thaler and that therefore the portion due to his client should amount to 12,500 Rthl. But Mr. Hermann has probably not considered how he is to produce this proof. In his will (of the year 1835-R.H.) the deceased declared his estate in 2 excel. to consist of his two houses, valuables and furniture amounting in all to a little more than 60,000 Rthl., which we have to accept as correct until Mr. Hermann can give us the alleged proof.

This proof as far as we know has never been produced and cannot be produced.

Dr. Suss-Hahnemann writes in the “Allg. hom. Ztg.” (September 26th, 1864, page 103) after a reproduction of the will:

Within a short time he (Hahnemann) was enabled to exchange his comparatively obscure dwelling near the Luxembourg for a large mansion in the Rue de Milan, and within nine years to acquire enormous wealth (4,000,000 francs) which in accordance with his will belonged entirely to his wife and of which she never even gave one penny to Hahnemann’s family. From this we can explain the unusual severity and threats on the part of Hahnemann in his will directed against his children when he speaks of reducing them to their entailed portion-he who otherwise was kindness and love itself towards his family-must have been advised by his second wife, to hold over the members of his family the most callous punishments should they make the least sign of demanding the share of their father’s legacy due to them.

And in another passage of the same letter he says:

Madame Hahnemann was a woman of the world and knew that if she succeeded in bringing the founder of Homoeopathy to Paris her fortune was made; therefore, to obtain the fullest measure of enjoyment from it, she induced her aged husband to threaten his own children with severe punishments should they have the natural desire to seek a share in the wealth which their father had accumulated by hard work at such an advanced age, and try to put their wish into execution.

SUPPLEMENT 234

LEOPOLD SUSS, HAHNEMANN’S GRANDSON, TO MR. VON BOENNINGHAUSEN.

Paris, July 21st, 1843.

Esteemed Baron, My dear good grandmother, Madame Hahnemann, received your esteemed letter yesterday and as she is still weak from grief and is suffering from the many worries due to my late grandfather’s decease, she therefore charges me to send you the following reply.

Your dear letter has made a great impression upon my dear grandmother. She feels that you worshipped my dear grandfather, and she also knows how highly he valued you. As soon as my good grandmother is able to write again, she will do so herself in order to express her feelings to you. My mother, Amalie, widow of Dr. Suss, nee Hahnemann, who visited you in Munster, and I (sixteen years of age) are now in Paris to see once more our beloved grandfather. But my studies, begun at Dresden, compel me to leave my dear grandmother who is so weak as early as tomorrow. It is a great sorrow to us to leave our grandmother who cannot be comforted, but she herself wishes what is best for me, so that I may come back to her as quickly as possible, that is, when I shall be so far advanced that I can begin my doctor’s studies here in Paris; I, therefor, shall be as diligent as I possibly can in order to honour the name of my dearly beloved grand- father.

My dear good little grandmother, my good mother and I send their kind regards to you, Sir, as the friend of our beloved deceased grandfather, and I remain, with the greatest admiration and esteem.

Your humble, LEOPOLD SUSS.

Madame Hahnemann in spite of her debility and illness could not deny herself the adding of a few French sentences which denote her business capacity and which in the translation read as follows:

Esteemed Sir, and Friend, I am in the greatest despair!

Why should you not come to Paris, reside here and continue the work of Hahnemann who loved you so much.

Reply to me regarding this. If you find any difficulties in this I shall no doubt be able to help you with them.

Reply to me soon, May God bless you, MIE. HAHNEMANN.

SUPPLEMENT 235

DAUGHTER AND STEP-MOTHER.

Extracts from letters of Amalie, widow of Dr. Suss, to Madame Melanie Hahnemann:

Dresden, 17th October, 1844.

Darling little Mother, Great anxiety impels me to write to enquire how you are. Many people are dying here from nerve-fever; after God you are our only treasure on earth… I also wish to let you know that in two months time we shall have to leave this house as it has been sold, and the future owner will occupy the rooms I now have; that again is a terrible blow. and the winter is at our door.

Dresden, January, 1845 (without giving the actual day).

You have again been very kind to us by sending us one hundred francs; accept our heartiest thanks for it, and be assured that we are very grateful for it. You, dear little mother, are our only happiness on earth-none of my sisters gives me the pleasure of such a dear letter, on the contrary they are all jealous of me, because I am your dear daughter.

Enclosed is a New Year’s letter from Leopold, written in French, addressed to the “Chere, chere grand mere,” together with a copy of the following school report:

Friedrich Leopold Robert Suss of Leinungen, near Sangerhausen, has been a pupil of the Creuz Schule since Michaelmas, 1842; since Michaelmas of this year he has been a member of the second class; during the time that he has frequented this school he had distinguished himself by exemplary conduct and indefatigable endeavour to develop and apply the good talents given him by Nature so that we may have good hopes for his further scientific education. May he continue the career which he has begun in such a praiseworthy manner with courage.

Dresden, December 15th, 1844.

DR. CHRISTIAN ERNST AUGUST GROBEL, Rector Gymnasii, Knight of the Royal Saxon Civil Order.

Dresden, April 16th, 1845.

Dear beloved little Mother,

How glad I am to have received a letter from you. Leopold and I were already despairing, thinking that something had happened to you… As regards Leopold I may just tell you that he has made a confession to me. He is worrying because at the beginning of next year he will have to become a soldier, as he will then be twenty years old. No excuse will avail, and he cannot buy himself out as it would cost too much money. What a disturbance it would create to break his studies in order to serve as a soldier for six years; there is only one escape and that is to go abroad, and then they could do nothing. Recruiting is very much to the fore, because many soldiers are required. Be good enough to allay our anxiety by an immediate reply to this letter, otherwise Leopold would think the letter had been opened. Should you, dear little mother, be too busy to write yourself, send just a line through your servant. Accept our many thanks for which you wish to send us. The 10th of April we celebrated the dear good departed father’s birthday with heartfelt intimate thoughts, and we also lovingly remembered you-as you were the one who made the evening of his life happy. Who would have thought that the good God would have sent you from a distance as our angel; you are equally one of God’s angels for me and my Leopold.

Dresden, May 19th, 1845.

I am afraid you worry too much on my behalf as you wish that I too should come to Paris, which I recognise with gratitude. I know it is no small matter as everything there is so expensive. But besides that-I believe that it is much better for Leopold if I am not always with him; because a mother is too yielding to her child and too indulgent in everything. I rather believe, that under your guidance alone he will become more independent, however much I might desire to be always with him but conscience’sake I would willingly sacrifice everything, and I shall have to part from him some time.

In a letter written in French Leopold again expresses thanks for the receipt of one hundred francs. The mother encloses two small notes; in the one is written:

Dresden, May 24th, 1845.

I generally put all my trust in you concerning the further education of Leopold, because your judgment is unequalled. And as Leopold has such a great affection for you, as well as a good disposition, you certainly will make a very good man of him. I believe that you will not have any trouble with him; he is intelligent, diligent in his studies, which is particularly shown by the satisfaction he gives to his teachers.

Dresden, post-dated June 9th.

I do not know what I am to think of Leopold; he is becoming thinner each day so that he hardly resembles himself and yet he does not complain of anything. Therefore, I pray you dear little mother, to stand by me, and give me some good advice, concerning him.

Dresden, July 2nd, 1845.

I cannot do without talking to you to-day as this is the anniversary of dear Father’s decease. You dear little mother, have certainly been to-day to visit the precious grave. Four years ago I had the pleasure of speaking to him, when he spoke of epitaphs, and said that he would never wish for any but this “Non inutilis vixi.” These words impressed themselves deeply on my heart. Perhaps the dear deceased will see his wish fulfilled when his remains will have found a definite resting-place. You do not write to us at all, we both feel completely lost when we do not receive a letter from you. I am sorry for Leopold who can hardly be comforted as he thinks that you are angry with us. Sister Luischen is very ill. I am very sorry for her. The other sisters are all very well, except myself.

Dresden, July 10th, 1845.

I have just received your dear letter, from which I see that you are satisfied with my decision. Under your motherly care and affection, my dear good son will and can become a very useful and good man in this world. As I am convinced that his longing for you, and the more complete activity might do him too much harm I have resolved to let him carry out his wish and thus in God’s name may be hasten to your arms. He has read your dear remarks attentively and said that he perceived from it all, that you dear little grandmother, had good intentions towards him; he would take your words to heart that he had never done such a thing and never would. Therefore, allow him to visit you, and the future will decide. In God’s name.

Dresden, July 22nd, 1845.

As now the time has come when a change has to take place in connection with Leopold’s further advancement, I shall have to take completely different measures.-Leopold would, of course, have liked that you should have taken him under your protection, as he is longing for you and loves you very much. But as your circumstances do not now permit it, he must be contented and must suppress his longing for you. He possesses a certificate from his serious and most worthy teacher, that if he went abroad to a University he could be immediately registered as a student. But if he wished to study at a University in this country he would have to attend the school for another three years before he would be allowed to frequent the University. This is the law here. I do not wish on any account that he should remain another three years here at school since his zeal begins to slacken and instead of forward he is going backwards and I am throwing my money away, and as my funds are very low through the cold severe and very expensive winter when I was forced to add another 500 thalers and yet was hungry and cold. Yet I wished to do all that was possible for Leopold because he was confident of going to Paris. But since your last letter all inclination to study has disappeared. Necessity, therefore, justifies his withdrawal from the school and I will go abroad with him, where he may begin his studies with God’s help at Michaelmas of this year. He never need inconvenience you at all. I hope that his new career will again steady him. I shall, therefore, very soon begin my journey abroad with him. But not to Paris, don’t be worried about that. It was always one of our dear deceased father’s maxims that we should not push ourselves upon others. I am forced to carry out this intention very soon as the time is coming near when he will be torn from me to serve as a soldier, because new you are no longer allowed to buy yourself out. Everyone without exception is forced to become a soldier. Oh! had I only done as I wished at first and let him learn a trade (which I am almost inclined to do now). He would have been happy long ago and I should have been spared untold financial worries. May God bless my undertaking, for which, however, I require none of your money; if God only saves my life and that of my dear child, I shall be glad to sacrifice everything for it and add to my expenses, because money alone does not make anyone happy. Read these lines with calmness, dear little mother, but with cold blood, and I know for certain that your great intelligence will tell you that your daughter is quite right. Should I have to lose the whole of my fortune, which at the present moment, is likely to happen, seeing that people say that the Chamber where our money is invested will be bankrupt in a short time, so that everyone has given notice and is removing their capital, only ours cannot be removed and therefore will be lost!!! Great God! all the firmer does my trust in the Almighty become, who will send us kind hearts and not forsake the children of the great and good Hahnemann… And if I should, with my now more and more ailing body seek employment in the place where my son is going to study, in order to earn sufficient for his studies.

There is a gap in the exchange of correspondence until April, 1846.A “devoted friend, S.” writes on April 7th, 1846, from Paris to the “dear friend,” among other things:

On March 3rd your son wrote to me in your name. You honour me with your friendship in order to receive reliable news of your dear little mother through me. One day Madame Hahnemann was gracious enough to trust me with the sentiments of affection she has for you. All measures had already been found, the Institution was ready where he (Leopold) was to begin his studies for which six years were required. During this time Madame Hahnemann wished to be responsible for all things from the smallest to the greatest, books, professors, subsistence, laundry and clothes, briefly everything that would be required. This order was also handed over to me. Yet to arrange this careful consideration and time were necessary. You, too, know Paris a little, and therefore realise the continued heavy expenses which must be reckoned with. Yet it was all arranged for no other purpose than to make your son happy.

My dear Madame Suss, I must presume that you know nothing of the contents of your son’s letter to Madame H., otherwise your sensible principles and views would never have allowed you to use such expressions, nor to write to her as you did.

It grieved my soul that he should forget all sense of delicacy, affection and respect towards Madame H., his benefactress, and in his rudeness become insulting.

Apart from the boldness of your son I hasten to comfort you and communicate to you that Madame Hahnemann loves you and assures you that she will act towards you as a generous mother. Yet she had nothing good to say about your son.

The letter contains the following remarks in Melanie’s own hand-writing, “Copie de la lettre de Seugner a Liebe, Avril, 1846.”

According to this a servant of Madame Hahnemann previously mentioned in Amalie’s letter of April 16th, 1845, had written this letter by order and with the knowledge of his mistress.

She herself then writes on April 17th to Mrs. Amalie Suss to whom again she sends one hundred francs. The latter thanked her for this and continues:

But you have grieved me very much when you say Leopold has offended you. He certainly has not done it intentionally; probably in his despair he has not used the right expressions; He always said, “Oh dear, I do love the good grandmother so much, and yet she does not want to see me.” Therefore, forgive him, if, as you think, he has offended you. God forgives us, and no human being is faultless. He says in his last letter he was altogether in despair, because he was at an age when he had to think about his future, and without the necessary means he could do nothing. We are poor down-trodden people; because now we only receive half the interest since it was too great a smash. It was impossible to live properly before and make ends meet, let alone now.

Through his own industry he has progressed so far that he is now in the first class, that is, the last class he has to go through.- The Almighty may help further. We still live in the same house, but have kept only the smallest room without a bed- room, and without anything; we also had to sell the piano-we have been deprived of every comfort. If only I did not suffer so much from gout!

Do not be afraid about his coming to Paris. Before Easter some-one from Paris who stayed with us, on his way through, wished to take Leopold with him gratuitously, and to look after him because he does so want to see you.

But I did not allow this since it might not be agreeable to you.

Good-bye, once more good-bye.

Your daughter, A.

This is the last letter of the collection and is very characteristic of both women.

In 1857 (August) we find a letter by Mrs. Amalie, widow of Dr. Suss, to Dr. von Boenninghausen. It is dated from Brussels, but sheds no light on the others.

SUPPLEMENT 236

MADAME MELANIE HAHNEMANN PRACTISES.

(“Allg. hom. Ztg.,” 1844, Vol. 25, page 352).

The Supplement No. 15 of the “Leipziger Ztg.,” page 213, contains the following information:

Paris January 12th. The wife of the famous Dr. Hahnemann has now undertaken the practice of her deceased husband; on her visiting-cards is written:

“Madame Hahnemann, docteur en medecine homoeopathique.”

The “Allg. hom. Ztg.,” remarks on this:

This almost sounds like irony!-It is, of course, well-known that no one likes to dabble in medical treatment more gladly than the other sex, particularly old spinsters and old hags. It is well-known to the physicians throughout Europe, that one lady in Paris is a “docteur artis obstetriciae,” and her writings are considered an authority on obstetrics. It is something different for a lady docteur to be an obstetrician than to sign herself doctor of medicine-the former only renders mechanical assistance, while the latter, without having accurately studied medicine and all its branches of science, can only be a bungler! Shall we desecrate homoeopathy, to which Hahnemann had devoted the greater portion of his life, in this manner? I think that now since he is able to see everything more clearly, he may not be edified with the daring undertaking of his wife.

SUPPLEMENT 237

ACCUSATION AND CONDEMNATION OF MADAME MELANIE HAHNEMANN.

Arguments for my advocate.

By Melanie Hahnemann.

Conviction and honesty have to be respected everywhere, and when associated with science, self-denial and absolute unselfishness they are worthy of admiration.

Madame Hahnemann only attends the patients when everything else has failed; she almost always cures them, she, therefore, is like a Providence which follows despair.

The sublime is frequently very close to the ridiculous; Jeanne d’ Arc appeared ridiculous to some before she became prominent to all; and she saved France.

Richard Haehl
Richard Haehl was the author of - Life and Work of Samuel Hahnemann