Jenny of Westphalia - the most beautiful girl of Trier
On Feb. 12th, 1814, Jenny of Westphalia, who later became the wife of Karl Marx, was born in Salzwedel, Altmark. Her father, a Royal Prussian Official, was transferred to Trier in 1816. There he met the judicial officer Heinrich Marx at the "Literary Casino Association". Both the families were on friendly terms from then on. Karl Marx and Jenny's brother Edgar were the same age, classmates and friends. Jenny was a classmate of Karl's sister Sophie. So Jenny and Karl got to know and learnt to love each other.
In March of 1837 they got engaged to be married. At that time Jenny was considered to be the most beautiful girl of Trier along with the reputation of being a “Belle of the ball”. On June 19th, 1843 Jenny of Westphalia and Karl Marx married. Her grandnephew writes in his biography on Jenny Marx: "It was only her excessive love to Karl which made Jenny bear the unsteady life and two decades of miserable poverty." And she was Karl's lover for a lifetime. She was secretary and combatant. She read, corrected and copied his manuscripts which were often illegible and so made Karl Marx's scripts fit to be printed. Her youngest daughter Eleanor Marx-Aveling writes: "It is not an exaggeration to say that without Jenny of Westphalia Karl Marx would never have been able to be who he was."
Friedrich Engels at Jenny's grave: "What such a woman with so sharp and critical mind, with such a sure tact, with such a strength of dedication, brought about in the revolutionary movement, has not forced its way into the public, has never been mentioned in the columns of newspapers. Only those who lived with her know what she has done. But I know that we will miss her keen and clever advice - keen without boasting, clever without lacking honour." (Marx/Engels Works, Vol.19, 1973)
On Feb 12th, 2014, there will be the 200th anniversary of Jenny Marx's birthday. In preparation of this and before the background of the partially poor appreciation of Jenny Marx in her town of birth, the "Circle of Jenny Marx's friends" was founded. It is the members' purpose to add to letting this woman receive adequate honour and recognition of her merits.
The Circle of friends thanks for the support by Altmarkkreis Salzwedel and Hansestadt Salzwedel