Helene Demuth: Housekeeper of Karl Marx (1820 - 1890) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Helene Demuth
Housekeeper of Karl Marx

Helene Demuth

Helene Demuth
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Housekeeper of Karl Marx
Was Housekeeper
From Germany
Gender female
Birth 31 December 1820, Sankt Wendel
Death 4 November 1890, London (aged 69 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Helene "Lenchen" Demuth (1820-1890) was the housekeeper of Jenny and Karl Marx, later serving as the household manager and political confidante of Frederich Engels. She is best remembered as the mother of a child believed by most scholars to have been fathered by Marx.


Helene Demuth was born of peasant parents on December 31, 1820 in Sankt Wendel in today's Saarland. As a teenage girl she was adopted into the von Westphalen household, to work as a maid. In 1843 Karl Marx married Jenny von Westphalen. Helene Demuth joined their household in April 1845 in Brussels, where she was sent by Jenny's mother. She stayed with the Marxes as a lifelong housekeeper, friend, and political confidante, and was commonly known to the family by the nicknames Lenchen or Nim.

After Marx's death in March 1883, Helene Demuth moved to Engels's home, where she ran the household. The pair worked in tandem to organize and arrange for the publication of Marx's literary remains.

In October 1890, Helene was diagnosed with cancer. She died in London on November 4 that year at the age of 69. In accordance with Jenny Marx's wishes, she was buried in the Marx family grave.

Frederick Demuth

On June 23, 1851 Helene Demuth gave birth to a boy believed by most scholars to have been sired by Karl Marx. Presumably in an effort to preserve the Marxes' marriage, Karl Marx's closest personal friend, Frederick Engels, a bachelor living in Manchester, claimed fatherhood of the boy, who was given his name. The baby, Frederick Lewis Demuth (1851−1929), was placed in a working class foster home in London shortly after birth and was later trained as a toolmaker. His probable half-sister Eleanor Marx came to know him some time after her father's death and made him a family friend.

According to Terrell Carver, although it has been claimed since 1962 that Marx was the father of Helene Demuth's illegitimate son, "this is not well founded on the documentary materials available".

Notes and references

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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