Rahel Levin Varnhagen

Rahel Varnhagen von Ense, née Levin (1771–1833) was a German-Jewish conversationalist who ran one of Berlin’s most influential literary salons. Her shaky social status as a woman and a member of a precarious minority, combined with an astounding lucidity and a rare capacity to put her thoughts into words, made her a force to be reckoned with in her lifetime and thereafter as one of Germany’s preeminent women of letters. She is the subject of a celebrated biography, Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess (1957) by Hannah Arendt.

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