Eugenie Schumann (1851 - 1938), daughter

Eugenie und Felix Schumann
[fig. 1]

Eugenie (1851 – 1938) and Felix Schumann (1854 – 1879)
as children. Photography, around 1860.
Robert-Schumann-Haus Zwickau

Both youngest Schumann children at the age of 9, respectively 6.

Eugenie Schumann at the age of 20
[fig. 2]

Eugenie Schumann (1851 – 1938) at the age of 20
Youngest daughter of Robert and Clara Schumann
Photography on a drawing by Rudolf Lehmann, 1871
Robert-Schumann-Haus Zwickau

The youngest daughter of Robert and Clara Schumann spent most of her childhood with a friend of Clara Schumann, respectively at boarding schools, When she was 20 years old,  she moved to Frankfurt to live 20 years with her mother and her eldest sister Marie. In 1891, Eugenie moved to England and worked as a piano teacher.
In 1918, Eugenie left England to be at her aged sister Marie’s side in these difficult times. Since 1897 Marie lived in Interlaken, Switzerland. Eugenie decided to write her memoires, that were published in 1925 under the title of „Erinnerungen von Eugenie Schumann“ („Memories of Eugenie Schumann“), dedicated as remembrance to her family.
Her second book with the title „Robert Schumann“, published in 1931 was dedicated to her in 1929 deceased sister Marie and Eugenie’s partner Marie Fillunger, who died in 1930: “The both beloved people, my sister Maria and the friend and partner Marie Fillunger, who made it possible for me to finish this work, due to the one’s uplifting affirmation and the other’s devotional participation, do not happen to experience the publishing. – Both are deceased, and I can only call out my irredeemable gratitude after them:” (Eugenie Schumann: Robert Schumann, 1931, preface).

 „Die beiden geliebten Menschen, meine Schwester Maria und die Freundin und Lebensgefährtin Marie Fillunger, welche mir, die eine durch mich beglückende Zustimmungk, die andere durch aufopfernde Teilnahme, die Vollendung vorliegender Arbeit ermöglicht haben, erleben das Erscheinen in der Öffentlichkeit nicht. – Beide sind dahin, und meinen unsauslöschlichen Dank kann ich ihnen nur nachrufen:“ (Eugenie Schumann: Robert Schumann, 1931, Vorwort).

Eugenie, who lived with Marie Fillunger in Matten, close by the Chalet of her sister Marie in Interlaken, let her friend be buried in the same grave in Gsteig as her sister, who died one year earlier. Also Eugenie found her eternal peace in the same grave after her death in November 1938. She assumably initiated following  epitaph: “Here rests, between sister and friend, Eugenie Schumann 1851-1938”. The burial of Eugenie Schumann was attended by many friends and admirers and with great solicitousness.

 „Der Grabhügel war bedeckt mit Kränzen hochgestellter Persönlichkeiten aus Deutschland und unserem Lande. Deutsche von Herkunft und Geburt, hat die Verewigte unserm Schweizerlande, das ihr zur zweiten Heimat wurde, allezeit ihre Sympathie und nahe Verbundenheit bewiesen. Als solche dürfen wir die Töchter Schumanns als die Unserigen schätzen und verehren.“ (from: „Erinnerungen an die Töchter Robert und Clara Schumanns“, authored by M.S., released on 19th  November 1938 in „Oberländisches Volksblatt“, cited in: Walter Bettler: Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann und ihre Töchter Marie und Eugenie in Interlaken, 1994).

About the life long relationship between Eugenie and the singer Marie Fillunger (1850-1930): „With thousand kisses, Your Fillu.“ (“Mit tausend Küssen Deine Fillu."). „Briefe der Sängerin Marie Fillunger an Eugenie Schumann 1875-93.“ Edited by Eva Rieger in cooperation with Rosemary Hilmar, Cologne: Dittrich Verlag 2002, 368 S., € 28.

Vgl. [ Mit tausend Küssen Deine Fillu ]

The Schumann tomb at the cemetry Gsteig near Wilderswil
[fig. 3]

The Schumann tomb at the cemetry Gsteig near Wilderswil. Photography taken by Walter Müller.

The Schumann tomb at the cemetry Gsteig near Wilderswil
[fig. 4]

The Schumann tomb at the cemetry Gsteig near Wilderswil. Photography taken by Walter Müller.
 
At the panel below the gravestone the personal data of Marie Fillunger is engraved:
MARIE FILLUNGER 1850-1930.
 
The grave, in which Marie Schumann and Marie Fillunger were buried between 1929 and 1930 and also the urn of Eugenie Schumann was entombed, has the number 52 and is “respectfully maintained and look after by the Begräbnisgemeindeverband (entombment collective) Gsteig-Interlaken.”

To reach the grave, you have to go up the wide stairs next to the guesthouse Steinbock, a few steps towards east and after turning right again upstairs. On the right side of the path you can find the tomb with the engraving: “Marie Schumann 1841-1929. Faithful until her death.” and underneath: “Here rests, between sister and friend, Eugenie Schumann 1851-1938”. (quote after: Walter Bettler: Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann und ihre Töchter Marie und Eugenie in Interlaken, 1994, S. 95)
(I.B.)

[Translated by Katharina Ma]

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