More info needed for Ernst’s Wife« Back to Questions List

No one, so far as I know, has established the time and place of death of Ernst’s wife, Amélie-Siona Lévy, who, after marrying Ernst in 1854, usually called herself Amélie Ernst. She was born in 1831 not 1834 as most French reference books have it (this confusion may just be due to the fact that, in her handwriting, ‘1’s and ‘4’s look very similar). She was alive in 1904, when Amely Heller published her book on Ernst, and in HWE I assumed she’d died soon after. However, the Californian violinist and scholar Joe Gold subsequently told me that his teacher, the famous violin-maker Mario Frosali, knew Madame Ernst well when he was leader of the Nice Opera orchestra in about 1908-10. Frosali spoke of Mme. Ernst often.

The famous photo of Ernst with his violin in playing position was given to Frosali by Mme. Ernst, who autographed it. Frosali, in his turn, gave the photo to Gold.  [See Joseph Gold’s entry in People].

In her poem, ‘Last Vow’ [HWE: 270], Madame Ernst says she wants to be buried with Ernst in Nice, but only Madame Ernst’s mother (Rose Lévy, who died in 1871) is buried in that grave, and the plot next to it is empty. Madame Ernst divided her time between Paris and Nice, and had close contacts with Alsace and Vienna, so a burial in any of those places after 1908-10 is likely, and she could be described as anywhere between 76 and over 80. has an Amélie Ernst buried in Vienna in 1911, but, unfortunately, this Amélie Ernst died aged 22. Madame Ernst was a celebrated convert to Catholicism in 1852 [see Sources] so she would almost certainly be buried in a Christian rather than Jewish cemetery.

Can anybody provide any clues as to when and where she died? (Mark Rowe 30/10/2013)

Posted by HWE_admin
Asked on February 11, 2014 12:20 am

Answer by Pascale Ernst, great grandaughter of Alfred Ernst:

During the conference on HW Ernst and virtuosity organized in Göttingen by Christine Hoppe in November 2015, Mark Rowe mentioned to me that he could not find any information about Amélie’s death and where she is buried. He indicated that she should be buried in Nice together with Heinrich Wilhelm (Cimetière du Château), but there is a doubt because her name does not appear on the tombstone. He said he had written to the Cemetery administration but had never received a reply. I therefore called the Cemetery administration last December and they confirmed that their records show that Amélie is buried there together with Heinrich Wilhelm and her mother Rose Lévy.

There is no mention of her name on the gravestone, because there was no family relative to take care of the inscription at the time. The Administration indicated that Amélie died on November 13, 1914. I then checked the Nice Death Registrar and found the corresponding entry at that date (entry n°2868).

Posted by HWE_admin
Answered On March 20, 2016 1:06 pm