How her husband’s adultery led a simple German housewife to create the fashion magazine Burda moden

Anna Magdalena Lemminger was born into a simple German family in 1909. From childhood she was able to show her character. The girl loved her mother very much, but she had a much closer relationship with her father. She admired his ability to keep everything under his control and fearlessly express his own opinion. In contrast to the head of the family, her mother, who raised three other children besides Anna, seemed too soft and weak-willed for her daughter.

She never crossed her husband, followed all his instructions and demanded nothing. And the last thing the daughter wanted was to be like her mother.

Already grown up, Aenna was determined to change her life. However, as is often the case, she practically repeated her mother’s fate. After graduating from high school, she took a course and then got a job. Her duties included collecting electricity bills from local businessmen.

The girl liked her job, she had to socialize a lot, which suited the energetic and active Aenna. It was during the service that she met Franz Burda. He was charming and good-looking, and also openly liked the pretty girl and one day decided to ask her out.

At 22, Aenna got married and immediately forgot about all her promises to arrange her life so that she would not be immersed only in the care of the family. On the contrary, she gave birth to three children, worked tirelessly to raise them and arrange a comfortable life for them. That was how her mother lived, but Aenna did not feel deprived at all. In fact, she did everything with pleasure and even began to understand her mother, and 20 years later such a warm and cozy world of Aenna Burda was destroyed.

Franz Burda had always devoted a great deal of time to the small print shop he owned, but in recent years he had been absent from his home unacceptably often. Aenna did not pay much attention to this at first, but all secret things come to light and the woman suddenly found out that her husband had been having a love affair with his secretary for several years and that she had even given birth to a child. Endure the treason of her husband Aenna Burda did not intend. She was determined to put an end to their relationship and take action.

The first thing she did was to ask for professional legal help and set her lawyers a task: she wanted to get undivided possession of the print shop and the magazine. Exactly the ones that Franz Burda had already given to her secretary, and she had never been able to develop them and had almost driven them into bankruptcy. Aenna Burda set a goal for herself: to become independent and successful. In addition, she was going to develop in the fashion industry and help her countrywomen look beautiful, although she herself did not have much idea at the time how she would be able to do this. But a passionate desire to succeed led Aenna to look for ideas for development.

The magazine she sued for was not profitable, but Aenna Burda approached the case with all her energy. She decided that the models of outfits in her edition would be as diverse as possible, and the patterns for the magazine would be understandable even to those who never knew how to sew. And Aenna became very active. She personally hired tailors and supervised them every step of the way. Not a single photo went to print without her personal approval. She also worked on the decoration, believing that the magazine had to attract attention and induce purchase.

At the same time, Aenna Burda tried to learn all the subtleties of entrepreneurship in practice, studied publishing, made acquaintances with fashion designers, in general, worked tirelessly. The first issue of the magazine in 1950 was preceded by a successful advertising campaign, and as a result it sold out quickly. The German women appreciated the magazine. They had never seen anything like it before. The patterns were actually very clear, detailed and of high quality. That’s why every girl could sew her own outfit with it.

The first circulation of Burda moden was a hundred thousand copies, but in two years it increased fivefold. Soon the magazine was selling not only in Germany, but also in other countries of the world. Aenna Burda was happy. She actually began to live the life she had once imagined in her dreams. Now the yesterday’s housewife was busy doing what she loved, which also brought in a very solid profit.

The last thing Aenna Burda thought about at the time was her personal life, especially since she could no longer return to the status of just a wife and mother. In fact, she did not lose here either. Her husband realized quite quickly what kind of woman he was losing and managed to beg Aenna’s forgiveness. And she decided to give him a second chance, but set a condition: there must not be his mistress and child in the city. Franz, of course, was ready to do anything for the possibility of preserving his family.

Meanwhile, Aenna Burda continued to build her personal empire. She jealously ensured that publications like Burda Moden did not appear on the market. If they did come out in print, she would immediately buy them, regardless of the cost. She believed that her magazine should remain unique in its kind.

The successful businesswoman held the entire business in her hands until the 1990’s, remaining, among others, the editor-in-chief of Burda Moden. And only in 1996 she handed over the reins to her son Hubert, who later inherited the empire created by his mother.

Aenna Burda spent the last years of her life enjoying travel. She left this world in 2005, the 97th year of her life. Her magazine is still in print, though not as successful as it was in the last century.

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