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Werner Kleeman collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2010.157

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    Werner Kleeman collection

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    Consists of material collected by Werner Kleeman, originally of Wurzburg, Germany, who immigrated to the United States and was a member of the 4th Infantry Division and participated in the liberation of a subcamp of Dachau. The collection includes a typed copy of the diary of Col. Norborne P. Gatling about his experiences in the American Army, including a tour of Ohrdruf; information about wartime Wurzburg; copies of Mr. Kleeman's postwar correspondence from Wurzburg; correspondence with Ulrich Strauss and Leila Levinson; restitution paperwork for Mr. Kleeman's father, Louis Kleeman; and an original copy of the G-5 diary of the 4th Infantry Division, listing detailed information of division activities between 20 February 1944 and 27 May 1945.
    inclusive:  1944-2010
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Werner Kleeman
    Collection Creator
    Werner Kleeman
    Werner Kleeman (1919-2018) was born in Würzburg (Gaukönigshofen), Germany to Louis Kleeman (also spelled Kleemann, 1884-1963) and Lina Kleeman (née Bamberger b. 1886). Werner was one of five children including two older brothers, Theo and Sigfried, and his father was a grain dealer. Theo immigrated to Palestine, while Sigfried went to the American Consulate in Stuttgart to apply for a visa to enter the United States. In 1936 Werner also applied for a visa, sponsored by a distant relative in Nebraska, and was approved in 1938. Before Werner could leave Germany he was arrested during Kristallnacht and imprisoned along with his family members. His father was soon released because of his service in World War I, but Werner was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. He was released from Dachau in January 1939 because he previously obtained a visa to emigrate. A few days later he traveled to England via the Netherlands, where he procured visas for his parents and siblings. In December 1939 he immigrated to the United States aboard the SS Scythia to New York where he worked at a department store.
    Werner was drafted into the United States Army in August 1942. He served in the 4th Infantry Division and took part in the D-day invasion of Normandy. In the spring of 1945, just days after Germany’s surrender, Werner received permission to travel to his hometown where he witnessed the destruction. He returned to the village a few weeks later, this time without the permission of his superiors. For several weeks, he worked for the United States Army captain in charge of the district’s military occupation government. After the war he returned to the United States and married Lore Heiman (1927-1979) in 1948 and had two daughters, Susan and Deborah. He worked as an interior decorator. Werner did not share the story of his experiences in Germany before the war and as a U.S. soldier until later in life. With the help of the author Elizabeth Uhlig, Werner wrote the book From Dachau to D-Day.

    Physical Details

    English German
    6 folders
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor retains copyright on material he created. Other material in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Werner Kleeman donated this collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on May 12, 2010.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 17:16:31
    This page:

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