- Brief Narrative
- Letter written in German. Letter is accompanied by original envelope (2001.62.4b).
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lucian W. Kempner
Robert M. W. (Max Wasili) Kempner
Robert Max Wasilii Kempner (1899-1993) was born in Freiburg, Germany, studied law and political science and other subjects at the universities of Berlin, Breslau and Freiburg. He became the senior legal adviser to the police in Prussia, and he opposed Nazism. After Hitler came to power, Hermann Göring accused Kempner of anti-Nazi activities and fired him, and he was held for two months in a concentration camp. Wilhelm Frick revoked Kempner’s German citizenship on the basis of his Jewish background. Kempner was expelled from Germany and settled in the United States. He returned to Germany after the war and served as assistant U.S. chief counsel during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, heading the Defense Rebuttal Section. His knowledge of the German legal system helped him anticipate the defendants’ defense strategies of prepare for cross-examinations. He also served as counsel at the 1947-1948 trial of the German Foreign Office. After Nuremberg, Kempner split his time between the United States and Germany where he represented Jewish clients in restitution cases against Germany. He also appeared as an expert witness at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961.
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- No restrictions on access
- Conditions on Use
- No restrictions on use
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The letter was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2001 by Lucian W. Kempner, Lorraine H. Kempner, Hans Kempner, and Therese Kempner, the son, the daughter-in-law, and grandchildren of Robert M. W. Kempner.
- Record last modified:
- 2022-07-28 18:26:39
- This page:
Also in Robert M.W. Kempner collection
The collection consists of artifacts, correspondence, and documents relating to the experiences of Robert M.W. Kempner.
Lapel pin offered to members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) who received certificates commemorating their service in World War II.
Metal locket with image of Lydia Rabinowitsch Kempner inside
Devotional image of Dr. Edith Stein.
Devotional keepsake in the form of a red plastic heart with poem printed on front.
The diary, which begins in April 1936, contains entries in which Rosenberg reflects on contemporary events, including the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, the invasion of Poland, Germany’s relations with other countries prior to the war (Romania, Spain, Afghanistan, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy), the personalities and activities of other Nazi leaders, his antipathy to organized religion and to the Roman Catholic church in particular, accounts of his meetings with Hitler, the latter’s affirmations of Rosenberg’s writings and activities, and his perceptions of the popularity and reception of his writings among the general public, including “Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts.” The latter part of the diary treats Rosenberg’s appointment by Hitler as Reichminister of the Occupied Eastern Territories, differences in policy between Rosenberg and others in how to administer these territories, political infighting, eventual military setbacks on the Eastern front, and his accounts of the effects of war and bombing raids on Germany. The diary ends in December 1944. Additional years of this diary (1934-1935) are held by the National Archives and Records Administration (U.S.), in College Park, Maryland. A digitized version is available as is a transcript.
The Robert M.W. and Ruth Benedicta Kempner papers consist of general correspondence, correspondence and legal documents related to the Nuremberg trials, selected publications, research material, and restitution case files documenting lawyer Robert Kempner and sociologist Ruth Benedicta Kempner. The collection includes Kempner’s correspondence and research files, Ruth Benedicta Kempner’s files, and records document Kempner’s law office. Records documenting Kempner’s work at the International Military Tribunal and at the subsequent tribunals include general correspondence, trial records, evidence indexes, prosecution and defense records, research files, and interrogation reports. The collection also includes photographs, scrapbooks, and sound and video recordings.
Envelope addressed, stamped, and postmarked. Is accompanied by original letter (2001.62.4a).
Black leather pouch which opens at top by a flap; used to hold religious medallion (2001.62.6a)
Dark green plastic pouch which opens at top by a flap; used to hold religious image (2001.62.7a)
Letter written in German. Letter is accompanied by original envelope (2001.62.8b).
Envelope addressed, stamped, and postmarked. Is accompanied by original letter (2001.62.8a).
Letter written in German. Letter is accompanied by original envelope (2001.62.10b).
Envelope addressed, stamped, and postmarked. Is accompanied by original letter (2001.62.10a).
Letter written in German. Letter is accompanied by original envelope (2001.62.12b).
Partial piece of an envelope addressed, stamped, and postmarked. Is accompanied by original letter (2001.62.12a).