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Klein, Kurt 1920-2002. PERSONAL: Born 1920, in Walldorf, Germany; passed away April 19, 2002, in Guatemala

Klein, Kurt 1920-2002. PERSONAL: Born 1920, in Walldorf, Germany; passed away April 19, 2002, in Guatemala

PRIVATE: created 1920, in Walldorf, Germany; passed away 19, 2002, in Guatemala; immigrated to United States, 1937; American citizen; married Gerda Weissmann, 1946 april. Religion: Jewish.

PROFESSION: Philanthropist. Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation, creator, 2000. Formerly worked as being a printer. Army solution: offered in U.S. Army, 1942-45.


(Editor) Gerda Klein, All but My Life, Hill & Wang (ny, NY), 1957.

(With Gerda Klein) The Hours After: Letters of Love and Longing into the War’s Aftermath, St. Martin’s Press (nyc, NY), 2000.

ADAPTATIONS: Memories, Voices, and alternatives: classes discovered through the Holocaust and Global Genocides, a five-part television series, had been created by the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications.

SIDELIGHTS: Kurt Klein came to be in 1920 and spent my youth in Walldorf, Germany. Whenever Chancellor Adolf Hitler stumbled on energy within the belated 1930s, Klein’s moms and dads became uneasy about their country’s future. Klein had been forced to stop school soon after their club mitzvah since there was therefore much prejudice against Jews, himself english by reading about the United States so he remained home and taught. As he ended up being sixteen, their moms and dads urged kids to go out of Germany so that they could remain secure and safe. Klein’s sis immigrated towards the united states of america, Klein implemented her in 1937, and Klein’s cousin joined up with them in 1938. Klein, whom found its way to america with ten bucks inside the pocket, worked as being a typesetter, dishwasher, and cigar shop clerk, wanting to save your self sufficient money to allow their moms and dads to join them in the us.

Whenever Jewish houses and companies had been assaulted when you look at the Kristallnacht that is infamous in, Klein’s parents’ house had been vandalized. In 1940 their parents had been arrested if you are were and jewish delivered to a detention camp in France. Although Klein along with his siblings attempted to get their parents visas to the usa, they did not have sufficient money to spend the expense, and their efforts were stifled by bureaucratic guidelines. By the time they got the visas, in 1942, their moms and dads was indeed deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in Eastern Europe.

For the reason that same 12 months, Klein ended up being drafted to provide into the U.S. Army to fight resistant to the nation of their birth; their capability to speak German allowed him to the office in cleverness. While on patrol, he heard that the band of survivors from a concentration camp have been discovered near a warehouse, and then he along with other troops went along to investigate the specific situation and liberate the survivors.

One of many prisoners was a woman that is young Gerda Weissmann. Each of her household, except an uncle, have been killed because of the Germans. After 36 months in a concentration camp, she and 2,000 other people was indeed forced to walk 300 kilometers before being abandoned when you look at the warehouse that is booby-trapped just 150 of those had resided through the death march.

Klein asked the survivors if anybody spoke German or English. Weissmann responded warily, “we have been Jewish, you understand, ” in accordance with an AP article reprinted on Klein hesitated, then stated, “therefore have always been we. ” Weissmann later recalled, “It had been the hour that is greatest of my entire life, ” noting the kindness and courtesy he revealed to your survivors. Klein assisted Weissmann as well as the other survivors to security and care that is medical.

Klein ended up being impressed by Weissmann’s great attitude and faith in mankind despite most of the horrors she had withstood, and while she recuperated at a displaced-person camp, he often visited her.

In the close for the pugilative war, Klein discovered that his moms and dads was in fact killed at Auschwitz. He asked Gerda to marry him, and she accepted. Then they relocated to Buffalo, ny, where he worked as being a printer.

The kleins moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where they became involved in philanthropic work in the late 1980s. They lectured about their everyday lives and whatever they had discovered from their participation in war, imprisonment, and liberation. Gerda Klein had written guide, All but My Life, telling her tale; Klein ended up being its editor.

The Kleins also collaborated on a guide titled The Hours After: Letters of enjoy and Longing in War’s Aftermath, a collection of the letters they had written to one another throughout the 12 months before they certainly were in a position to marry, revealing their love, their plans money for hard times, while the outcomes of the war on the everyday lives. In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer called the book “engrossing, ” as well as in Library Journal, Kay Dushek called it an “amazing testament to steadfast love. “

In 2000 the couple developed the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation, a nonprofit company that can help young adults read about the planet and also to incorporate the values of threshold, respect for other people, and community solution, with a focus on closing world hunger. In the foundation’s internet site, the Kleins published: “Our fantasy would be to produce the chance for young adults to know injustice in the field, and convert that understanding into good action. ” And, they noted, “We decide to share the main points of our everyday everyday lives’ darkest hours, to protect the memory associated with the Holocaust and draw regarding the lessons discovered from that duration of all time, when you look at the hope which our message shall enlighten pupils and nurture the seeds of social obligation that grow within their hearts. “

The Klein Foundation developed a five-part television series titled Memories, Voices, and Choices: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust and Global Genocides in cooperation with the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications. The series examines genocide, through the Holocaust to present times, and encourages the a few ideas of threshold, learning through the past, and presuming duty for the suffering of other people. The series ended up being nominated for the Emmy prize.

Klein passed away on April 19, 2002, while for a lecture trip in Guatemala. Based on an Associated Press tale posted on, a household friend said for the Kleins, “Their life together had been just like a tale that is fairy. They carried a note around the globe—how you can easily turn any terrible amount of evil into good, with sufficient courage and faith. “



Booklist, March 1, 2000, George Cohen, report about The Hours After, p. 1192.

Library Journal, April 15, 2000, Kay Dushek, report on The Hours After, p. 99.

Writers Weekly, January 10, 2000, article on The Hours After, p. 56.

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