Klemperer, Victor

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Klemperer, Victor Gender: M
born on 9 October 1881 at 20:00 (= 8:00 PM )
Place Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland, 52n44, 15e15
Timezone LMT m15e15 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 16°37' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 15°12 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 23°34'

Victor Klemperer
photo: Kemlein, Eva, license cc-by-sa-3.0-de


German Romance languages professor who became known as a diarist across three decades of Jewish experience in Germany. His journals, published posthumously in Germany in 1995, detail his life under the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and the German Democratic Republic. Those covering the period of the Third Reich have since become standard sources and have been extensively quoted by Saul Friedländer, Michael Burleigh, Richard J. Evans, and Max Hastings.

His parents were Dr. Wilhelm Klemperer, a rabbi, and Henriette née Frankel. Victor Klemperer had three brothers and four sisters. He was a cousin of the conductor Otto Klemperer.

Victor Klemperer was a student of philosophy, Romance and German studies at universities in Munich, Geneva, Paris and Berlin from 1902 to 1905, and later worked as a journalist and writer in Berlin, until he resumed his studies in Munich from 1912. He completed his doctorate (on Montesquieu) in 1913 and was habilitated under the supervision of Karl Vossler in 1914. From 1914 to 1915, Klemperer lectured at the University of Naples, after which he became a decorated military volunteer in World War I. From 1920 he was Professor of Romance Languages at the Technical University of Dresden.

Since his wife, Eva, was "Aryan", Klemperer avoided deportation, often narrowly, but in 1940, he and his wife were rehoused under miserable conditions in a "Jews' House" (Judenhaus) with other "mixed couples". Here, and especially when he ventured out, or at factories where he was forced to work, he was routinely questioned, mistreated, and humiliated by the Gestapo, Hitler Youth members and Dresden citizens. Only because of his wife the couple were able to procure food enough to subsist.

On 13 February 1945, the day preceding the night bombing of Dresden, Klemperer assisted in delivering notices of deportation to some of the last remaining members of the Jewish community in Dresden. Fearful that he too would soon be sent to his death, he used the confusion created by Allied bombings to remove his yellow star on 19 February, join a refugee column, and escape into American-controlled territory. He and his wife survived, and Klemperer's diary narrates their return, largely on foot through Bavaria and Eastern Germany, to their house in Dölzschen, on the outskirts of Dresden. They managed to reclaim the house, which had been "aryanised" under the Nazis.

After the war, Klemperer joined the communist Socialist Unity Party of Germany, and recovered a university post at the University of Leipzig. He became a significant cultural figure in East Germany, lecturing at the universities of Greifswald, Berlin and Halle. He was a delegate of the Cultural Association of the GDR in the GDR's Parliament (Volkskammer) from 1950 to 1958, and frequently mentions in his later diary his frustration at its lack of power and its largely ceremonial role.

After the death of his wife Eva (1882-1951) Klemperer married the 45-year-younger Hadwig Kirchner (1926-2010) in May 1952. She participated in the publication of his diaries after his death. Victor Klemperer died on 11 February 1960, aged 78, in Dresden.

Klemperer's diary was published in 1995 as Tagebücher (Berlin, Aufbau). It was an immediate literary sensation and rapidly became a bestseller in Germany. An English translation of the years spanning the Nazi seizure of power through Klemperer's death has appeared in three volumes: I Will Bear Witness (1933 to 1941), To The Bitter End (1942 to 1945) and The Lesser Evil (1945 to 1959).

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • spouse relationship with Klemperer, Eva (born 12 July 1882). Notes: 1906-1951
  • other kin relationship with Klemperer, Otto (born 14 May 1885). Notes: Cousins


  • Death of Mate 8 July 1951 (Eva Klemperer, nee Schlemmer)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 23 May 1952 (Hadwig Kirchner)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth record.


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (PhD)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Eighth of eight)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (2nd wife, 45 years younger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Military : Honors (Decorated military volunteer, WWI)
  • Vocation : Politics : Party Affiliation (Socialist Unity Party)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (Diarist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure