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

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

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


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

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

ADAPTATIONS: Memories, Voices, and alternatives: classes discovered through the Holocaust and Global Genocides, a five-part tv show, 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. When Chancellor Adolf Hitler stumbled on power within the 1930s that are late Klein’s moms and dads became uneasy about their nation’s future. Klein ended up being forced to stop college right after their club mitzvah because there had been therefore much prejudice against Jews, so he stayed house and taught himself English by reading concerning the united states of america. As he had been sixteen, his moms and dads urged their children to go out of Germany so they really could remain safe. Klein’s sis immigrated towards the united states of america, Klein observed her in 1937, and Klein’s sibling joined up with them in 1938. Klein, whom arrived in the usa with ten bucks in the pocket, worked as being a typesetter, dishwasher, and cigar store clerk, attempting to save your self sufficient money to allow his moms and dads to become listed on them in the usa.

Whenever Jewish domiciles and organizations had been assaulted within the infamous Kristallnacht in Germany, Klein’s parents’ home had been vandalized. In 1940 their parents had been arrested to be Jewish and had been delivered to a detention camp in France. Although Klein and their siblings attempted to get their parents visas to america, they didn’t have money that is enough spend the expenses, and their efforts had been stifled by bureaucratic guidelines. By the right 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 year that is same Klein had been drafted to serve within the U.S. Army to battle from the nation of their delivery; their capacity to talk German permitted him to the office in cleverness. While on patrol, he heard that a combined band of survivors from a concentration camp have been discovered near a warehouse, and then he as well as other troops decided to go to investigate the problem and liberate the survivors.

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

Klein asked the survivors if anybody talked German or English. Weissmann responded warily, ”we have been Jewish, you realize, ” in accordance with an AP article reprinted on MyHero.com. Klein hesitated, then stated, ”therefore have always been we. ” Weissmann later recalled, ”It ended up being the greatest hour of my entire life, ” noting the kindness and courtesy he revealed into the survivors. Klein aided Weissmann as well as the other survivors to security and health care.

Klein had been impressed by Weissmann’s good attitude and faith in humanity despite most of the horrors she had withstood, and he frequently visited her while she recuperated at a displaced-person camp.

In the close of this pugilative war, Klein discovered that their moms and dads have been killed at Auschwitz. He asked Gerda to marry him, and she accepted. Then they relocated to Buffalo, ny, where he worked being a printer.

Within the late 1980s the Kleins moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where they truly became tangled up in philanthropic work. They lectured about their everyday lives and whatever they had discovered from their participation in war, imprisonment, and liberation. Gerda Klein had written a written book, All but My Life, telling her tale; Klein was its editor.

The Kleins also collaborated on a novel titled The Hours After: Letters of appreciate and Longing in War’s Aftermath, an accumulation of the letters they composed to one another through the 12 months before they certainly were in a position to marry, revealing their love, their plans for future years, while the results 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 few created the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation, a nonprofit company that can help young adults find out about the entire world and also to integrate the values of threshold, respect for other people, and community solution, with an increased exposure of ending globe hunger. From the foundation’s website, the Kleins published: ”Our fantasy would be to produce the window of opportunity for teenagers to know injustice on earth, and convert that understanding into vietnamcupid good action. ” And, they noted, ”We elect to share the information of our lives’ darkest hours, to protect the memory regarding the Holocaust and draw from the classes discovered from that period ever sold, within the hope which our message will 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 some ideas of threshold, learning through the past, and responsibility that is assuming the suffering of other people. The series ended up being selected for an Emmy prize.

Klein died on April 19, 2002, while for a lecture trip in Guatemala. Relating to an Associated Press tale posted on MyHero.com, a household buddy said associated with Kleins, ”Their life together had been like a tale that is fairy. They carried an email all over the world—how it is possible to turn any degree that is horrible of into good, with sufficient courage and faith. ”



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

Library Journal, 15, 2000, Kay Dushek, review of The Hours After, p. 99 april.

Publishers Weekly, 10, 2000, review of The Hours After, p. 56 january.