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Whatever happened to the Papers of Dr Robert M W Kempner?



Posted Monday, November 15, 1999


WE reproduce below the recent story from the Bucks County Courier Times, of Pennsylvania, an American local newspaper, published in August 1999.

Dr Robert Kempner was a noted member of the Prussian ministry of Kempnerthe interior before Hermann Göring took over in 1933. Kempner fled to the United States where he donned American uniform, fought against his native country, and returned victoriously to the prosecutors' bench at Nuremberg (see photo on right, an illustration from David Irving: Nuremberg, the Last Battle.) From our early dealings with him we learned that he played a key role in stealing and suppressing documents (see his part in the history of the vanished Schlegelberger document for thirty years).

So what is significant about the missing Kempner papers? Well it was pretty clear (and he did not deny) that he had stolen the entire diary of Alfred Rosenberg from the Nuremberg archives and was retaining it as his private property. Prof. Hans-Günther Seraphim was able to get only sections of the photocopies from the Nuremberg archives for his publication.

The Rosenberg Diaries are a fund of true information on Hitler and the Holocaust; they are of enormous importance -- but where are they now? We await an early answer from the Holocaust Memorial Museum.square

Diarist Alfred Rosenberg (left), a signed original in David Irving's collection, from the papers of Werner Koeppen, Rosenberg's officer on Hitler's staff


Bucks County Courier Times
early August 1999

Nuremberg lawyer's lost papers recovered


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Letters and records detailing 60 years of Holocaust history including behind-the-scenes notes about the Nuremberg trials have been recovered and given to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Nearly 150,000 pages of personal and work-related archives disappeared from the suburban Philadelphia house of Nuremberg trials prosecutor Robert M. W. Kempner after he died six years ago.

The documents were found this summer in a private home in upstate New York. Police said a religious studies professor-turned-publisher convinced Kempner's long-time secretary to turn the papers over to him -- disobeying Kempner's will that the papers go to his two sons and to the museum.

Holocaust experts expect the papers to offer invaluable insight because Kempner's life intertwined so closely with the downfall of the Nazi regime.

"He is probably not very well known to the general public, but among scholars he is a major figure in Holocaust history" said chief archivist Henry Mayer of the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C.

Delaware County police said the situation began in mid-1998, when publisher Herbert Richardson gained power of attorney for Margot Lipton, who was Kempner's legal secretary for more than 40 years. Richardson encouraged Lipton, now 85, to move into an assisted living home and allow him to move the half-century of files into a private home neighboring Richardson's academic publishing company near Niagara Falls.

Efforts to reach Richardson on Friday were unsuccessful; the phone at his office rang busy for most of the day Lipton could not be reached for comment; she has refused to be interviewed by police.

"He said his intentions were to memorialize and eulogize the memory of Robert Kempner," Lansdowne Det. Bob O'Donnell said. Richardson never said, though, what he intended to do with the papers, O'Donnell said.

Kempner specified in his will that his papers and letters be given to his two sons -- Lucien who lives in Unterhaching, Germany, and Adrien, who has since died -- and that the papers he preserved at the Holocaust museum.

Local police were called In July when officials from the Holocaust museum arrived to take custody of the documents and could not find most of them. Inventory taken in 1997 found documents stored in the basement, the study, several other rooms and the sunporch.

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