Dr Robert Maximilian Wassilij Kempner (Robert Maximilian Wassilij Kempner)

Dr Robert Maximilian Wassilij Kempner

Attorney. Prosecutor during the Nuremberg war-crime trials. His parents were the scientists Walter Kempner and Lydia Rabinowitsch-Kempner, his godfather was Robert Koch. After studying law in Freiburg, Berlin and Breslau he worked as an attorney in Berlin. From 1928 on he worked for the prussian ministry of the interior and tried to charge Hitler for treason and to ban the NSDAP without success, because his superiors dropped the accusation each time. In 1933 he lost his job at the ministry and later lost his german citizenship. He was arrested, but after international protest was released again. He fled to Italy where he stayed for some time and then travelled to the United States where he arrived in September 1939. In 1941 he started to work for the Department of Justice and became a member of the ‘War Crimes Commission’. After the end of the second world war he became deputy prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials. In 1947 while preparing the so-called “Wilhelmstrassen-Prozess” against members of Foreign Office he discovered the Wannsee Protocol. Afterwards he stayed in Germany and worked as a lawyer in Frankfurt/Main. During the trial against Adolf Eichmann he worked as an advisor for the israeli prosecutor. He was awarded the Carl von Ossietzky-Medal in 1969 and the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) in 1984. He was also named honorary citizen of Jerusalem in 1970.  (bio by: Lutetia)


  • October, 17, 1899


  • August, 08, 1993


  • Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde
  • Berlin
  • Germany

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