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database: Klemperer Online
database: Klemperer Online

Klemperer Online

Tagebücher 1918–1959

Klemperer Online: Diaries, 1918–1959
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About this database

Klemperer Online Tutorial

For the first time, the database makes available the complete and unabridged diaries of Victor Klemperer, which are among the most important sources of 20th-century German history. The texts feature an extensive commentary and contain over a third more material than the print edition.

In addition to an edited transcript, the database provides a facsimile of each handwritten diary entry. An intuitive tab structure allows for easy navigation between the transcript and the handwritten originals.

The complete edition of the diaries offers an even more comprehensive and detailed picture of the decades documented by Klemperer.

Exclusive and unabridged in the database

  • Klemperer’s reflections on Germany and Judaism, humanism and barbarism, and antisemitism
  • Available to researchers for the first time: Klemperer’s entries in the run-up to Lingua Tertii Imperii and preliminary work for his history of French literature
  • Detailed film notes on 750 films, accompanied by a separate filmography: a treasure trove for cineasts
  • Detailed accounts of Klemperer’s numerous trips, which give striking contemporary descriptions of destinations such as France, Italy, and China

Additional material

  • A biographical sketch of Klemperer by Walter Nowojski
  • A detailed chronology of Klemperer’s life
  • A discussion of the publication history of Klemperer’s diaries by Christian Löser
  • A filmography of over 750 films viewed by Klemperer between 1919 and 1932, as a supplement to the film notes in the diaries
  • An extensive bibliography on the literature by and about Victor Klemperer
  • Notes on the structure of the Christian Löser edition and a user’s guide

On Victor Klemperer and his diaries

Klemperer, who primarily identified as “German,” was the son of a reform rabbi and converted to Protestantism in 1912. For the Nazis, however, he remained a Jew and was persecuted as such. His careful observations and analyses from the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist era, and the German Democratic Republic illuminate what it meant to live under these three regimes.

The database covers the entire four-decade period (from 1918 to 1959) in which Klemperer kept his diaries.

The early diaries from the Weimar Republic offer an insight into Klemperer’s life and career as a professor of Romance languages at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). As the Nazis rose to power, he adopted the role of a “cultural historian of the catastrophe,” documenting the ongoing withdrawal of rights from Jews. These observations are accompanied by a minute account of his day-to-day life under National Socialism. His post-1945 diaries testify to a desire for a radical new beginning – both for himself and for Germany. Though less well known than his other diaries and until now never published in full, these provide significant insights into the divided post-war Germany and early East Germany, as well as Klemperer’s engagement with Communism and Zionism.

The database promises to generate a wealth of new insights concerning this already classic historical reference work.

Copyright notice

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin / Boston. All rights to the original texts © Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Use of the electronic copies of the original diaries, courtesy of the SLUB Dresden.

Your Benefits

  • The complete diaries with full commentary
  • Each diary entry is also available as a facsimile of the original handwritten entry
  • An intuitive tab structure allows for easy navigation between the transcript and the handwritten original
  • New: the electronic edition of the 1918–1933 and 1945–1959 diaries, more than 4,600 diary entries, with over a third more material than the print editions
  • Total circulation of the printed edition of the diaries 1933–1945: 500,000 copies, with translations in 17 countries
  • Supplements the following databases: Archiv Bibliographia Judaica – Deutschsprachiges Judentum Online, Deutsch-jüdische Quellen aus Palästina / Israel, Vossische Zeitung Online. 1918–1934 and Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels Online as well as Hitler. Quellen 192445 Online
  • Non-restrictive DRM – allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous users per campus or institution



© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Alle Rechte an den Originaltexten © Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Verwendung der Digitalisate der Tagebücher mit freundlicher Genehmigung der SLUB Dresden. Datenbank-Cover: Abraham Pisarek (1946), Quelle: Deutsche Fotothek, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

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