Victor Klemperer (1881-1960)

Victor Klemperer (1881-1960) - philologist and contemporary witness

The most important legacy for understanding 20th century German history.

"The Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Diderot, so unfashionable and long since reviled by everyone who thought anything of themselves, had always been my favourites. Now I could devote all my time and labour to my far-advanced opus; as far as the eighteenth century was concerned, I was sitting in Dresden's Japanese Palace like a maggot in bacon. No German library, hardly the National Library in Paris itself, could have provided for me better," wrote Victor Klemperer when he was given early retirement as professor of Romance philology at the Technical University of Dresden in 1935 because of his Jewish origins. This was soon followed by the ban on library use, which hit him particularly hard as a philologist and reader.

Victor Klemperer achieved fame through his study of the language of the "Third Reich", LTI , and his diaries.

The SLUB, successor library to the Sächsische Landesbibliothek (Saxon State Library) which was located in the Japanische Palais until 1945, preserves an extensive collection of Klemperer's documents, photographs and autographs.

Of course, you can still read the Enlightenment works, which Klemperer studied particularly thoroughly, at the SLUB.

On the following pages you will find numerous documents from the collection - including a ballad by Schönberg to which Klemperer wrote the text - and information about searching Klemperer's estate, which his widow Dr. Hadwig Klemperer left to the library in 1977.

You can also simply browse the extensive image collections under See. Get to know Victor Klemperer and his work in Dresden from all sides!