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Clementine Kraemer Collection

Identifier: AR 2402

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the life and work of Clementine Kraemer, writer and member of several Jewish philanthropic and social organizations. It is comprised of many drafts and clippings of her written compositions, as well as a biography, some correspondence, and papers of the Juedischer Frauenbund.

The most prominent area of this collection are the writings of Clementine Kraemer in Series II. The writings include both drafts and published versions of her short stories, poems, a novella, vignettes, and aphorisms. The short stories, significant for their portrayal of rural Jewish life of the early 1900s, may also contain some biographical information, as mentioned by Werner Cahnman in his biography of his aunt in Series III. Other subjects present in Series II include World War I and its effects and the role of women in German society.

A small amount of material on the Juedischer Frauenbund is also present in the collection in Series I, among the other personal documents and correspondence of this series. Such material constitutes texts of various lectures that may have been attended by Clementine Kraemer. A description of her work with this organization may be found in Werner Cahnman's abovementioned biography in Series III.


  • Creation: 1894-1963


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Clementine Sophie Cahnmann was born in 1873 in the town of Rheinbischofsheim in Baden. She was the second child of the merchant Gustav Cahnmann and his wife Augusta (née Levi). Her childhood and schooling took place in Rheinbischofsheim and in Karlsruhe, where the family moved when she was seven. In 1891 Clementine Cahnmann married Max Kraemer, a businessman and banker of Munich and a distant relation by marriage. The couple never had any children.

It was in Munich that Clementine Kraemer became active in Jewish social and educational work. Her early efforts in this area included teaching German language and literature to immigrant women in evening classes at the B'nai B'rith Muenchen Loge. This brought her into contact with similarly-minded individuals, most notably Erna Feuchtwanger, who would become a close friend and led to Clementine Kraemer's introduction to the Juedischer Frauenbund. She was among the first members of the Munich branch of this organization, as well as a member of the national Board of Directors. Traveling to meetings on behalf of the Juedischer Frauenbund led to her acquaintance with women such as Henriette May, Ottilie Schoenwald, and Bertha Pappenheim; in addition she developed a close friendship with Paula Ollendorff. Clementine Kraemer was also present at the founding meeting of the Munich branch of the Verein fuer Frauenstimmrecht. During World War I, as part of her work for the Juedischer Frauenbund, she worked to solicit assistance from Jewish business in supplementing rations for those who had lost family members during the war.

Following the economic difficulties of the interwar period, the business of Clementine Kraemer's husband, Max Kraemer and Co., went bankrupt. As a result she sought and received a position at the textile store S. Eichengruen and Co. in 1929.

Clementine Kraemer was also a prolific writer of poetry, vignettes, short stories, and novellas. Only one of her novellas was published on its own, Die Rauferei (1927). Some of her other significant longer works were published serially in newspapers, including Der Weg des jungen Hermann Kahn; Erinnerungen; and Der Grossvater und der Hofbauer. Numerous shorter pieces were also published in newspapers. Her written work often featured themes such as Jewish family life in the early half of the twentieth century, the relationship of German Jews to their religion, and her reactions to World War I. The six children of her brother Sigwart Cahnmann are frequently mentioned in her published work; she was known to them as 'Tante Clem.'

Like her brother and his wife, Clementine Kraemer made several attempts to secure emigration from Germany. Although she received an affidavit of support from a family member in the United States, she was not able to leave before the outbreak of the Second World War and the closing of the American consulates in Germany; efforts to immigrate to Denmark, Shanghai, and Cuba also fell through. In the spring of 1942 Clementine Kraemer was sent to Theresienstadt, where she died on November 4th of that same year.

(Further details on Clementine Kraemer's life will be found in the extensive biography written by her nephew Werner Cahnman, located in Series III of this collection.)


1 Linear Feet


This collection is comprised of papers of the writer Clementine Kraemer. Although it is primarily composed of examples of her writing, including both poetry and prose, it also includes personal documents and correspondence, as well as a detailed biography.


The collection is arranged in three series in the following manner:


The collection is on four reels of film (MF 783):

  1. Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/29
  2. Reel 2: 1/30 - 2/23
  3. Reel 3: 2/24 - 2/44
  4. Reel 4: 2/45 - 2/49

Related Material

The LBI maintains archival collections for Clementine Kraemer's husband Max (AR 3211), as well as three of her nephews, Werner Cahnman (AR 25210), Hans Cahnmann (AR 10341), and Fritz Cahnmann (AR 10589).

Separated Material

Books and a few journals found in the collection have been removed to the LBI Library. These include the following books: Bibliothek der Unterhaltung und des Wissens, 1. Band (1922), which contains Clementine Kraemer's short story Die Rosenwirtin; Die Rauferei (1927); and Gebete by Bertha Pappenheim (1936).

Processing Information

Prior to processing, the collection was primarily unorganized in several folders with many copies of the same written material. The material was rearranged to form series, with versions of written work grouped together in Series II by title of the work. The original inventory of the collection, with an item-level listing of the previous arrangement, has been kept in the collection and is located in Series III.

Guide to the Papers of Clementine Kraemer (1873-1942) 1894-1963 AR 2402 / MF 783
Processed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia
© 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ClementineKraemer.xml.

Revision Statements

  • September 2010:: Links to digital objects added in Container List.
  • 2010-09-14 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
  • April 2008.: Microfilm information added.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States