Guide to the Papers of Clementine Kraemer (1873-1942)

AR 2402 / MF 783

Processed by Dianne Ritchey Oummia

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305



© 2007 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Dianne Ritchey Oummia in October 2007. Description is in English.
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.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Krämer, Clementine.
Title: Clementine Kraemer Collection
Dates:bulk 1913-1926
Abstract: 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.
Languages: The collection is in German and English.
Quantity: 1 linear foot
Identification: AR 2402
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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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.)

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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.

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

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Access and Use

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

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

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).

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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).

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

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Clementine Kraemer Collection; AR 2402; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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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.

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Container List


Series I: Personal and General, 1912-1939

This series is in German.
8 folders.


Scope and Content:

This series is comprised of the personal papers of Clementine Kraemer. Correspondence, a memorial book, and lecture notes from the Juedischer Frauenbund feature prominently here, among other documents.

Correspondence in Series I includes letters from a few publishers, among them one (Reissinger) who details his opinion of Kraemer's work "Gauklerin," discussing the ending of the piece and expressing his opinion of her writing style. One letter from Kraemer states her plan for the illustration of one of her children's stories. Letters sent to Werner Cahnman are from both Max and Clementine Kraemer, sharing family news or advice to their nephew. Fliegende Blaetter was a publication to which Kraemer contributed vignettes; some of these are present here.

Documentation on the Juedischer Frauenbund largely consists of texts and notes of lectures given at that organization. Many of these are typed with handwritten notes, and it is unclear whether Clementine Kraemer produced these texts or whether they were given to her by someone else. The primary theme among these lectures is the role of Jewish women in society and the family; mention is also made of the work of the Juedischer Frauenbund.

The folder of general personal papers contains a photograph of Clementine and Max Kraemer, an announcement of activities and meetings of the Juedischer Frauenbund, and copies of significant passages from a book of prayers by Bertha Pappenheim (This book has been removed to the LBI Library).

11Andachtsbuch fuer Trauer und Jahrzeit - Max Kraemer1939
12Collected Articlesundated, 1929
13Correspondenceundated, 1895?-1930
14Correspondence - Cahnman, Wernerundated, 1923-1928
15Correspondence - Fliegende Blaetter1925
16Ein Tag aus dem Leben von Tante Clem by Liselotte Cahnmann1931
17Juedischer Frauenbund Papers1912-1936
18Personal - Generalundated, 1919-1936
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Series II: Writings,  1894-1940

This series is in German.
0.875 linear foot.

Divided into two subseries: Narrative Prose and Poetry.

Scope and Content:

The writings, including poetry and prose, of Clementine Kraemer comprise Series II. Themes presented in her writings and found in both her poems and her narrative works include World War I and the lives of women. Prose works in particular describe life in rural Germany, especially of Jews and women, in the early twentieth century.

Subseries 1: Narrative Prose, undated, 1894-1931

This subseries is in German.


Scope and Content:

Subseries 1 holds the prose writings of Clementine Kraemer. They consist of vignettes, short stories, novellas, reviews, play scripts, and aphorisms. Much of her work was published; the subseries includes both newspaper clippings of her published work as well as typewritten drafts. The writings have been organized by title for longer drafts or when both drafts and published versions are available; short stories with only small amounts of material have been ordered alphabetically.

Women and their role in society feature predominantly in many pieces of Kraemer's prose. Works such as Der Weg des jungen Hermann Kahn depict Jewish rural life as well as the conflict German Jews felt at the time between their German heritage and the growing Zionist movement. Several other pieces also portray Jewish life in rural Germany, including Vom Grossvater und der Hofbauer,Errinnerungen, and Die Rauferei. Die Rauferei, Clementine Kraemer's only published novel, portrays country life in Bavaria and promotes the development of peace and condemnation of violence. Children also appear in many of her writings, including several children's stories; these often seem modeled after her six nieces and nephews, the children of Sigwart and Hedwig Cahnmann. Some of her prose is written in approximations of the Bavarian dialect.

19Der alte Teppichundated
110Der arme Balthasarundated
111Der Barbarundated
112Berliner Eindruecke einer Muenchnerin1920
113Das Bildundated
114Das Brautgedicht1926
115Das Brautkleidundated
116Bruder Menschundated
118Children's Stories - Fritzchen im Traumlandundated
119Children's Stories - Liselotte auf dem Landundated
120Children's Stories - Poetryundated
121Children's Stories - Wie kleide ich meine Puppchen Morgen?undated
122Der Dorfschlemiehlundated
123Du sollst nicht stehlenundated
124Eigentum ist Diebstahlundated
125Er flog in ein warmes Nestundated
126Errinnerungen - Clippings1924
129Esther - Clippings1920-1925
133Die Gauklerinundated
134Die gestohlene Taschenuhrundated
136Der Groteskeundated
138In getrennten Schlafzimmern1939
143Lilienmilch und Rosenwasser1922
24Das Modebildundated
25Der Muckl und die Franzosenfrau1915
26Der Mustermieterundated
27Der Mutige Schneider1913-1918
28Die Mutter1924
210Die neue Puppeundated
212Die Perleundated
213Das Perlen-Halsband1912
216Das Preisausschreibenundated
217Die Purimgeschichteundated
218Die Rauferei1894-1964
219Die Rauferei - Reviews and Advertisements1927-1930
221Reviews by Clementine Kraemer1926-1931
222Die Rosenwirtin1922
223Der Schulmeister1916
225Sehr geehrter Herr Diebundated
226Short Stories - Published - A-Eundated, 1913-1924
227Short Stories - Published - F-Kundated, 1921
228Short Stories - Published - L-Rundated, 1920-1926
229Short Stories - Published - S-Z1906-1928
230Short Stories - Unpublished - A-Kundated
231Short Stories - Unpublished - L-Zundated
232Spaziergang durch den englischen Gartenundated
235Untitled Short Storiesundated
236Vignettes and Aphorismsundated
237Vom Grossvater und der Hofbauer1915
238Der Weg des jungen Hermann Kahn1918
239Wenn man eine Frau istundated
240Das Wettrennen1913
241Wie wir uns anziehen sollenundated
242Das Wunderundated

Subseries 2: Poetry, 1902-1940

This subseries is in German, with one item in English.


Scope and Content:

Clementine Kraemer's poems include both handwritten and typed drafts of poems, with a few copies of poems published in newspapers. A significant portion of these poems focus on the First World War, with themes of death, grief, the return of soldiers, and the desire for the end of the war or peace predominant. Other poems mention such subjects as the relationship between mothers and daughters, romance, springtime and nature, and aging and death.

243Poems - Notebooksundated, 1902-1904
244Poems - Unclassifiedundated, 1940
245Poems - War Poetry[1914?]-1918
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Series III: Werner Cahnman, 1959-1963

This series is in English and German.
0.125 linear foot.


Scope and Content:

Series III holds material originating with Werner Cahnman concerning his aunt. Most prominent here is the detailed biography by Werner Cahnman on Clementine Kraemer; this biography describes not only the biographical facts of Clementine Kraemer's life, but also represents Werner Cahnman's opinions and interpretations on her formative and significant experiences as well as reflections on her writing. Other material in this series includes a few letters from Werner Cahnman to others and an inventory presumably created by him that lists the individual writings included in the collection.

247Biographical Articles and Obituaries for Clementine Krämer by Werner Cahnman1963
248Correspondence - Werner Cahnman1959-1960
249Former Inventory of Collectionundated
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