Renate Klapper: personal papers

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of Renate Klapper, a Jewish girl from Berlin who was sent to England shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War to escape Nazi persecution whilst her family died at Auschwitz concentration camp. It includes her school certificates (1684/1), wartime correspondence with her mother sent via the British Red Cross Message Bureau (1684/2), honorary membership certificate of the Royal College of Midwives (1684/3), two photocopies of her will (1684/4), two copies of her death certificate (1684/5), valuation documents of two properties in Germany (1684/6), photographs (see photo archive), a travel journal of a trip to France in 1988 (1684/7), general correspondence (1684/9) and ephemera (1684/10).

Also included is a confidential letter from Fürstin von Bismarck (née Gräfin Hoyos, married to Herbert von Bismarck) to a Professor Nowak, dated 1929 (1684/8), and a recording (see audio visual archive) of the memorial service for Alexander William Henry Nicholson who worked for the Intelligence Service and was involved in the prosecution of war criminals. [It is unclear how Renate Klapper came into possession of these two records and how they relate to her].

Administrative / Biographical History

Renate ('Ray') Johanna Klapper, born in 1920, was sent to London by her parents just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Her mother Grete Klapper and her cousin Max were transported to Auschwitz in 1933. Whilst her mother's fate is unknown, Max died in May 1943.

Renate trained to be a nurse and midwife in England. She later became a midwifery teacher and attended the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Jerusalem in 1978. She supported various good causes such as the Ethiopian Gemini Trust for which she started a supplementary feeding programme which developed into a large organisation with a clinic, income generating activities for parents and a day care centre. She also contributed to the Princess Tsahai Memorial Hospital Trust, established by Rita Pankhurst's husband's mother, Sylvia Pankhurst. Renate died in Southend-on-Sea in 1998.



Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at:

Acquisition Information

Donated by Rita Pankhurst.



Related Material

See also digital recordings and Photo Archive (NB373).

Geographical Names