Robert Max Wasilii Kempner (17 October 1899 – 15 August 1993) was a German-born Jewish lawyer. He was an influential opponent of the NSDAP before the war. After the war, he was an important U.S. counsel and prosecutor during Nuremberg trials. Holocaust revisionists have extensively criticized the "evidence" presented by Kempner and his prosecution staff.
Kempner became the senior legal adviser to the police in Prussia and was an influential opponent of National Socialism. In 1924, Kempner participated in the prosecution of Adolf Hitler and Wilhelm Frick, following the Munich Putsch. He recommended the dissolution of the NSDAP. In 1933, Kempner was fired by Hermann Göring, after the National Socialists gained power. He was held for two months in a concentration camp, after being accused of leaking information about Germany's rearmament, activities forbidden under the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles. In 1935, Frick, now Reich Minister of the Interior, revoked Kempner's German citizenship, which forced him to emigrate to Italy. He later settled in the United States, where he did research on European dictatorships and was a consultant to the United States Department of Justice and other government agencies.
After World War II, Kempner returned to Germany, to serve as an important U.S. counsel and prosecutor during Nuremberg trials. One aspect of this was Kempner being involved in the prosecution of two of his former superiors — Göring and Frick. More familiar with the German legal system than any other member of the Allied staff, Kempner headed the Defense Rebuttal Section, the team responsible for anticipating the defense strategies of the accused and for preparing cross-examinations.
The methods used and the evidence "discovered" by Kempner and his prosecution staff have been extensively criticized. For example, he and his staff were involved in "finding" both the Wannsee Protocol and the first Posen Speech, as well as the long-time "disappearance" of Alfred Rosenberg's diary. He has been accused of being involved in and/or covering up the coercion of witnesses, theft of material contrary to the claims the prosecution, and the forgery of material supporting the claims of the prosecution. See also the "External links" section.
After Nuremberg trials, Kempner split his time between the United States and Germany, where he represented Jewish clients in claims cases against Germany. He also appeared as an "expert" witness at the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
Other Nuremberg prosecutors
- Pace, Eric (August 17, 1993). "Robert Kempner, 93, a Prosecutor at Nuremberg". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/17/obituaries/robert-kempner-93-a-prosecutor-at-nuremberg.html. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- « Reversal of Fortune: Robert Kempner », site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- The Hoax of the Twentieth Century http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=7
- Index to documents relating to Dr Robert Kempner http://www.fpp.co.uk/Germany/Kempner/index.html