Arthur Kerdemann papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 1995.A.0217.3
  • 1996.92
1 Jan 1938 - 31 Dec 1994
Level of Description
  • English
  • German
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium


oversize folders




Biographical History

Arthur Kerdemann (1911-2008) was born in the village of Kalaharowka, Poland (now Ukraine). In 1917, his family moved to Vienna where he attended school and university. After the annexation of Austria, his family realized that they needed to leave the country, and began applying for visas. During Kristallnacht, while his family was away, Arthur was taken from his home by police, arrested and sent to Dachau by cattle car with thousands of other Jews. He endured harsh conditions in the camp for several months, keeping in contact with his family while he arranged for a visa to leave the country. He had heard that visas for Shanghai were available, and upon receiving one, immediately initiated the process for release. In March of 1939, Kerdemann was released and traveled back to Vienna. His sisters, while Arthur was in Dachau, succeeded in immigrating to England, and obtained a temporary visa for Arthur. Rather than go to Shanghai, Arthur opted for England and arrived in April, 1939. Soon, he received a visa to the United States from his earlier application prior to his imprisonment in Dachau, and immigrated there in September of that same year. He lived with cousins in Cleveland, until he was drafted by the United States Army in 1943. Arthur served with Army Intelligence until his discharge in December, 1945. After his return, Arthur married Esther Haskin in 1951.

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Arthur Kerdemann

The Arthur Kerdemann collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Arthur Kerdemann in 1994 and 1996. These two donations were given separate accession numbers at the time of their donation, but have since been merged into one and can be accessed through the accession number 1995.A.0217.

Scope and Content

The Arthur Kerdemann papers contain material related to Arthur Kerdemann, a former inmate of Dachau and Holocaust survivor. Material in the collection include Kerdemann’s passport and correspondence while he was imprisoned at Dachau from 1938-1939. Other items include his memoir, and various articles and publications he collected after World War II. The Arthur Kerdemann papers contain a variety of material obtained by Arthur Kerdemann, both during imprisonment in Dachau concentration camp and after World War II. The items from Dachau include correspondence with family, deposit slips, identification photographs, a medical questionnaire and Kerdemann’s passport. The papers from after Kerdemann’s release include a piece of correspondence with his sister and a letter from the World Jewish Congress Search Department, along with his memoir and a photograph of Arthur with Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List. Also a part of Kerdemann’s post-Dachau papers includes a large map of Vittel, France, obtained while Arthur was a member of Army Intelligence. The publications and articles series includes various items collected by Kerdemann, primarily from his service with the U.S. Army and later. Included are a Hitler Youth training book, U.S. Army magazines Yank and Army Talk, and a copy of Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung detailing Hitler in Vienna and Austria’s annexation. Also included are news clippings and articles on Edith Stein.

System of Arrangement

The Arthur Kerdemann papers are arranged as three series: •Series 1: Dachau, 1938-1939 •Series 2: Personal papers, 1945-1994 •Series 3: Publications and articles, 1938-1994




This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.