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Grossmann, Kurt Richard


GROSSMANN, KURT RICHARD (1897–1972), German journalist. A pacifist after World War i, Grossmann became general secretary of the Deutsche Liga fuer Menschenrechte (German League for Human Rights) in his home town, Berlin (1926), and organized its fight against injustice in German law courts, which followed reactionary tendencies. Grossmann was active in cases such as that of the Russian war prisoner, Jacobowsky (executed and then adjudged innocent), and that of Walter Bullerjahn who had been imprisoned as the result of false witness. He wrote Dreizehn Jahre "Republikanische" Justiz (1932). Warned that the Nazis were about to arrest him, Grossmann escaped to Prague in 1933. There he established and directed the Demokratische Fluechtlingsfuersorge (Relief for Refugees by Democrats) and wrote brochures against Nazism. In 1938 he went to Paris and in 1939 to New York. In 1943 the World Jewish Congress entrusted Grossman with dealing with the European refugee problem. After World War ii, Grossmann became a recognized spokesman on problems concerning Jewish refugees and *restitution and compensation. He was also involved in the Jewish-German process of reconciliation and lectured in Germany. Among the books written during his American years are Die Unbesungenen Helden: Menschen in Deutschlands dunklen Tagen (1957); Ossietzky: ein deutscher Patriot (1963), which won the Albert Schweitzer Prize; and a history of restitution, Die Ehrenschuld: Kurzgeschichte der Wiedergutmachung (1967); Emigration, Geschichte der Hitler-Fluechtlinge 193345 (1969).

add. bibliography:

L. Mertens, "Enttaeuschte Ambitionen – Kurt Grossmanns berufliche Erwartungen und politische Aktivitäten," in: Exil. Forschung, Erkenntnisse, Ergebnisse, 2 (1996), 40–49; idem, Unermuedlicher Kaempfer fuer Frieden und Menschenrechte. Leben und Wirken von Kurt R. Grossmann (1997).

[Frederick R. Lachman /

Monika Halbinger (2nd ed.)]

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