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Klemperer, Gutmann


KLEMPERER, GUTMANN (Gumpel ; 1815–1884), Bohemian rabbi and historian. A member of an old Prague family formerly named Klopper, he attended the yeshivot of Nehemiah *Trebitsch in Prague and Moses *Sofer in Pressburg. While studying at Prague University, he was also a pupil of Solomon Judah *Rapoport. From 1843 until his death, Klemperer was rabbi of *Tabor, and in 1868 took charge of the district rabbinate formerly located in *Koloděje (Kaladei). His moderately reformed divine service influenced other Bohemian communities. In 1858 he published Ḥayyei Yehonatan, a biography of Jonathan *Eybeschuetz and an apologia of the latter's stand in his controversy with Jacob Emden. From 1861 until his death, 16 of his articles on talmudic subjects appeared in *Pascheles' almanac. His articles on *Judah b. Bezalel and other Prague rabbis, which appeared from 1873 until 1884, were published in an English translation by Guido Kisch in Historia Judaica (vol. 12, 1950). Klemperer also published a series of articles on the Kabbalah (1875–79) and planned to write a history of Bohemian Jewry. Excerpts from parts of his German translation of David *Gans' Ẓemaḥ David were published after his death by Moritz Gruenwald (1890). Fifty-two letters to his friend Simon *Hock, expressing his optimistic views on the Jewry of his time, are preserved in the Jewish State Museum in Prague.


G. Klemperer, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 4 (1934), 25–27; L. Klemperer, ibid., 3 (1933), 203–9; S. Poper, in: Vèstnik židovské náboženské obce v Praze, 11 (1949), no. 9, 28; G. Kisch, in: hj, 12 (1950), 33; D. Muneles, in: Judaica Bohemiae, 1 (1965), 69–74.

[Meir Lamed]

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