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National Archives

Press Release

Secret World War II Diary Unveiled

For Release: May 6, 2005
College Station, TX - The secret World War II Diary of Friedrich Kellner, a justice inspector in the Third Reich, will be on public display for the first time on April 1, 2005, in the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. The exhibit of Kellner’s 753 page diary at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the first public display of the material.

FRIEDRICH KELLNER was born in 1885 near Heidelberg, Germany. He was a political activist in Mainz for the Social Democrats and campaigned against the Nazi Party. When Hitler came to power and sought revenge against his political opponents, Kellner moved his family to the small town of Laubach where he became the chief justice inspector in the district courthouse. As the chief justice inspector, Kellner was the judicial officer in charge of the administration of the district courthouse, including police investigative reports, the records of the prosecutor’s office, and trial documents. His open declarations against the miscarriages of justice caused him to be brought before a tribunal and threatened with imprisonment in a concentration camp. After that he spent his nights writing in a secret diary, at risk to his life.

When the war came to an end, Friedrich Kellner was appointed deputy mayor of Laubach. He helped to restore the Social Democratic Party and became chairman of the Laubach branch. But he and his wife Pauline would suffer a great personal tragedy. In 1935 they had sent their only child to America to keep him out of the German army. In an ironic twist of fate, their son joined the U.S. Army and was sent to serve in France. He reunited with his parents in 1946, but in the midst of the ruins of the country of his birth, wearing the despised uniform of the victor; young Fred Kellner could not adjust to the fractured reality of being a man without a country and took his own life. He is buried in the American Legion Tomb in Paris, France. Friedrich Kellner retired in 1960, at the age of seventy-five. In 1968, two years before his death at the age of 83, Fredrich Kellner entrusted his diary to his grandson Scott. Kellner hoped that his diary would not only expose the crimes and propaganda of the Third Reich, but also serve as a warning for future generations to vigorously oppose dictatorships and state sponsored terrorism.
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