Fonds SCA403-GA470 - Robert Kelp fonds.

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Robert Kelp fonds.

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Physical description

4 cm of textual records
270 photographs : col. ; 13 x 16 cm or smaller

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert Julius Kelp was born in Hamburg (Germany) in 1926 to Karl and Katherine (Kruse) Kelp.
In 1944, Kelp joined the Luftwaffe (the aerial-warfare branch of the German armed forces or Wehrmacht) where he served as a paratrooper on the Western Front, primarily in Belgium and the Netherlands.
During his time as a member of the Wehrmacht, Kelp was injured and spent time in a hospital and visiting family. He returned to the front and was captured by the British forces in the winter of 1945. From 1945 to 1948, Kelp was a prisoner of war and was transferred to different prisoner-of-war camps, ending in France where he was assigned to work removing landmines in Normandy and working on several farms in the area. In 1946, Kelp and his colleagues tried to escape to Germany and ended up in the Cherche-Midi prison in Paris. In November 1948, Kelp returned to Hamburg with his family, where he trained and worked as a tool and die maker.
In 1958, Kelp emigrated to Toronto where he worked with Frank Stronach (founder of Magna International). In 1963, he was joined in Canada by his girlfriend Gitta Hartmann (1932-2018) whom he married soon after and with whom he had two children. The family soon moved to Kitchener-Waterloo for work-related reasons. In 1967, Kelp became a Canadian citizen.
Robert Julius Kelp died in 2013, aged 87.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Materials related to the Second World War from the perspective of a German soldier. Includes a Nazi propaganda card album that narrates and praises the creation, evolution, and rise of the Third Reich; and an autobiographical narration by Robert Julius Kelp (paratrooper in the Luftwaffe) during the last two years of the Second World War and the following years as a prisoner of war in France.

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Physical condition

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Donated in 2019.


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  • English
  • German

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General note

Materials in fonds include examples of Nazi propaganda. Language and attitudes rooted in harmful and racist stereotypes that some will find triggering and deeply upsetting appear throughout.

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Described by CGD in 2022.

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  • English

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