Richard Klein
Fictional Character
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Judaism (secret)
Occupation: Musician
Spouse: Maria Klein
Children: Paul and Eduard Klein (sons)

Richard Klein[1] was the husband of Maria Klein, and the father of Eduard and Paul. Richard made a living as a trombone player. He and his family were secretly Jews living in Berlin.

When infant Paul was diagnosed by his pediatrician, Martin Dambach, with Tay-Sachs disease, a condition most common in Jews, Dambach's receptionist, Esther Stutzman, attempted to alter the Klein genealogical records to account for a possible Jewish ancestor. However, she neglected to remove an older record from Eduard's file which did not show such a possible ancestry. Dambach discovered the discrepancy, and notified the authorities. The family was investigated, but when it was learned that Lothar Prützmann, the Reichsführer-SS, had a great-nephew with Tay-Sachs, the investigation was dropped.

Maria and Richard then made the difficult decision to euthanise Paul, rather than let him suffer a short and painful life with Tay-Sachs.


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