Skip to content

Major General Julius Klein: His Life and Work

ex_permanent_kleinThis permanent exhibition tells the story of Julius Klein’s historic life and work. A description of the highlights follows.

Julius Klein was a hero during World War II, when he saved many lives during an explosion at New Caledonia in the South Pacific. In 1941, he formulated an important military plan called “Combat Public Relations”, which encompassed such topics as psychological warfare and propaganda. He also helped ameliorate both German-American and German-Israel relations after World War II.

After serving as a spy in Germany in World War I, he began his civilian career in the 1920’s as a criminal reporter for the State Herald, a Hearst newspaper in Chicago, and initiated the first German language radio broadcasts in the United States. Klein also originated the South Pacific edition of the Stars and Stripes military newspaper, ran for Congressman at Large (equivalent of a State Representative today) in 1932 and for the United States Senate in 1954. He even found time to write at least one screenplay, Black Cargo, during a Hollywood stint (1934-39) when Klein tried unsuccessfully to produce films on the life of World War I General John Pershing.

On April 4, 1948, as National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans, Klein organized an enormous show of strength for the establishment of the State of Israel in the form of a JWV parade down New York’s Fifth Avenue. The parade influenced the United States to vote for the partition of Palestine and the State of Israel was born in May, 1948.

While handling public relations for Generals MacArthur and Richardson in the South Pacific during World War II, Julius Klein organized several photographic exhibitions from official photographs taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Two of these exhibitions are recreated in the National Museum exhibition.

Open Monday - Friday 9 - 5. Closed Wed, June 12th and Thurs, June 13th for Shavuot. Open Saturday, June 15th, 9 - 4. Closed Wednesday, June 19th for Juneteenth.