Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
John Kerner papers, 1941-1947.
BANC MSS 2014/193 box 1; BANC MSS 2014/193 box 2; BANC MSS 2014/193 box 3; BANC MSS 2014/193 Box 4; ...
Collection Overview


John Kerner papers, 1941-1947


Kerner, John, creator, creator.


Contains correspondence, guide books, phrase books, postcards, military documents, etc. of a physician, John Alan Kapstein (later John Alan Kerner), who served as a combat medic with the 35th Infantry in Europe during World War II. Also includes a meticulously prepared scrapbook of his time in the military from being drafted and appointed a 1st lieutenant to basic training at Ft. Ord, California, to his time as a combat medic in Europe, and his eventual return to California as a captain. The scrapbook contains numerous snapshots with captions identifying the place and names of his fellow soldiers. Also includes photographs of a massacre that occurred in the eastern Germany town of Gardelegen. Also includes several well-known form letters from the White House and from Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day. Other ephemera includes money from France and Germany, theater programs, postcards of towns, churches, and other sites, leaflets, safe passage fliers, clippings, a citation for the Bronze Star medal, regimental patches, etc. Numerous photographs of Kerner and his fellow soldiers are depicted in combat areas. Most soldiers identified by last name in the captions. Photographs of places and sites depicted in the album include England, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Bastogne, St. Lo, and Normandy, among others. Includes court order documenting his name change from John Alan Kapstein to John Alan Kerner. Also includes two VHS videocassettes, one with an interview of Kerner from 2004 and the other titled "Survivors of the Shoah" (1998). There are a couple of items from later years including a color photograph of John Kerner and his wife, and an 8x10 color photograph of the medals awarded to Kerner,


1941 (issued)


Kerner, John -- Archives
Kerner, John -- Correspondence
Kerner, John -- Portraits
United States. -- Army. -- Infantry Division, 35th -- Surgeons -- Pictorial works
United States. -- Army. -- Infantry Division, 35th -- Pictorial works
Obstetricians -- California -- San Francisco
Gynecologists -- California -- San Francisco
Physicians -- California -- San Francisco
Soldiers -- United States -- Correspondence
Soldiers -- United States -- Photographs
World War, 1939-1945 -- Europe -- Photographs
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States -- Photographs
World War, 1939-1945 -- Medical care -- United States -- Photographs
V-E Day, 1945 -- Photographs
Gardelegen Massacre, Gardelegen, Germany, 1945 -- Photographs
Massacres -- Germany -- Photographs
World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities -- Germany -- Photographs
French language -- Conversation and phrase books -- English
Great Britain -- Guidebooks
France -- Guidebooks
Germany -- Guidebooks
London (England) -- Guidebooks
Wiltshire (England) -- Guidebooks
Camp Kilmer (N.J.) -- Guidebooks
Fort Ord (Calif.) -- Pictorial works


John Kerner papers, BANC MSS 2014/193, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Gift of John Kerner; 2014.
Digital materials transferred to the Digital Collections of The Bancroft Library.
John Alan Kerner, born as John Alan Kapstein on February 9, 1919 in Portland, Oregon, was an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in San Francisco at the start of World War II when he was drafted into the Army as a batallion medical officer in charge of combat medics and assigned to the 35th Infantry Division. Kerner served in Europe throughout the war from D-Day to V-E day. He was awarded several medals for his military service including 2 Bronze Stars, 5 Battle Stars, a Presidential Citation, and the French Legion of Honor (in 2007). After his military service Dr. Kerner aided in the development of the Pap smear and later founded the OB/GYN department at the Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco.
In English with some German and French.


Albums (Books)
Phrase books.
Military records.
War photography.
Color patches (military patches).

Physical Description:

1.0 (4




BANC MSS 2014/193 box 1
BANC MSS 2014/193 box 2
BANC MSS 2014/193 box 3
BANC MSS 2014/193 Box 4
BANC MSS 2014/193