Martin Kämpchen was born in 1948 in Boppard (Germany). He studied a year each in the USA and in Paris; his Ph.D. in German Literatuire is from Vienna. He taught German at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata. Returning to University, he did an M.A. in Madras (Chennai) and a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He has translated the Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita and Tagore’s poetry from Bengali to German. He has authored the only German Tagore biography and written several books on Tagore’s relationship with Germany in English and German.
Kämpchen is involved in the development work of two tribal villages around Santiniketan since 25 years. He has received, among others, the Rabindra Puruskar of the West Bengal government, the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit) of the German government, and the Merck Tagore Award of the Merck Company and the Goethe Institut India.