Karlrobert Kreiten was the son of the singer Emmy Kreiten-Barido and the composer and concert pianist Theo Kreiten. He grew up in Düsseldorf and celebrated his first success as a young pianist in the 1920s. In the spring of 1933 he was awarded the Felix Mendelssohn Prize and was able to continue his music studies in Vienna. He returned to Berlin in 1937 and studied under Claudio Arrau, who left Berlin in 1940 and emigrated to the United States. At the end of the 1930s, Kreiten was considered one of the great emerging talents among German pianists. He was not particularly interested in politics. In March of 1943, under the impression of the German defeat at Stalingrad, Kreiten told a childhood friend of his mother's that the war was lost and called Hitler "a madman." The woman denounced Karlrobert Kreiten. He was arrested in early May 1943 directly before a concert in Heidelberg, taken to Berlin, and interrogated by the Gestapo at Prinz-Albrecht-Straße 8. On September 3, 1943, the People's Court under Roland Freisler sentenced Kreiten to death for "subversion of the war effort, aiding the enemy, and defeatist statements." Despite several pleas for clemency, Karlrobert Kreiten was murdered only four days later in Berlin-Plötzensee.