Gerhard Kittel’s racial science 1933-1946


Under Hitler, German national identity was defined by so-called ‘Aryan’ superiority and

racial homogeneity. Racial science provided a theoretical backdrop for the sweeping changes

wrought to Third Reich society, the Christian churches and academia after Hitler’s accession

to power. My project examines how internationally acclaimed German theologian Gerhard

Kittel (1888-1948) used his two, concurrent university professorships in theology

(at Tübingen and Vienna), and his membership of Walter Frank’s (1905-1945) Reichsinstitut

für Geschichte des neuen Deutschlands [National Institute for History of the New Germany]

to serve racial science. My doctoral project probes the links between Kittel’s post-1933

writings and the racial science research of his Reichsinstitut associates, including celebrated

anthropologist, Eugen Fischer (1874-1967), Germany’s foremost human geneticist Otmar

von Verschuer (1896-1969) and Auschwitz ‘Angel of Death’, Dr Josef Mengele (1911-79).

1st Supervisor: Dr. Chris Manias  

2nd Supervisor: Dr Christopher Dillon


After graduating in English Literature and Language from St Andrews University, I worked in the performing arts, principally as a music educator, producer, performer, arranger and director. In 2017, the second edition of my critically acclaimed novel, Messiah of the Slums (pseudonym Charlotte Pickering) was published, with a Foreword by (1999) Booker Prize Chair Sir Gerald Kaufman, and an Afterword by former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.  Shortly afterwards, I embarked on a theology MA by Research at Liverpool Hope University, where I looked at Gerhard Kittel’s 1933 Die Judenfrage. Concluding that this text formed a theoretical platform for Kittel’s subsequent research alongside notorious Nazi racial scientists, and sensing that some questions about his Reichsinstitut activities and affiliations remain unanswered, I decided to probe further.

Publications (Articles/reviews):

Messiah of the Slums (Charlotte Pickering) Fey Publishing ,2017.  ( Link: 


Papers Given/Exhibitions/Public engagement:

  • Crystal Meph: Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and the evil of addiction.’

2nd World Congress on Advances in Addiction Science and Medicine Conference, Rome 2019

  • ‘Writing Evil: the challenges of creating an evil protagonist.’

Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference (UK) 2016

  • ‘Murder They Wrote’

OCLW Conference Queen Mary University of London (Arts Two lecture theatre) 2016


  • ‘Richard III: Loyaulté me Lie? (Loyalty Binds Me?)

The Cabinet of Curiosities 'The Early Modern World: Near and Far, 1450-1650' Conference, Clemson, 2015

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