Short Portrait: Karl-Heinz Dietzel

Karl-Heinz Dietzel
Karl-Heinz Dietzel

Karl Heinz Dietzel was born in Dresden in 1894. There he spent his childhood and youth. After finishing school Dietzel took up his studies at the Leipzig University. His major subjects were Anthropology, Geography, German Philology, History and Law.

In 1917 Dietzel graduated with a Ph D thesis about the geography of the Central African Lake District. Three years later he completed his State Exam on Geography, German Philology and History. Joseph Partsch, Hans Meyer and Karl Weule were among his teachers.

In 1918 Dietzel took up an assistant position at the Institute for Colonial Geography in Leipzig, which was chaired by Hans Meyer since 1915. Dietzel completed his habilitation thesis in 1934 and eventually did some research in Western Africa.

Dietzel became head chairman of the institute in 1938 and simultaneously was announced Professor for Colonial Geography at the Leipzig University. He participated at the first meeting of German anthropologists after WW II (Frankfurt/Main, 19.-21.09.1946). In 1946 he became professor for Overseas Geography and Ethnology (Überseegeographie und Völkerkunde) at the Geographical Institute in Marburg. He held this job until his death (3. November 1951).

(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in June 2012, based on an obituary by Günther Spannaus, 1952; photo source:


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