Witkop, Bernhard, 1917-

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Bernhard Witkop was born in Freiburg, German on May 9, 1917. He received degrees from the University of Munich (1938, 1940) where he later served as Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry. Coming to America in 1947 he became an instructor and lecturer at Harvard. Becoming a U.S. citizen in 1950, he went to work as a chemist in the Civil Service. From 1957 onward he served as Chief of the Laboratory of Chemistry, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.

From the description of Papers of Bernhard Witkop, (bulk 1948-1992) (Chemical Heritage Foundation). WorldCat record id: 71147592

Bernhard Witkop, an American chemist of international repute, was born on May, 9, 1917 in Freiburg i. Breisgau. His father, Phillip Witkop, was a professor of German literature, who counted Thomas Mann among his friends. His mother was Jewish and had to flee to Holland; his siblings fled to Switzerland and Venezuela. In the fall of 1935 he started his first semester at the University of Munich. Despite the fact that Witkop was half Jewish, he remained at the University of Munich during the war working towards his degree in chemistry under the tutelage of Prof. Heinrich Otto Wieland. In 1940 Witkop completed his Ph.D. thesis.

After the war was over, Witkop immigrated to the United States and joined the Chemistry Department at Harvard University. In 1950 he started to work at the newly established National Heart Institute. Beginning in 1957 Bernhard Witkop was the Chief of the Laboratory of Chemistry at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.

From the guide to the Bernhard Witkop Collection, 1859-2004, bulk 1898-2004, (Leo Baeck Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bernhard Witkop papers, 1935-2003 History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
creatorOf Bernhard Witkop Collection, 1859-2004, bulk 1898-2004 Leo Baeck Institute.
creatorOf Witkop, Bernhard, 1917-. Papers of Bernhard Witkop, (bulk 1948-1992) Chemical Heritage Foundation, Othmer Library of Chemical History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ehrlich, Paul. person
associatedWith Ehrlich, Paul, 1854-1915 person
associatedWith Julian, Percy, 1940- person
associatedWith National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Salmonsohn Family family
associatedWith Universitä̈t München corporateBody
associatedWith Wieland, H. (Heinrich), b. 1877. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mannheim (Germany)
Washington (D.C.)
Berlin (Germany)
Chemistry, Organic
Jewish scientists
Natural products
Reaction mechanisms (Chemistry)
Archival materials


Birth 1917-05-09

Death 2010-11-22




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