Franklin H. Littell, Ph.D.

Founding member of the MAHG faculty from 1998-2007;
Emeritus Scholar in 2007
Ida E. King Distinguished Scholar during 1990-1991 and 1996-1998

Dr. Franklin H. Littell was the inaugural Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Holocaust Studies. Franklin H. Littell, regarded as “the Father of Holocaust Studies in America,” is remembered as a world citizen, scholar, theologian, educator, moral ethicist, and a dynamo of creative energy and inspiring humanist visions. Dr. Littell was educated at Cornell College, Union Theological Seminary, and he received his Ph.D. from Yale University. Dr. Littell devoted his entire career to promoting and defending religious, academic, and political freedom around the globe. After spending nearly ten years in post-war Germany as Chief Protestant Religious Adviser in the High Command, assigned especially to the task of deNazification during the occupation, he was deeply affected by the atrocities that had been committed during WWII and thus dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust and bringing its tragic lessons in human rights to widespread public attention. In public meetings, on campuses and in churches, he raised one of the first voices of conscience in the post-war period, talking about the lessons of the Holocaust. In 1959, Dr. Littell taught the first Holocaust course in America.

Click the image above to view a timeline of Dr. Franklin H. Littell's work
Click the image above to view a timeline of Dr. Franklin H. Littell’s work

Dr. Littell saw the Holocaust as a signal event, the plumb line for assessing the moral, political, and religious state of human society in the twentieth century. He referred to the Holocaust as “the Watershed Event in Western Civilization.” In his books, articles, and public lectures across the United States and throughout Europe, he raised questions, shared knowledge, and offered profound insights into the meaning of the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from the barbarous genocidal killing of six million Jews. He has published 33 books and over 400 articles on the study of religious liberty and persecution, the Holocaust and genocide. His pioneering book, The Crucifixion of the Jews, was the first Christian response to the Holocaust. Dr. Littell served as a founding member of the MAHG faculty from 1998 until being named emeritus scholar in 2007. He passed away in 2009.

1946: Ph. D. in History, Yale University (New Haven)
1940: B.D. in Church History, Union Theological Seminary (New York)
1937: B.A. in History and Political Science, Cornell  College (Mount Vernon)

Areas of Expertise:
Religious Advocacy, Holocaust Studies, Religious Studies (Protestant, Methodist, Christian, Zionism), Human Rights, Education, Church History, Religious Liberty, Interfaith

Publications Include:

Please click here to view a full biography and collection of Dr. Franklin H. Littell’s works