We regret to inform you that our Annual Archives lecture by Alexandra Kankeleit entitled “Genuine Alliance or Reluctant Partners? The German Archaeological Institute and the Nazi Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society”, which was scheduled for this Thursday, March 12th has been canceled.

We hope it can be rescheduled in the near future.

Annual Archives Lecture



Alexandra Kankeleit (Independent Researcher)

Unclear structures, overlapping fields of activity and irresolvable competition between various factions characterised the National Socialist system in Germany. Hitler quite deliberately encouraged rivalry among his immediate entourage: Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg and Bernhard Rust. These politicians and ideologues, just like Hitler himself, placed great importance on the role of archaeology, and each of them attempted, in his own way, to influence archaeological research. Personal interests were often a motivating factor, but so was the wish to win Hitler’s approval and make themselves indispensable. Only by adaptation and skilful manoeuvring did the DAI manage to avoid being crushed by these competing forces and to make the most of a difficult situation. My talk will focus in particular on the relationship between the DAI and the SS Ahnenerbe. Both institutions shared a common enemy in the form of Hans Reinerth, head of the Reichsbund für Deutsche Vorgeschichte, an organisation dedicated to researching German prehistory.

Alexandra, an archaeologist who specializes in the study of Roman mosaics, has also since 2016 been part of an extensive project of the German Archaeological Institute (Athens and Berlin), titled The History of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens during the National Socialist Era. As part of the project, she has examined a host of bibliographic and archival sources in both countries that document the activities of the German archaeologists in Greece from 1933 until 1944. A list of her most recent publications can be found on Alexandra’s own website.