Johann Heinrich Friedrich Karl Witte (born July 1, 1800 in Lochau; died March 6, 1883 in Halle) was a German jurist and Dante Alighieri scholar. He was the son of a pastor Karl Heinrich Gottfried Witte who encouraged a fairly intense program of learning. When Karl Witte was nine, he spoke five languages. On April 13, 1814, at the age of 12, he became a doctor of philosophy at the University of Giessen in Germany. As a result, Witte was listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "youngest doctorate", a record that still stands. His father wrote a book about educating his child. This book attracted criticism and soon fell into oblivion in Germany, but in China, the book became a bestseller at beginning of the 21st century. Millions of Chinese hope that their children using Witten book to be a genius. The name "Karl Witte" is changed to "Carl Weter" when translated from Japanese. In his own right be began his reputation as a Dante scholar in 1823.

Karle Witte (the son) at 12 years of age.

Witte, Karl. The Education of Karl Witte, Or the Training of the Child. . trans. L. Wiener (London: Harrap, 1915)

Solomon, P. (ed.) Sensory Deprivation: A Symposium. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961).

Return to