Barth, Gunther 1925-2004

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BARTH, Gunther 1925-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born January 10, 1925, near Düsseldorf, Germany; died January 7, 2004, in Berkeley, CA. Educator and author. Barth was a historian and former professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Before emigrating to the United States in 1951, he had a difficult life in Germany that included being drafted into the army when he was just fifteen years old, fighting in Italy during World War II, being wounded, and surviving as a prisoner of war for two years. After the war, Barth attended the University of Cologne, becoming interested in history when he got involved in rescuing pieces of Chinese art that had been damaged by Allied bombers. A fellowship from the U.S. State Department allowed him to travel to the University of Oregon in 1949, and in 1951 he returned to America permanently, receiving a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 1955, an M.A. in American history in 1957, and, in 1962, he completed a Ph.D. at Harvard. That year, Barth joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley as an instructor. He was promoted to full professor of history in 1971, retiring in 1995. A beloved teacher while at Berkeley, Barth was the author of half a dozen books, including All Quiet on the Yamhill (1959), Instant Cities (1975), and, with Christian Heeb, California (1996).



Directory of American Scholars, tenth edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2002.


Los Angeles Times, January 15, 2004, p. B12.

San Francisco Chronicle, January 22, 2004, p. A17.