July 9, 2004--Walther Kirchner, 99, H. Rodney Sharp Professor Emeritus of History, died July 3, at his home in Roland Park Place, Baltimore.
Dr. Kirchner joined the UD faculty in 1945 and retired in 1970. He was named H. Rodney Sharp Professor of History in 1965.
He also served as Fulbright professor at the University of Copenhagen (1952-53) and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. and the Max Planck Institut fuer Geschichte, Goettingen, Germany (1961). Kirchner was visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1946-50); University of Muenster (1964), University of Muenchen (1967) and University of Dusseldorf (1979-80).
Former president of the American Society for Reformation Research, Dr. Kirchner also was a member of the American Historical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
Born in Berlin, Germany, Dr. Kirchner received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles.
He was the author of several books, including The History of Russia, the two volume History of Western Civilization (Western Civilization to 1500 and Western Civilization since 1500), Commercial Relations Between Russia and Europe, 1820-1860 and The Rise of the Baltic Question. Other works include Economic Relations between Russia and the West, Studies in Russian-American Commerce 1820-60, and Die Duetsche Industrie und die Industrialisierung Russlands, 1815-1914.
In an obituary in The Baltimore Sun, John A. Munroe, H. Rodney Sharp Professor Emeritus of History, called Dr. Kirchner a distinguished man in his field. He was very much the German professor. He was very formal with most people. He was sharp and quick.
A funeral service was held July 6 at the Quaker Cemetry in Princeton, N.J.