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Franklin C. West ’56

Franklin West ’56, March 17, 2002, in Portland, after a long illness. He was professor emeritus in the history department at Portland State University. After graduating from Reed, he earned a master’s degree in history at the University of Oregon in 1958 and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970. Prior to joining the faculty at Portland State University in the mid ’60s, he taught at Reed and at Northwestern University. His specialty was German history; and at PSU he taught one of the first classes in the United States on the Holocaust, a subject he continued to teach for the rest of his career. He also pioneered classes in film and history, using feature movies as historical documents. He had a reputation as one of the university’s best teachers, well loved and respected by students and colleagues alike. He was the author of several books, including A Crisis of the Weimer Republic: The German Referendum of 20 June 1926, published in 1986, a study of the instability of Germany’s short-lived republic in the years before Hitler’s rise to power. Survivors include his wife, a daughter, and a sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2002

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