In Memory

Bernard Sinsheimer

Bernard Sinsheimer, a former UMUC faculty member in Europe, passed away in February 2011.    After earning  his B.S. from Columbia University in Library Science and a B.A. and M.A. from UCLA in history, Bernie offered  history and French courses starting  in the summer of 1958 and continued to teach with Maryland until his retirement in 1988.  He also was one of the faculty members who taught on U.S. bases in France until they closed in the mid 1960’s. He often reminisced about the unusual  experience of having classes in  two different countries during the same term (Metz in France and  Sembach  in Germany), commuting between the two assignments by train. During his final years before retirement, while living in Paris, he taught in the  Kaiserslautern/Ramstein  area where he offered the U.S. History and Western Civilization courses.

To say that Bernie was learned and erudite would be a considerable understatement.   He was widely known for his many Letters to the Editor that appeared in the then International Herald Tribune in which he would factually 'correct' articles and perhaps even more for the many letters which he wrote to prominent historians in which he would point out factual, sometimes of the smallest nature, errors in their articles and books.  Such 'correction letters' almost always elicited a very positive "Thank You" from the prominent historian in question. Further information about his long career is in the obituary below, which appeared in the March 6, 2011 Los Angeles Times.

Ron  Schlundt


June 9, 1921 - February 28, 2011

Bernard, known as Bobby, passed away peacefully in Boulogne, France at the age of 89.

Born in NYC, he lived in Paris 1926-1936, as his father taught violin at the Ecole Normale de Musique. He then returned to NYC, attended Columbia, and moved to L.A. in 1941 where he studied at UCLA <>. He served as a history professor for the University of Maryland in Europe and delivered conferences on world affairs across Africa. Married to Micheline Weibel in 1957, his home base remained Paris, France. His love of factual knowledge led him to write numerous letters to respected authors and world leaders and to send countless clippings to friends and family. He will be missed by all, including post offices around the world!

His wife Micheline, sons Mark and Philip and grandchildren Ondine, Alexandre, Nicolas and Pierre welcome your condolences at Sinsheimers, 96 Ave. Victor Hugo, 92100 Boulogne, France.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2011

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09/26/15 01:57 PM #1    

Joe Arden

Yes, for sure, Bernie Sinsheimer...was a quite remarkable person. In many ways...and certainly he embodied what many students...particularly of that earlier era...imagined a university professor to be.  He was also a gentlement of the Old all the positive ways.

I first met Bernie in 1971...when I was appointed to the the position of "Gov/History Coordinator" for the European Division.  From our first meeting, I certainly realized that his command of faculty historical information/material...was extensive/extensive/extensive.    

During the 1970s and 1980s...he and I met quite often, usually in Heidelberg, or in the K-Town area, but also a couple of times in Paris, where he lived...and from where he communted to teach with the European Division.

Thanks a lot, Ron...for having taken the lead in ensuring that Bernie's obituary has been posted.

Joe Arden


09/26/15 09:52 PM #2    

Larry Hepinstall

Bernie was my ace in the hole. Putting a history class on the schedule without an instructor in sight was not unusual for me, but, when a historian failed to drop from heaven a day or two before the semester, as I had anticipated, my ace in the hole in faraway Paris could be counted on to save my ass. For one last time, thank you Bernie.


10/03/15 12:22 PM #3    

Albert Ashforth

When I was stationed in Bitburg, Bernie, Chris Stevens and I spent many an evening shooting the breeze. With Bernie mostly holding forth, I learned more about France from those unforgettable sessions than I could have learned from half a dozen courses. More than knowing so much, Bernie always focused on what was interesting. If you asked him a question, he always knew the answer.

Bernie was one of a kind -- an unforgettable guy.

10/04/15 09:10 AM #4    

Jane McHan

I remember Bernie with fondness.  I recall his quick responses when asked to teach in spite of travel to and from Paris, his interesting history classes, his sharing of information about DeGaulle, and our many discussions.  I recall that his textbook was filled with notes and clippings. I was always amazed that nothing fell out of the book as he lectured.

 Thank you, Ron, for sharing the information about Bernie's death.

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