Ernst A. Breisach, of Kalamazoo, MI beloved by family and friends; acclaimed by colleagues and the academic community, Ernst Breisach lived a fruitful life that began 93 years ago in Austria. Born to Otto and Maria Breisach in Schwanberg, the family lived in Judenburg during his formative years. These picturesque Styrian towns were not immune from political and social upheaval in the aftermath of a lost war and the global economic depression. Here began a lifelong fascination with history; observing the interplay of human actions and decisions that create larger events, and the impact of these events on individual lives. He would also intensely and dramatically participate. Ernst retained these early lessons throughout his life: to differentiate wants from needs, to prioritize and enjoy learning, to work hard to achieve goals, and to appreciate music and literature. He also came to understand the variability of political power and party allegiances as the people jailed politically one week seemed to run the town government the next. His family moved to Vienna in 1939 allowing Ernst to continue his education and to experience culture in a more sophisticated cosmopolitan venue. It also came just after the Anschlusss (German annexation of Austria), which brought profound changes as the politics of National Socialism insinuated itself into all aspects of society. Ernst did not discuss the family's political views away from home. After graduating from preparatory school and completing a required stint in the Reichsarbeitsdienst (quasi-militarized workforce), he was able to complete ten months of university studies before conscription into the German army. Diphtheria interrupted military training, and Ernst's unit deployed to the Russian front without him. Sent to join them weeks later, the seminal event of his life occurred. Walking alone through snowy forests seeking the front lines, Ernst was wounded by a sniper's bullet while crossing a clearing. Realizing that his body was slowly freezing, he lay as if dead. When clouds obscured the moon, he began crawling towards the trees for cover, and then continued crawling with desperate hope and equally desperate prayer that German soldiers would find him before death or Russians. Rescued by a passing German, Ernst began a 2-1/2 year hospital sojourn. Body lice infesting the wound resulted in recurring infections and multiple surgeries. In 1944, Ernst was one of the few soldiers discharged from active military service. Civilian life was also fraught with peril: air raids, the battle for Vienna, the brutality of the Russian troops, and six months of starvation under Stalinist rule. War left Ernst with no illusions about the potential for good and evil within human beings. He observed unselfish heroism, as well as untruthful denunciations of neighbors for revenge or selfish gain. He emerged determined to live honorably and with purpose. He also found and nurtured love among the ruins. In 1945, he married Herma Pirker after a five-year courtship. Ernst concluded his university studies in history, taught at a preparatory school, and completed a second doctorate in economics. The achievement of two doctorates secured a Fulbright Scholarship and, while touring America, Ernst accepted a position to teach at Olivet College. Ernst and Herma arrived in America on January 1, 1953 and became naturalized citizens at their earliest moment of eligibility. In 1957, he began a distinguished and satisfying career at Western Michigan University. He not only taught history, but served as elected department chair for 22 years. He received numerous awards, including the WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. Ernst's meticulous scholarship received national and international recognition, and he was a leading expert in historiography the way history is written - and the treatise he authored is studied by students around the globe. He also served as president of Cistercian Publications from 1989 -2008. Although he officially retired in 1996, Ernst remained active in University affairs, chairing the Distinguished Scholars Committee until the day of his death. His most valued achievement was the trust others had in his judgement and character. Ernst found his greatest joy in his family. His legacy lies in his children, grand-children, and students in whom he hoped to instill knowledge, to shape character, and to encourage each "to live life as an adventure to search for an authentic existence." Preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Gertraud; and Herma, his wife of 66 years; Ernst is celebrated by his brother, Herbert (Elfi) Breisach; daughter, Nora (Rodger) Brannan; son, Eric (Tobi) Breisach; eight grandchildren; eight greatgrandchildren; and special friend, Gabriele Hahn. All observances will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church (247 W. Lovell St., Kalamazoo, MI). Visitation will be Friday, December 9, 2016, from 5:00 7:00PM and the funeral on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at 5:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Ernst Breisach Endowment for European History at Western Michigan University (http://www.mywmu.com/BreisachFund).