Marc Bloch

Benjamin Marc Bloch Leopoldo ( Lyon , 6 of July of 1886 – Saint-Didier-de-Formans , 16 of June of 1944) was a historian French specialist in medieval France and founder of the Annales School . He is one of the most outstanding French intellectuals of the first half of the 20th century. During the Second World War he joined the French Resistance , being arrested by the Gestapo on March 8, 1944. Ten days after the landing of Normandy he was shot along with 29 other resisters. In his posthumous work The Strange Defeat wrote: “I say, therefore, if it be necessary, in the face of death, that I was born a Jew . […] Strange to all confessional formalism as to all supposedly racial solidarity, I have felt, throughout my life, first and foremost French … I died, as I have lived, a good Frenchman. 1


Born in Lyon , in a family Jewish in Alsace , he was the son of a professor of ancient history Gustav Bloch and Sarah Ebstein. Marc studied at the École Normale Supérieure and the Thiers Foundation in Paris , as well as in Berlin and Leipzig . It was mobilized at the beginning of World War I with the degree of sergeant , serving in the infantry. He reached the rank of captain and was awarded the national order of the Legion of Honor .

After the war, he taught at the University of Strasbourg and subsequently from 1936 succeeded Henri Hauser as professor of economic history at the Sorbonne .

In 1929 Bloch founded, together with Lucien Febvre , the very important publication Annales d’histoire économique et sociale (called since 1945 Annales, Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations ), the name used to designate the new historiographic current incarnated by Bloch and Febvre, Like School of Annales .

Bloch has had great influence in the field of historiography through the Annales and his unfinished manuscript Apologie pour l’histoire ou Métier d’historien (edited by his friend Lucien Febvre , which was translated as Introduction to History , or Apology For History ), in which he was working when he was assassinated by the Nazis . The book is one of the most remarkable in the nineteenth century historiography and presents a new history , based on social and economic, with a new way of approaching the sources, in contrast to what was done by his teacher Charles Seignobos .

In October 1940, the Vichy government, in application of racist laws, excluded him from the public service because of his family origins. He was shot after being tortured for several hours by the Gestapo for having participated in the French Resistance , the 16 of June of 1944 , in a vacant lot in Saint-Didier-de-Formans , near Lyon. His last words were: “Live the France”.

But in those last years he had succeeded in writing two fundamental texts: Introduction to history , a reflection of method that has become a reference for social historians, and The strange defeat , on the moment of the fall of France into German hands , At the beginning of World War II.

One of the branches in which the University of Strasbourg was distributed after May 1968 , the University of Humanities in Strasbourg, renamed in 1998 Marc Bloch University , in his honor.

Was a historian very attached to the history with truthful leaving aside the fictions

Main works of Marc Bloch

  • The thaumaturgos kings , 1924.
  • The original characters of the French rural history , 1931.
  • The feudal society , 1939-1940 (collection The Evolution of Humanity , volumes 52 and 53), in 2 volumes: The formation of the bonds of dependence and The classes and the governments of the men
  • The strange defeat , written in 1940 and published in 1946.
  • Introduction to History (original in French Apologie pour l’histoire or métier d’historien ), written in 1941 and published in 1949.
  • “The construction of historical science”.

Other works of the author

  • The forms of the rupture of hommage dans l’ancien droit féodale , written in 1912 and presented (with some additions) as complementary doctoral thesis in 1920.
  • Souvenirs de guerre, 1914-1915 .
  • Rois et serfs: A chapitre d’histoire capétienne , main doctoral thesis presented in 1920.
  • Esquisse d ‘une histoire monétaire de l’Europe , 1954.
  • La France sous les derniers Capétiens , 1958.
  • Seigneurie française et manoir anglaise , 1960.
  • Mélanges historiques , 1963.

Works on Marc Bloch

  • Aguirre Rojas, Carlos Antonio. “The intellectual itinerary of Marc Bloch and the commitment with his own present”.
  • Aguirre Rojas, Carlos Antonio. “Marc Bloch: In Memoriam”.
  • Dumoulin, Oliver (2003). Marc Bloch, or the commitment of the historian . University of Granada.
  • Fink, Carole (2004). Marc Bloch: A life for history . Valencia’s university. ISBN 978-84-370-5934-1 .
  • González García, Francisco Javier (1999). History and historians . Akal. ISBN 978-84-460-1037-1 .
  • Mastrogregori, Massimo (1998). The interrupted manuscript of Marc Bloch. Apology for the history or office of the historian . Fondo de Cultura Económica. ISBN 968-16-5302-5 .
  • López R., G. Alberto (2006). Discovering the traces of Marc Bloch. An approach to the life and work of a thinker of History . Shekina News Media.
  • Pérez Brignoli, Héctor (1976). Perspectives of contemporary historiography . SepSetentas. ISBN 978-84-338-2963-4 .


  • Carole Fink. Marc Bloch. A Life in History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1989, ISBN 0-521-37300-X
  • Ulrich Raulff . Ein Historiker im 20. Jahrhundert: Marc Bloch. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-10-062909-4
  • Peter Schöttler (ed.) Marc Bloch. Historiker und Widerstandskämpfer. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1999, ISBN 3-5933-6333-X
  • Peter Schöttler. Marc Bloch . In: Lutz Raphael (ed.) Von Edward Gibbon bis Marc Bloch. Beck, München 2006, ISBN 3-406-54118-6 ( Klassiker der Geschichtswissenschaft 1 )
  • Peter Schöttler, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (eds.) Marc Bloch et les crises du savoir . Berlin 2011 (MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, preprint 418). Http://


  1. Back to top↑ Schöttler, Peter (2014). «The death of Marc Bloch: le ‘supplicié nº 14». L’Histoire (in French) (404): 8-16.