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IN MEMORY OF HENRY A. TURNER Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., died at age 76 in New Haven on December 17, succumbing to complications of melanoma. Turner was raised in Bethesda, Maryland, and studied as an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, where William Jenks inspired him to dedicate himself to the history profession. He went on to earn his Ph.D. at Princeton, where he studied under Gordon Craig, and taught modern German history for 44 years at Yale. A first book, published in 1963 and based on his dissertation, analyzed the role of Gustav Stresemann in the domestic politics of the Weimar Republic. He documented Stresemann's evolution in the early 1920s into a sincere and skillful defender of parliamentary democracy who displayed an unsurpassed understanding of the compromises necessary to make it function successfully. Turner also analyzed Stresemann's increasingly bitter contest of wills in 1928/29 with the right wing of his own party, which sought to topple the Great Coalition government led by Social Democrats. He demonstrated that the political representatives of Ruhr heavy industry employed their influence and financial clout in ways that were disastrous for the political fortunes of the Weimar Republic. Turner took a lively interest in the debate over the nature of fascism as a generic phenomenon that was stimulated by Ernst Nolte in the 1960s. His most ambitious foray into the field of comparative history argued that fascism is essentially a form of "utopian anti-modernism," a movement that shares with conservatism a profound discomfort with the social consequences of urbanization and industrialization but defines its goals in terms of a remote and largely imaginary past, not the recent past, and resorts to methods that cannot possibly achieve the goals espoused. This argument provoked a lively debate with the political scientist A. James Gregor, who argued that Mussolini had established a "development dictatorship" that sought above all to promote modernization with methods similar to those of Fidel Castro in Cuba. For many years Turner devoted most of his scholarly activity to the thorny issue of the relationship between German big business and the Nazi Party during Adolf Hitler's rise to power. Turner's study of theories of fascism suggested to him that many ambitious attempts at comparative history--inspired not just by Marxism but also by Freudian psychoanalysis, theories of totalitarianism, or modernization theory-- had distorted important factual details of the Nazi rise to support broad generalizations. In the case of German big business, the first such theory was developed in the mid-1930s by the Communist International, which proclaimed that fascist movements were the agent of the most reactionary and imperialistic faction of monopoly capital. The "agent" theory was largely discredited in the West by the 1960s but was still propagated by East German historians, and accounts inspired by this theory had generated many factoids that gained wide currency. Many histories of the Weimar Republic by non-Marxists repeated without question the assertion that big business had "bankrolled" the Nazi election campaigns of 1930-32, or more specifically, that big business had supported the "Harzburg Front" of all rightists opposed to the Weimar Republic in October 1931; that Hitler had earned thunderous applause and replenished his depleted coffers when he addressed an audience of steel industrialists in Düsseldorf in January 1932; or that big business had brought Hitler together with Franz von Papen in January 1933 and then persuaded President Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor. Turner spent years tracking down all the sources cited for these assertions, and he showed that they were all highly dubious. Turner worked for years more on a book manuscript that went beyond this task of negative criticism to offer an illuminating analysis of Adolf Hitler's economic thinking, the proliferation of rival spokesmen on economic policy within the Nazi Party, the actual sources of financing for Nazi election campaigns (which mostly involved membership dues and contributions by small and medium-sized businesses), and the growing confusion among business leaders as the liberal parties imploded during the Great Depression. Turner showed that the most influential business leaders opposed the Nazi Party as alarmingly anti-capitalist. Emil Kirdorf and Fritz Thyssen were the only captains of industry who supported the Nazis actively; the modest contributions that flowed to the party from other business leaders were mostly intended not to increase it chances of gaining power but to strengthen the position within the Nazi leadership of those who opposed socialist ideas. While working on this manuscript, Turner performed a real service to historians by persuading the heirs of Otto Wagener to authorize the publication of his memoirs, which offer fascinating insight into Hitler's thinking about economics and many other issues during the most critical phase of his struggle for power. Turner was nearing completion of his magnum opus when David Abraham published a book that directly contradicted many of Turner's central findings, citing as evidence the same archival files that Turner had been carefully studying for many years. In the few cases were Turner possessed photocopies of documents cited by Abraham, he soon found that Abraham often distorted their contents grossly. Other scholars' more expansive investigation of the archival record supported these assessments. In the end, Turner never claimed to offer a comprehensive explanation of the dissolution of the Weimar Republic, but his conclusions about his specific topic of investigation are now accepted by nearly all specialists in the field. This is not the place to recapitulate the history of Turner's controversy with Abraham, but the obituary published by William Grimes in _The New York Times_ on January 20 is misleading when it asserts that the Abraham affair was "a tempestuous interlude in an otherwise quiet scholarly life." The first articles on Nazism and big business published by Turner provoked controversies with German Marxist historians such as G. W. F. Hallgarten, Dirk Stegmann, and Eberhard Czichon, compared with which the Abraham affair was rather tame. Turner was subjected to numerous ad hominem attacks and developed a thick skin and aggressive style of rebuttal, but he also adduced much better documentary evidence than his critics. He also responded vigorously to non-Marxist popular historians such as William Manchester, who advanced lurid claims in _The Arms of Krupp_ about the political role of this "infamous dynasty" in a best-selling paperback. Sadly, Manchester was one of the first writers granted full access to the Krupp family and corporate archives, and a number of earnest young Ph.D. candidates were denied access after his book appeared. Turner and several other distinguished scholars had to work for years to restore a basic level of trust in the professionalism of historians among German managers with corporate archives. He always understood that the progress of historical knowledge depends in large measure on cultivating trust among people who stand under no legal obligation to share the documents under their control. Turner remained a very productive scholar in his later years. He published a clear and accessible textbook on the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that works well in the classroom. He also published a tightly focused analysis of the political maneuvers in Berlin in January 1933 which led to Hitler's appointment as chancellor. In this project Turner uncovered important new documentation on the objectives of Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and startled many experts (including myself) by arguing emphatically that he always sought to coopt the entire Nazi Party, not to foment its schism. He also displayed great skill at including narrative flashbacks in this very succinct account to provide background information, and he raised fascinating questions about determinacy and contingency in great historical events that stimulate lively discussion even with first-year students. This is one of the very few books on Germany history that are both valuable for specialists and accessible to general readers. Turner's last major publication, on the tug of war between the Third Reich and General Motors for control of the Opel Works, serves as a prime example of how careful efforts to cultivate trust among those who control corporate archives can advance historical knowledge. GM had acquired control of Europe's largest car maker before the Nazi seizure of power, and some popular histories suggested a close partnership thereafter between GM management and the Nazi leadership. Turner showed that American managers resisted the Faustian bargain offered by Nazi officials, who wanted to station Gestapo agents in the plant and haul all "trouble-makers" in the labor force off to concentration camps. The American managers did feel compelled to acquiesce in the late 1930s to some conversion of manufacturing capacity to arms production, but Opel was effectively nationalized after the outbreak of the Second World War, and American managers had no voice in the subsequent decision to employ slave labor. In the course of many scholarly debates, Turner developed a suspicion that adherents of Marxism were especially likely to violate basic rules of historical evidence, but he always displayed similar skepticism with regard to Freudian psychoanalysis, theories of totalitarianism, and many other attempts by ambitious social scientists to fit the case study of the Nazi seizure of power into a sweeping theory. Turner also had the highest regard for at least one Marxist historian who was a dedicated archival researcher, Tim Mason; he often assigned Mason's writings to students and arranged for Mason to spend a year at Yale as a visiting fellow. Turner encouraged a wide variety of scholarly approaches by his graduate students, and he worked tirelessly to support them in their subsequent careers. He also sought to promote trans-Atlantic communication within the history profession and was one of the very few American historians whose works appeared promptly in German translation. Henry Turner contributed a great deal to the history profession, and his loss will be felt keenly. NOTES . Henry A. Turner, _Stresemann and the Politics of the Weimar Republic_ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963). . See Henry A. Turner, "Fascism and Modernization," _World Politics_ 24 (1972): 547-64, and A. James Gregor, "Fascism and Modernization: Some Addenda," _World Politics_ 26 (1974): 370-84. . See Henry A. Turner, _Faschismus und Kapitalismus in Deutschland. Studien zum Verhaeltnis zwisc(Goettingen, 1972); and "Grossunternehmertum und Nationalsozialismus 1930-1933. Kritisches und Ergaenzendes zu zwei neuen Forschungsbeitraegen," _Historische Zeitschrift_ 221 (1975): 18-68. . Henry A. Turner, _German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler_ (New York, 1985). . The family was so shy that it forbade any mention of the author''s name on the book cover. See Henry A. Turner, ed., _Hitler aus naechster Naehe. Aufzeichnungen eines Vertrauten, 1929-1932_ (Frankfurt a.M., 1978); published in condensed form in English translation as _Hitler--Memoirs of a Confidant_ (New Haven, 1985). [6.] David Abraham, _The Collapse of the Weimar Republic_ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981). On the controversy more generally, David Abraham, Gerald Feldman, and Douglas Unfug, "Debate: David Abraham's The Collapse of the Weimar Republic," _Central European History_, 2-3(1984): 159-293. [7.] Ulrich Nocken, "Weimarer Geschichte(n). Zum neuen amerikanischen Buch 'Collapse of the Weimar Republic,'" _Vierteljahrschrift fuer Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte_ 71 (1984): 305-27. . For Grimes' obituary, see <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/books/19turner.html > [ 9]. William Manchester, _The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968_, revised ed. (Boston: Bantam Books, 1968). . Published in its second, updated edition as _Germany from Partition to Reunification_ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). . Henry A. Turner, _Hitler's Thirty Days to Power: January 1933_ (Reading, Mass., 1996). . Henry A. Turner, _General Motors and the Nazis: The Struggle for Control of Opel, Europe's Biggest Carmaker_ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). William L. Patch Washington & Lee University