Marc Bloch — French Historian born on July 06, 1886, died on June 16, 1944

Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian who cofounded the highly influential Annales School of French social history. Bloch was a quintessential modernist. An assimilated Alsatian Jew from an academic family in Paris, he was deeply affected in his youth by the Dreyfus Affair. He studied at the elite École Normale Supérieure; in 1908–9 he studied at Berlin and Leipzig. He fought in the trenches of the Western Front for four years. In 1919 he became Lecturer in Medieval history at Strasbourg University, after the German professors were all expelled; he was called to the University of Paris in 1936 as professor of economic history. He is best known for his pioneering studies French Rural History and Feudal Society and his posthumously-published unfinished meditation on the writing of history, The Historian's Craft. A French soldier in both World Wars, he was captured and shot by the Gestapo during the German occupation of France for his work in the French Resistance... (wikipedia)

But history is neither watchmaking nor cabinet construction. It is an endeavor toward better understanding.
The ABC of our profession is to avoid these large abstract terms in order to try to discover behind them the only concrete realities, which are human beings.
History is, in its essentials, the science of change. It knows and it teaches that it is impossible to find two events that are ever exactly alike, because the conditions from which they spring are never identical.
The good historian is like the giant of the fairy tale. He knows that wherever he catches the scent of human flesh, there his quarry lies.
The historian is, by definition, absolutely incapable of observing the facts which he examines.

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