Who is Friedrich Pollock?June 25, 2021
Friedrich Pollock Friedrich Pollock was a German social scientist and philosopher who lived from May 22, 1894 to December 16, 1970. He is one of the founders of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main and one of the neo-Marxist theorists of the Frankfurt School.
The Life of Friedrich Pollock
Friedrich Pollock was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, the son of a leather factory owner. Pollock’s father, born a Jew, turned away from Judaism later in life and raised his son accordingly.
Pollock studied finance from 1911 to 1915. During this time, he met Max Horkheimer, with whom he would remain lifelong friends. He later studied economics, sociology and philosophy in Frankfurt am Main; there he completed his doctoral thesis on Marx’s theories and received his doctorate in 1923.
The Institute for Social Research was founded in 1923 by Pollock and fellow Marxist philosopher Felix Weil. After the success and resonance of the week-long “Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche” in 1923, Weil took action to establish this institute. Weil’s aim was to bring together the different schools of Marxism, and in this context György Lukács, Karl Korsch, Karl August Wittfogel and Friedrich Pollock also became members of this institute.
Pollock traveled to the Soviet Union in 1927-1928 in honor of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. His research there led him to the scientific work “Attempts at Planned Economy in the Soviet Union 1917-1927”. He later became a lecturer at the University of Frankfurt and was the director of the institute between 1928 and 1930, replacing Carl Grünberg, who was then ill.
Before the Nazis seized power, Friedrich Pollock had used his contacts at the International Labor Organization to set up the Institute’s Geneva branch. Following the rise of the Nazis, Pollock and Horkheimer had to go first to Geneva in 1933, then to London, Paris, and finally to New York.
In 1950 Pollock finally managed to return to Frankfurt, took part in the re-establishment of the Institute and again assumed the role of director. From 1951 to 1958 he was professor of economics and sociology at the University of Frankfurt.
Pollock and Horkheimer moved to Montagnola, Ticino, Switzerland in 1959; however, Pollock remained professor emeritus at the University of Frankfurt until 1963.
Friedrich Pollock died in Montagnola in 1970.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım
Source: Ömer Yıldırım’s personal lecture notes Who is he?