Sociology Index

Friedrich Pollock

Friedrich Pollock was a German social scientist and philosopher. He was one of the founders of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, and a member of the Frankfurt School of neo-Marxist theory. Friedrich Pollock's Jewish-born father turned away from Judaism, and raised his son accordingly. Friedrich Pollock was educated in finance 1911 to 1915. During this time he met Max Horkheimer, with whom he became a lifelong friend. Friedrich Pollock studied economy, sociology and philosophy in Frankfurt am Main, where he wrote his thesis on Marx's labor theory of value and received his doctorate in 1923.

The Institute for Social Research was founded in 1923 by Pollock and fellow Marxist Felix Weil, who funded the group. Weil was inspired to found the institute after the success of his week-long conference, the Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche, in 1923. Weil's goal was to bring together different schools of Marxism, and included György Lukács, Karl Korsch, Karl August Wittfogel, and Friedrich Pollock.

Friedrich Pollock traveled to the Soviet Union in honor of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Friedrich Pollock's research there led to his treatise: Attempts at Planned Economy in the Soviet Union 1917–1927. Friedrich Pollock took a post as lecturer at the University of Frankfurt and he replaced Carl Grünberg as Director of the institute from 1928–1930.

Prior to the Nazi seizure of power, Pollock had used his contacts in the International Labour Organization to establish a Geneva branch of the Institute. In 1933, Pollock and Horkheimer moved into exile, first in Geneva, then to London, Paris, and finally New York City. Friedrich Pollock was able to return to Frankfurt, taking part in the reestablishment of the Institute, again taking the role of director from 1951 to 1958. Friedrich Pollock was professor of economics and sociology at the University of Frankfurt. In 1959, Friedrich Pollock and Max Horkheimer moved to Montagnola, Ticino, Switzerland, although Pollock held a position as professor Emeritus at the University of Frankfurt until 1963. Friedrich Pollock died in Montagnola in 1970.