Jerzy Szacki, Polish sociologist, Died at 87


Jerzy Ryszard Szacki was born on February 6, 1929, in Warsaw and died on October 25, 2016.

He was a Polish sociologist and historian of ideas.

Following World War II, he worked for the Polish Telephone Authority, first as a locksmith, later he worked in a desk job.

During 1948, he began to study sociology at the University of Warsaw.

However, Szacki’s was the last class to graduate before sociology was declared a “bourgeois” discipline and the sociological departments of Polish universities were closed in 1952.

He himself was sent to work in the Wrocław-based train wagon factory Pafawag.

During 1956, after the sociological department in Warsaw re-opened, Szacki returned there to obtain a Ph.D. degree.

Szacki wrote his thesis at the “Institute for the Education of Research Staff” (Instytut Kształcenia Kadr Naukowych), which was attached to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party and was soon afterwards renamed to “Institute for Social Sciences” (Instytut Nauk Społecznych), whose director at the time was Bronisław Baczko.

He completed his habilitation at the department of philosophy in 1965.

Szacki was appointed “extraordinary professor” in 1973 and “ordinary professor” in 1987, the highest rank in Polish academe.

While Szacki held various administrative positions at the University of Warsaw, including Vice-Dean of the Department of Social Sciences (1967–1968), Dean of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology (1981–1983), and director of the Institute for the History of Social Thought within the Institute of Sociology (1968–1999).

He retired from the university in 1999, but has been teaching at the private university-level Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities since 2003.

Jerzy Ryszard Szacki passed away at 87 years old.