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Ernst Bloch Dead at 92

Ernst Bloch, regarded as one of the most brilliant and controversial 20th Century philosophers, has died of heart failure at Tuebingen, West Germany. He was 92 years old. The son of wealthy parents, Bloch, regarded as a “utopian Marxist,” studied in Berlin and, as an avowed pacifist, went into exile in Switzerland during World War 1.

His first major work, “Der Geist der Utopie” (The Spirit of Utopia), appeared in 1918, reflecting a mixture of Christian mysticism, Jewish messianism and cabalistic ideas. Along with other prominent German Jewish philosophers such as Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, Bloch emigrated to America in the 1930s where he wrote his main work, “Das Prinzip Hoffnung” (The Principle of Hope).

Later he settled in East Germany, lecturing at Leipzig University, but because of political differences with the ruling party later emigrated once again, to West Germany in 1957. Bloch held the post of philosophy professor at Tuebingen University until his death.