Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21552
Activist, revolutionary socialist and writer Lillian Pollak died in New York City at the age of 101.
Lillian was particularly drawn to the Trotskyist leader Max Shachtman, recalling decades later how he could hold an audience even when the lights went out in the meeting hall. Following Stalin's 1939 pact with Hitler and then the Soviet invasion of Poland and Finland, Shachtman concluded that the Soviet state under Stalin was no longer worthy of "unconditional defense" and broke with Trotsky.
Usually under the impact of such events, many revolutionaries didn't remain revolutionary activists. That was true of Lillian, who had recently married revolutionary activist Eddie Pollak; the following year their son Richard was born. Two years later the Pollaks had a daughter, Robbie (Roberta).
While attending night school at Hunter College, Lillian continued to work and provide a comfortable environment for her growing family. It took her 10 years to graduate, but always a striver, she graduated cum laude.