Henry Pachter (1907-1980)

Henry Pachter (1907-1980)

Last year, on the night of December 10, our friend and long-time member of the Dissent editorial board Henry Pachter died of a heart attack at the age of seventy-three. His “rich and active life,” in the words of his family, had brought him from the streets of Weimar Berlin, where as a university student and a member of the Communist youth movement he opposed the rise of the Nazis, in flight to New York by way of Paris. He would remain here the rest of his life. Over the years he wrote a politically sophisticated journalism—in English, and also in German for a number of Swiss and German newspapers—which revealed a first-rate, often original and dissenting intelligence grappling with increasingly complex issues. He participated actively in a number of socialist and democratic movements of his time, always asserting his independence from dogma and cliche, often in ways that seemed aggressive and provoking. Stimulating and forthright, Henry Pachter built a reputation as a respected writer and thinker.

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