Marxist Writers: Henryk Grossman

Henry Grossman

Henryk Grossman 


What was the year 1929 in the USA and the year 1931 in Germany and England if not a giant breakdown? The working class was not prepared for this. It did not have a Lenin, who awaited and worked towards such a moment. Rather, for decades it heard from Hilferding and Helene Bauer that a breakdown was impossible. Only such a disorientation of the working class made it possible for the ruling class to overcome the panic and to survive the breakdown.”

– Henryk Grossman


Henryk Grossman was born in Krakow, in Galicia, the Austrian-ruled section of then-partitioned Poland. Active in the socialist movement in high-school, he joined the Polish Social Democratic Party(PPSD). At University he became active in organizing Jewish workers and struggled against the opportunism and chauvinism of the PPSD. He helped lead a split of Jewish workers from the PPSD in May 1905 to form the Jewish Social Democrat Party of Galicia, and was elected party secretary, occupying leadership positions for the next 3 years. With the defeat of the 1905 revolution and the subsequent decline in the working class movement, he left active politics and worked as a statistician and economist. After the war, he joined the Communist Workers Party of Poland in 1920. Persecuted by the police and imprisoned for several terms ranging from 2 to 8 months, repression forced him into exile in Frankfurt at the end of 1925. He became associated with the Frankfurt Institute and wrote his major work on capitalist breakdown, and related articles. He was forced into exile again in 1933, first to Britain and then the USA. He returned to Germany in 1949, joining the Socialist Unity Party, as Professor of Political Economy at the University of Leipzig, where he died the following year.

Note on naming:   'Henryk Grossman' is the name by which he was known in Poland is the named used in those works whose preparation he oversaw himself. 'Henryk Grossmann' is an alternative rendering, widely used in older editions, and many commentaries. It is only used in this archive in bibliographical references.

More information about Grossman and definitive bibliography.


The Proletariat in the Face of the Jewish Question, 1905
Bundism in Galicia, 1907
The Theory of Economic Crises, 1919
Simonde de Sismondi and his Economic Theories, 1924
The Law of Accumulation and Collapse of the Capitalist System , 1929
Fragments on criticisms of 'Law of Accumulation', 1929-32
The change in the original plan for Marx’s "Capital" and its causes, 1932 (Offsite link - courtesy of Rick Kuhn)
Fifty years of struggle over Marxism, 1883-1932, 1932 (Offsite link - courtesy of Rick Kuhn)
Sismondi, Jean Charles Leonard Simonde de, (1773-1842), 1934
The Beginnings of Capitalism and the New Mass Morality, 1934
Marx, Classical Political Economy and the Problem of Dynamics, 1941
The Evolutionist Revolt against Classical Economics, 1943 (excerpts)