The philosopher Hans Heinz Holz died on December 11, 2011 at age 84 from long hard illness against which he literally fought to the end, doing scientific work with all his remaining strength.

Born in 1927 in Frankfurt, he was arrested at 17 for resisting the fascism of the Gestapo. After the war he began to study philosophy. He worked as a journalist for press and radio. After 1956, when he successfully completed a doctorate under Ernst Bloch in Leipzig, he began a grueling struggle for scientific recognition. In 1971  he received  a professorship in Marburg. From 1978 until his retirement, he taught at the University of Groningen.

His bibliography published in February 2007, includes 2400 publications on the problems of philosophy, politics,  aesthetics, art, religion, history, and linguistics. Holz could draw on an encyclopedic learning. In recent years he presented in-depth studies on the history of dialectical thinking in several volumes.

A remarkable contribution to scientific debate is his 2005 published book "World Design and Reflection," the draft of a foundational work on materialist dialectics.

His passionate theoretical concern was the preservation of intellectual heritage of Marx, Engels and Lenin. He single-mindedly opposed tendencies to water down their ideas and to set aside and disregard the experience of the October Socialist Revolution. 

Holz  was an honorary president of the International Society of Dialectical Philosophy. He was an elected member of the Leibniz Society and the World Academy of Letters, founded by Silvia Markun Holz, his wife, co-campaigner, colleague, and a fellow of the the Fondazione Centro di Studi Filosofici.

Holz was editor of several scientific journals.

He was a rousing, inspiring and demanding teacher. His combative appearance at academic conferences was a joy to anticipate. He knew how to listen. On the occasion of his 80th birthday he was able to receive the congratulations of an impressive number of students and colleagues.

Hans Heinz Holz was a Communist, a committed member of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) , and later the German Communist Party(DKP). He placed himself in every debate, fought passionately during not a few debates on fundamentals. He not did not shy away from legwork; this demanded political stamina and consumed his strength.

This obituary was published in Neues Deutschland on December 14, 2011

Translated by Bill Miller