Pollitt was the second of six children of Samuel Pollitt (1863–1933), blacksmith's striker, and his wife, Mary Louisa (1868–1939), a cotton spinner, daughter of William Charlesworth, joiner. Pollitt's parents were socialists and freethinkers and it was his mother, a member of the Independent Labour Party, who provided the youngster with his first induction into the principles and local networks of socialism. Theirs was an especially close relationship and Pollitt found in his mother both a confidante and a model of working-class dignity in the face of affliction. His own sense of injustice at family poverty, as three of his siblings died in infancy, was likewise fundamental to the visceral identification with his class that lay at the root of his political philosophy. His formal education, at the local school, ended when he was thirteen.
In 1919 Pollitt was involved in the "Hands off Russia" campaign to protest against western intervention in the Russian Civil War. At the end of the war he joined Sylvia Pankhurst's Workers Socialist Federation, which became the Communist Party (British Section of the Third International). As a member of this group he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain when it was formed in mid-1920. Pankhurst soon left the party, but Pollitt remained. He was heavily influenced by the Communist intellectual Rajani Palme Dutt, and the two remained close allies for many years. From 1924 to 1929 Pollitt was General Secretary of the National Minority Movement, a Communist-led united front within the trade unions.
In 1925, rejected several times by communist research worker Rose Cohen, he married Marjory Edna Brewer (b. 1902), a communist schoolteacher, and they had a son and a daughter, the first of whom alone inherited his father's communist convictions. That year Pollitt was jailed for 12 months for seditious libel. In 1929 the CPGB elected him General Secretary, a position he held, with a brief interruption during World War II, until 1956. He was then made Chairman of the Party, a position he held until his death four years later aboard an ocean liner carrying him home from a visit to Australia and New Zealand.
In September 1939, despite the Hitler-Stalin pact, he welcomed the British declaration of war on Nazi Germany. When this turned out to be contrary to the Soviet line (as Dutt had warned him it would be), he was forced to resign as party leader. He was reinstated in 1941 when the Soviet Union entered the war.
Pollitt contested the Parliamentary seat of Rhondda East several times; in 1945 he was less than a thousand votes from winning the seat from the Labour candidate.
In 1971, Pollitt's devotion to the Soviet cause and to international communism was acknowledged by Moscow when the Soviet navy named a ship after him. A plaque dedicated to the memory of Pollitt was unvelied by the Mayor of Tameside on the twenty-second of March 1995 outside Droylsden Library. He is also commemorated in the humorous song "The Ballad of Harry Pollitt".
Juhásová, Gabriela, Doc. Ing. CSc., a Senior Research Worker at the Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Zvolen, Associated Professor at the Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra
Jan 01, 2013; Bom on June 16, 1943 in Jasov, graduated from the Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra as an Ing. (1965), CSc. (1974),...