Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman dies aged 91
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Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman dies aged 91

Acclaimed Jewish philosopher, who survived WWII and fled to Israel in 1968 amid the communists' anti-Semitic campaign, passes away at home in Leeds

This file photo taken on October 22, 2012 shows Zygmunt Bauman, Polish-born British sociologist and philosopher during the 16th Forum 2000 Conference in Zofin Palace in Prague. (AFP / MICHAL CIZEK)
This file photo taken on October 22, 2012 shows Zygmunt Bauman, Polish-born British sociologist and philosopher during the 16th Forum 2000 Conference in Zofin Palace in Prague. (AFP / MICHAL CIZEK)

WARSAW — Polish-British sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman died on Monday at the age of 91 at his home in the English city of Leeds, according to Polish media.

Bauman died “surrounded by his closest family”, said his partner Aleksandra Kania, in comments carried by the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

Born into a Jewish family in the western Polish city of Poznan in 1925, Bauman focussed his work on modernity and contemporary society.

He was a communist during and after World War II and collaborated with the communist regime’s military intelligence services in 1945-53.

His dossier is on file at Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which prosecutes Nazi and communist-era crime.

In 1954, Bauman began teaching philosophy and sociology at the University of Warsaw, before leaving Poland for Israel in 1968 amid the communist regime’s anti-semitic campaign.

He arrived in Britain in 1971 and taught at the University of Leeds until his retirement in 1990.

Winner of many awards, including the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and the Theodor W. Adorno Award, he wrote around 40 books, which were translated into 15 languages.

In the book he published last year, “Strangers at Our Door”, he analysed political and media discourse on the migrant crisis.

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