Born Dec. 12, 1905, in Westerstede; died Oct. 27, 1963, in Berlin. Public figure and legal scholar of the German Democratic Republic.
The son of a peasant, Polak became a Marxist while still a college student and was active in the antifascist movement. During the period of fascism he lived in the USSR, where he conducted research at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and served as secretary of the E. Thälmann Committee, which was fighting for the liberation of Germany from Nazism. He returned to Germany in 1946.
Polak made a significant contribution to the building of the first German socialist state. A member of the German People’s Council and deputy chairman of its Constitutional Committee, he was also a deputy of the People’s Chamber and a member of the Council of State. He took part in the scholarly preparation of important documents for the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and of measures to improve the governmental bodies of the republic. Polak was a member of the Germany Academy of Sciences in Berlin. As a scholar, he contributed to the development of the Marxist-Leninist science of state and law. His principal work was Dialectics in the Theory of the State (1959). Polak was awarded the Silver Order for Contributions to the Fatherland and the Antifascist Fighter medal.