Boris Ziherl

Year of obtaining the highest degree

Boris Ziherl (1910–1976) was the first Director of the Institute of Social Sciences and he occupied this position for the initial couple of months of the ISS’s operation.

He was born in Trieste. Since 1930, he was a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In 1932, he enrolled the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana (graduated in 1941). He was active in an illegal students’ movement and worked in journalism, and in 1932 he became a member of the CPY Committee for Slovenia. In 1934, he was sentenced in line with the Law on the Protection of the State to four years in prison, and he was incarcerated in Sremska Mitrovica. In 1940, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia. In April 1941, as one of the communist representatives, he participated in the founding conference of the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna fronta).

After the conclusion of the war, he was for a while the editor of the Borba daily, followed by becoming the Chairmen of the Committee for Science and Education in the Government of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and an employee of the Agitprop of the CPY Central Committee. He wrote political, propaganda and ideological articles and argumentative essays for the following newspapers and magazines: Borba, Delo, Komunist, Ljudska pravica, Novoye vremya (Moscow), Narodna revija, Narodna svoboda, Teorija in praksa, Vprašanja našega časa, etc.

In 1947 and 1948, he edited the Information Bureau’s outlet For a Lasting Peace, for People’s Democracy (Za trajni mir, za narodnu demokratiju). From November 1948 to November 1950, he was the Principal of the ideological and didactic school of the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade, and subsequently Minister of Science and Culture in the Government of the PR Slovenia.

He was elected full professor of the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana in 1954. In 1957, he was named the first Director of the scientific Institute of Social Sciences. He occupied this position for a couple of months and in this period the organizational and programmatic foundations of today’s ISS were established.

From 1959 to 1964, he was the Director of the Institute of Sociology and Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana, which he had also founded. After that, he made transfer to what was then known as Ljubljana College of Political Sciences, where he continued to teach Marxism and sociology to the end of his life.

He became a corresponding member for the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1949, a full member in 1958, and the Academy’s Vice-President in 1975.

He received numerous republic and federal awards, including the Order of the Heroes of Socialist Labour (1970), Franz Prešern Award (1950 and 1958) and the AVNOJ Award (1972).

He died on 11 February 1976 in Ljubljana.

(Source:

Slovenački biografski leksikon

Momčilo Pavlović „Institut društvenih nauka – jugoslovenska akademija društvenih nauka“)

Selected works:

  • Osnovni problemi marksizma, 1934 (prevod dela Georgija Plehanova i predgovor)
  • O Sovjetski zvezi, 1940.
  • Tri razdobja v razvoju delavskega gibanja, 1943, 1944.
  • France Prešeren – pesnik in mislec, 1949.
  • Umetnosti in miselnost, 1956.
  • Književnosti in družba, 1957.
  • O humanizmu in socializmu, 1965.
  • Ivan Cankar in naš čas, 1976.
  • Zbrano delo, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1989.

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