Erwin Marquit

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Erwin Marquit

Erwin Marquit (born 1926) is a professor of physics, at the University of Minnesota and the husband of Doris Marquit.

Marquit is active in the AFL-CIO retirees. In 2008, he served on the Economics Commission and International Affairs Commissions of the Communist Party USA.[1]


Marquit received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, City College of New York, 1948, was a Doctor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Warsaw, 1963 and received his Master of Physics, University of Warsaw, 1957.[2]

Student activism

With a history of being born into a Communist family and membership in Communist-led and Communist-influenced children's and youth organizations, it was not surprising that on 9 March 1946 Marquit joined the Wilford Mendelsohn Club of the Communist Party USA at the City College of New York upon resuming his studies as an engineering student three days after the end of his 22 months' service in the U.S. Navy

Upon joining the Party, he told the club chair that I would like to focus on the struggle against racism by joining the Hillel Foundation and stimulating its members into activity for the passage of a Fair Education Practices Act by the New York State legislature.

In the Hillel Foundation, without concealing my membership in the Communist Party, Marquit's proposal to form a committee for this purpose, subsequently named the Community Action Committee, was accepted and he was made its chair. With intensive campaigning by student groups at various New York colleges, the state, in 1948, became the first state to adopt a Fair Educations Practices Act that ended the quota system that restricted the acceptance of African Americans, Jews, and other minorities to medical schools and other graduate and undergraduate programs.[3]

Communist Party reformer

In 1991, Erwin Marquit was one of several hundred Communist Party USA members to sign the a paper "An initiative to Unite and Renew the Party"-most signatories left the Party after the December 1991 conference to found Committees of Correspondence.[4]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 Erwin Marquit, University of Minnesota, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[5]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[6]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[7]

Socialist Crisis What is the meaning of the crisis of socialism in the World today? Recent events in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and their implications for the left in the West. Looking at China, Vietnam and Korea. The threat to Cuba: How to respond?

Socialist Scholars Conference

Erwin Marquit, Editor, Nature Society & Theory; Paul Le Blanc; Ahmed Shawki, International Socialist Organization and Sam Farber were speakers on the The Leninist Party: Authoritarian or Revolutionary? panel sponsored by the International Socialist Organization and Fourth International Tendency at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City.[8]

CPUSA Farm Commission meeting

CPUSA Farm Meeting Attendees.jpg

In December 1999, a Communist Party USA meeting was held at the May Day Bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the purpose of re-establishing the Communist Party USA Farm Commission.

Party members present were Erwin Marquit, Helvi Savola, Jack Brown, Peter Molenaar, Morgan Soderburg, Bill Gudex, Mark Froemke, Scott Marshall, Gary Severson, Mike Madden, Becky Pera, Charlie Smith and Tim Wheeler.[9]

Mark Ritchie (now Secretary of State for Minnesota) also attended and addressed the meeting. In a written report on the meeting by Tim Wheeler, Ritchie is referred to as a "non-party friend" of the Communist Party. The report was marked "not for publication". Click here for the entire report.[10]

Communist Party activity

On March 30 2002 the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World called for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. The article was followed by a long list of endorsers including Erwin Marquit, Almost all endorsers were confirmed members of the Communist Party USA.[11]

In 2009 Erwin Marquit was a contributing editor and a member of the of the Editorial Collective of Political Affairs, theoretical journal of the Communist Party USA.[12]

Nature, Society and Thought

In the late 2000s, Erwin Marquit was editor of University of Minnesota based Marxist journal Nature, Society and Thought[13];.

Supporting Mark Ritchie

In 2006, four leaders of the Minnesota/Dakotas Communist Party USA - Mark Froemke, Doris Marquit, Erwin Marquit and Peter Molenaar were listed as supporters of the Mark Ritchie Minnesota Secretary of state campaign.[14]

In 2006[15] and 2010[16] Doris Marquit and Erwin Marquit financially supported the Mark Ritchie Minnesota Secretary of State campaigns.

Supporting Marty and "single payer"

In 2010, Erwin Marquit and the Minnesota Communist Party USA, supported gubernatorial hopeful and "single payer" supporter John Marty. [17]

In the battle for health care, Communists in Minnesota, like Communists in the rest of the country, joined the struggle for a universal singer-payer health plan, and when that became impossible to achieve, we joined the struggle for the inclusion of the public option. Those on the left who rejected support of Obama's health-care effort because his proposals were not based on the single payer principle, remained in the sidelines, weakening the battle for healthcare and not winning allies among the masses. While supporting the Democratic Party's national healthcare bill as it emerged in final passage, the Minnesota District nevertheless supported the effort of John Marty, the most progressive gubernatorial candidate, to obtain the endorsement of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party as the Democratic Party is called here after its merger in 1944 with the Democratic Party), and who also most strongly put forth the necessity of a single-payer plan for Minnesota as the basis of his campaign. One of eight candidates for the DFL endorsement for governor, Marty did not win the endorsement, but he successfully pushed the single-payer issue to the forefront at the DFL state convention, and thereby induced the winning candidate, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, to announce during the balloting her support of the single-payer principle for the health plan that she will put forth for Minnesota as governor. We have not won the battle yet, but it is a struggle in Minnesota that is winnable, but not winnable without center-left allies in the DFL. Of course, the struggle for the single-payer principle is not the same as a struggle for socialism, but acceptance of the ideological content of the single-payer issue is a condition for a socialist consciousness. Those on the left who identify themselves as socialists and stood aside from the Democratic Party's effort for healthcare legislation made no allies for socialism among those who could not afford health insurance or otherwise lacked access to adequate healthcare.


  1. thoughts from podunk blog, May 10, 2008, Alan Maki]
  3., Political Affairs, Combating Racism at the City College of New York-Open vs. Surreptitious Struggle in the Knickerbocker-Davis Cases 1946-49 Erwin Marquit March 20 2013 ]
  4. Addendum to Initiative document
  6. Conference program
  7. Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  8. SSE Tenth Annual Conference Program, 1992
  9. CPUSA Farm Commission report, Tim Wheeler, December 16, 1999
  10. CPUSA Farm Commission report, Tim Wheeler, December 16, 1999
  14. Mark Ritchie's 2006 Campaign website: Supporters (cached by The Data Bank and accessed on Nov. 11, 2010)
  15. Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board website: Contributions to a Specific Candidate or to Candidates that Meet a Criteria (searched database on Nov. 11, 2010)
  16. Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board website: Contributions to a Specific Candidate or to Candidates that Meet a Criteria (searched database on Nov. 11, 2010)
  17. Convention Discussion: Revolution as the only solution? by: Erwin Marquit, May 16 2010, This article is part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010