CUNY Digital History Archive

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"Reinstate Schappes" Rally

This photograph comes from a 1941 student rally in support of City College English instructor Morris Schappes, a self-avowed communist sentenced to prison for failing to divulge the names of his fellow party members on the faculty at CCNY.

At a March 1941 hearing before the Rapp-Coudert Committee, a New York State organized communist-hunt group, Schappes freely admitted his communist ties. When state officials demanded he name other party members at CCNY, Schappes claimed there were only ever four others: three of whom had been killed in the Spanish Civil War and another that had already left the school. Testimony from a friendly, ex-communist witness contradicted Schappes' claims and so the English instructor was tried for perjury, convicted and sentenced to up to two years in prison. He would ultimately serve thirteen and a half months before his release. Following his conviction, activists protested for his release with many viewing his imprisonment as punishment for his political opinions.

This was not the first time that CCNY students rallied in support of Schappes. In 1936, after the English department attempted to fire him for his political leanings, student protests forced school officials to reverse their decision.
Source | CCNY Archives & Special Collections
Creator | Unknown
Date Created | 1941
Rights | Obtain From CCNY Archives & Special Collections
Item Type | Still Image (Photograph)
Cite This document | Unknown, “"Reinstate Schappes" Rally,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed May 24, 2019,

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