A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York

"In the Case of Morris U. Schappes"

This page from a mid-1941 pamphlet was created to support recently fired and sentenced City College English instructor Morris Schappes. A self-confessed Communist, Schappes had appeared before the Rapp-Coudert Committee, a N.Y. State organized communist-hunt group, on March 6, 1941.

At his hearing, Schappes admitted to prior membership in the Communist Party. When the committee demanded he name other party members at CCNY, Schappes claimed there were only ever four in addition to himself: three of whom had been killed in the Spanish Civil War and another that had already left the school.

Unfortunately for Schappes, officials had previously received testimony to the contrary from an ex-communist history instructor turned friendly witness. Soon thereafter, the committee recommended to the Manhattan district attorney that Schappes be tried for perjury. As this pamphlet shows, he was convicted and sentenced for up to two years in prison. Ultimately, he would serve thirteen and a half months, all the while collecting support from activists on campus.
Source | CCNY Archives & Special Collections
Creator | Schappes Defense Committee
Date Created | 1941
Rights | Obtain From CCNY Archives & Special Collections
Item Type | Text (Flier / Leaflet (1 or 2 page handout))
Cite This document | Schappes Defense Committee, “"In the Case of Morris U. Schappes",” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,

Print and Share