This page serves as a
forum for you to share your thoughts about the NYC Teachers Union
and post notes about your colleagues, friends or teachers who may
have been affected by the blacklist. Please
e-mail us at
dreamersandfighters.com with questions, comments, or any
information you'd like to post. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We Need Your Material
Do you have Teachers Union memorabilia? If you
have membership cards, programs or photos from TU events, photos
of the Union building on 15th Street, copies of
Teacher News or anything else, would you share them
The actual items will be filmed for use in the
then we'll display them for you to see here on the
Multimedia Archive page. We'll return all items
you'd like back.
e-mail us first to tell us what you've got and we'll contact
you to make arrangements.
The Dreamers and Fighters Crew
A Look At the Red Hunt in Vermont
Rick Winston has been looking into the impact of the red hunt in Vermont. His article in Vermont History can be read at
Rick's parents, Leon and Julia Winston, were among the New York teachers investigated, He tells his family's story here at Dreamers & Fighters in
the Children of the Blacklist section. Click on
http://www.dreamersandfighters.com/cob/doc-rickwinston.aspx to read it.
A Message About Irving Mauer
Irving Mauer was one of the teachers who wound up in the headlines for standing up to the Board of Education and refusing to inform.
He died in 2008, but we forwarded this message from a former student to his son Eric. (You can see a clip from our interview with
Irving Mauer on our video clips page (http://www.dreamersandfighters.com/interviews.aspx)
Dear Mr. Mauer,
I was fortunate enough to have you as a geometry teacher when I was a Junior at Highland Preparatory School (1964-65),
that "small private school in Queens" that was mentioned in your biography. You may not remember me, as I was not a wonder
as a math student. You were kind enough to take note that I did work very hard. You were also gifted enough as a teacher to
help me to do my best and pass the class. As a career science teacher myself, I know how much thought, work and heart that takes,
and I have always been grateful to you for being the teacher that you were/are. You were one of the examples that I followed in
my own career. To now know how many challenges you faced during that time, adds to my admiration.
With affection and many thanks,
Sharon Stein Jacobs, Highland Class of 1966
Documentary Explores American Jewish Political and Cultural Views
Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman describe their documentary "Between Two Worlds" as "a personal essay" on today's US
Jewish culture wars. Using the stories of Alan's mother, a teacher and CP member during the period of the teacher
investigations who went on to a career at the American Jewish Congress, and Deborah's father, a witness to the Holocaust
and Zionist activist, it echoes back to the politics and culture wars of the post-war years, and explores them going forward.
The movie has been playing at venues across the country. Check the list below to see if it's coming to your area --
and don't miss it. More screenings are being added all the time, so please check at:
Filmmaker Joel Katz's Documentary Strange Fruit
In concert with reading about
Abel Meeropol's song,
Strange Fruit, please
link to these sites about our friend, Joel Katz's compelling
award-winning documentary, Strange Fruit. It addresses
the history prompting Meeropol to compose it and the controversy
the song provoked.
The story is told in part by jazz performers, historians and
activists as well as their sons, Michael and
Robby Meeropol. Pete
Henry Foner, and Honey
and Bernie Kassoy
also offer their personal remembrances of their New York
City Teachers Union friends, Anne and Abel Meeropol.
The documentary on DVD is available for purchase from these two Web sites.
California News Reel
Message From Carol Smith
We just spoke with former CCNY Associate Professor, Carol Smith, who curated the very informative online exhibit entitled:
The Struggle for Free Speech Web Site at CCNY, 1931 - 1942
Professor Smith generously shared the link that provides further information about Teachers Union members, Henry, Jack, Moe and Phillip Foner, Morris Schappes and the other victims of the Rapp-Coudert Committee (1940-42).
The beginning of the first wave of investigations that our
Dreamers and Fighters: The NYC Teacher Purges addresses, started with
the Rapp-Coudert dismissals.
Rapp-Coudert Committee Discussion on the CCNY Web Site
As Henry Foner wrote:
"Those stories began in 1940, when the New York State Legislature created the Rapp-Coudert investigating committee, whose repressive techniques cost about 50 college teachers and staff at City College their jobs in 1941 – the single largest purge of college teachers in U.S. history. It laid the basis, after WWII, for the
McCarran Committee to use the Rapp-Coudert Committee’s list and techniques to carry out the extensive witch hunt that plagued the New York City schools during the 1940s and 1950s, and from which they have still not recovered."
Carol Smith’s online site is based on the exhibition, "Protest and Repression: The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42," mounted at The Graduate Center, CUNY, February 4 to March 4, 2005.
Message From the Reverend
Joe Frazier of the Chad Mitchell Trio
I'm really pleased to read about your project and your efforts
to finally bring forth the history of that sorry period of our
lives. My first exposure to the Smith Act persecutions of the
teachers and other progressive professionals occurred when I
attended the trials being held in Philadelphia in 1953- I was a
high school student at the time and the witnessing the procedures
of that court was truly mind opening. I subsequently came in
contact with the music of Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Paul Robeson
and the left leaning folk scene and my political consciousness
began. After spending three months in an Air Force stockade for
reading and talking about my newfound views, I was discharged as a
"security risk". My treatment in the military simply ratified my
A few years later, during the newly popular enthusiasm for folk music, I became
a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio. We became protégés of Harry Belafonte and
subsequently became active in the Civil Rights and antiwar movements.
If you are familiar with our music, you may aware of the social
and political content of our recordings at that time. The Chad
Mitchell Trio is still performing periodically in concerts and
recently sang for President Obama at Rep Dave Obey's 40th
Congressional celebration in DC. For the past 35 years, I've been
a Episcopal priest and fully active politically in the inter faith
community and union organizing. Oh yes - these days I'm a fellow
member with Pete Seeger, Noam Chomsky , Dave McReynolds, Angela
Davis , et al in the Committees of Correspondence For Democracy
and Socialism - so the work goes on!
Please keep me informed about the progress of Dreamers and
Fighters and let me know if I can contribute in some way. You
might want to check out the Trio's Web site (chadmitcheltrio.com)
and consider using our recording of Tom Paxton's great song "What
Did You Learn in School Today" in your documentary.
Yours in the ongoing movement.