Primarily material related to Schneiderman's role as California State secretary of the Communist Party, including correspondence,
leaflets, clippings, pamphlets, memoranda, reports, hearing transcripts and manuscript for his autobiography,
Dissent on Trial , including one chapter not published.
Born on December 14, 1905 in Romanov, Russia, William Schneiderman was brought to the United States at the age of two by his
parents. The family settled in Chicago where Schneiderman's father worked in the garment industry. The Schneidermans would
later relocate to Los Angeles in the 1920s after William's father contracted T.B. While in Los Angeles, Schneiderman wrote
in his autobiography that the "land of promise" had once again "mocked" his family (Schneiderman, Dissent on Trial, p. 15). It was this disillusionment and the poverty that he suffered as a child that helped to, in Schneiderman's words,
develop a strong "working-class consciousness" (Ibid. p. 17) early in life. At age 16, Schneiderman joined the Young Communist
League to begin his long career of political activism. Schneiderman also held a number of jobs while in Los Angeles during
the Twenties. Letters of recommendation found in this collection indicate that he worked as a bookkeeper for the Upholstery
Union No. 15, in a similar capacity for the National Biscuit Company, and as an office clerk for a local grocery. Despite
working ten hour days, Schneiderman attended night classes at UCLA. While enrolled, Schneiderman actively opposed the compulsory
ROTC program on campus. As a result of his activities, school officials classified him as a "non-citizen." The consequence
of this change in status meant that Schneiderman had to pay significantly higher tuition as a non-resident in order to complete
his education. The increase in fees proved to be too much for the already strapped Schneiderman and he was forced to drop
out. He would finally receive his degree some forty years later.
6.25 cubic feet
(5 record cartons)
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Collection is open for research.