Register of the Ellie Schnitzer Papers, 1972-1996

Processed by Adele Wallace; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90044
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Fax: (323) 759-2252
© 1999
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Register of the Ellie Schnitzer Papers, 1972-1996

Collection number: MSS 025

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

Los Angeles, California

Contact Information:

  • Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
  • 6120 S. Vermont Avenue
  • Los Angeles, California 90044
  • Phone: (323) 759-6063
  • Fax: (323) 759-2252
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Adele Wallace
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1999 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ellie Schnitzer Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1972-1996
Collection number: MSS 025
Creator: Ellie Schnitzer, 1922-1996
Extent: 2 Record Storage Boxes (2 Cubic Feet)
Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.
Los Angeles, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information


The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles.  The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ellie Schnitzer Papers, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles.


Ellie Schnitzer (1922-1996), a lifelong, political activist, was born in Munich Germany. She and her family fled the Nazi regime, settling in California in 1937. She attended Pasadena City College, U.C. Berkley, and Columbia University, graduating with an MSW. For 35 years she worked with children in Los Angeles as a social worker for Vista del Mar and other Jewish family agencies. She retired in the early 1980's to become, in her own words, "a full-time revolutionary."
As a social worker, she was active in her union. She was also a member of the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA). She and her first husband went underground and moved to Seattle during the McCarthy era. She met and married her second husband, Jerome Schnitzer, in the late 1950's. In the late 1970's, having left the communist party, she became involved with Line of March and its newspaper, Frontline. She was a study-group leader for the Line of March led, Marxist-Leninist Education Project (MLEP) as well as a writer and distributor for Frontline. She was also a leading activist in many of the organization's initiatives.
She continued her involvement with this political group as it developed into the Frontline Political Organization, and finally Crossroads, founded in conjunction with the Freedom Road Socialists. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Ellie was also involved in many local and national political initiatives which were supported by Line of March or related political organizations. She was sometimes represented Line of March (or its affiliates) while participating in these initiatives, which included the Committee for Justice (See Scope and Content), the movement to free Geronimo Pratt, a Black Panther Party member who was imprisoned under questionable circumstances, and the Rainbow Coalition, a political organization founded by Jesse Jackson. Ellie was a member of the Advisory Board of KPFK, Pacifica Radio's local affiliate station. She also become actively involved with the Committees of Correspondence (C0C), a leftist organization formed in 1992 by CPUSA members and other activists. Ellie participated in the COC's pre-foundation conference in Berkeley in 1992, and served as a member of both its local and national coordinating committees.

Scope and Content

The first four series contain records of a particular political tendency associated in its origins with the Guardian Newspaper. Ellie Schnitzer was actively involved in this tendency from its beginnings in 1978 to its eventual dissolution in 1992. Each of these four series represents a particular political and organizational stage in its development. The tendency as a whole is generally known as "Line of March," the form it assumed during its most influential period, 1980 - 1989.

Material Cataloged Separately

A series of reprints from Frontline Newspaper, 1984-1987.

Series Description



Scope and Content Note

The PARTY BUILDING series contains records relating to the debates, publications, and activities which led to the founding of Line of March in 1980.

LINE OF MARCH, 1980 - 1989

Scope and Content Note

The LINE OF MARCH series (1980 - 1989) contains records pertaining to the history of Line of March as well as on a serious political and organizational crisis that occurred on both the local and national level in 1988. (B1 #10) The sub-series Marxist-Leninist Education Project (MLEP) contains a history and political analysis of the MLEP (B1 #25, 26). The folders in the sub-series MLEP - Study Guides may contain subjects in addition to those named on the folder. The sub-series Conferences contains fliers and articles on the Blue Shield Strike of SEIU local 3 by Filipino workers in San Francisco in 1981 (B1 #16). The sub-series L. A. Plan contains draft plans for Los Angeles Line of March as well as a description of its internal dynamics, including the names and roles of individuals in the organization and on the periphery (B2 # 5-7). The sub-series Frontline Newspaper refers to the bi-weekly publications of Line of March and is distinct from the FRONTLINE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION series, although the organization was an outgrowth of the newspaper.


Scope and Content Note

The FRONTLINE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION (FPO) series (1989 - 1991) documents the transition from line of March to Frontline Political Organization (B2 # 15). The Day of Dialogue folder (B2 #17) contains lists of participating activists, grouped by their areas of interest such as labor, peace, women's issues, gay/lesbian issues, racism.

CROSSROADS, 1990 - 1992

Scope and Content Note

The CROSSROADS series (1990 - 1992) contains documents relating to the journal Crossroads as well as to discussion groups associated with it.


Scope and Content Note

The OTHER POLITICAL INTERESTS series contains documents relating to political initiatives in which Ellie Schnitzer was active or areas of political concern for which she collected information. The sub-series Committee for Justice concerns the "L. A. Eight," seven Palestinians and a Kenyan whom the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) attempted to deport for their (legal) political activities. Three of the L. A. Eight had close connections to Line of March, and that organization was very active in the Committee for Justice which supported the fight against deportation. The Background Material folder (B2 #20) explains the case in some detail. The folder CPUSA (B2 #31) contains correspondence concerning a dispute between Los Angeles Line of March and the local CPUSA leadership. The folder African American Community (B2 #30) contains reports of the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA) from 1989 - 1993, including a report on community demands to implement a gang truce between Crips and Bloods. This folder also contains a report generated by the FBI file concerning the FBI's covert action plan to destroy the Black Panther Party.

Container List



Box 1, Folder 1

Periodicals, report, study guides 1976, 1977, NDS

Box 1, Folder 2

Pamphlets, papers 1972, 1980, NDS

Box 1, Folder 3

Conference on Minority Marxists-Leninists 1979, 1980

Box 1, Folder 4

Discussion Guides 1978, 1980, NDS



Box 1, Folder 5

Notes, reports, memos 1980-1982, NDS

Box 1, Folder 6

Discussion guides, memos 1980-1982, NDS

Box 1, Folder 7

Study Guides, 1980, 1981, 1983, NDS

Box 1, Folder 8

Discussion guides, seminars 1984, NDS

Box 1, Folder 9

National Board reports 1984-1986

Box 1, Folder 10

Agendas, minutes, reports 1985, 1986, 1988, NDS


Special Projects

Box 1, Folder 11

Anti-racism presentations, pamphlets 1980 , NDS

Box 1, Folder 12

Child care: notes, lists, publications 1981, NDS

Box 1, Folder 13

China project: study guide 1981, NDS

Box 1, Folder 14

Soviet Union project: study guide NDS



Box 1, Folder 15

Conference on Racism: reports, study guides 1981

Box 1, Folder 16

Labor Commission conference 1981

Box 1, Folder 17

Labor Commission conference, Class Lines1982

Box 1, Folder 18

Stalin conference: study guides, notes 1983


Affiliated Organizations

Box 1, Folder 19

U.S. Anti-Imperialist League (USAIL) 1982

Box 1, Folder 20

United Front Against Racism: Study guides, reports NDS



Box 1, Folder 21

Forums: presentations, notes 1979, NDS

Box 1, Folder 21-23

U.S. History Project I - IX 1982, NDS


Study Guides

Box 1, Folder 24

U.S. History, notes 1975-1980

Box 1, Folder 25

Marxism 1979, NDS

Box 1, Folder 26

Marxism, political economy 1981, NDS

Box 1, Folder 27-28

Lenin NDS

Box 2, Folder 1

Trotsky NDS

Box 2, Folder 2

United Front

Box 2, Folder 3

Trotsky, Mao 1983, NDS

Box 2, Folder 4

Study Leader's Guide 1983


L. A. Plan

Box 2, Folder 5-7

Correspondence, Articles 1987


Internal Publications

Box 2, Folder 8

Notes 1985-1987

Box 2, Folder 9

Internal Bulletin 1988, 1989


Frontline Newspaper

Box 2, Folder 10

Discussion Guides 1984, NDS

Box 2, Folder 11

Distribution 1984, 1985, NDS

Box 2, Folder 12

Announcements, correspondence 1983, 1984, 1986-1988, NDS

Box 2, Folder 13

Forums 1983-1989, NDS



Box 2, Folder 14

Discussion papers 1989

Box 2, Folder 15

Reports, outreach, fliers 1989, 1990

Box 2, Folder 16

Bulletins, discussion papers 1990, NDS

Box 2, Folder 17

Day of Dialogue 1990, 1991



Box 2, Folder 18

Memos, reports, fliers 1990 1992, NDS

Box 2, Folder 19

Correspondence 1990-1992



Box 2, Folder 20

Background material 1987, NDS

Box 2, Folder 21

Agendas, minutes, lists 1987, 1988, NDS

Box 2, Folder 22

Alien Border Patrol, INS 1987, NDS

Box 2, Folder 23

Outreach: fliers, newsletters, correspondence 1987-1980, NDS


Rainbow Coalition

Box 2, Folder 24

Fliers, newsletters, articles 1988, 1989 NDS


National Committee for Independent Political Action (NCLPA)

Box 2, Folder 25

NCLPA Discussion Bulletin 1990-1993

Box 2, Folder 26

Independent Political Action Bulletin, report 1993, 1996


Geronimo Pratt

Box 2, Folder 27

Fliers, clippings, minutes 1994, 1995, NDS

Box 2, Folder 28

Notes, memos, lists NDS


Los Angeles Latino Community

Box 2, Folder 29

Bulletins, agendas 1986, 1992


Los Angeles African-American Community

Box 2, Folder 30

Fliers, reports 1992, 1994, NDS



Box 2, Folder 31

Memos, notes 1985, 1990, NDS


Los Angeles Work Groups

Box 2, Folder 32

Report 1977


Central American Trade Unionists

Box 2, Folder 33

West Coast Tour 1983


Sunday Forum USSR

Box 2, Folder 34

Announcement, study guides 1989