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Register of the Ellie Schnitzer Papers, 1972-1996
MSS 025  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Material Cataloged Separately

  • 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.