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Jack Stachel Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 6 Mar 2017

Biographical History

Jack (Jacob Abraham) Stachel (1900-1965) was a Jewish-American political activist. A leader of the American Communist Party for forty years, Stachel was one of eleven Communist leaders convicted under the Alien Registration Act (popularly known as the Smith Act) in 1949, for which he served a sentence of five years in prison. Not only was Stachel involved in the progression of communism in America and the world, he also was outspoken on Vietnam, President Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement, and other social and cultural shifts.

Stachel's wife, Bertha, was active as a Communist Party member by giving speeches, speaking out against the Smith Act verdict, endorsing Benjamin Davis, Henry Winston, and Gilbert Green, and wrote many letters to the editor of The Daily World, a communist leaning periodical. After Stachel died in 1965, Bertha annually published "In Memoriam" notices in The Daily World for more than ten years after Stachel's death.

Stachel and Bertha had one son, John.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jack Stachel Papers consists of correspondence, memorabilia, and writings relating to the personal and professional life of the American Communist Party leader and his wife, Bertha.

Correspondence-subject files includes letters and greeting cards from fellow Communist Party members and committees and organizations related to Stachel's Smith Act trial. Some important individuals in this series are Gus Hall, Henry Winston, Benjamin J. Davis, and Eugene Dennis. There is a substantial amount of letters from Bertha to Jack while he was in prison from 1951 until 1955.

Memorabilia contains the couple's death certificates and correspondence related to their funeral and burial, as well as a small amount of miscellaneous material relating to Jack.

Writings are divided into items by Bertha and items by jack; these include letters to the editor, speeches, notes, and no on.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. The other series are arranged alphabetically by title, type, or topic.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A number of books (21) have been separated from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of John Stachel" to locate these items.

Subject Headings


Baron, Rose.
Bedacht, Max, 1883-1972.
Bloor, Ella Reeve, 1862-1951.
ColoĢn, Clara.
Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964.
Dennis, Eugene, 1905-1961.
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley.
Ford, James W., 1893-1957.
Foster, William Z., 1881-1961.
Ganley, Nat, 1903-1969.
Gerson, Simon W.
Gibson, Lydia.
Goldwater, Barry, 1938-
Hall, Gus.
Hutchins, Grace, 1885-1969.
Johnson, Oakley C., 1890-
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Rochester, Anna.
Russo, Mike.
Stachel, Jack.
Strauss, Franz Josef, 1915-1988.
Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-1998.
Weinstone, William W. (William Wolf), 1897-1985.
Winston, Henry, 1911-1986.
Winter, Helen.

Corporate Bodies

Communist Party of America.
Workers Party of America.


Civil Rights demonstrations--1960-1970..
Civil rights and socialism.
Communism -- United States.
Communist Trial, New York, N.Y., 1952-1953.
Labor unions -- United States.
United States. -- Alien Registration Act, 1940.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.


United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Speeches (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jack Stachel Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Stachel, 2012-2013.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files