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William Schneiderman Trial records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 0036

Scope and Contents

Judge's records of the in the denaturalization proceedings, under the Smith Act, against William Schneiderman in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California trial in 1952.


  • circa 1952

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical note

William Schneiderman was born in Russia, and came to the United States with his family at the age of 2. He grew up in Los Angeles and while in high school, he joined the Communist Party, and became a naturalized citizen at the age of 18. He attended UCLA and studied political science. When he was 24, he ran for governor of Minnesota on the Communist party ticket, and in 1935 he visited the Soviet Union. In 1939, a federal judge ruled that Schneiderman lied about his political affiliation when he became a citizen and should be deported. Wendell Willkie, the Republican nominee for President in 1940, called the case 'a vital test of civil liberties', and argued the case in front of the Supreme Court and won a reversal. In 1952, Schneiderman was again indicted, this time under the Smith Act, which set criminal penalites for advocating the overthrow of the US government, and was convicted, along with 14 other California Communist party leaders, of trying to overthrow the government by force. That conviction was also reversed by the Supreme Court, in 1957.

Source: Chicago Tribune obituary,


1 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Judge's records of the in the denaturalization proceedings against William Schneiderman in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California trial, under the Smith Act in 1952; defendant had been State Chairman of the Communist Party (CPUSA) 1936-64.

Related Materials

See also William Schneiderman Papers,, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University

Finding aid for the William Schneiderman Trial records
2010 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States