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Communism

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich's impassioned Yiddish speech set off the 1909 Uprising of the 20,000, the largest strike by women workers in the United States to that time. But Clara Lemlich’s career as a revolutionary and activist began well before that famous speech and extended for more than half a century afterward.

Ethel Rosenberg

Few Jewish American women evoke as varied and passionate a response as Ethel Rosenberg. Convicted and executed on June 19, 1953, with her husband Julius Rosenberg, for conspiracy to divulge atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, Rosenberg was only the second woman in the United States to be executed by the federal government.

Tillie Olsen

Writer Tillie Olsen is a leading spokesperson for silent and oppressed workers, especially creative women whose daily routine stifles their expression.

Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman was born on June 20, 1905, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents, Max and Julia (Newhouse) Hellman, were both German-American Jews. Her mother’s family was wealthy and later became the models (though stripped of Jewish identity) for Hellman’s most famous creations, the Hubbards, in her two plays The Little Foxes and Another Part of the Forest. Max Hellman’s sisters Hannah and Jenny were similarly the basis for the central characters in one of Hellman’s last plays, Toys in the Attic.

Yudica

Yudica was the pseudonym of Yehudit Zik, a poet whose reputation in Yiddish literature was largely developed during her three decades in Canada.

Helen Yglesias

In 1965, Helen Yglesias joined the staff of The Nation and shortly thereafter became its literary editor. At age fifty-four, she left her job to dedicate herself to becoming a writer.

Rose Wortis

Rose Wortis was an Eastern European immigrant needleworker who devoted her life to working-class organizing and the Left.

Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich

For nine years Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich and Rosa Luxemburg were collaborators in the battle for socialism, women’s rights, worker emancipation, anti-militarism and pacifism. Her life constituted a battle against war, racism and social injustice.

Ruth Werner

Operating under at least five different names in the course of her career, Ruth Werner (a pen name) was a singularly accomplished spy, whose espionage activities spanned some fifteen years, from 1931 to 1946.

Helene Weigel

Known in particular for her maternal roles in such Bertolt Brecht plays as The Mother and Mother Courage, Helene Weigel was also a respected matriarch off the stage as director of the Berliner Ensemble theater in East Germany.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Communism." (Viewed on May 24, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/communism>.

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