Subversive Historian – 11/24/08

Mollie Steimer

Eighty-seven years ago on this day in people’s history, Mollie Steimer was deported by the United States back to her native country. On November 24th, 1921, Steimer alongside Simon Lipman, Jacob Abrams and Hyman Lachowsky set sail from Ellis Island to Soviet Russia aboard the SS Estonia. The deportation was negotiated in order to secure their release from prison under President Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act of 1918. Steimer authored leaflets speaking out against World War I and was arrested for distributing them. After the landmark “Abrams Case” that followed, Steimer and her co-defendants were given harsh sentences for violating the Sedition Act.

Arriving back in the country of her birth, the 4′9” agitator did not retire into silence, but continued her political activities. The Soviet Union, like the U.S. before it, saw it fit to deport Steimer out of their country as well. She eventually settled in Mexico where she died in 1980 of heart failure.


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