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July 24, 1987 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ficials apologized to Schappes
and restored his just rights,
there was not a line about it
— until the appearance of an
article as an Op-Ed Page
essay in the New York Times
called attention to it.
Schappes was not without
supporters and defenders. In
a speech he delivered at an
annual dinner of Jewish Cur-
rents, in 1982, Schappes men-
tioned that Prof. Morris
Raphael Cohen was one of his
character witnesses.
In that speech Schappes
said:

He had explained to me
privately • that he
understood what I was do-
ing because, in the Tsarist -
shtetl in which he had been
born, there was a saying,
"It's no use to tell the truth
to the police, becaue they
wouldn't know what to do
with it." And so Cohen
swore in court that I had
the highest reputation for
veracity, although I had
refused to give names to
the Rapp-Coudert
Committee.
The Board of Higher
Education then fired me
after my conviction — and
for my convictions. Now
the successor to this board
wakes up to the fact that it
had been an invasion of my
constitutional rights even
to ask me about my
political affiliations or
associations.
So it seems that, if you
ask foolish — or forbidden
— questions, you get foolish
— or unresponsive —
answers, which were ruled
perjurious. Was it not
Shakespeare — but not in
The Merchant of Venice —
who said, "The law is an
ass"?
The very mention of Prof.
Morris Raphael Cohen's
name adds an important note
to the Schappes story on a
local basis. Prof. Cohen had
many friends here and I value
the sessions I had with him.
The late Wolf Snyder was one
of his students and admirers.
Fred M. Butzel valued him
among his close associates in
cultural movements they
were jointly interested in.
That's when I shared ac-
quaintance with the
philosopher who gained
distinction universally.
Morris Schappes was the
self-acknowledged "Marxist
scholar." He is a noted
historian, and author of A
Documentary History of the
Jews in the United States,
1654 to 1875 (Schocken,
1950).
It was while in the Tombs
and in the New York state
Dannemora and Walkill

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AS OF JULY 6, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

41

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