Tag Archives: Segregation

Marge Frantz

Marge Frantz (1922-2015) was a teacher, feminist and activist. Her father, Joe Gelder, joined the Communist Party during the Great Depression as a way to organize for labor rights in the South. She became a member of the Young Communist League when she was 13 years old. She married Laurent Frantz in 1941, who was a lawyer and a member of the Communist Party. She later went on to meet her life partner, Eleanor Engstrand, during her work for UC Berkeley’s Institute of Industrial Relations. She left the CP in 1956, but was an active member up until that point.

This interview was conducted on February 6th, 1987.

John Abt

John Abt (1904-1991) was a prominent American lawyer and spent most of his career as the chief counsel to the Communist Party of the United States of America. He is known for joining Vito Marcantonio in defending the CPUSA on charges from the McCarran Act, and party members on charges stemming from the Smith Act. One of Abt’s greatest legal victories was the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in 1965 which allowed individuals to invoke their constitutional privilege against self-incrimination by declining to register with the government that they were members of the Communist Party. Abt is said to have remained a member of the CP up until his death in 1991.