The White Court (1910–21)

First Amendment

Who were the Five Russians convicted in the Abrams case and what happened to them?

The five Russian defendants were Jacob Abrams, Hyman Lachowsky, Samuel Lipman, Jacob Schwartz, and Mollie Steimer. Schwartz died the night before the defendants’ trial, probably from beatings administered by guards. The other four defendants served time in federal prison until President Warren G. Harding commuted their sentences in October 1921. As part of the commutation agreement, the four defendants were shipped to Russia. Lipman, a professor in Moscow, was murdered in the Great Purges of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin in the 1930s. Lachowsky likely died in Minski in 1941 when Adolf Hitler and the German Nazis conquered the city. Steimer and Abrams were exiled from Russia and eventually wound up in Mexico City. Abrams died in 1953 and Steimer lived until 1980.


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