Amter, I. (Israel), 1881-

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Israel Amter (1881-1954), founding member of the Communist Party, USA and a leading functionary into the 1940s, was born on March 26, 1881, in Denver to Jewish immigrant parents. He joined the Socialist Party in 1901, and in 1903 moved to Germany. He remained there until 1914, editing the German Export Review, participating in the Social Democratic Party, and studying music at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he composed his never-performed opera Winona.

From the description of Winona piano score. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 60861490

Israel Amter, founding member of the Communist Party, USA and a leading functionary into the 1940s, was born on March 26, 1881, in Denver to Jewish immigrant parents. He joined the Socialist Party in 1901, and in 1903 moved to Germany where he remained until 1914, editing the German Export Review, participating in the Social Democratic Party, and studying music at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he composed his never-performed opera Winona (1912), which concerns the love between a U.S. army officer and a Native American woman, Winona.

From the guide to the Israel Amter:, Winona, Piano Score, 1912, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Israel Amter (1881-1954), founding member of the Communist Party, USA and a leading functionary into the 1940s, was born on March 26, 1881, in Denver to Jewish immigrant parents. He joined the Socialist Party in 1901, and in 1903 moved to Germany where he remained until 1914, editing the German Export Review, studying music at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he wrote the opera Winona, which concerns the love between a U.S. army officer and a Native American woman, Winona. and participating in the Social Democratic Party. Returning to the US just before World War I, Amter rejoined the Socialist Party in 1917 and was a professional musician in New York until joining the communist movement in 1919. For several years he was a leading advocate of an underground party and used the pseudonym J. Ford, and held a leading post in the Friends of the Soviet Union. After he was won over to a fully legal movement, Amter held various Party jobs, including district organizer in Chicago and Cleveland, and served as American representative to the Comintern from 1923-25. Sadie Van Veen Amter (1882-1968), a communist activist in her own right, met Israel in 1900 after hearing a piano concert of his and married him two years later.

From the guide to the Israel and Sadie Amter Autobiographical Typescript, undated, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Israel Amter, founding member of the Communist Party, USA and a leading functionary into the 1940s, was born on March 26, 1881, in Denver to Jewish immigrant parents. He joined the Socialist Party in 1901, and in 1903 moved to Germany where he remained until 1914, editing the German Export Review, studying music at the Leipzig Conservatory and participating in the Social Democratic Party. Returning to the US just before World War I, Amter rejoined the Socialist Party in 1917 and was a professional musician in New York until joining the communist movement in 1919. For several years he was a leading advocate of an underground party and used the pseudonym J. Ford, and held a leading post in the Friends of the Soviet Union. After he was won over to a fully legal movement, Amter held various Party jobs, including district organizer in Chicago and Cleveland, and served as American representative to the Comintern from 1923-25.

As the Party's district organizer in New York City in 1930, Amter was arrested and sentenced to six months in prison for his part in the huge March 6, 1930 unemployment demonstration. After his release he took charge of Party work on behalf of the unemployed as national secretary of the Unemployed Councils. In 1936 he became chairman of the NY State Communist Party. Amter served on most Party Central Committees from 1922 to 1945. By the late 1940s Amter was suffering from Parkinson's disease and was no longer very active. The federal government indicted him for violation of the Smith Act in 1951, but he was severed from the case due to illness. Amter died on November 25, 1954. His wife, Sadie Van Veen Amter, 1882-1968, also was a Communist activist.

From the description of Autobiographical typescript, 1965. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 477247811

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Amter, I. (Israel), b. 1881. Winona piano score. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Israel Amter:, Winona, Piano Score, 1912 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Earl Browder Papers, 1879-1990 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Darcy, Samuel, 1905-. Papers, 1924-1985 (bulk 1930-1945). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Amter, I. (Israel), b. 1881. Winona / by Israel Amter. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf Israel and Sadie Amter Autobiographical Typescript, undated Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Negatives Collection, Bulk, 1968-1990, 1930-2001 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
creatorOf Amter, I. (Israel), b. 1881. Autobiographical typescript, 1965. Churchill County Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Amter, Donald. person
associatedWith Amter, Sadie, 1882-1968. person
associatedWith Bernhoff, John. person
associatedWith Browder, Earl, 1891-1973 person
associatedWith Communist International. corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America (New York) corporateBody
associatedWith Darcy, Samuel, 1905- person
associatedWith Friends of the Soviet Union (Group) corporateBody
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
United States
Subject
Demonstrations
Communism--United States
Indians of North America--Drama
Communists--United States
Communists--United States--Biography
Women communists--United States
Jewish communists
Opera--Scores
Jewish socialists
Unemployed
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1881

Death 1954

English,

German

Information

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