Stachel, Jacob

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STACHEL, JACOB (Jack ; 1900–1966), U.S. Communist leader. Stachel, born in Galicia, was taken by his family to New York City in 1911. He became active in the Socialist Party Youth and in 1924 joined the Communist Party. By 1927 Stachel headed the party's national organizational secretariat, and in 1933 he became director of its Trade Union Educational League. His main geographical area of responsibility in the 1930s was Michigan, where he staged a demonstration of 100,000 unemployed workers in Detroit in 1930 and pressed for Communist Party support of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (cio) when it was founded in 1936. In 1939 Stachel was made executive secretary of the party's central executive committee, giving him much power behind the scenes until his indictment under the Smith Act in 1950, along with ten other party leaders, for advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government. After serving a five-year term in a federal penitentiary Stachel remained active in the party until his death.


New York Times (Jan. 2, 1966), 73; M. Epstein, Jew and Communism (1959), 405–7.