Ruth Schechter

Ruth Schechter was a friend of Leo’s. They apparently met in Europe, perhaps in Warsaw. Leo wrote her a letter on October 27, 1940, (Hurwicz to Ruth Schechter, 9/18/1940; Leonid Hurwicz Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, Box 23, File: Correspondence 1940)

Schechter had been enrolled at the London School of Economics in 1938-1939, at the same time as Leo, so I had assumed that is how they met. However, in another letter, on September 18, 1940, he says: “Well, how shall I see you? Where? When I was in London you were in Warsaw. Then you went to London, but I was on the continent. When you were in Spain I was in England. When I was in Spain you were in New York. When I came to New York you went to Chicago. On the day I went to Chicago you left for New York…” So when and where were they in the same place at the same time? It seems it may have been in Poland, based on the fact that he says, in a postscript to his letter of September 12, that she will probably remember a Polish friend of his: “I had a card from Kazik Zweibaum who you probably still remember (tall, blond, good-looking). He is in Lwow. Tells me that it is pretty bad over there. Actually uses the expression hell which is pretty strong considering the censorship. He says that (for reasons which are not quite clear to me) he may have to send the next letter to your address. Will you be good enough to forward it to me.”

In any case, by 1940, Ruth was at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She also married Joseph Gold that year, thereby becoming Ruth Schechter Gold.

This biographical information on Ruth Schechter comes from the Congressional Record for the 90th United States Congress, Extensions of remarks by the Hon. John R. Rarick of Louisiana, in the House of Representatives, February 26, 1968:

Rarick was a John Birch-type conservative, trying to make a case that Schechter was a Communist. Thus he might be likely to distort the record of a lefty like Schechter – who for example mentioned in a letter on September 14, 1940, that she was planning to vote for the Socialist candidate, Norman Thomas. But I am assuming that Rarick’s underlying historical facts are correct.

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