Jerry Oberwager

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Jerome (Jerry) A. Oberwager is a Long Island activist.

Vagabond Puppeteers

It was last June when four young college students in New York City got together to find “an interesting way to spend the summer.”

They were Jerry Oberwager, 22; Mary Wallace, 22; Pete Seeger, 20; and Harriet Holtzman, 23, and when they got through laying their plans for an interesting summer, they were the Vagabond Puppeteers and they worked for six weeks to give substance to the title.

To be vagabonds they had to travel and that meant acquiring a 1930 model Oldsmobile and putting it in shape for the road. And to be puppeteers they needed puppets and so they made their own, 22 of them all told.

Then they constructed an outdoor stage, built a rack on top of their jalopy, gathered together cooking utensils and blankets, made room for a banjo an a typewriter and started out — with high spirits but with rather vague notions about their program.

Now they are back, with 4,000 miles of travel behind them and a record of performances in every corner off rural Now York state which delighted an audience that totals 7,250 persons.

Typical of their reception everywhere is the letter of commendation which was given them by the Madison County 4-H Council in Morrisville, N.Y. The council "found that the Puppets attacked a serious problem in a humorous way and were thought—provoking as well as funny. . . . The puppets are real actors."

Typical, too, was the report in the Watertown Times of one of their performances given during the height of the milk strike. The show, said the Times, was “in contrast to the grimness of the picket line.” The portable outdoor stage was set opposite the Sheffield Plant Driveway, and there was an audience of several hundred striking dairy farmers.[1]

Military communists

Miscellaneous posts of military importance occupied by those who refused to deny evidence of their Communist Party membership, in addition to those in the Office of Strategic Services, include the following as revealed in subcommittee hearings: Virginius Frank Coe, of the National Advisory Defense Council, 1940, Joint War Production Committee as executive secretary for the United States and Canada; Sidney Glassman, Signal Corps inspector, 1942; Jacob Grauman, War Production Board, 1942-46, Office of War Mobilization, 1946-47; Stanley Graze, War Production Board, Army Officer's Candidate School, second lieutenant; Jerome A. Oberwager, Army Ordnance Division, 1943-46; Irving P. Schiller, civilian employee of the Navy Department; Alexander H. Svenchansky, Army, noncommissioned officer, orientation work; Alfred J. Van Tassell, War Production Board, 1942; Eugene Wallach, Judge Advocate's office, United States Army, 1941.[2]

Communist Party reformer

In 1991 Jerry Oberwager, New York was one of several hundred Communist Party USA members to sign the a paper "An initiative to Unite and Renew the Party" - most signatories left the Party after the December 1991 conference to found Committees of Correspondence.[3]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 Jerry Oberwager and his wife Marian Oberwager, Marxist Forum, Great Neck, New York, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[4]

Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives

As of 2009 Jerry Oberwager was listed on the Board of Directors of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives.[5]

References