[Marxism] David Weiss

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 15 11:34:53 MDT 2005

Vivian Gilbert-Strell
7008 Lipmann Street
San Diego, Ca. 92122
(858) 455-1401

				David  Weiss (1911? 1912?- 2005)

	David Weiss-he would have insisted-"Don't leave out the Loeb. I'm David
Loeb  Weiss", died peacefully and painlessly at home Thursday, August 11 at 
11:12 A.M.
Just stopped breathing as I held his hand, hospice nurses around us.
	He had been dying for weeks perhaps, still joking, not eating, stopped 
drinking, accepting only a small ice cube in his mouth, not talking the 
last two days, a big change for such a voluble man. It is not his death I 
wish to speak of , rather his life, which I shared for the last eight years.
	He was an imperfect man fighting a very imperfect, cruel society. 
Frequently polemical, domineeringly outspoken, and angry at the 
dehumanization of a class war against all of us. He inherited his struggle 
from birth, remembering his mother climbing six flights of tenement stairs 
after work to sell the Daily Worker.
	When he and his brother Murray split from the Communist Party, they would 
answer their parents' objections to talking politics at the dinner table, 
with their ditty, "Mama don' want no politicking around' here." They'd kid 
her, but he responded to his younger sister's request  and wrote a love 
letter for her to Joseph Starobin, the Communist leader, whom she tried to 
woo but felt inarticulate in approaching.
	He left public school early, without graduating from anything, but 
finished and earned his B.A. at NYU and M.A. in Political Science at the 
New School for Social Research. Credit to the G.I. Bill that paid for 
veterans to go back to school after World War II.
	He worked and did almost everything. Dishwasher, hobo riding the freights 
across country, busboy, waiter, organizer during the hotel and restaurant 
workers strike in New York, organizer at the Dura-Steel strike in Los 
Angeles, radar technician in the U.S. Army , assistant electrician as a 
merchant seaman, proofreader at the New York Times for eighteen years, 
documentary filmmaker and teacher.
	He was proudest of his films, echoing Muhammed Ali's word when Ali refused 
to be drafted for the Vietnam war, "No Vietnamese Ever Called me Nigger." 
Again in "Profile of a Peace Parade" he raised the bar in talking of 
struggles against imperial wars.
	Proving his adaptability, he wrote, directed, and produced a technical 
film, "Farewell, Etaoin Shrudlu" for the New York Times when they changed 
over from the old linotype printing to the new technology. He later said 
some fourteen hundred  printers might have been laid off, but the newspaper 
fired noone. He was a proofreader, and the newspaper gave him carte blanche 
to go through the plant, talk, film, and produce a prize winning 
documentary. David loved displaying all his awards and was not modest about 
	He was feisty, contentious, loud, insistent on being heard, intolerant of 
opposing views, and he was frequently correct. As he grew older, his last 
illness, dementia, set in. He'd ask about a pair of twelve-year olds, "What 
are their politics?" We'd laugh, because
David could not understand he was talking to them in a foreign tongue. He 
had been weaned on "Joe Hill" and "The Comintern." And like Joe Hill will 
live "where workers strike and organize". He'll be there still.

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