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Why don't you begin by telling me whatever recollections you have
of Morris Schappes from that period.
Morris Schappes was a member of the faculty in the English
department. He was a very highly regarded and well-liked teacher by
the students, and even by the faculty. His colleagues respected him
because he was fairly open about his years, quite open. As a matter of
fact, he functioned and would speak openly about his beliefs. I can tell
you very little more.
Any particular reason why he was respected?
He was a good teacher. You see, I can't speak to this from first-
hand knowledge, but from the responses I would get from students,
see, I dealt with students since I was very often at the window at the
registrar's office where students would come with questions, etc. So
you got to know what they thought about different people.
Were there any other personalities in that particular branch whom
you have special recollections of? Particular friends of your brothers,
William Canning, who was the person who was the informer.
What are your recollections of him?
Canning was sort of a wispy guy. I remember the woman he
married, too. She was a student at City College, 23rd Street. He was
shabbily dressed, he was rather poor, and I remember that my
parents took him in and would feed him and often clothe him, and he
was sort of close to the family. This was why the shock was even
greater to my family, my parents -- of all people, him. Judas.
What was he like politically?
He was a history teacher. He taught the evening session. I
don't recall his outstanding political ability at the time. They don't
strike me as any particular specialty.
Let's move on to the Nazi-Soviet Pact.
I didn't sign it.
How and when did you learn about the Pact?
I can't remember where I was at the time, at that particular
moment. I remember that we were stunned by it, and then we quickly
attempted to try to explain it to ourselves and then to others. It took
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