Marie Ganz

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Marie Ganz in 1914
Gantz speaking at the Food Riots of 1917

Marie Ganz (1891 – 1968) was an anarchist labour organizer, social worker, and writer.


Marie was born in Galicia, Austria, in 1891. She started work at 8 years old and left school at 13 to work full-time as a delivery person, then in a sweatshop.[1]

In 1914, she threatened to shoot John D. Rockefeller, Jr. as she arrived with a crowd and a loaded pistol in front of the Standard Oil Building in Manhattan. She traced that desire, in part, to the Ludlow Massacre, for which, she felt, the Rockefellers were directly responsible:[2]

"The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, controlled by the Rockefellers, had employed armed guards to shoot down the strikers. In a battle with the State troops forty-five persons had been killed and many wounded, and women and children had been burned to death in pits as fire destroyed the tent colony at Ludlow. The whole country was ringing with these reports. The Colorado Federation of Labour was calling on the unions to arm and to aid the strikers. The Anti-Militarist League was making plans to recruit fighters to wage war against the soldiers. At the White House and in Congress labour was appealing for justice against the tyranny of capital."

The judge was lenient. Later, she authored an autobiography in which she renounced anarchism and wrote: "During all this time, Emma Goldman, the anarchist leader, was away on a lecture tour and out of harm's way. She paid no attention to appeals to come back and to take part in the meetings. She was making money and she was living comfortably at first-class hotels, and I became convinced that she had always been actuated by sordid motives."

She was arrested during the New York City Food Riot of 1917.[3]

In 1919, she met her future husband, journalist Nat J. Ferber, as he visited her in jail to interview her. They would go on to write her autobiography, Rebels: Into Anarchy–And Out Again. On September 30, 1921, their daughter, Lenore Ferber Kahn, was born in New York City.

Marie died at Saint Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, New York City in 1968.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rebels: Into Anarchy–And Out again, by Marie Ganz with Nat J. Ferber (out of copyright).
  • Gorce, Tammy La (3 February 2017). "The Story of Sweet Marie and an Earlier Women's Protest". The New York Times.


  1. ^ Sanford Sternlicht. The Tenement Saga: The Lower East Side and Early Jewish American Writers. p. 103.
  2. ^ Ganz, Marie (with Nat J. Ferber) (1920). Rebels; Into Anarchy–And Out again, by Marie Ganz with Nat J. Ferber (out of copyright). New York: Dodd, Mead and Company – via
  3. ^ "Women in Bread Riot At Doors of City Hall. WIth Babies in Arms They Cry for Cheaper Food. Dispersed by Mounted Police. Police Fail to Break Rush. Mrs. Harris Makes Speech. Marie Ganz Arrested" (PDF). New York Times. February 21, 1917. Retrieved 2015-02-13. Four hundred east side mothers, many Carrying babies and all shouting 'We want food for our children!' poured from Rutgers Square through East Broadway and the Bowery to City Hall about 11 o'clock yesterday morning and ...

Further reading[edit]

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