Philip Grosser

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Philip Grosser (1890 in Slavuta – October 3, 1933 in Boston) was an anarchist and anti-militarist hailed by Alexander Berkman as "one of [my] finest comrades".[1]

He was imprisoned at the Federal Military Prison on Alcatraz Island, having refused the draft during the first World War. By the end of 1920, two years after the war ended, he was the only remaining conscientious objector at Alcatraz,[2] and in poor health,[3] at least partly due to inhumane treatment there.[4]

Grosser is notable for writing one of the first exposés of Alcatraz Prison, the 32-page pamphlet Uncle Sam's Devil's Island, which told of his experience in the prison.

He committed suicide in Boston, Massachusetts on October 1933 and was buried on October 20, 1933.[1]


  • Grosser, Philip (2007). Alcatraz - Uncle Sam's Devil's Island: Experiences of a Conscientious Objector in America during the First World War. London: Kate Sharpley Library. ISBN 1-873605-24-2.


  1. ^ a b "GROSSER, Philip. 'Alcatraz' Uncle Sam's Devil's Island : Experiences of a (...) - R.A. Forum". 2016-03-03. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  2. ^ "Philip Grosser Held Example of Baker Spite". The Minneapolis Star. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Federated Press. 1920-11-05. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via open access publication – free to read.
  3. ^ "Socialist Delegation Calls on Secretary". The San Bernardino County Sun. San Bernardino, California. Associated Press. 1920-05-20. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via open access publication – free to read.
  4. ^ Beffel, John Nicholas (1920-05-14). "U. S. Still Uses Torture Cages at Alcatraz Jail". The Butte Daily Bulletin. Butte, Montana. Federated Press. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via open access publication – free to read.

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