Saul Wellman

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Saul Wellman

Saul Wellman (1913 - 2003) was a Spanish Civil War veteran who "worked to promote Communism within Detroit auto plants".[1]


An organizer of young truck drivers in New York during the Depression, officer in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War (wounded at the Battle of the Ebro), paratrooper during World War II (he was wounded and then escaped from the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge). He then moved to Detroit and became leader of Michigan’s Communist Party. During the McCarthy period Wellman lived underground, was arrested by the FBI, and was the lead defendant in Detroit’s most famous political trial, of the “Michigan Six.” After going to prison his conviction was overturned, and he then broke with the Communist Party. In his fifties, Wellman became a printer, a union leader, joined the New Left.[2]

Communist Party USA

Wellman was a Communist Party member, leaving in 1957.[3]

Sentencing under Smith Act

Wellman was one of several Communists sentenced under the Smith Act, being sentenced to five years in jail, however these sentences were later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on a technicality.[4]

New American Movement 10th convention

In 1981 Saul Wellman, Detroit NAM led a workshop entitled Voices of the Spanish Civil War at the 10th Convention of the New American Movement. The convention was held in a union headquarters in Chicago and ran from July 29 - August 2, 1981.[5]

Old NAM communists

Kathie Sheldon ‎New American Movement, July 5, 2009


Herman Rosenstein, Milt Cohen, Ben Margolis, Dorothy Healey, Saul Wellman, Ben Dobbs

Photo by Scott Van Osdol, NAM convention 1981.

New American Movement Speakers Bureau

In the 1980s Saul Wellman was a speaker on the The Left & People's History section of the NAM Speakers Bureau on the subject of Reflections of an Organizer.

He was also a speaker on the Socialism Around the World section of the NAM Speakers Bureau on the subject of Spain - Heroes of the Past/The Crisis Today.[6]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Saul Wellman was a District of Columbia, Maryland delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983.[7]

DSA "Greetings"

In 1990, 39 people, plus "Seattle Democratic Socialists of America" and the "San Diego local", signed a "Greetings" ad in Democratic Left, September/October, 1990, page 23. Most signatories were known members of Democratic Socialists of America. Signatories included Saul Wellman.]].



  1. The Ganley-Wellman Collection Papers, (Accessed May 15 2022)
  2. Study guide for a professional revolutionary
  3. NAM 10th Convention Agenda, July 29, 1981
  4. NAM 10th Convention Agenda, July 29, 1981
  5. NAM 10th Convention Agenda, July 29, 1981
  6. New American Movement Speakers Bureau booklet, 1980s
  7. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update