Mollie Steimer. In 1917 Steimer joined the Freiheit, a group of Jewish anarchists based in New York City, that had been formed by Johann Most. Steimer was found guilty of breaking the Espionage Act and was sentenced to fifteen years and a $500 fine. Many well-known, non-radical personalities spoke on her behalf.
The Espionage Act of 1917 was passed by the United States Congress following America’s entry into the First World War. The Espionage Act prescribed fines of $10,000 and 20-year prison sentences for any individual who interfered with the recruiting of soldiers or the disclosure of sensitive information that dealt with the war effort. Additional penalties were attached if any individual refused to perform military duties.