The New York Times
April 2, 1950, p. 10
Howard Fast Hits U.S. Policies
In a statement issued here yesterday by Howard Fast, chairman of the writing and publishing division of the New York State Council of the Arts, sciences and Professions, Professor Matthiessen was called the victim of the "cold war" and the foreign policy of President Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson.
"It is with deep grief and profound sympathy to those close to him," the novelist's statement said, "that we learn of the tragic death of Prof. F.O. Matthiessen. However, we cannot accept the designation of his death as a suicide any more than we could accept the death of Harry D. White (former Treasury Department official mentioned in the Alger Hiss case) in such terms.
"Professor Matthiessen is as surely a victim of the cold war and the Truman-Acheson foreign policy as those who face blacklists, jail and academic witchhunts. He, however, paid with his life.
"That which destroyed Professor Matthiessen would also destroy all he stood for, Christianity, free inquiry, and a democratic way of life. We pledge ourselves in his memory to continue his fight against all evil forces of oppression and mass destruction in our continuing struggle for peace and an end to the cold war between America and the U.S.S.R. His death must not be in vain."
It was said that the statement did not mean to question the circumstances surrounding the professor's death, but that the Council felt he was "the victim of the kind of investigations and restrictions on academic freedom which exist today."
"We have no special crime information," a spokesman said.