Today's column is given over to an Open Letter from the Hollywood Ten to Dr. Edward K. Barsky, Howard Fast, and the other Board members of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. The letter, an eloquent salute to the courageous Eleven who defied the contemptible Thomas Committee, appeared the other day as an advertisement in Daily Variety, a Hollywood trade paper.
To Dr. Edward K. Barsky, Jacob Auslander, Lyman Bradley, Marjorie Chodorov, Howard Fast, Harry M. Justiz, Ruth Leider, James Lustig, Dr. Louis Miller, Manual Maganna, Charlotte Stern:
History may record it as ironic but perhaps it's only fitting that the first mass victims of the House Committee on Un-American Activities should consist of the following:
Three noted physicians
A world-renowned author who has chosen to celebrate American democracy in his novels.
Two trade union organizers - AFL and CIO
A professor of languages at New York University.
Let us record the crimes for which you are now to be punished:
For ten years you administered relief to the Rupublican refugees from Franco Spain. You supplied them with hospital beds, physicians, bandages, clothes, medicine. CRIME!
Your charitable work has been executed abroad by the Unitarian Service Committee and the Quakers. Your records have been regularly inspected by the U.S. Government Agency that licensed your work. CRIME!
But the Thomas Committee announced thaat opposition to the Franco Government is un-American and subversive. The Thomas Committee demanded your books and records. As honorable men and women you refused to hand over to this committee the names of decent, humane Americans who had contributed funds for this medical aid ... in order to protect your donors from persecution, investigation and black listing. CRIME!
And now, convicted of contempt of Congress, your court appeals denied, you are to go to prison. Six month for Dr. Barsky, three months for the Executive Board.
We honor your crimes. We honor Americans who have not forgotten the traditions of liberty, the traditions of Jefferson and Paine, Emerson and John Brown, Garrison and Thoreau.
We protest the shame of our nation in sending you to prison while fifteen American fascists who spoke treason over the Italian, German and Japanese radio during the war are at liberty.
We ask all citizens of good will to telegraph the President and urge that he extend pardons for the honor of the country.
We salute you with respect and pride.
Signed: Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, Dalton Trumbo.