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Treason in Congress

THE RECORD OF THE HOUSE
UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE

by Albert E. Kahn

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

O. John Rogge

Published by the Publications Committee
Literature Division, Arts, Sciences and Professions
PROGRESSIVE CITIZENS OF AMERICA
39 Park Avenue, New York 16, N.Y.

About the Author

ALBERT E. KAHN is widely known both here and abroad for his investigations of secret diplomacy and fifth column intrigue. A graduate of Dartmouth College and winner of the Crawford-Campbell Literary Fellowship, Mr. Kahn in 1939 became Executive Secretary of the American Council Against Nazi Propaganda, of which the late William E. Dodd, former Ambassador to Germany, was Chairman. As editor of THE HOUR, a confidential newsletter devoted to exposing Axis fifth column operations, Mr. Kahn won nation-wide recognition for his sensational news-scoops on German and Japanese conspiratorial activities in the Americas. In collaboration with Michael Sayers, Mr. Kahn has written three books: Sabotage! The Secret War Against America, one of the leading best-sellers of the war period; The Plot Against the Peace, which achieved top sales in the immediate postwar period; and The Great Conspiracy which has thus far been translated into fifteen languages. Mr. Kahn is a member of the Literature Division of the Progressive Citizens of America.


Introduction

IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT to overestimate the extent to which liberty and democracy in the United States are currently endangered by the operations of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Scarcely a day passes without some new abridgement of freedom, some fresh violation of civil rights, resulting from the Committee's activities.
The extraordinary powers vested in the Committee have not only been the instruments for the systematic and shocking disregard of the right of American citizens and groups to be politically free from government restrictions and abuse. The powers granted have been the excuse for an investigation conducted in an arbitrary and oppressive manner unparalleled in our American political and constitutional history.
Never before in our history has an agency of government been given such carte blanche to hamper and oppress political expression solely on the basis of the political beliefs and the dogmas of that agency. A more flagrant violation of the First Amendment is difficult to find in the history of the United States.
The Committee conceives itself to be above the Constitution. Thus the Committee poses a clear-cut issue for our Courts and for the American public: Is the Constitution still an instrument whereby peaceful political expression may be carried on freely? The House Committee has answered this in the negative, claiming that it is engaged in ferreting out political propaganda which "attacks" our form of government. It would, indeed, be ironical if in the name of constitutional government, the basic safeguards of our Constitution are disregarded and rendered negatory. Just such irony is the stuff of which fascism is made.
Albert E. Kahn, who has won an international reputation for his exposes of anti-democratic intrigues, has done us a signal service in setting down the amazing and shameful record of the House Un-American Activities Committee. This record is enough to make the blood of every decent, patriotic American boil.

O. JOHN ROGGE
Former Assistant U. S. Attorney General

April 1948.

Prologue

WHEN I was editor of The Hour, a war-time newsletter devoted to exposing the intrigues of Axis secret agents and their fifth column accomplices in America, I received from one of my informants an extraordinary report concerning Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi.
The report related the following facts:
My informant, posing as a fifth columnist, had mailed to Representative Rankin some vehemently pro-Axis propaganda material of which he claimed to be the author, and, in an accompanying letter, had requested a private appointment with the Congressman. The request was promptly granted.
An off-the-record conference took place between the two men in Representative Rankin's office in Washington, D.C. During the conference the Congressman gave this singular piece of advice to his visitor: "Blame the war on the Jews. Label this a Jewish war, a war brought on by international bankers. Spread this around the country and our battle is won."
In these words, Representative Rankin was not merely expressing his own violent antipathy toward the Jewish people. He was also echoing one of the propaganda themes most extensively used by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry as a device to divide, weaken, and facilitate the conquest of the peoples of democratic nations.
Nor was the Congressman's remark casually made. It happened that the entire discussion between Representative Rankin and the bogus pro-Axis propagandist centered around the use and potentialities of fascist propaganda as a political weapon for undermining democracy in the United States....
The significance of that episode has not diminished with the passage of time. On the contrary, its implications are today more ominous than ever before.
For today Representative Rankin is a leading member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities - he is, in fact, largely responsible for its existence; and the influence of this congressional committee now reaches like a dark shadow across the length and breadth of our land.
During the past ten years the Un-American Activities Committee has been perpetrating a monstrous hoax upon the American people. Under the cynical pretext of combatting subversive activities, the Committee has waged a ruthless campaign against American democracy. It has served as a fountainhead for reactionary and racist propaganda, pilloried liberal groups and individuals, and conspired to suppress freedom of expression. Its ubiquitous spies and "expert witnesses" have included the dregs of the criminal and political underworlds. Its methods of operation have been intimidation and calumny, innuendo and character assassination, blackmail and blacklists. Its chief target has been, and still is, the Constitution of the United States.
And incredible as it may seem, this infamous Committee is today playing a key role in shaping and carrying out official policies of the U.S. Government.
That is why the American people have reason to be profoundly concerned about the sinister machinations of the Un-American Activities Committee.

1. Three Investigators

ONE WEEK after the Nazi mechanized divisions poured across the borders of Poland and launched the Second World War, a confidential letter was sent by Dr. Hans Thompsen, the Chargé d'Affaires at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., to an organization called the Ukrainian-American Educational Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The letter was delivered the following day to a drably furnished room in an obscure office building at 527 Second Avenue in Pittsburgh. The sole occupant of the room was a stocky man with a round face and short-cropped hair. His name was Edward F. Sullivan. He was the Director of the Ukrainian-American Educational Institute. Oddly enough, he could not speak single word of Ukrainian.
A far more remarkable fact about Edward F. Sullivan, who was exchanging confidential messages with high officials of the German Government, was this:
when the House Committee for the investigation of Un-American Activities was formed in 1938, Edward F. Sullivan had been appointed to act as the Committee's first Chief Investigator....
Sullivan had originally become associated with the Nazi-inspired Ukrainian fascist movement in 1933, shortly after Hitler had come to power in Germany. Nazi agents were already swarming over the globe to organize fifth columns, particularly among the national groups in the democracies. There were one million Ukrainian-Americans in the United States. Under expert Nazi supervision, a fascist fifth column soon mushroomed in the Ukrainian-American community. The fascist Ukrainian leaders needed a publicity man to help them rally mass support for their movement. Several of them recommended Edward F. Sullivan, who was then an impecunious young newspaperman in Boston. Sullivan readily accepted the job.
The future Chief Investigator of the Un-American Activities Committee rose rapidly in the ranks of the fascist Ukrainian-American movement. Before long he was working in close collaboration with other fifth column groups in the United States.
On June 5, 1934, Sullivan addressed a meeting of German-American Bund members and uniformed storm troopers at the Turnhall, Lexington Avenue and 85th Street, New York City. The Bundists acclaimed Sullivan's rabidly anti-democratic tirade with wild applause and shouts of "Heil Hitler!"
In August 1936, Sullivan was featured as a main speaker at a national conference attended by leading American anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi propagandists which was held at Asheville, North Carolina. The speakers denounced the Roosevelt Administration as part of a "Jewish Communist plot." The Asheville press reported that Sullivan's speech was "what Hitler would have said had he been speaking."1
Such were some of the accomplishments of Edward F. Sullivan when in the summer of 1938 he was selected to fill the job of Chief Investigator for the Un-American Activities Committee.
Another of Sullivan's qualifications, according to the records of the Senate Civil Liberties Committee, was the fact that he had been employed for a time as a labor spy by the Railroad Audit and-Inspection Company, "a strikebreaking, labor espionage agency."...
American taxpayers who paid Sullivan's salary while he was the Committee's Chief Investigator might also have been interested to know Sullivan's police record. Here it is:

OffensePlace of OffenseDateDisposition
DrunkennessCharleston, Mass.9/7/20Released
Driving so as to endangerRoxbury12/18/23Fined $25
Driving without licenseSuffolk2/11/24Fined $25
Driving so as to endanger Suffolk6/27/24Placed on file
LarcenyMalden2/4/326 mo. House of
Correction; appealed
LarcenyMiddlesex
Superior Court
4/12/32Nolle prossed
Operating after license
suspended
Lowell2/11/32Filed
Violation of Section 690 of
the penal law (Sodomy)
New York City12/20/33Acquitted
Arrested on charges of im-
personating FBI officer
Pittsburgh12/11/39Charges dropped

After supervising the first "investigations" conducted by the Un-American American Activities Committee, Sullivan was suddenly dropped from the Committee payroll. "For reasons of economy," explained Chairman Martin Dies. What had really happened was that some liberal organizations had uncovered certain facts about Sullivan's unsavory record; and Representative Dies, with an eye to a new appropriation for his Committee, wanted to avoid a public scandal.2
Sullivan's place as the Committee's ace investigator was taken by J.B. Matthews, an embittered renegade radical who claimed to have been associated with ninety-four left-wing groups before, as he put it, he "saw the light." Like his predecessor, Matthews was held in high esteem by Axis agents and their fifth column allies in America. His diffuse autobiography, Odyssey of a Fellow Traveler - dedicated to Martin Dies, J. Parnell Thomas, and other members of the Un-American Activities Committee - was published by John Cecil, who headed an anti-Semitic organization called the American Immigration Conference Board; the book was widely distributed in American fifth column circles. The Nazi Propaganda Ministry warmly recommended Matthews' writings, and articles by him were reprinted in Contra-Komintern, an official organ of the German Foreign Office....
In directing the "investigatory" operations of the Un-American Activities Committee, both Edward F. Sullivan and J.B. Matthews were assisted by a lean, sleek, pale-faced southerner named Robert E. Stripling. Today, Robert E. Stripling is the Committee's Chief Investigator.3

2. Blackguards and Blacklists

THE alleged purpose for which the Un-American Activities Committee was formed on May 26, 1938, was to gather information on "the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin that attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by the Constitution."
Actually, from its inception under the chairmanship of Representative Martin Dies, the Un-American Activities Committee itself served as an inexhaustible source of virulently anti-democratic propaganda and sought to undermine the most basic tenets of the Constitution.
As The New World, official organ of the Chicago diocese of the Catholic Church, stated editorially just six months after the formation of the Committee:
If it is really a committee to investigate "un-American activities," it really should begin with an investigation of itself.
Since 1938, in the marble-columned caucus room in the old House Office Building, an endless macabre procession of ex-convicts, labor spies, foreign agents, racketeers, fascist propagandists and political renegades have been solemnly paraded before the Committee to testify as "expert witnesses" on subversive activities in the United States.
One of the first witnesses to appear before the Committee was a man by the name of Alvin I. Halpern. On the second day of Halpern's testimony, a District of Columbia court sentenced him to serve a prison term of one to two years for the crime of larceny.
Nevertheless, Halpern's testimony is included, without any reference to his criminal record, in the official published reports of the Un-American Activities Committee....
These are some of the other "expert witnesses" who have appeared before the Committee:
  • PETER J. INNES: a labor spy who had been expelled from the National Maritime Union for stealing $500 from the union treasury; he was subsequently sentenced to eight years imprisonment for attempted rape of a small child.
  • WILLIAM C. McCUISTON: an organizer of strong-arm squads for attacking trade unionists, he testified before the Committee while under indictment for the murder of Philip Carey, a labor leader who was shot and clubbed to death in New Orleans; subsequently acquitted on murder charge.
  • WILLIAM O. NOWELL: a labor spy who was confidential adviser to the fascist leader, Gerald L.K. Smith, ex-Silver Shirter No. 3223.
  • ARTHUR THOMAS: expelled from the National Maritime Union for breach of trust; later convicted on charges of moral turpitude; sentence deferred and suspended.
  • WILLIAM T. GERNAEY: a labor spy, exposed by the LaFollette Committee as agent No. 0273 employed by the notorious labor espionage agency, Corporations Auxiliary.
  • EDWIN PERRY BANTA: a pro-Axis propagandist, member of the Christian Front and collaborator with Nazi agents; he died in jail on November 8, 1945, while serving a three year sentence for conspiracy to commit a felony.
  • JOHN KOOS: a former leading spokesman for the American branch of a fascist Ukrainian organization called the Hetman, which had its headquarters in Berlin during the Nazi regime and operated under the direction of the German Military Intelligence; on September 30, 1938, he sent a congratulatory cable to Adolf Hitler praising him for his "history-making making efforts in the adjustment of minority rights."
  • RICHARD KREBS, alias Jan Valtin: a renegade German Communist who served thirty-nine months in San Quentin penitentiary, and who, in his book, Out of the Night, explained his former membership in the Nazi Gestapo on the grounds that he was combatting its activities.
  • WALTER S. STEELE: editor of the National Republic, a pro-Coughlin magazine; and one of the American sponsors of a book entitled Communism in Germany, which was the first official Nazi propaganda document to be distributed in the United States and which was prefaced with a quotation from Adolf Hitler.
These persons have not appeared before the Un-American Activities Committee as the accused. They have been the accusers. Under the pretext of-exposing ''Communist activities" in the United States, and protected by congressional immunity against libel action, they have vilified outstanding American liberals, slandered progressive organizations, and calumniated the organized labor movement. The torrent of character assassination and abuse which has flowed from their lips has filled dozens of volumes published by the Government Printing Office and been widely quoted in the press of the nation.
None of the groups or individuals thus publicly insulted and denounced have had the opportunity to confront their defamers. The Committee has permitted no cross-examination of its "expert witnesses."
"We can say anything we please about people and they have no recourse," declared Representative John J. Dempsey when he was a member of the Committee.
Simultaneously, under the supervision of "investigators" like Edward F. Sullivan, J.B. Matthews and Robert E. Stripling, a nation-wide espionage apparatus of secret agents has been maintained by the Un-American Activities Committee to spy upon American citizens, plant dictaphones, seize private records and compile extensive blacklists of liberals, anti-fascists and active trade unionists.
According to the Committee's own claim, its files today contain the names of "more than one million subversive Americans."4
"And how did they get those names?" said Representative John J. Cochran of Missouri in January 1945. "They confiscated mailing lists of so-called subversive organizations.... Undoubtedly my name is on the list, and so is yours."

On May 23, 1945, after learning that his name was included on the Committee's blacklists, Professor Clyde R. Miller of Teachers College, Columbia University, paid a visit to the Committee's office in Washington, D.C.
Professor Miller asked why the Committee had listed him as a "dangerous American."
A Committee investigator named Chester Nickolas told the professor that, according to the Committee's records, he had been a member of several organizations combatting anti-Semitism. "You're just a college professor," said Nickolas. "You should know, Professor, that all these groups fighting anti-Semitism are Communist transmission belts."
Then Investigator Nickolas added:
"You better go back and tell your Jewish friends that the Jews in Germany stuck their necks out too far and Hitler took care of them, and the same thing is going to happen here unless they watch their step...."

3. "The Key to the Back Door"

AMONG those congressmen who originally advocated the establishment of the Un-American Activities Committee was Representative Samuel Dickstein of New York. Like many others, Congressman Dickstein assumed that the Committee would investigate fascist propaganda and intrigue in the United States.
But on February 11, 1941, Congressman Dickstein made a startling accusation against the Un-American Activities Committee. Speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives, Dickstein charged:
One hundred and ten fascist organizations in the United States have had, and have now the key to the back door of the Un-American Activities Committee!
One of the organizations Congressman Dickstein undoubtedly had in mind was the Constitutional Educational League.

Of the myriad anti-democratic agencies that sprang up in the United States following the advent of Nazism in Germany, none has carried on more widespread and intensive propaganda activities than the Constitutional Educational League. Since its founding in 1937, an endless stream of anti-New Deal, anti-labor and generally anti-democratic books, pamphlets and leaflets has poured out of the League's headquarters at 342 Madison Avenue, New York City, and its branch offices in New Haven, Connecticut; Madison, Wisconsin; and Birmingham, Alabama. The total number of pieces of literature published by the League, and bought and distributed by fascist groups and reactionary business concerns in every part of the country, has run into the millions. According to the League's Director, Joseph P. Kamp, his organization disposed of 2,200,000 copies of a single booklet entitled Join the CIO - and help get a SOVIET AMERICA.
Much of the League's literature has been written by Joseph Kamp himself. An old hand at this sort of propaganda, Kamp was formerly the editor and publisher of a pro-fascist magazine called The Awakener, which included on its editorial board Lawrence Dennis, self-styled "theoretician" of American fascism.
In July 1942, Kamp's Constitutional Educational League was named in a Federal indictment as an agency which had been used in a conspiracy to "impair and influence the loyalty, morale and discipline of the military and naval forces of the United States."...5
If there is any one accomplishment of the Constitutional Educational League in which Kamp takes the most pride, it is the support his organization has rallied in behalf of the Un-American Activities Committee.
"When . . . the Red elements threatened to halt the Committee," relates Kamp in one of his brochures, "the League began a nation-wide drive in its behalf; secured over 4,000,000 signatures to petitions and deluged Congress with an avalanche of letters and telegrams from aroused patriots."
But there are certain strange and highly significant details about his dealings with the Un-American Activities Committee which Kamp discreetly refrains from mentioning in public.
A secret alliance has long existed between the Constitutional Educational League and the Un-American Activities Committee. In the preparation of his propaganda material, Kamp has had access to the Committee's confidential files. Kamp, in turn, has supplied the Committee with thousands of names of progressive individuals and trade unionists for inclusion in its blacklists. For a time, Kamp's personal secretary, Hazel Hoffman, was working for the Committee in the capacity of a "special investigator."...
Privately, Kamp boasts that he and the Committee "have been playing ball for years."
The intimate working relationship between Joseph P. Kamp and the Un-American Activities Committee is not an exceptional case. The extraordinary fact is that this congressional committee, which was formed supposedly to investigate and expose subversive activities, has consistently befriended, protected and collaborated with the most sinister subversive elements in the United States.
In the crucial years immediately preceding Pearl Harbor, when a far-flung network of Axis-directed fifth column organizations was feverishly endeavoring to undermine American morale and hamstring U.S. defense preparations, the Un-American Activities Committee not only failed to combat these machinations; it actually worked in collusion with German and Japanese agents and their American fifth column accomplices.
One of the largest and most menacing of the pre-war fifth column organizations in America was the Christian Front. Its members, operating under the supervision of Nazi agents, ran into the tens of thousands; its secret stormtroop cells were armed and drilling in every major city; and its leader, Father Charles E. Coughlin, by means of his radio program and his publication, Social Justice, was disseminating copious quantities of propaganda received directly from the Nazi Propaganda Ministry.
The Un-American Activities Committee never investigated Father Coughlin and his vast fifth column apparatus. On the contrary, a secret understanding existed between the Committee and the pro-Nazi priest, who periodically provided Chairman Martin Dies with lists of "Communists" and various propaganda material.
In 1939, Father Coughlin issued these instructions to his storm-troopers:

In your appreciation of the work accomplished by Dies, employ some of your leisure moments to write him a letter of encouragement. In fact, a million letters brought to his desk would be an answer to those who are bent on destroying him and the legislative body he represents.
Paid Nazi agents operating in the United States shared Coughlin's enthusiasm for the work accomplished by the Un-American Activities Committee. On December 8, 1939, the German-American Bund leader, Fritz Kuhn, accompanied by the German spy, James Wheeler Hill, attended a banquet in New York City at which Martin Dies was the guest of honor. Newspapermen asked the head of the Bund what he thought of the Un-American Activities Committee. "I am in favor of it being appointed again," Kuhn replied, "and I wish them to get more money."
Here are other typical comments by leading fifth columnists or fascist propagandists on the work of the Un-American Activities Committee:
"I have the highest respect for the Committee and sympathize with its program."
-GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK, Nazi agent, sentenced on February 21, 1942, to serve eight months to two years in prison.

"I founded the Silver Legion in 1933 ... to propagandize exactly the same principles."
-WILLIAM DUDLEY PELLEY, former head of the pro-Nazi Silver Shirts, sentenced on August 13, 1942, to 15 years imprisonment for criminal sedition.

"[The Committee's] program ... so closely parallels the program of the Klan that there is no distinguishable difference between them."
-JAMES COLESCOTT, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

". . . the Committee of One Million carried a petition bearing more than 400,000 names to Washington calling for the continuation of the investigation."
-GERALD L. K. SMITH, ex-Silver Shirter No. 3223, National Chairman of the fascist Committee of One Million.

"There is no way of estimating the value of the public service being these days rendered by the Committee on Un-American Activities of the United States Congress."
-From the September 1946 issue of The Defender, published by Gerald B. Winrod, pro-Axis propagandist named in a Federal indictment in 1942 as having participated in a plot to undermine American morale.
On rare occasions, reacting to public pressure, the Un-American Activities Committee has made a pretense of investigating fascist intrigue in the United States. At such times, those fifth column leaders summoned to Washington by the Committee for questioning have been treated with marked deference and permitted to use the hearings as a means of promoting their fascist propaganda.
In the words of George Deatherage, the former head of the pro-Nazi American Nationalist Federation, who was an American delegate to the World Congress of Nazi propagandists held in Erfurt, Germany, in 1937-1938:
Every time I am called before the Committee, it is the best publicity I can get, and then my mail just buries me.6
Throughout the war, the Un-American Activities Committee carried on a continuous propaganda campaign which closely paralleled that of the Axis, violently attacking the Roosevelt Administration, charging that U.S. Government agencies were riddled with "Reds," and denouncing America's fighting allies. These charges were repeatedly picked up and repeated by the Axis Propaganda Ministries. A report made by the Federal Communications Commission on Axis short-wave broadcasts to this hemisphere stated: "Representative Dies received as many favorable references in Axis propaganda to this country as any living American public figure. His opinions were quoted by the Axis without criticism at any time."
So insidious were the Committee's wartime propaganda activities that Vice-President Henry A. Wallace told the American people:
If we were at peace, these tactics might be overlooked as a product of a witchcraft mind. We are not at peace, however. We are at war, and the doubts and anger which this and similar statements of Mr. Dies tend to arouse in the public mind might as well come from Goebbels himself so far as their practical effect is concerned. As a matter of fact the effect on our morale would be much less damaging if Mr. Dies were on the Hitler payroll....
In the autumn of 1944, the end of the Committee appeared to be finally at hand. On every side, there was increasing evidence that the vast majority of the American people were fed up with the Committee's disruptive and defeatist activities. Chairman Martin Dies announced he would not seek re-election, and three Committee members were crushingly defeated at the polls. It was generally believed that the Committee was about to be disbanded by Congress.
But on January 3, 1945, during the first hour of the opening session of the 79th Congress, a surprise bill was passed by a vote of 207-186 converting the Un-American Activities Committee into a permanent congressional body.
The Congressman responsible for this legislative coup was Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi.

4. The Red Menace

ON April 6, 1944, a delegation composed of veterans of World War I and World War II delivered to the Washington offices of Representative John E. Rankin a medal shaped in the form of a swastika "as a token of contempt for his leadership in depriving U.S. servicemen of the right to vote in 1944."
One member of the delegation, a former Navy gunner's mate who had been wounded in the South Pacific and had won a Presidential citation, told newspapermen: "The things we go through in war have to be taken. But we don't have to take Rankin who stabbed the servicemen in the back while they were out fighting."
This attitude toward the wizened, sharp-faced Congressman from Mississippi7 was not universally shared. Among pro-Axis, anti-Semitic and anti-labor elements in the United States, Representative Rankin had a large, ardent following. No other member of Congress was so frequently and enthusiastically quoted by American fifth columnists.
"The international financiers, largely international Jews," Rankin declared in a typical wartime speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, "own or control the gold supply of the world.... They are now crucifying civilization on a cross of gold.... The world is now reaping what they sowed - a whirlwind of destruction."
Such utterances by Rankin were not unappreciated by the Axis Propaganda Ministries. "Congressman Rankin," commented the official Nazi propaganda bulletin, Welt-Dienst (World Service), "is an outstanding American!"

As soon as he had secured the establishment of the Un-American Activities Committee as a permanent congressional body, and had himself been appointed a Committee member, Rankin hastened to proclaim his intention of continuing the policies of Martin Dies. "I took up this fight where he left off," stressed Rankin in a radio address on January 16, 1945.
Nominally, the chairman of the new Committee was Representative Edward J. Hart. The actual head of the Committee, however, was Rankin.8
Under Rankin's leadership, in the months following V-J Day, the Committee launched an all-out propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union and Moscow's "Communist fifth column" in the United States. In an incessant stream of lurid press releases, "official reports," and public statements by its members, the Committee proclaimed that "Soviet imperialism" was plotting world domination and that a Kremlin-directed network of saboteurs and atom bomb spies honeycombed the United States. Professional anti-Soviet propagandists, Communist renegades, fascists and other inveterate enemies of the Soviet Union appeared as "expert witnesses" at Committee hearings and told hair-raising tales of Soviet war preparations against America.
Typical of the "authoritative" testimony at the Committee's hearings was that given by the anti-Soviet ex-diplomat, William C. Bullitt. Here are excerpts from Bullitt's testimony:

RANKIN:Is it true that they eat human bodies there in Russia?
BULLITT:I did see a picture of a skeleton of a child eaten by its parents.
RANKIN:Then they're just like human slaves in Russia?
BULLITT: There are more human slaves in Russia than ever existed anywhere in the world.
RANKIN:You said before that sixty per cent of the Communist Party here are aliens. Now what percentage of these aliens are Jews? ... Is it true, Mr. Bullitt, that the Communists went into the southern states and picked up niggers and sent them to Moscow to study revolution? Are you aware they teach niggers to blow up bridges?

There was nothing new in the fantastic tales told by Bullitt and other Committee witnesses. Since 1938 these tales had been the regular stock in trade of the Un-American Activities Committee.9 But now they were presented to the American people by the nation's press and radio as news of momentous importance, and were even cited by high-ranking Government officials as data vitally affecting America's domestic and foreign policies.
For if the "findings" of the Committee had not changed, the political atmosphere in the United States, following the death of President Roosevelt, had undergone a profound metamorphosis. War hysteria was rampant in the land, the New Deal was a thing of the past; and an intensive nation-wide assault was being made on the political, economic and civil rights of the American people, under the pretext of protecting the nation against Communism and "Soviet aggression" ...
In the winter of 1946, with war talk and witchhunts mounting on every side, newspapers throughout the United States headlined the sensational news that the Un-American Activities Committee had tracked down and was summoning to Washington for questioning "the key Kremlin agent in America." According to statements released to the press by the Committee, the entire American Communist Party took its orders from this "No. 1 Soviet Commissar," who was "the most dangerous man in America" and, in addition to everything else, the brains of an "atom bomb spy ring." His name was Gerhart Eisler.
An anti-fascist refugee and former German Communist journalist, who had fought with the International Brigade against Franco in Spain and been confined in a French concentration camp by the Vichy Government, Gerhart Eisler had resided in the United States since 1941.10 He had been about to return to Germany in October 1946 when, at the instigation of the Un-American Activities Committee, his exit visa was cancelled by the U.S. Immigration authorities and he was detained for questioning by the Committee.
On February 6, 1947, after weeks of elaborate advance publicity, Eisler appeared before the Committee. A quiet-spoken but mettlesome little man, Eisler indignantly declared that he was "not a spy, not a foreign agent, not the boss of all the Reds" and that he was being unlawfully held as a "political prisoner." He asked permission to read a brief statement before being sworn in to testify. When Representative J. Parnell Thomas, the new chairman of the Committee, angrily denied the request, Eisler refused to testify. He was led from the hearing room by Department of Justice agents, to be taken back to Ellis Island, where he was being detained.
Describing the ensuing proceedings at the Committee hearing, Anthony Leviero wrote in the New York Times:

The House Committee on Un-American Activities "threw the book" ... at Gerhart Eisler, reputed Soviet mastermind in the United States, charging him with conspiracy to overthrow the Government, contempt of Congress, perjury, income tax evasion and falsification of passport.
The charges were based largely on the testimony of three witnesses. One of them was a man by the name of William O. Nowell, who had periodically appeared before the Committee as an "expert witness." A renegade Communist, and former labor spy, Nowell had served for a time as a confidential adviser to the fascist leader, Gerald L. K. Smith. He was now a derelict. His manner provided a measure of his credibility. "Nowell is a man with a voice that scarcely can be heard," wrote Leviero in the Times. "To control his trembling hands, he clasped them or pressed them to his temples or on the witness table."
The two other chief witnesses were Louis Budenz, a renegade Communist whose widely publicized red-baiting utterances had included the first denunciation of Eisler as a "Kremlin agent"11; and Ruth Fischer, an international adventuress and notorious anti-Soviet propagandist ...
By February 1948, one year after his appearance before the Un-American Activities Committee, not a shred of evidence had been produced to prove that Gerhart Eisler was a Soviet spy or that he had conspired against the U.S. Government. The only "crimes" of which he had been found guilty were contempt of Congress, because of his conduct before the Committee, and a minor technical infringement of passport regulations. But from the first the Committee had not been primarily concerned with proving its sensational charges against Eisler. Its real objectives were far more ambitious. As thirty outstanding American citizens, including Thomas Mann, Dr. Sherwood Eddy, Carey McWilliams and Bishop Arthur W. Moulton, warned in a public statement condemning "the shameful persecution of the anti-fascist refugee, Gerhart Eisler":
The hysterical atmosphere contrived around this case ... indicates that it is intended as the initial phase of a sweeping attack upon the labor and progressive movement in the United States.

5. Major Offensive

BEHIND the facade of investigating "Soviet plots" and "Communist intrigue," the Un-American Activities Committee conducted a steadily broadening offensive during 1946-1947 against the democratic institutions and constitutional rights of the American people. Scarcely any phase of public life was overlooked in what the New York Times described as the Committee's "ambitious program of investigations covering 'Communist' activities in many enterprises, including labor unions, education, and motion pictures and ... in the Federal Government."
Every conceivable propaganda device was employed to incite public hostility against trade unions and to discredit labor leaders. Committee members and investigators hurried to the scenes of important strikes, staged brief impromptu "investigations," and issued statements invariably branding the strikes as "Communist-inspired." On July 7, 1946, the Committee released a report stating that "the Communistic element . . . has been throttling the labor movement and causing mass strikes and resultant unemployment." On December 26, 1946, the Committee's chief counsel, Ernie Adamson, charged that CIO unions were "dominated by the USSR" and that "Communist-led unions" had "gained control of the Canal Zone." In countless other reports and press releases, and through the carefully prompted testimony at its hearings of labor spies, reactionary employers and professional labor-baiters, the Committee sedulously promoted on a nation-wide scale the canard that the American labor movement was controlled by "Communist agents" who were "taking orders from Moscow."
This incessant barrage of anti-labor propaganda was not without its effect. In June 1947, when the Taft-Hartley Bill became law and at one ruthless stroke wiped out a decade and a half of hard-won labor gains, it was generally recognized that the Un-American Activities Committee had done much to bring about this unprecedently harsh anti-labor legislation. One section of the Bill, in particular, was regarded as the achievement of the Committee. As the Civil Rights Congress stated in an analysis of the Bill:
The clause permitting employers to refuse to deal with unions whose officials fail to file a sworn statement that they are not "Communists" is a specific product of the Committee.
While carrying on its anti-labor propaganda campaign, the Committee was simultaneously "investigating" a wide variety of humanitarian, progressive and anti-fascist organizations, with the objective of undermining their reputation and crippling their efficacy. These were some of the organizations whose work was characterized by the Committee as "subversive":
  • Civil Rights Congress
  • Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee
  • Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions
  • National Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism
  • National Council of American-Soviet Friendship
  • Unitarian Service Committee
  • Veterans Against Discrimination12
The tactics employed against the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee were typical. They represented, in the words of Albert Deutsch of PM "not an investigation, but an inquisition."
Since 1942, the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee had been engaged in raising funds and medical supplies, and maintaining hospitals and orphanages, to aid anti-fascist refugees abroad, particularly Spanish Republicans who had emigrated to France and Mexico after Franco's fascist regime came into power in Spain. Most of the Refugee Committee's relief work overseas was supervised by Quaker and Unitarian welfare agencies. During the war years the Refugee Committee operated under a license granted by the President's War Relief Control Board.
Early in 1946 the Un-American Activities Committee, whose members had been consistently sympathetic toward the fascist Spanish Government, denounced the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee as a "Communist-front organization," called for the registration of its officers and sponsors as "foreign agents," and demanded that the relief agency surrender all of its books and records. The Executive Secretary of the Refugee Committee refused to comply with this demand, pointing out in a public statement that the Un-American Activities Committee had no authority to probe into the affairs of a bona-fide relief agency; and that the lives of many anti-fascist Spaniards and their families, who had received aid from the Refugee Committee and later returned to Spain, would be endangered if their names were in the hands of this congressional committee.
For this action, the Chairman of the Refugee Committee, its Executive Secretary, and the sixteen members of its executive board were cited for contempt of Congress, tried and found guilty in Federal Court, and, on January 16, 1947, sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to six months and fines of $500 each. Among those sentenced were Dr. Edward K. Barsky, eminent surgeon and Chairman of the Refugee Committee; Dr. Lyman R. Bradley, Professor of Teutonic languages and department head at New York University; and Howard Fast, the internationally known author of Citizen Tom Paine, Freedom Road and other outstanding historical novels....
These events represented an important landmark in the career of the Un-American Activities Committee.
In the past, as it was not empowered to take punitive action against the organizations or individuals it investigated, the Committee had relied chiefly upon blacklists and defamatory propaganda for the purposes of harassment and intimidation. Now, in the congressional contempt citation, the Committee had discovered a cogent new weapon which made possible the imprisonment of those Americans who refused to be cowed by its threats or to bow down to its dictates.
It was a weapon the Committee would employ with increasing frequency in the future.13
Every phase of the Committee's intensive anti-democratic campaign was marked by one salient common feature: the attempt to stifle-freedom of expression among the American people. Nowhere was this underlying objective more apparent than in the measures taken by the Committee in the field of public communication ...
As early as October 1945, the Committee demanded and received from broadcasting companies some seventy-five scripts of radio commentators. The motive behind the Committee's action was clear. In the blunt words of Representative Hugh DeLacy of Washington:
... the commentators whose scripts are sent for are plainly warned that they are under Government surveillance ... that in the future they must carefully lean toward the thoughts of those controlling the Un-American Activities Committee. The radio stations and sponsors of programs, who are in business to make money, are thus put on warning that if they wish to stay out of the center of the smear controversy, they had better get other commentators.
Within a few months after the Committee had taken this action, Johannes Steel, Hans Jacob, William Gailmor, Cecil Brown, and other progressive radio news commentators had been dropped by their sponsors and were off the air.
In March 1946, following the appearance in the New York Times of an advertisement sponsored by the Citizens United to Abolish the Wood-Rankin Committee, representatives of the agency which had placed the advertisement and of the Times advertising department were subpoenaed to appear before the Committee. Commenting on the implications of this incident, Editor and Publisher stated editorially:
Investigation by this committee of opinion expressed in paid advertising copy, particularly the subpoena of the agency and the newspaper, amounts to intimidation.... It is an attempt to control thought. If, through such methods, a branch of Congress can label such opinion "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong," it need not go much further to do the same thing with the now free editorial expressions in our newspapers.... If the committee persists in this practice we believe Congress should investigate the investigators to uncover their motives.
In January 1947 the Committee recommended to Congress the passage of legislation forbidding second-class mailing privileges to foreign-language newspapers which failed to publish full English translations in columns adjoining the foreign language text.
"By the simple expedient of imposing this intolerable economic burden on foreign-language newspaper publishers," stated a pamphlet published by the Civil Rights Congress, "the Committee would wipe out of existence virtually every such paper in the United States."
But the most overt and brazen of the Committee's attacks on freedom of expression in the United States was to be directed against the motion picture industry.

6. Hollywood on the Hill

ON May 8, 1947, a sub-committee of the Un-American Activities Committee headed by Representative J. Parnell Thomas arrived in Hollywood to conduct a preliminary inquiry into "subversive activities" in the motion picture industry. A few days-later, after holding brief hearings behind closed doors in the Biltmore Hotel, Representative Thomas dramatically announced that his Committee had uncovered conclusive. proof that the Roosevelt Administration had compelled "patriotic" movie stars against their will to act in "pro-Russian films," and that Hollywood had become a "Red propaganda center" where "Communists have succeeded in preventing good American pictures which sought to glorify America . . . from being made."14
According to Thomas, the Committee had thus far only scratched the surface of this horrendous situation, and an "exhaustive investigation" was under way. As soon as it was completed, said Thomas, the Committee intended to hold a public hearing, at which such startling revelations would take place that the whole nation would be shocked....
After weeks of lurid advance publicity, the Committee's public hearing on Hollywood opened on October 20 in the caucus room of the old House Office Building in Washington, D. C. Two groups of witnesses had been subpoenaed. One was composed of "friendly witnesses," mostly famous film stars, through whose "expert" testimony the Committee intended to reveal the extent to which Communists had subverted the motion picture industry. The "unfriendly witnesses" consisted of nineteen screen writers, actors and directors, who, according to the Committee, were leading figures in the "subversive movement" in Hollywood.
Among the "unfriendly witnesses" were Albert Maltz, author of such novels as The Cross and the Arrow and winner of the 1938 O. Henry Memorial Award; John Howard Lawson, author of such plays as Processional and well-known scholar and historian, Dalton Trumbo, author of the novel, Johnny Got His Gun; Samuel Ornitz, author of Haunch, Paunch and Jowl; and Ring Lardner, Jr. The motion pictures upon which these writers had worked included such outstanding films as Pride of the Marines, Destination Tokyo, Action in the North Atlantic, Brotherhood of Man and The House I Live In. Two other "unfriendly witness" were Adrian Scott and Edward Dmytryk, respectively producer and director of the widely acclaimed film, Crossfire.
From the outset, the hearing assumed the character of a fantastic extravaganza. A battery of newsreel cameras with sound equipment recorded every gesture and word of the witnesses and Committee members. Special provisions had been made for television and radio coverage. The newspapermen sitting in the front rows of the packed caucus room wore dark glasses to protect their eyes from the blazing klieg lights and constantly popping camera bulbs of the news photographers. Periodically, Chairman Thomas delayed or interrupted the proceedings to enable cameramen to secure the best possible pictures . . .
Here is how Ruth Montgomery of the New York Daily News described the testimony of one of the Committee's key witnesses, Robert Taylor:
More than 1,000 shoving, sighing women today mobbed the House caucus room to see film star Robert Taylor. The hearing room was jammed to capacity, with hundreds of curious lining the halls outside. A 65-year-old woman, scrambling on a radiator for a better look at the screen star, fell and struck her head. The clothes of others were torn in the mad scramble to the door.... Wild applause frequently punctuated Taylor's testimony.
Adopting a stern expression, with his head carefully cocked at the proper angle for the photographers, Taylor solemnly declaimed: "I personally believe the Communist Party should be outlawed. If I had my way, they'd all be sent back to Russia."
Taylor was asked to name some of the Communists who were active in the motion picture industry. He mentioned the names of two actors. "They're the only two I can think of at the moment," he said. He paused, then added, hesitantly, "I don't know whether they're Communists."
Another key witness was the former cowboy, Gary Cooper. Speaking in a slow drawl, and using coy facial mannerisms familiar to millions of movie-goers, Cooper declared that he had frequently encountered Communist propaganda in motion picture scripts that had been submitted to him. "I have turned down quite a few scripts," he said with emphasis, "because I thought they were tinged with Communist ideas.
"Can you name any of those scripts?" asked the Committee's chief investigator, Robert E. Stripling.
Cooper's forehead wrinkled thoughtfully. "No, I can't recall any of those scripts to mind."
"Just a minute, Mr. Cooper," interposed Chairman Thomas, "you can't have that bad a memory. You must be able to remember some of those scripts you turned down because you thought they were Communist scripts."
"Well," replied Cooper, "I can't actually give the title to any of them, no."
Trying to make the best of a difficult situation, Chairman Thomas hurriedly said, "Will you think it over, and supply the Committee with a list of these scripts?"
Cooper failed to take the hint. He shook his head ruefully. "I don't think I could," he said, "because most of the scripts I read at night . . ."
The dapper, professionally suave Adolf Menjou pointed out that he was especially well qualified to testify regarding "Communist propaganda devices" in motion pictures since he had made an extensive study of Marxism. He had begun this study, he explained, "as a doughboy of the Fifth Division in World War I" when he was "stationed in the birthplace of Karl Marx in Germany." He had, moreover, read 350 books on Russia, "spent a year in Europe, and talked to a lot of Russians." Asked how he identified Communists, Menjou explained, "A Communist is anyone who attends any meeting at which Paul Robeson appears - and applauds."
Freely interspersed with the inanities of these and other "friendly witnesses" were defamatory attacks upon well-known progressive writers, actors and directors in Hollywood and malicious, wholly unsubstantiated charges against the trade union movement in the motion picture industry. . .
After five days of this nonsense, gossip, rumor, innuendo and calumny, all of which was bruited throughout the land by newspapers, broadcasts and newsreels, no evidence had been produced of Communist propaganda in the film industry. "Of course," wrote William Walton in the New Republic, "no dissenting voice was heard. No cross-examination was permitted. No accused persons were allowed to confront their smearers. Witnesses bandied the names of various well-known writers, directors and producers as Communists. Sensation-hungry newspapers had their headlines. J. Parnell Thomas had his publicity."
When the first of the "unfriendly witnesses," the distinguished playwright and screen writer, John Howard Lawson, took the stand on October 27, the atmosphere at the hearings abruptly changed. In questioning the previous witnesses, Chairman Thomas and the other Committee members had maintained a deferential, sychophantic manner. Now they suddenly became insolent, overbearing, and threatening.
Lawson, who had been repeatedly slandered during the hearing, requested permission to preface his testimony with the reading of a written statement. Curtly, Chairman Thomas denied him the privilege.15
"Are you a member of the Communist Party?" Stripling demanded of Lawson.
"That question," said Lawson, "is a flagrant attempt to invade my primary rights as a preliminary to gaining control of the films, press and other American organs of expression."
Pounding on the table with his gavel, his face purple with anger, Thomas ordered Lawson from the stand . . .
One after another, the "unfriendly witnesses" were forbidden to read statements they had prepared; were aggressively questioned regarding their political and trade union affiliations; and, when they challenged the constitutionality of such questions, were dismissed from the stand and cited for contempt.
One witness, the well-known novelist and screen writer, Albert Maltz, was permitted to read a statement.
"I am an American and I believe there is no more proud word in the vocabulary of man," declared Maltz. "Whatever I am, America has made me. And I, in turn, possess no loyalty as great as the one I have to this land, to the economic and social welfare of its people, to the perpetuation and development of its democratic way of life...."
With the caucus room hushed and attentive, Maltz went on to accuse the Committee of having assembled "an assortment of well-rehearsed witnesses" to accuse him and others of being subversive without allowing those accused "the opportunity that any pickpocket receives in a magistrate's court - the right to cross examine these witnesses, to refute their testimony, to reveal their motives, their history and exactly who they are." This procedure, said Maltz, placed every American in danger, "since if the rights of one citizen can be invaded, then the Constitutional guarantees of every other American have been subverted."
Maltz's statement concluded with these words:
The American people are going to have to choose between the Bill of Rights and the Thomas Committee. They cannot have both. One or the other must be abolished in the immediate future.
Despite every effort to browbeat and intimidate them, the other witnesses, like Lawson and Maltz, refused to be cowed, and vigorously challenged the constitutional right of the Committee to inquire into their political beliefs. "In this country we have the secret ballot and how a man votes is his own affair," stated Alvah Bessie, author of the screen play, Objective Burma. "General Eisenhower has refused to reveal his political affiliation and what's good enough for him is good enough for me."
Meanwhile, public indignation was mounting on a nation-wide scale against the whole proceedings. Trade unions, civic and fraternal organizations, church groups, and prominent citizens issued statements denouncing the character and conduct of the Committee. Mass protest rallies took place in many cities. Twenty-seven well-known film stars and producers, representing 500 members of a newly-founded organization called the Hollywood Committee for the First Amendment, chartered a plane and flew from California to Washington to protest against the activities of the Committee.
Numerous newspapers carried editorials sharply condemning the Hollywood hearings. "The beliefs of men and women who write for the screen," commented the New York Herald Tribune, "are, like the beliefs of any ordinary men and women, nobody's business but their own as the Bill of Rights mentions. Neither Mr. Thomas nor the Congress is empowered to dictate what Americans shall think."
The Detroit Free Press stated:
The most un-American activity in the United States today is the conduct of the congressional committee on un-American Activities....
No congressional committee that robs men and women of their good names for the sheer sadistic glee of getting headlines should be allowed to exist.... The hypocritically named "Committee on Un-American Activities" should be abolished at the earliest possible moment by the United States Congress.16
Confronted with this rising tide of public condemnation, and thwarted by the outspoken and courageous conduct of the witnesses, the Un-American Activities Committee brought the hearing to a hasty, unexpected conclusion. Previously, Committee members had stated that the proceedings would last for at least three or four weeks. But, on October 30, just ten days after the hearings had opened, having questioned only ten of the nineteen "unfriendly" witnesses, Chairman Thomas abruptly announced that the hearings were indefinitely adjourned.
An important victory had been won by the forces of decency and democracy in the United States.
The victory, however, was not unqualified.
On November 25, following a two-day meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, fifty executives of the motion picture industry, representing all the major studios and most of the independents, released a statement announcing their decision to refuse employment to Communists and to "discharge or suspend without compensation" those of the ten Hollywood figures cited for contempt of Congress who were then in their employ. It was an action without precedent in American industry.17
The abject submission of the film executives to the blackmail tactics of the Un-American Activities Committee was enthusiastically hailed by Representative Thomas as "a constructive step and a body blow at the Communists."
With marked satisfaction, Thomas stated: "Our hearings and exposures will continue."

7. "Pattern of Suppression"

THE most significant fact about the House Un-American Activities Committee is not that it is continuing, on a greatly intensified scale, and as a permanent congressional body, the conspiracy against American democracy that it initiated ten years ago. The most significant fact about the Committee is that, whereas it was formerly branded as "sordid, flagrantly unfair and un-American"" by President Roosevelt, it now has the open support of key Government agencies, the backing of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and the official endorsement of President Harry S. Truman....
During the Roosevelt Administration, high officials of the Department of Justice repeatedly denounced the outrageous conduct of the Un-American Activities Committee. Today, the Committee is enjoying, in the words of Life magazine, "the hearty cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation"; Representative Thomas and FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover are working in close collaboration, and Attorney-General Thomas Clark has publicly issued an extensive list of "subversive" organizations based to a large extent upon the blacklists of the Un-American Activities Committee.
During the Roosevelt Administration, none of the Committee's propaganda was more sharply condemned by responsible Government officials than its repeated malicious charge of "Communist infiltration" of Federal agencies and its perennial demand for a "purge" of "disloyal Government employees." Today, in accordance with an executive decree issued by President Truman on March 22, 1947, the Government has initiated an elaborate program for the investigation of all Government employees and the dismissal of those who "on reasonable grounds" are found to be "disloyal."18
In his Executive Loyalty Order, covering 2,200,000 persons engaged in Government employment, President Truman lists those agencies to be relied upon for investigating and providing information regarding the loyalty of Government employees. One of the four agencies mentioned by name by Truman is the House Committee on Un-American Activities...
With every day, the policies of the Un-American Activities Committee and those of the Government become more closely identified.
A sober warning of the extent to which American democracy is being undermined by this trend was contained in a letter sent by twenty-two members of the faculty of Yale University Law School on November 26, 1947, to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The letter read in part:
There are alarming signs that persecution for opinion, if not curbed, may reach a point never hitherto attained even in the darkest periods of our history. With it, we may expect racial, religious and every other kind of bigotry which, if it is to run its full course, can loose such a flood of intolerance as utterly to destroy the civil liberties without which no democratic society can survive.
A pattern of suppression is today evolving at the highest levels of the Federal Government. The more alarming aspects of the situation include the President's loyalty order of last spring, the recent "Statement of Security Principles" by the Department of State and the current performance of the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives.... The procedure followed by the Committee and that prescribed by the order and the statement are such as to subject the citizen to intimidation and abuse without redress and to expose the Government worker to loss of reputation and livelihood without the opportunity to defend his honor or his job.
... Under the cloak of congressional immunity or the cloak of anonymity high officials of the national Government are today acting in disregard and in defiance of the American tradition of civil liberties and, in our considered judgment, meet, in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
The twenty-two members of the Yale Law School faculty urged "that the House of Representatives immediately abolish its Committee on Un-American Activities."

To the Reader

NO MATTER who you are or how you earn your living, the probability is that you are directly menaced by the Un-American Activities Committee.
If you are a member of a trade union, you are menaced because of the virulent propaganda spread by the Committee against the organized labor movement and because of the Committee's leading role in bringing about the passage of anti-labor legislation.
If you are a member of any one of America's numerous national minorities, you are menaced because of the Committee's efforts to stir up race hatred and its incessant attacks on organizations seeking to combat discrimination, prejudice and racist propaganda.
If you are a Government employee, you are menaced because should you become involved in any activities of which the Committee disapproves, or be "associated" with any organization the Committee has arbitrarily branded "un-American," your name will be added to the Committee's copious and constantly growing blacklists and submitted to the Loyalty Review Commission, and you will in all likelihood be dismissed from your job as a "disloyal" citizen.
If you are a student, teacher, writer, artist or scientist, you are menaced because of the Committee's systematic and comprehensive campaign to eliminate freedom of expression and make all academic, cultural and scientific institutions subservient to its own anti-democratic criteria.
If you voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and want to see maintained the far-reaching democratic gains which were achieved by the American people under his leadership, you are menaced because the Committee is doing everything within its power to wipe out these gains and has already played an important art in eliminating many of them.
If you are just a plain American who wants peace and believes in the preservation of democracy in this land, you are menaced because no agency in the United States is doing more than the Committee to promote war hysteria, undermine American democracy and subvert the Constitution of the United States.
What, then, can you do to combat the activities of the Committee and help bring them to an end?

As an individual, you can:

  1. Write to your Congressman expressing your disapproval of the Committee and urging him to support the Sabath Resolution, House Resolution 46, calling for the abolition of the Committee
  2. Vote for candidates for the House of Representatives who pledge themselves to combat the activities of the Committee and who promise to work for its dissolution.
  3. Give financial aid to help defray the legal expenses of individuals who have already been victimized by the Committee; to assist organizations which are under attack by the Committee; and to strengthen the work of organizations exposing the character of the Committee and seeking to terminate its activities.19

But important as it is to act as an individual, it is far more important to take collective and organizational action:
  1. The activities of the Committee should be discussed in any organization - labor, fraternal, or religious - of which you are a member; and your organization should pass a resolution calling for the abolition of the Committee, and should bring this resolution to the attention of the members of the House of Representatives.20
  2. Public meetings should be sponsored by single organizations, or groups of organizations acting together, at which the true character of the Committee should be exposed and the audiences urged to take action against the Committee.
  3. Leaflets and other printed material should be widely distributed by organizations, as a means of bringing to the public the facts about the Committee and rallying popular support in demand of its abolition.
  4. Organizations should. give financial aid to those agencies combatting the work of the Committee, as indicated above.
  5. Organizations should urge the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee case and other similar cases for the purpose of determining the constitutionality of the Un-American Activities Committee.

Above all, it must be recognized that the Un-American Activities Committee is not an independent or isolated phenomenon, and that there are forces behind the Committee which are far more powerful and dangerous than the Committee itself.

The Committee today has the support of the overwhelming majority of both the Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the public endorsement of the highest Government officials. Its sordid and sinister practices are part of a nation-wide pattern of mounting war hysteria, frenzied witchhunts, repressive legislation and police measures against the American people. The Committee is a symptom of a malignant disease which threatens to destroy democracy throughout our land.

The fight to secure the abolishment of the Un-American Activities Committee is part of a much broader fight. It is part of the fight to take the destiny of our country out of the hands of the economic royalists who usurped political power following Roosevelt's death, and who are betraying the principles for which Roosevelt stood. It is part of the fight to return the American Government to the American people.

Only one major political movement and only one presidential candidate have taken a stand against the Un-American Activities Committee and the deadly evils it represents. The political movement is the New Party. The Presidential candidate is Henry A. Wallace.

The fight against the Un-American Activities Committee is part of the fight to build the New Party, to elect its candidates to Congress and to elect Henry Wallace as President of the United States.


Additional copies of this pamphlet, with discounts on orders of 100 or more copies, can be obtained from the LITERATURE DIVISION OF THE PROGRESSIVE CITIZENS OF AMERICA, 39 Park Avenue, New York 16, N.Y.
NOTES

1 Among the other speakers at the conference were William Dudley Pelley, chief of the pro-Nazi Silver Shirts, who was to receive a 16-year prison sentence in 1942 for criminal sedition; James True, who was publishing an anti-Semitic bulletin in collaboration with Edward F. Sullivan; and Ernest F. Elmhurst, alias E. F. Fleischkopf, a Bund member and Nazi agent.

2 Immediately after leaving the Committee, Sullivan rejoined the fascist Ukrainian movement and founded the Ukrainian American Educational Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued to cooperate with leading fifth columnists. "July fourth will be a good day for your party," wired Father Charles F. Coughlin, the pro-Nazi priest, regarding an affair which he and Sullivan were arranging together.
Despite his official separation from the Committee, Sullivan remained in close touch with it. On July 27, 1939, Sullivan received a letter from his friend, Harry Jung, a notorious labor spy and anti-Semitic propagandist in Chicago, which read in part:

"One of the Committee investigators has been here for some little while and he has been spending some time with us and we have loaded him up with a lot of startling information. I really hope that the cooperation between our respective offices will be complete, satisfying and reciprocal...."
3 It was under Stripling's supervision that the Committee conducted its widely publicized investigation of subversive activities in Hollywood in the summer and fall of 1947. The sensational stories then featured in the nation's press contained no mention of Stripling's former superior, Edward F. Sullivan. Yet nine years before, in the summer of 1938, Chief Investigator Sullivan had stated: "All phases of radical and Communist activities are rampant among the studios of Hollywood." It was, in fact, this fascist, anti-Semitic propagandist who first advocated an investigation of the motion picture industry by the Un-American Activities Committee.

4 The Committee has consistently refused to offer a definition of what it considers "subversive" or "un-American." In July, 1946, when Representative Clyde Doyle of California wrote the Committee requesting "a copy of' the definition of 'subversive activities' or 'un-American activities' . . . which guides you in your deliberations," the chief counsel of the Committee, Ernie Adamson, replied: "The Committee has adopted no definition of subversive or un-American activities."

5 One of Kamp's closest co-workers on the Constitutional Educational League was a fifth columnist named A. Cloyd Gill.
Gill had played a leading role in organizing the national conference of American anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi propagandists which took place in Asheville, North Carolina, in April 1936 and which included among its chief speakers, Edward F. Sullivan, the first Chief Investigator of the Un-American Activities Committee.
The sources of financial backing for Gill's propaganda activities were a carefully kept secret. The nature of this support was indicated in a fund-raising mission on which Gill dispatched one of his trusted assistants on June 16, 1938. In an affidavit which I subsequently managed to obtain from Gill's assistant, he described his mission in these words:

"On June 16 I was instructed to visit the offices of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce at 500 Fifth Avenue, New York City, and contact a Mr. T. Oto for the purpose of obtaining a $600.00 subscription ... the usual subscription fee for Mr. Oto. ... This I did and received the payment in the form of sixty $10.00 bills. ... I do not know how much Kamp received of the monies paid to Gill by Oto, but I do know that he knew of the transactions and acted as if he were a part and parcel of the deal. ... Similar transactions with foreign governments took place with the German Library of Information, as well as the Italian Library of Information." (The Japanese Chamber of Commerce, and the German and Italian Libraries of Information, served as key Axis propaganda agencies In the United States.)
The close association between Kamp and Gill was abruptly terminated in the spring of 1943. Early in the morning on April 7, Gill was found dead in the offices of the Constitutional Educational League. According to the coroner, he had died of "natural causes."

6 In 1939 The Hour published a series of articles exposing the record and activities of a Russian fascist �migr� named Anastase Vonsiatsky. The Hour revealed that Vonsiatsky was operating in the United States as a secret agent of the German and Japanese Intelligence Services; that he was disseminating pro-Axis propaganda throughout the country; that armed bands of uniformed stormtroopers were drilling on his Connecticut estate, which was also being used as a rendezvous for Axis spies; and that Vonsiatsky, before becoming a resident of the United States, had been a leading member of a gang of ex-Czarist officers in the Crimea which specialized in kidnapping Russian citizens, holding them for ransom and torturing them to death if the money was not forthcoming.
On August 18, 1939, I sent a telegram to the House Committee on Un-American Activities urging its members to "immediately summon for questioning Anastase Vonsiatsky, chief of Russian fascists in the United States." In the telegram I referred to the disclosures that had appeared in The Hour; and by registered mail I sent documentation of the charges to the Committee.
The only answer to my communication was the return receipt from the registered package. No action whatsoever was taken by the Committee against Vonsiatsky.
In the summer of 1941 Vonsiatsky was arrested by Federal authorities, found guilty of violating the Espionage Act and divulging United States military information to the German and Japanese Governments, and sentenced to serve a prison term of five years.
As this is written, Vonsiatsky is once more at large in the United States.

7 Since 1920, Rankin has been consistently elected to office by approximately 4 per cent of the electorate of his Congressional District, in which American citizens who are Negroes are deprived of the right to vote. Widespread illiteracy, extreme poverty and the poll tax are other factors that have helped keep Rankin in Congress.

8 When Representative Hart resigned as chairman in July 1945, and was succeeded by Representative John S. Wood, the change did not affect Rankin's domination of the Committee.

9 In 1940 Martin Dies had published a book summarizing the "findings" of the Un-American Activities Committee. Entitled The Trojan Horse in America: A Report to the Nation, Dies's book was devoted almost entirely to anti-Soviet and anti-New Deal propaganda. While German-American Bundists and Christian Fronters were staging pro-Nazi mass demonstrations throughout the country, Congressman Dies declared that "Moscow agents" had already begun "the Soviet invasion of the United States," and pictured Stalin "at the head of 160 divisions of uniformed troops" marching through the streets of American cities. Typical of Dies's comments on the Roosevelt Administration were such statements as these: "The First Lady of the Land has been one of the most valuable assets which the Trojan Horse organizations of the Communist Party have possessed"; "Stalin baited his hook with a 'progressive' worm, and the New Deal suckers swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker"; and "Following the lead of the White House, cabinet officers have done their part to add to the influence of some of the Communist Trojan Horses."

10 Eisler had been en route to Mexico in 1941, at the invitation of the Mexican Government; but because of U.S. wartime emergency regulations, his transit visa was changed to a visitor's visa and he was required to remain in the United States.

11 On September 12, 1947, Louis Budenz appeared as a Government witness in the deportation proceedings against John Santo, one of the founders of the Transport Workers Union. When accused by Santo's lawyer, Harry Sacher, of having been a bigamist and having practiced "white slavery," Budenz refused to answer twenty-two consecutive questions on the grounds that he might "incriminate" himself.

12 On January 29, 1946, Ernie Adamson, the Committee's chief counsel, wrote a letter to the Veterans Against Discrimination critically noting that pamphlets and other literature distributed by this organization "refer to democracy several times." Adamson added: "I wonder if you are sufficiently familiar with the history of the United States to be aware that this country was not organized as a democracy."
On February 11, 1946, in a letter to Drew Pearson, Adamson rebuked the radio commentator for using the phrase, "make democracy work."
An official report issued by the Un-American Activities Committee on January 2, 1947, contained this statement: "Real democracy . . . has never worked as a national form of government."

13 On March 18, 1948, Leon Josephson began serving a one-year prison sentence imposed by the Federal District Court in New York, which had convicted him of contempt of Congress for his refusal to testify before a subcommittee of the Un-American Activities Committee. A Communist lawyer and former anti-Nazi underground fighter in Germany, Josephson had challenged the constitutionality of the Committee.
Other persons indicted, at the instigation of the Committee, on charges of contempt of Congress include George Marshall, chairman of the Civil Rights Congress; Reverend Richard Morford, executive director of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship: Eugene Dennis, general secretary of the American Communist Party; and the ten Hollywood writers, actors and directors referred to in Part 6 of this pamphlet.

14 Before and during World War II, the myth that the American film Industry was controlled by Communists and Jews was assiduously cultivated by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. On January 12, 1940, a typical Issue of the Nazi propaganda bulletin, Welt-Dienst (World-Service), was devoted to the subject "Judaized Hollywood," and contained a lengthy list of motion picture executives, screen writers and film stars who were described as "Jew-communists" who "dominated" the motion picture industry.
As part of this propaganda campaign, paid Nazi agents and their fifth column aides In America repeatedly demanded "investigations" of Hollywood. Fritz Kuhn, Fuehrer of the German American Bund, publicly called for "a probe Into Jewish Hollywood" and the "thorough cleansing of the film industry of all alien, subversive elements." The pro-Nazi propagandist, William Dudley Pelley, printed frequent articles in his Sliver Shirt magazine, Liberation, urging a "purge of Jews and Communists In Hollywood." Father Coughlin regularly featured similar attacks on the motion picture industry In the pages of Social Justice.
On July 3, 1945 the fascist propagandist, Gerald D. K. Smith, mailed to his followers a special message which read in part:

"You have, of course, seen the newspaper accounts of the plan to investigate the traitors of Hollywood who are attempting to use the great film industry to undermine our American government. Be sure to write a letter to Congressman John E. Rankin, House Office Building, Washington, D. C., congratulating him and his committee on this planned investigation.... Mr. Rankin Is a great Christian and a great American."
In 1947 those former officials of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry who were still alive must have felt a certain nostalgic satisfaction and pride in the investigation of Hollywood then being conducted by the Un-American Activities Committee.

15 When Gerald L. X. Smith, ex-Silver Shirter No. 3223 and notorious fascist leader, appeared before the Committee on January 30, 1946, he was permitted to read a lengthy preliminary statement. Commenting on Smith's testimony, the Des Moines Register stated: "They did not really question him . . . they gave him a national pulpit for his anti-Semitic and fascist ravings."

16 A certain portion of the American press maintained a very different attitude toward the hearings. Hearst newspapers enthusiastically endorsed the action of the Un-American Activities Committee. Life magazine reported regarding the hearings: "It was a rewarding show." Representative Thomas, according to Life's account of the proceedings, "looks and acts Pickwickian, and one could Imagine ... that the bulge In his coat pocket signifies candy for children." (On September 5, 1938, Life magazine had declared that the Committee was willing to accept the testimony of any witness "who cared to come in and call anybody else a red.")

17 The statement of the film executives was drawn up under the legal advice of James F. Byrnes, former Secretary of State.

18 August Raymond Ogden, in his comprehensive dissertation, The Dies Committee, which was published by the Catholic University of America Press in 1943, had this to say about the efforts of the first chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee to bring about an investigation of Government employees: "Dies seemed to be attempting to inaugurate a system whereby a Federal employee could be dismissed without the least opportunity to defend himself..., The least connection with front organizations, even years ago, was considered to have worked permanent corruption for such Federal employees." Ogden concluded his dissertation with the recommendation that the Committee be immediately dissolved.

19 The Civil Rights Congress - 205 East 42nd Street, New York 17. N. Y. - is organizing a nation-wide campaign to rally public demand for the abolishment of the Committee and is raising a $150,000 Bill of Rights Defense Fund.
An organization which has recently been established with the sole purpose of working toward the abolishment of the Un-American Activities Committee is the Committee of One Thousand. Among the initiating sponsors of the Committee are such distinguished Americans as William Rose Benet, Van Wyck Brooks, Olin Dawnes, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Harlow Shapely and Dr. Stephen Wise. Contributions to aid the work of' this organization should be addressed to Committee of One Thousand, 1710 G. Street N. W., Washington 6, D. C.

20 On March 9, 1943, by a roll-call vote of 337 to 37, the members of the House of Representatives voted to give an additional $200,000 to the Un-American Activities Committee for its work this year.


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