Mar 052015
 
Major Baruch Steinberg (1897-1940), chief rabbi of the Polish Army at the start of World War II. Major Steinberg was one of 45 Polish military chaplains among the more than 21,000 Poles murdered at Katyn and elsewhere in April-May 1940. Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=12479

Major Baruch Steinberg (1897-1940), chief rabbi of the Polish Army at the start of World War II. Major Steinberg was one of over 40 Polish military chaplains among the more than 21,000 Poles murdered at Katyn and elsewhere in April-May 1940. Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=12479

In September 1939, Major Baruch Steinberg served as the chief rabbi of the Polish Army. Sadly, few will be surprised to learn that Major Steinberg was brutally murdered in the wake of the German invasion of Poland that month. After all, an estimated 3,000,000 Polish Jews were eventually murdered in the Holocaust. What may come as a surprise is that it was not the Nazis who killed Major Steinberg. Rather, it was the other totalitarian power that invaded Poland in September, 1939, the Soviet Union, that murdered him, along with over 21,000 other Poles over the course of April and May 1940. Today, March 5, marks the 75th anniversary of the document that would send Major Steinberg and the others to their deaths.

On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, in accord with the treaty it negotiated with Nazi Germany the previous month. As a result of its invasion, the USSR gained over half of pre-war Poland, more than 77,000 square miles, as well as over 12 million people. The occupied regions were soon annexed to the neighboring Soviet republics of Ukraine and Belorussia (now Belarus).

In the course of their invasion, the Soviets are estimated to have captured 240,000 Polish troops. While many of the enlisted men were released, over 14,000 Polish officers, along with police, border guards, officials and others, were kept in custody. They were dispatched to three major prison camps: Kozelsk, in western Russia; Starobelsk, in present-day Ukraine; and Ostashkov, northwest of Moscow. The camps were under the control of the Soviet secret police, known then as the NKVD.

For approximately five months, the Polish prisoners were subjected to Soviet propaganda and interrogated on their attitudes toward the USSR while the Soviets considered what to do with them. By early March, the Soviet authorities had come to a decision. On March 5, 1940, Lavrenty Beria, head of the NKVD, sent a memorandum to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin that sealed the fate of the prisoners:

In the USSR NKVD prisoner-of-war camps and prisons of the western regions of Ukraine and Belorussia, there are at present a large number of former officers of the Polish Army, former workers in the Polish police and intelligence organs, members of Polish nationalist c-r parties … and others. They are all sworn enemies of Soviet power, filled with hatred for the Soviet system of government. (Cienciala, p. 118; emphasis added)

According to Beria, there were a total of 14,736 prisoners held in the three camps. Beria recommended that these men (only one was a woman), along with 11,000 Polish prisoners held in NKVD prisons, be dealt with via “the supreme measure of punishment, [execution by] shooting.” (Cienciala, p. 120; emphasis added)

Beria’s recommendation was unanimously approved by Stalin and the Politburo. Beginning on April 3, groups of prisoners from each of the three camps were taken to special NKVD execution facilities and shot. By the time the operation ran its course in late May 1940, the NKVD had killed 14,552 of the Poles held at Kozelsk, Ostashkov, and Starobelsk, along with 7,305 additional victims held in regular NKVD prisons. Major Steinberg, along with over 40 other Polish military chaplains, would be among those murdered. The families of those executed were rounded up by the NKVD and deported to special settlements in Kazakhstan, where many died in difficult conditions.

In April 1943, the Germans discovered the site in the Katyn Forest, near the Russian city of Smolensk, where the Kozelsk prisoners were murdered, and announced the discovery to the world. The Soviets denied the German charges, and declared that the Nazis were responsible for the crime. Not until 1990 did the USSR admit responsibility for murdering the Polish prisoners. While only about 20% of the overall number of victims were killed at Katyn, the entire mass killing has became known as the Katyn Forest Massacre. Despite occasional attempts at reconciliation, Katyn continues to haunt Russo-Polish relations to the present day.

 

1. Sources on Katyn

Cienciala, Anna M., Natalia S. Lebedeva, and Wojciech Materski. Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. (Joyner Stacks D804 .S65 K359 2007)

Fischer, Benjamin B. “The Katyn Controversy: Stalin’s Killing Field.” Studies in Intelligence, Winter 1999-2000. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/winter99-00/art6.html

The Katyn Forest Massacre. Hearings before the Select Committee to Conduct an Investigation of the Facts, Evidence and Circumstances of the Katyn Forest Massacre, Eighty-Second Congress, First[-Second] Session. 7 v., 1952. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. K 15: M 38/)

Paczkowski, Andrzej.”Poland, ‘The Enemy Nation’.” in Stephane Courtois and Mark Kramer (eds.) The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. (Joyner Stacks HX44 .L5913 1999)

Paul, Allen. Katyn: Stalin’s Massacre and the Triumph of Truth. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010. (Joyner Stacks D804 .S65 P378 2010)

Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010. (Joyner Stacks DJK49 .S69 2010)

 

 

Jan 262015
 
Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), widely considered to be the father of the atomic bomb. Suspected of communist ties, his security clearance was revoked in 1954. Source: Breaking Through: A Century of Physics at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/Exhibits/physics/bigscience03.html

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), widely considered to be the father of the atomic bomb. Suspected of communist ties, his security clearance was revoked in 1954. Source: Breaking Through: A Century of Physics at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/Exhibits/physics/bigscience03.html

One of the greatest controversies concerning Cold War internal security measures is the case of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. One of the greatest nuclear physicists of the 20th Century, Oppenheimer was one of the leading scientists involved in the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bomb during World War II. After the war, he remained a key figure in U.S. nuclear research. However, by the early 1950s, suspicions concerning Oppenheimer’s past involvement with the communist party (CPUSA), as well as disagreements with some of his positions on future development of nuclear weapons, led many both within and outside the U.S. government to consider Oppenheimer a security risk.

In December 1953, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission suspended Oppenheimer’s security clearance, thus preventing him from engaging in nuclear research. In April-May 1954, the commission convened a three member personnel security board, which held a series of closed-door hearings to consider the case against Oppenheimer. At the conclusion of the hearings, the board voted two-to-one to permanently remove Oppenheimer’s clearance. In the words of Department of Energy (DOE) historian Terry Fehner, “The board found Oppenheimer loyal and discreet but nevertheless a security risk.” On June 28, the Atomic Energy Commission voted four-to-one to confirm the board’s recommendation and permanently revoke Robert Oppenheimer’s security clearance.

The Oppenheimer case has been a source of great controversy ever since. Almost all historians agree that Oppenheimer had nothing to do with Soviet espionage against the Manhattan Project. Divisions remain, however, on the extent of his involvement with the CPUSA. It is commonly accepted that both Oppenheimer’s wife, and his brother Frank, were CPUSA members. Whether Robert Oppenheimer himself was a party member is still disputed. Many Oppenheimer biographers, such as Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, maintain that he was merely a “fellow traveler” who supported the party and shared many of its causes. John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, however, argue that Oppenheimer was indeed a CPUSA member from 1939-1942, but that he left the party and abandoned communism upon joining the Manhattan Project in 1942.

In June 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission published an unclassified, one volume transcript of the Oppenheimer personnel security board hearings. The rest of the hearings remained classified until very recently. However, in October 2014, the Department of Energy finally published the entire transcript of the hearings, in 19 volumes made available on the DOE website. In an October 11 overview of the newly released transcripts, the New York Times cited the verdict of scholars that the new Oppenheimer material “offers no damning evidence against him, and that the testimony that has been kept secret all these years tends to exonerate him.”

 

The Oppenheimer Hearing Documents:

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: Texts of Principal Documents and Letters of Personnel Security Board, General Manager, Commissioners, Washington, D.C. May 27, 1954 through June 29, 1954 . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office: 1954. (Joyner Hoover:  QC16.O62 U52)

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: Transcript of Hearing Before Personnel Security Board, Washington D.C., April 12, 1954, through May 6, 1954. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office: 1954. (Joyner Docs. CWIS Y 3.AT 7:2 0P 5; also available in Joyner Hoover: QC16.O62 U5 1954)

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. “J. Robert Oppenheimer Personnel Hearings Transcripts.” U.S. Department of Energy, 2014.

 

Other CWIS Documents Related to J. Robert Oppenheimer:

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Radiation Laboratory and Atomic Bomb Project at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif – Vol. I (Including Foreward). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/9/V. 1; also available in Joyner Hoover: HD9698.U52 A5 1949AG V. 1)

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Radiation Laboratory and Atomic Bomb Project at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif – Vol. II (Identification of Scientist X). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/9/V. 2; also available in Joyner Hoover HD9698.U52 A5 1949AG V. 2)

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Radiation Laboratory and Atomic Bomb Project at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif – Volume Three. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, Second Session. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/9/V. 3)

Testimony of Dr. Edward U. Condon. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Second Congress, Second Session. 1952. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 75; circulating copy in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 75)

 

Related Readings:

Bird, Kai and Martin J. Sherwin. American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. (Joyner Stacks: QC16.O62 B57 2005)

Broad, William J. ‘Transcripts Kept Secret for 60 Years Bolster Defense of Oppenheimer’s Loyalty.” New York Times, October 11, 2014.

Fehner, Terry. ‘Unlocking the Mysteries of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Transcript.‘ U.S. Department of Energy, October 3, 2014.

Haynes, John Earl and Harvey Klehr. ‘J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Spy? No. But a Communist Once? Yes.Washington Decoded, February 11, 2012.

Haynes, John Earl, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev. Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. (Joyner Stacks: UB271.R9 H389 2009)

Pais, Abraham and Robert P. Crease. J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (Joyner Stacks: QC16.O62 P35 2006)

Thorpe, Charles. Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. (Joyner Stacks: QC16 O62 T56 2006)

Oct 082014
 

Today at 5:00 PM, in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library is pleased to host our first CWIS guest speaker: Dr. Gregory S. Taylor. Dr. Taylor is Associate Professor of History at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He is the author of The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch: Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch (University Press of Florida, 2014) and of The History of the North Carolina Communist Party (University of South Carolina Press, 2009). Dr. Taylor’s talk is titled “Cold War Pawn: One Man’s Ideological Journey through a Divided World.”

In his remarks, Dr. Taylor will examine the life of Paul Crouch, a North Carolina native and longtime member of the Communist Party (CPUSA), who turned anti-communist informant in the late 1940s. Between 1949-1954, Crouch would testify before a number of congressional committees investigating the CPUSA and its activities, including the House Un-American Activities Committee, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, and Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Much of Crouch’s testimony concerned individuals alleged to be involved in Soviet espionage efforts  against the Manhattan Project (atomic bomb) in the Bay Area of northern California. Some of Crouch’s testimony was eventually discredited, and he died in 1955.

The following is a brief bibliography of CWIS documents containing much of Paul Crouch’s testimony, as well as additional documents referencing him. It is not comprehensive, but highlights some of the major sources featuring Crouch and that informed Dr. Taylor’s research.

 

1. CWIS Documents Containing Testimony by Paul Crouch

Communist Activities among Aliens and National Groups: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-first Congress, First Session, on S. 1832, a bill to amend the Immigration act of October 16, 1918, as amended. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: C 73/2/PT. 1)

Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, Volume 3, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session, 1953. 2003. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/9: S.PRT. 107-84/V. 3)

Hearings Regarding Clarence Hiskey Including Testimony of Paul Crouch. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: H 62)

Security – United Nations. Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session, pursuant to S. Res. 40. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6: Se 2/2)

Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session. 1954. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: So 8)

Subversive Control of Distributive, Processing, and Office Workers of America. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Second Congress, First [-Second] Session. 1952. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: Su 1/6)

Testimony of Paul Crouch. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 88; additional copy in Joyner Hoover: HX89 .A4 1949F)

 

2. CWIS Documents Referencing Paul Crouch

Annual Report of the Committee on Un-American Activities for the Year 1949. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: R 29/949)

-Crouch is referenced on p. 4-5, 7, 10, and 15.

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Radiation Laboratory and Atomic Bomb Project at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif – Vol. II (Identification of Scientist X). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/9/V. 2)

-Crouch is referenced on p. 831.

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Radiation Laboratory and Atomic Bomb Project at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif – Volume Three. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, Second Session. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/9/V. 3)

-Crouch is discussed on p. 3451, 3464-65, 3474, 3477-78, 3480-81, 3483-84, and 3505.

Hearings Regarding Steve Nelson (Including Foreword). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: N 33)

-Crouch is discussed on p. 150-51.

Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States. Hearings Before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-Sixth Congress, Third Session. Volume 3: Executive Hearings. 1941. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/3/V. 3; currently in processing)

-References to Crouch appear on p. 994, 1023, 1032, 1039, 1056, 1276, and 1310.

Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, Volume 1. Hearings Before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-Fifth Congress, Third Session. 1938. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/V. 1)

-Contains references to Crouch (then still a loyal communist) on pages 218, 268, 315, 535, and 595.

Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, Volume 7. Hearings Before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-Sixth Congress, First Session. 1939. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/V. 7-8)

-CPUSA head Earl Browder is asked about Crouch on p. 4396-97. Additional references to Crouch appear on p. 4627, 4769-70, and 4798.

Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, Volume 13. Hearings Before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-Sixth Congress, Third Session. 1940. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/V. 13-14)

-References to Crouch appear on p. 7843, 7845, 7858 , and 7869.

Testimony of James Sterling Murray and Edward Tiers Manning (Regarding Clarence Hiskey and Arthur Adams). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: M 96)

-Crouch is referenced on p. 883.

Testimony of Philip A. Bart, General Manager of Freedom of the Press, Publishers of the Daily Worker, Official Organ of the Communist Party, and Marcel Scherer, Coordinator, New York Labor Conference for Peace, and Formerly District Representative of District 4, United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, CIO. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, Second Session. 1950. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: B 28)

-Scherer is asked if he knows Crouch on p. 2651.

 

 

Sep 292014
 

On October 8 at 5:00 PM, Joyner Library is pleased to host our first CWIS guest speaker: Dr. Gregory S. Taylor. Dr. Taylor is Associate Professor of History at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He is the author of The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch: Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch (University Press of Florida, 2014) and of The History of the North Carolina Communist Party (University of South Carolina Press, 2009). Dr. Taylor’s talk is titled “Cold War Pawn: One Man’s Ideological Journey through a Divided World.” It will provide a fascinating look at one of the most controversial elements of early Cold War American politics, the former communist turned anti-communist informant, by examining the life of one North Carolina native. Please make plans to join us on Wednesday, October 8, at 5:00 PM, in the Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of Joyner Library, to hear Dr. Taylor.

The following is a guest post by Dr. Taylor previewing his presentation:

Nearly everyone is familiar with the global icons of the Cold War.  Names like Stalin, Khrushchev, Castro, Mao, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and McCarthy should be familiar to anyone with a sense of history.  These men played leading roles during some of the tensest and most trying times in modern history.  Whether we revere or revile them, they deserve their places in history.

But powerful political figures cannot act alone; even totalitarian leaders require supporters.  One way politicians garner such support is through an ideology.  By selling a worldview and convincing the masses of its righteousness, leaders can rally the masses by presenting any opposition as a threat.  Even more useful is the creation of ideologues: true ideological believers whose single-minded perspective convinces them that their opponents are not simply wrong, but evil and worthy of destruction.  Leaders on both sides of the Cold War used such ideologues for their own benefit.  I call these figures the Cold War pawns.

Although such pawns were fundamental to the Cold War era, their tales are rarely told as historians tend to ignore them and focus on the elite.  Some pawns, however, have broken through that historical resistance to have their stories told.  Often this is the result of some fantastic event.  Occasionally it is the result of their willingness to switch sides in the ideological struggle.  People like Elizabeth Bentley, Louis Budenz, Whittaker Chambers, J.B. Matthews, and Harvey Matusow have gained such historical relevance for exactly that willingness.  All five served first as Communists only later to turn on their former comrades to serve as anti-Communist informants.

There is one other figure, however, whose impact on the era and standing as a former Communist turned anti-Communist informant may dwarf even the historical significance of these five.  His name is Paul Crouch.  A North Carolina native, Crouch first came to fame in 1924 after being court-martialed for organizing a Communist group while serving in the U.S. military.  After serving three years in Alcatraz for this “crime,” he spent the next seventeen years organizing for the Communist Party of the United States of America.  During that time he studied in the Soviet Union, helped place Communists in the U.S. military, organized unions, oversaw strikes, created reams of propaganda, and attempted to spy on the Manhattan Project.  In 1942 he was expelled from the Party when he raised concerns that it was more focused on propping up the Soviet Union and Party leaders than it was in pushing for a true Communist revolution.

Although disillusioned with Communism, Crouch found life on his own difficult and sought out a new ideological center.  In 1949 he found it when he embarked on a career as an anti-Communist informant for the federal government.  He named names, testified in countless trials, appeared before numerous Congressional hearings, reached out through every media array available, and generally played the part of the loyal anti-Communist.  His efforts helped terrify the nation and propped up McCarthy’s claims that the nation was awash in Communists.  In 1954, however, Crouch was exposed as a liar and was summarily dropped by the federal government.  He died in 1955 a lonely and broken man, abandoned by both sides of the ideological struggle when his services no longer proved useful.

Crouch’s troubled life not only enables us to explore both sides of the Cold War-era ideological battle, it also allows us a unique opportunity to see the use and abuse of ideological pawns.  The reality of such insights makes clear that both American and Soviet leaders acted in remarkably similar ways – they used a worldview to terrify their populace, gathered together true believers to push the cause, took advantage of both the fear and their supporters to increase their own power, and then dumped those individuals when they no longer served a purpose.  Such a perspective may help explain our continuing fascination with the Cold War.

Join us at 5pm on Wednesday October 8 to learn more about Paul Crouch, to examine both sides of the Cold War ideological struggle, and to discuss the use and abuse of Cold War-era pawns.

 

Related Readings:

Budenz, Louis. This is My Story. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947. (Joyner Hoover Collection: BX4668 .B72)

Chambers, Whittaker. Witness. New York: Random House, 1952. (Joyner Stacks: E743.5 .C47; second copy in Joyner Hoover: E743.5 .C47)

Kessler, Lauren. Clever Girl: Elizabeth Bentley, the Spy Who Ushered in the McCarthy Era. New York: Harper Collins, 2003. (Joyner Stacks: HX84.B384 K47 2003)

Lichtman, Robert M. and Ronald D. Cohen. Deadly Farce: Harvey Matusow and the Informer System in the McCarthy Era. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 2004. (Joyner Stacks: E743.5 .M36 L53 2004)

Taylor, Gregory S. The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch : Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2014. (Joyner Stacks: E748.C949 T39 2014)

 

Sep 172014
 

Courtesy of YouTube, Soviet and German forces stage a joint victory parade in the eastern Polish city of Brest, September 23, 1939.

On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland to mark the beginning of the Second World War in Europe. On September 17, 1939, 75 years ago today, the Soviet Union, in alliance with the Germans, invaded Poland from the east. Under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, the Third Reich and USSR agreed to partition eastern Europe between themselves. The Soviets gained control of the eastern half of Poland, plus the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; the regions of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Romania; and parts of Finland obtained as a result of the “Winter War” of November 1939- March 1940.

In all, the Soviet portion of occupied Poland contained over 77,000 square miles of Polish territory, with a population of over 12 million people, constituting over half of pre-war Poland’s land and nearly 40% of its population. All of these lands were annexed to the Soviet Union. The Soviet occupation also exacted a devastating human toll. At least 30,000 Poles were killed in a series of mass executions, most famously the Katyn Forest massacre of April-May 1940. Over half a million other Poles were imprisoned or deported to the Gulag system of forced labor camps or to special settlements in Siberia or central Asia. An estimated 90,000-100,000 Poles died during these deportations. (Paczkowski, Poland, the ‘Enemy Nation’,” 372; Kochanski, The Eagle Unbowed, 137-38)

The period of Nazi-Soviet alliance ended when Hitler invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941. Virtually all of the lands annexed by Stalin under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact were reclaimed by him in the wake of the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Poland was compensated for its territorial losses in the east with lands in the west taken from pre-war Germany. Poland became a Soviet-dominated communist satellite after the war, and would remain so until the fall of the Soviet empire in 1989.

The following is a select bibliography of CWIS documents and other publications concerning the Soviet invasion and occupation of eastern Poland in 1939-41, as well as the re-imposition of Soviet control after World War II. It includes items from the CWIS Collection, Joyner Library’s Federal Documents Collection, and from our general collection. This list is far from comprehensive, and is merely intended to provide an introduction to our relevant holdings and a starting point for research. Please contact David Durant, Federal Documents & Social Sciences Librarian, for further assistance on this topic.

 

1. CWIS Documents on Poland Under Communism

Communist Aggression Investigation: Fourth Interim Report. Hearings before the Select Committee on Communist Aggression, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session, under authority of H. Res. 346 and H. Res. 438Part II, 1954.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. C 73/5: C 73/Pt. 2)

Documentary Testimony of Gen. Izyador Modelski: Former Military Attaché of the Polish Embassy, Washington, D.C.. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: M 72)

Franciszek Jarecki — Flight to Freedom. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: J 28)

International Communism: Revolt in the Satellites: Staff Consultations with Dr. Jan Karski, Mihail Farcasanu, Joseph Lipski, Monsignor Bela Varga, Bela Fabian, Stevan Barankovics, Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, Ferenc Nagy. Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fourth Congress, Second Session. 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: C 73/72)

Investigation of Communist Aggression. Tenth Interim Report of Hearings before the Select Committee on Communist Aggression, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session, under authority of H. Res. 346 and H. Res. 438. Poland, Rumania, and Slovakia. 1954.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. C 73/5: C 73/2)

Investigation of Communist Takeover and Occupation of Poland, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Sixth Interim Report of Hearings before the Subcommittee on Poland, Lithuania, and Slovakia of the Select Committee on Communist Aggression, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session, under authority of H. Res. 346 and H. Res. 438. 1954.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. C 73/5: P 75)

The Katyn Forest Massacre. Hearings before the Select Committee to Conduct an Investigation of the Facts, Evidence and Circumstances of the Katyn Forest Massacre, Eighty-Second Congress, First[-Second] Session. 7 v., 1952. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. K 15: M 38/)

Lest We Forget: A Pictorial Summary of Communism in Action [in] Albania [and other countries]: Consultation with Klaus Samuli Gunnar Romppanen, Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Sixth Congress, Second Session. January 13, 1960. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: C 73/109; additional circulating copy in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/109)

Soviet Espionage Through Poland. Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Sixth Congress, Second Session. Testimony of Pawel Monat. 1960. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: SO 8/10)

Testimony of Dr. Marek Stanislaw Korowicz. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: K 84)

Who Are They? Prepared at the Request of the Committee on Un-American Activities by the Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress. Part 5: Josip Broz Tito and Wladyslaw Gomulka (Yugoslavia-Poland). 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: W 62/Pt. 5)

 

2. Additional Sources

Cienciala, Anna M., Natalia S. Lebedeva, and Wojciech Materski. Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. (Joyner Stacks D804 .S65 K359 2007)

Foreign Relations of the United States: The Soviet Union, 1933-1939. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1952. (Joyner Docs Stacks S 1.1: 933-939)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1941: Volume I: General, The Soviet Union. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1958. (Joyner Docs Stacks S 1.1: 1941, V. 1)

Gross, Jan Tomasz. Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Expanded ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. (Joyner Stacks DK4415 .G76 2002)

Kochanski, Halik. The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. (Joyner Stacks D765 .K5755 2012)

Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941.‘ The Avalon Project. Yale University Law School. (an extensive online compilation of translated German documents, including the full-text of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and all related agreements.)

Paczkowski, Andrzej.”Poland, ‘The Enemy Nation’.” in Stephane Courtois and Mark Kramer (eds.) The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. (Joyner Stacks HX44 .L5913 1999)

Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010. (Joyner Stacks DJK49 .S69 2010)

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “German-Soviet Pact.Holocaust Encyclopedia.

 

 

 

Sep 152014
 
"An East Berlin soldier secures a steel bar to hold the barbed wire atop the Berlin Wall on sector border in Berlin near Friedrichstrasse in Germany on Sept. 30, 1961."(AP Photo) Image and caption via U. S. State Department Diplomacy Center, Voices of U.S Democracy and the Berlin Wall, http://diplomacy.state.gov/berlinwall/www/archive/IMG021.html

“An East Berlin soldier secures a steel bar to hold the barbed wire atop the Berlin Wall on sector border in Berlin near Friedrichstrasse in Germany on Sept. 30, 1961.(AP Photo)” Image and caption via U. S. State Department Diplomacy Center, Voices of U.S Democracy and the Berlin Wall, http://diplomacy.state.gov/berlinwall/www/archive/IMG021.html

This post is in support of the exhibit “25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall”, which will be available in Joyner Library from September 15 until November 15. The exhibit is located on the 1st floor hallway leading to Research & Instructional Services. Dean William Downs and Dr. Jill Twark will present a lecture on “The Berlin Wall:  A Historical and Photographic Exhibit to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of its Fall” at 4:30 PM on Monday, September 15, in Room 2409, Joyner Library.

Erected by the Soviets in 1961 to stem the massive population flow from East Berlin to West Berlin, the Berlin Wall became the embodiment of the Cold War struggle between the U.S.-led west and the Soviet bloc. Ultimately, the wall came to symbolize the failure of Soviet communism to offer a viable alternative to liberal western capitalism. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of the Cold War, the demise of communist East Germany and Soviet hegemony in eastern Europe, and just two years later, the Soviet Union itself. It paved the way for the reunification of Germany and subsequent growth of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union.

The following is a select bibliography of items available in Joyner Library that are relevant to the Berlin Wall and the history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR: the communist East German state that existed from 1949-1990). It includes items from the CWIS Collection, Joyner Library’s Federal Documents Collection, and from our general collection. This list is far from comprehensive, and is merely intended to provide an introduction to our relevant holdings and a starting point for research. Please contact David Durant, Federal Documents & Social Sciences Librarian, for further assistance on this topic.

 

1. CWIS Documents on the GDR and Berlin Wall

An American Prisoner in Communist East Germany. Hearing Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Fifth Congress, Second Session1958. (Joyner Docs CWIS Y 4. J 89/2: P 93/7)

Analysis of the Khrushchev Speech of January 6, 1961.  Hearing Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Seventh Congress, First Session. 1961 (Joyner Docs CWIS Y 4. J 89/2: K 52/3) -June 16, 1961 assessment by scholar Dr. Stefan T. Possony. Includes analysis of Khrushchev’s actions in Berlin just prior to the wall going up.

The Erica Wallach Story. Report by the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, Second Session. 1958. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: W 15) -The account of a woman arrested in the GDR and imprisoned from 1950-1955.

International Communism (Testimony of Ernst Tillich). Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-fourth Congress, Second Session. 1956. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4 Un 1/2: C 73/69) -Testimony regarding current conditions in East Berlin by a West Berlin-based activist.

Soviet Political Agreements and Results: The Words of American Statesmen who Negotiated With Soviet Representatives Since 1959.  Staff Study for the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Volume II. 1964 (Joyner Docs CWIS Y 4. J 89/2: SO 8/6/V. 2) -Contains substantial material on the 1961 Berlin crisis.

Who Are They? Prepared at the request of the Committee on Un-American Activities by the Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress. Part 4: Walter Ulbricht and Janos Kadar. 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: W 62/Pt. 4) -Ulbricht was leader of the GDR from 1950-1973.

 

 

2. Additional Federal Documents on the GDR and Berlin Wall

At Cold War’s End: U.S. Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989-1991. Benjamin B. Fischer (ed.) Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1999.  (Joyner Docs Stacks: PREX 3.2: C 67)

Background: Berlin, City Between Two Worlds. Office of Public Affairs,U.S. Department of State, 1952. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 39)

Background: Berlin, City Between Two Worlds. Rev. ed. Office of Public Affairs,U.S. Department of State, 1960. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 61)

Background: Berlin-1961. Office of Public Services, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 1961. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 64/2)

Berlin Crisis: A Report on the Moscow Discussions, 1948, Including text of a note addressed to the Soviet Government on September 26 by the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. U.S. Department of State, 1948. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 1)

The Berlin Crisis: Report to the Nation by President Kennedy, July 25, 1961. Office of Public Services, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 1961. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 63)

Current Foreign Policy: Berlin, The Four-Power Agreement. Office of Media Services, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 1971. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 73)

East Germany Under Soviet Control. Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 1952. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 34)

Focus, Berlin: USIA in Action: United States Information Agency, 1963. (Joyner Docs Stacks IA 1.2 B 45)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963: The Berlin Crisis, 1962-1963. Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State (Joyner Docs Stacks S 1.1: 1961-63, V. 15)

Grathwol, Robert P. and Donita M. Moorhus. American Forces in Berlin: Cold War Outpost, 1945-1994. U.S. Department of Defense, Legacy Resource Management Program, Cold War Project, 1994. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D 1.2: B 45/2)

The Soviet Note on Berlin: An Analysis. Public Services Division, U.S. Department of State, 1959. (Joyner Docs Stacks: S 1.74: 52)

 

3. Additional Sources

Childs, David and Richard J. Popplewell. The Stasi: The East German Intelligence and Security Service. New York: New York University Press, 1996. (Joyner Stacks DD287.4 .C45 1996)

Engel, Jeffrey A. The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. (Joyner Stacks D860 .F35 2009)

Gelb, Norman. The Berlin Wall: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and a Showdown in the Heart of Europe. New York: Times Books, 1986. (Joyner Stacks DD881 .G45 1986)

Maier, Charles S. Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997. (Joyner Stacks DD289 .M34 1997)

Naimark, Norman M. The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1995. (Joyner Stacks DD285 .N35 1995)

 

 

Sep 082014
 
Henry Wallace (center, 1937 or 38), Progressive Party candidate for president in 1948. Mary Price ran the Wallace campaign in North Carolina as well as conducting her own gubernatorial effort.  Source: Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hec2009010746/

Henry Wallace (center, shown in 1937 or 1938), Progressive Party candidate for president in 1948. Mary Price ran the Wallace campaign in North Carolina as well as conducting her own gubernatorial effort. Source: Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hec2009010746/

 

In the summer of 1948, Mary Wolfe Price made history when she became North Carolina’s first ever female gubernatorial candidate. That same summer, however, Price also dealt with headlines of a much more negative nature. In six appearances before congressional committees, Elizabeth Bentley, a self-confessed former Soviet spy, had identified Price as a secret Communist Party (CPUSA) member who committed espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union.  Price denied the charges, and many historians came to see Bentley’s accusations as a crude McCarthyite effort to silence a voice for progressive social change. Post Cold War archival revelations, however, have forced a reassessment of this view.

 

1. Mary Price

Mary Wolfe Price was born in Madison, NC in 1909, the 10th child of a poor tobacco farmer. Highly intelligent, she overcame her disadvantaged circumstances to attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and graduated in 1930. Price moved to New York in 1933, and in 1939 obtained a job at the New York Herald Tribune as secretary to the renowned columnist Walter Lippmann. She worked for Lippmann until 1943. After spending some time in Mexico, and then working in an executive position for a union, Price returned to North Carolina in the summer of 1945 and helped organize the North Carolina Committee of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW). The SCHW was a strong advocate for labor rights and opponent of segregation. Price became secretary-treasurer of the committee, then executive secretary. At the end of 1947, Price resigned from her position with SCHW in order to help organize the North Carolina chapter of the newly-formed Progressive Party.

The Progressive Party was a left-wing third party created to support the 1948 presidential candidacy of Henry Wallace, Vice-President from 1941-1945, who had been left off of the 1944 ticket in favor of Harry Truman. Wallace and the Progressives ran on a platform of opposition to Wall Street, support for civil rights, and a foreign policy calling for accommodation of the Soviet Union. This led many to charge that the Progressive Party was a “front” organization secretly controlled by the CPUSA, a charge the Progressives vehemently dismissed as “red baiting.” Price played a leading role in creating the Progressive Party’s North Carolina chapter, and was subsequently elected chair. She helped organize the Wallace campaign in North Carolina.

 

 

2. Bentley’s Charges

On July 30, 1948, a woman named Elizabeth Bentley would appear before a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments. Her testimony would prove to be a bombshell. Bentley testified that she had secretly joined the CPUSA in 1935, and had been part of an extensive communist espionage apparatus that had penetrated the US government and furnished information to the NKVD, the Soviet secret police. Bentley’s espionage activities ended when she turned herself into the FBI in November 1945.

At the prompting of North Carolina Senator Clyde Hoey, Bentley stated that she had known Mary Price since about February 1941, that Price was a secret CPUSA member, and that Price had given her information from Walter Lippmann’s files to be passed on to the Soviets. In the next two weeks, Bentley subsequently appeared five times before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where she expanded upon her allegations against a number of individuals, including Mary Price.

While overshadowed by the accusations of Soviet espionage leveled at individuals such as Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, the charges against Price were widely publicized in North Carolina. According to historian Thomas W. Devine, the accusations against Price were actually regarded with skepticism in the North Carolina media, but did provide added fuel to the Progressives’ critics, some of whom were eager to tar any opposition to segregation as being communist-inspired. Price herself fully denied Bentley’s  charges, calling them “fantastic.” She summarized her reaction to the allegations in a 1976 oral history interview:

That’s my memory of it and I fell sure that’s right, because I know that my reaction was that this was a putup job to discredit the Progressive party, when the reporters came to see me in the office in Greensboro, my to my surprise, to tell me about this Elizabeth Bentley before the House Un-American Committee in Washington. She had said that she was an agent of the Soviet Union and she had been assisted by me. She got much publicity, you know. (Interview with Mary Price Adamson, 122)

While Price admitted knowing Elizabeth Bentley, she denied any involvement in espionage or the CPUSA:

I knew her on the basis that I had met her casually in New York as one does, and when she found out that I lived in Washington, and again, as I do, I had a bed in my apartment and said, “Look, if you haven’t got a place to stay, you can sleep over at my apartment.” I just didn’t think about it at all. So, she never asked to sleep there but she would call up and say she was on an expense account and how would I like to have dinner? Well, I just didn’t see anything in it but a casual business. (Interview with Mary Price Adamson, 122-3)

 

3. Price, Bentley, and Venona: Post Cold War Revelations

For many years, scholars tended to take Price’s denials at face value. Historian Mary Frederickson, who conducted the 1976 oral history interview, never asked if the charges were true, asking instead “Did you ever consider suing Bentley for libel?” (Interview with Mary Price Adamson, 125) Similarly, Sayoko Uesugi, in a 2002 article, stated that Bentley’s “charge was absurd.” (Uesugi, “Gender, Race, and the Cold War,” 305)  Starting in 1995, however, revelations from both American and Soviet archives have challenged this verdict and forced historians to reassess the question of Price’s guilt.

In 1995, the National Security Agency released the records of a 1940s program called Venona, which involved intercepting and decoding Soviet intelligence communications between Moscow and NKVD officers in the U.S. Among other revelations, the documents intercepted via Venona have greatly substantiated the truth of Elizabeth Bentley’s 1948 testimony and largely confirmed that those she identified were, in fact, engaged in espionage on behalf of the CPUSA and USSR, including Mary Price. Additional archival confirmation was provided by Russian journalist Alexander Vassiliev, who was briefly permitted to research Soviet intelligence archives in the mid-1990s and recorded extensive summaries of the documents he found.

The materials found in the Venona and Vassiliev files show that Mary Price, along with her sister Mildred, were both secret members of the CPUSA. Mary worked for the NKVD from 1941-1944, passing along information from Lippmann’s files. Lippmann had extensive connections with the highest levels of the U.S. government, and his files contained a great deal of sensitive information that never went into his columns. The NKVD thus greatly valued Price’s work. In addition to her own espionage, Price also recruited Duncan Lee, an officer with the OSS, forerunner of the CIA, as a Soviet source. Price served as his contact and handler, a relationship greatly complicated by the fact that the two had an affair.

The strain of espionage took a toll on Mary Price and was likely one of the main reasons she quit her job with Lippmann. In 1944, she asked CPUSA head Earl Browder to reassign her to “political work,” and her relationship with the NKVD ended. She was likely still a CPUSA member when she ran for governor. In the end, the Progressive Party campaign fared poorly in North Carolina, as it did nationwide. Mary Price eventually moved to California, where she died in 1980.

The case of Mary Price, beyond being a fascinating piece of North Carolina history, also has interesting historiographical implications. It is a good example of how new archival revelations can indeed occasionally overturn established historical interpretations. It also adds context to the longstanding debate between traditionalist and revisionist historians on the nature of the American Communist Party. Traditionalist scholars have emphasized the doctrinaire, conspiratorial nature of the CPUSA, as well as its subservience to the Soviet Union. Revisionists have focused on the genuine commitment of many CPUSA members to labor rights and ending racial discrimination. The life of Mary Price embodies both aspects of the CPUSA and shows the difficulty of disentangling them.

 

CWIS Sources:

Export Policy and Loyalty. Hearings before the Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures, United States Senate, Eightieth Congress, Second Session. Part 1, July 30, 1948. (Not yet part of CWIS Collection: Available in ProQuest Congressional; ECU users only)

Hearings Regarding Communist Espionage in United States Government. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, Second Session. July 31-Sept. 9, 1948. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.Un 1/2:C 73/6)

Report on Southern Conference for Human Welfare. Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, First Session. June 16, 1947. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/RPT. 592)

 

Other Original Sources:

Cold War International History Project: Venona Project and Vassiliev Notebooks Index and Concordance

Documenting the American South: Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976

Wilson Center Digital Archive: Vassiliev Notebooks 

 

Secondary Sources:

Bradley, Mark A. A Very Principled Boy: The Life of Duncan Lee, Red Spy and Cold Warrior. New York: Basic Books, 2014. (On order for Joyner Library)

Devine, Thomas W. Henry Wallace’s 1948 Presidential Campaign and the Future of Postwar Liberalism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. (Joyner Stacks: E748 .W23 D48 2013)

Haynes, John Earl, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev. Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. (Joyner Stacks: UB271.R9 H389 2009)

Olmsted, Kathryn S. Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. (Joyner Stacks:HX84.B384 O45 2002)

Uesugi, Sayoko. “Gender, Race and the Cold War: Mary Price and the Progressive Party in North Carolina, 1945-1948.” The North Carolina Historical Review, 77 (3), 2000.

 

 

 

 

Jul 302014
 
Elizabeth Bentley, the "Red Spy Queen", who  identified Mary Price as a Soviet agent before HUAC in 1948. Source: New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/94504253/

Elizabeth Bentley, the “Red Spy Queen”, who identified Mary Price as a Soviet agent before HUAC in 1948. Source: New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/94504253/

In the summer of 1948, Mary Wolfe Price (1909-1980), a Rockingham County native, was in the process of making history as the first woman to run for governor of North Carolina, on the Progressive Party ticket. On July 30, 1948,  she and her campaign would receive some extremely unwanted publicity, when she was identified before the Senate Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments as a secret communist party member and former Soviet agent. Price was named by Elizabeth Bentley, a confessed former Soviet espionage operative who identified dozens of individuals as having been part of a communist spy ring inside the U.S. government during World War II. Bentley would expand on her testimony about Price and others in five appearances before the House Un-American Activities Committee between July 31-August 11, 1948, making headlines in North Carolina and across the nation.

Price strongly denied Bentley’s charges, and would continue to do so for the rest of her life. For several decades, Price would be portrayed as a victim of baseless, McCarthyite persecution. Since 1995, however, post Cold War archival revelations have forced historians to reconsider this view.

Please see our forthcoming August post for a detailed account of the Price-Bentley controversy and what we now know about it.

Correction (9-8-14): Mary Price had not yet been nominated as a candidate for governor when Elizabeth Bentley testified about her before Congress. For the full story, see the following post: http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/cwis/2014/09/cwis-north-carolina-topic-2-1948-the-spy-who-ran-for-governor/ 

 

 

 

Jun 092014
 

Courtesy of YouTube, footage of Army attorney Joseph Welch’s famous denunciation of Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI), during the Army-McCarthy hearings, June 9, 1954: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

June 9th marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most iconic moments in 20th Century American politics, the televised confrontation that marked both the beginning of the end of one of the controversial politicians in American history, as well as the instant when, in the words of author Robert Shogan, “television became the dominant force in American politics.” This was when a Boston lawyer named Joseph Welch would rebuke Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI) with a phrase that would resonate in American culture down to the present day, defining for many the negative side of countersubversive anti-communism.

 

1. The Rise of Joe McCarthy

McCarthy, elected to the Senate in 1946 after serving as a Marine intelligence officer in World War II, would first make his name as a “red-hunter” in February 1950. That month, McCarthy gave a blockbuster speech in Wheeling, WV, alleging widespread communist infiltration of the U.S. State Department. The resulting firestorm of controversy made McCarthy a national figure, revered by many countersubversive anti-communists, but hated by many moderates and liberals.

McCarthy thrived on the notoriety. He would remain in the news by making numerous charges of communist sympathies and even Soviet espionage against current and former officials in the State and Defense departments. On June 14, 1951, McCarthy made his infamous “a conspiracy so immense” speech, in which he viciously attacked the former Army Chief of Staff and Secretary of State George C. Marshall. “Without putting it in so many words,” as historian David M. Oshinsky put it, McCarthy “called the general a traitor to his country.” (Oshinsky, A Conspiracy so Immense, 200)

 

2. McCarthy vs. the Army

McCarthy would reach the pinnacle of his power in 1953. With Republicans winning a Senate majority in the 1952 congressional elections, McCarthy assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Government Operations and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI). As Chair of SPSI, McCarthy now had an institutional platform from which to launch investigations of real and alleged communists in the U.S. government.

After investigating such agencies as the Voice of America and the Government Printing Office, McCarthy and SPSI soon focused on the U.S. Army as a suitable target. SPSI launched inquiries of suspected disloyalty among Army civilian workers, as well as among servicemen at the Army Signal Corps facility at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. These investigations led to an increasingly bitter confrontation between Senator McCarthy and the Army, punctuated by the Wisconsin senator’s angry grilling of Brigadier General Ralph Zwicker at a hearing in February 1954. In March, the Army demanded that McCarthy fire his lead counsel, Roy Cohn, or else they would release a dossier documenting Cohn’s demands that the Army grant favorable treatment to David Schine, a McCarthy staffer drafted into the Army the previous year. McCarthy refused, and the Army released the dossier on March 11, 1954. McCarthy responded by accusing the Army of trying to blackmail him and otherwise obstruct SPSI’s efforts to investigate Army security lapses.

 

3. The Army-McCarthy Hearings

In the wake of this controversy, Senator McCarthy stepped down as Chair of SPSI. The subcommittee decided to conduct its own, public investigation of the “charges and countercharges” between McCarthy and the Army. As a party to the controversy, McCarthy was not allowed to sit on the subcommittee, but was permitted to attend and cross-examine witnesses. The Army’s appointed counsel, a Boston lawyer named Joseph Nye Welch, was given the same privileges. The hearings, which were televised live, began on April 22, 1954.

Over the course of the hearings, McCarthy found himself increasingly frustrated by the seemingly mild-mannered Welch. In Shogan’s words, McCarthy “endured Welch’s well-bred, taunting voice, his cultured sarcasm, his grating fondness for self-deprecation. And all the while the senator saw his own reputation  . . . slowly crumbling away.” McCarthy’s frustrations came to a head on June 9th. In the middle of Welch’s questioning of Roy Cohn, the senator from Wisconsin interjected to note that a young lawyer in Welch’s law firm, Fred Fisher, had once been a member of the communist-affiliated National Lawyers’ Guild. This despite the fact that Welch had made a deal with Roy Cohn not to bring up Fisher in return for not referring to Cohn’s draft deferrals, a deal that McCarthy had approved:

Senator MCCARTHY. Not exactly, Mr. Chairman, but in view of Mr. Welch’s request that the information be given once we know of anyone who might be performing any work for the Communist Party, I think we should tell him that he has in his law firm a young man named Fisher whom he recommended, incidentally, to do work on this committee, who has been for a number of years a member of an organization which was named, oh, years and years ago, as the legal bulwark of the Communist Party, an organization which always swings to the defense of anyone who dares to expose Communists. (Special Senate Investigation, pt. 59, 2426-2427)

Welch’s devastating response to McCarthy’s heavy-handed maneuver would become one of the most memorable quotes in American political history:

Let us not assassinate this lad further. Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? (Special Senate Investigation, pt. 59, 2429)

This exchange has come to epitomize McCarthy’s brazenly confrontational style of public debate, what Oshinsky has described as “his windy speeches, his endless interruptions, his frightening outbursts. his crude personal attacks.” (Oshinsky, A Conspiracy so Immense, 464) It marked the culmination of a months-long decline in McCarthy’s popularity.

The Army-McCarthy hearings concluded on June 17, 1954. Their main impact was to deal an irreparable blow to McCarthy’s prestige and popularity. The Senate would vote to censure McCarthy in December, 1954, after which the senator from Wisconsin faded from the headlines until his death in 1957. His name would become a byword for all the excesses of the post WWII campaign against domestic communism.

 

CWIS Sources:

Army Signal Corps – Subversion and Espionage. Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First (-Second) Session, pursuant to S. Res. 189. 1953-54, 11 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6: AR 5/)

Communist Infiltration Among Army Civilian Workers. Hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session, pursuant to S. Res. 189. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6: C 73/2)

Communist Infiltration in the Army. Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First (-Second) Session, pursuant to S. Res. 189. 1953-54, 4 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS Y 4.G 74/6: C 73/3)

Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, 1953-54. 2003, 5 v. + index. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/9: S.PRT. 107-84/)

Hearings on S. Res. 301. Hearings before a Select Committee to Study Censure Charges, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session, pursuant to the order on S. Res. 301 and amendments. 1954, 2 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.C 33/4: H 35)

Special Senate Investigation on Charges and Countercharges Involving: Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens, John G. Adams, H. Struve Hensel and Senator Joe McCarthy, Roy M. Cohn, and Francis P. Carr. Hearings before the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session, pursuant to S. Res. 189. 1954, 71 pts. + index. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6: ST 4/)

State Department Employee Loyalty Investigation. Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-First Congress, Second Session, pursuant to S. Res. 231. 1950, 3 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.F 76/2: St2/2/)

 

Additional Sources:

Morgan, Ted. Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America. New York: Random House, 2003. (Joyner Stacks: E743.5 .M578 2003)

Oshinsky, David M. A Conspiracy so Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy. New York: Free Press, 1983. (Joyner Stacks: E748.M143 O73 1983)

Shogan, Robert. No Sense of Decency: The Army-McCarthy Hearings: A Demagogue Falls and Television Takes Charge of American Politics. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2009.  (Joyner Stacks: UB23 .S53 2009)

 

 

 

May 272014
 
Junius Scales (1920-2002), the most famous North Carolina native to be a member of the Communist Party USA. Source: The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: http://museum.unc.edu/exhibits/jewishlife/junius-scales-1920-2002/

Junius Scales (1920-2002), the most famous North Carolina native to be a member of the Communist Party USA. Source: The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: http://museum.unc.edu/exhibits/jewishlife/junius-scales-1920-2002/

The American South was not a major focus of congressional countersubversive investigations,  for a number of reasons. The primary one was that the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) was much weaker in the south compared to the industrial northeast and the west coast. In addition, a number of those countersubversive investigations that did touch on the south were actually investigations of radical right-wing organizations, such as the Silver Legion of America in the 1930s, or the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s. Despite all this, from the 1920s to the 1950s the CPUSA was active in the American South in areas such as labor organizing and civil rights. Such efforts did attract the attention of congressional countersubversive investigating committees, much of whose membership was motivated by a desire to label all efforts at union organization and African-American equality as communist inspired.

The following is a brief bibliography of publications stemming from congressional investigations of real and alleged communist activity in the American South. It is not a comprehensive list, and, as primary source documents, these items should be used judiciously and in concert with relevant secondary historical studies.

 

 1. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Investigations

Communist Infiltration and Activities in the South. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, Second Session. 1958. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/95; circulating copy in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/95, currently checked out)

Investigation of Communist Activities in the New Orleans, La., Area. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session. 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/73/)

Investigation of Communist Activities in the North Carolina Area. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fourth Congress, Second Session. 1956. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/63/; circulating copy in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/63, currently checked out)

-Transcript of hearings held in Charlotte, NC from March 12-14, 1956.

Investigation of Communist Activities in the State of Florida. Hearing Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session. 1954, 2 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/54/; circulating copy of pt. 1 in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 73/54/pt.1)

Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, Volume 10. Hearings Before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-Sixth Congress, First Session. 1939. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/V. 9-10)

-Contains the testimony of Fred Beal, a disillusioned former communist who had been involved in the CPUSA’s campaign to organize the 1929 Gastonia, NC textile workers’ strike. Beal’s testimony can be found from pages 6006-6042.

Report on Southern Conference for Human Welfare. Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, First Session. June 16, 1947. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: Un 1/RPT. 592)

-The Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW), active from 1938-1948, was alleged to be a CPUSA front organization.

Testimony of Paul Crouch. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-First Congress, First Session. 1949.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. Un 1/2: C 88; additional copy in Joyner Hoover: HX89 .A4 1949F)

-Crouch (1903-1955), a North Carolina native, was a longtime CPUSA member before turning anti-communist informant.

 

2. Other Congressional Investigations

Communism in the Mid-South. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session. 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: C 73/16)

Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session. 1954. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4. J 89/2: So 8)

-The Educational Fund, a SCHW spinoff organization, was likewise alleged to be a CPUSA front.

 

3. Secondary Sources

Billingsley, William J. Communists on Campus: Race, Politics, and the Public University in Sixties North Carolina. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1999. (Joyner Stacks: LC72.3.N67 B55 1999; currently checked out)

Honey, Michael K. Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993. (Joyner Electronic Collection E-Book: ECU users click here)

Kelley, Robin D.G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990. (Joyner Stacks: HX91.A2K45 1990)

Korstad, Robert Rodgers. Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. (Joyner NC Stacks: HD6515.T6 K67 2003; two copies)

Lieberman, Robbie. Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement: “Another Side of the Story.” New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. (Joyner Stacks: E 185.61 .A585 2009)

Record, Wilson. The Negro and the Communist Party. New York: Atheneum, 1971. (Joyner Stacks: E185.61 .R29 1971)

Salmond, John A. Gastonia, 1929: The Story of the Loray Mill Strike. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. (Joyner NC Stacks: HD5325.T42 1929 G377 1995)

Taylor, Gregory S.. The History of the North Carolina Communist Party. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2009. (Joyner NC Stacks: HX91.N8 T39 2009; 2 copies)

Taylor, Gregory S. The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch : Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2014. (Joyner Stacks: E748.C949 T39 2014; currently in process/available on request)