Author Archives: durantd

CWIS Resources for Veterans Day

"U.S. troops of the 28th Infantry Division, who have been regrouped in security platoons for defense of Bastogne, Belgium, march down a street. Some of these soldiers lost their weapons during the German advance in this area. Bastogne, Belgium (12-20-44)." Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History: http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/bulge/images/SC270947s.jpg.

“U.S. troops of the 28th Infantry Division, who have been regrouped in security platoons for defense of Bastogne, Belgium, march down a street. (12-20-44).” Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History: http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/bulge/images/SC270947s.jpg.

Joyner Library will host a Special Collections Veterans Day Pop Up Exhibition on the first floor of the library, today, November 11, from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM. This exhibition proudly honors the military service of our Veterans in an exhibition of photographs, letters, posters and more. While you are perusing these artifacts, write a postcard thanking a current military person for his or her service.

In honor of Veterans Day, and in support of this exhibition, here is a brief bibliography of CWIS items related to the military:

"Operation "MacArthur" Members of Co. C, 1st Bn, 8th Inf, 1st Bde, 4th Inf Div, descend the side of Hill 742, located five miles northwest of Dak To. 14-17 November 1967." Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History: http://www.history.army.mil/art/A&I/Vietnam/cc44262-t.jpg

“Members of Co. C, 1st Bn, 8th Inf, 1st Bde, 4th Inf Div, descend the side of Hill 742, located five miles northwest of Dak To. 14-17 November 1967.” Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History: http://www.history.army.mil/art/A&I/Vietnam/cc44262-t.jpg

 

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)

Investigation of Attempts to Subvert the United States Armed Services. Hearings Before the Committee on Internal Security, House of Representatives, Ninety-Second Congress, First-[Second] Session. 3 v.,1972. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.IN 8/15:AR 5/; also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.IN 8/15:AR 5/)

Investigation of Communist Propaganda among Prisoners of War in Korea (Save Our Sons Committee). 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 73/6; also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/6)

Korean War Atrocities. Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session. 3 v., 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6:K 84/)

Military Situation in the Far East. Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-Second Congress, First Session, to conduct an inquiry into the military situation in the Far East and the facts surrounding the relief of General of the Army MacArthur from his assignments in that area, 5 v., 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.AR 5/3:M 59/7/Pt. 1-5)

Organized Subversion in the U.S. Armed Forces. 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, Ninety-Fourth Congress, First Session. 3 v., 1976. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.J 89/2:AR 5/4/PT. 1/; Pt. 1 also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.J 89/2:AR 5/4/PT. 1/)

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/)

 

HUAC Investigates North Carolina: Slides and Bibliography

On June 29th, I offered the following presentation at the North Carolina Library Association’s Government Resources Section/Reference and Adult Services Section joint meeting/workshop:

HUAC Investigates North Carolina: How Federal Documents Can Help Uncover State and Local History

Federal government documents tend to be all too often overlooked when providing general reference assistance, especially on topics involving state and local history. Reasons include the unique and often arcane nature of federal publications; unfamiliarity and trepidation on the part of many non-specialist librarians; and a lack of awareness of how federal documents might prove relevant to researching state and local topics.

One good example is the history of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC: 1934-35; 1938-69.) While many think of HUAC as a body that primarily affected politics at a national level, the committee held a number of hearings that directly discussed individuals, organizations, and events in North Carolina, and these hearings in turn impacted political and social developments in our state. This 50 minute presentation will discuss this neglected yet fascinating aspect of North Carolina history, while serving as a case study in how federal documents can shed light on state and local history. Time for questions will be included.

Here are the slides and supporting bibliography for this presentation:

HUAC Investigates North Carolina Final

HUAC NC Bibliography

In addition, here are several previous CWIS blog posts also relevant to this topic:

CWIS Bibliography: Investigations of Communist Activity in the American South

CWIS Bibliography: Paul Crouch (1903-1955)

CWIS North Carolina Topic 1: HUAC Investigates the Greenville Benevolent Association, 1965-66

CWIS North Carolina Topic 2: 1948: The Spy Who Ran for Governor

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests for additional information regarding this presentation.

David Durant

Federal Documents & Social Sciences Librarian

J.Y. Joyner Library

 

 

Paul Robeson Appears Before HUAC, 1956

Actor/singer Paul Robeson, June 1942. Long controversial for his outspokenly pro-Soviet views, Robeson would appear before HUAC on June 12, 1956. In his testimony, he would both passionately advocate for the rights of African-Americans, while also defending the Soviet Gulag system of forced labor camps. Source:U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/fsa/item/fsa1998023680/PP/

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was in many ways a pioneering figure in African-American history. Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Robeson attended Rutgers, where he was a star athlete, among other things becoming a two time Walter Camp All-American in football. He was also a brilliant student. After college, Robeson became a well-known actor and singer. By the 1930s, greatly affected by the pernicious influence of racial discrimination, both on himself and on his people, Robeson became a political activist. By the late 1940s, Robeson had become openly radical and sympathetic to the Soviet Union, which exposed him to much criticism and even persecution. In one infamous incident, a pro-communist concert Robeson gave at Peekskill, New York, in 1949, was met with mob violence. In 1950, in response to his outspoken views, the State Department revoked his American passport, a decision that stood until the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1958.

It was the passport issue that would lead Paul Robeson to make his only appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). On June 12, 1956, he would testify on the topic of “unauthorized use of United States passports.” Robeson would make a stirring defense of his rights as an American citizen, and the civil rights of African-Americans, in remarks addressed to HUAC Chairman Francis Walter (D-PA):

This is the basis and I am not being tried for whether I am a Communist, I am being tried for fighting for the rights of my people who are still second-class citizens in this United
States of America. My mother was born in your State, Mr. Walter,
and my mother was a Quaker, and my ancestors in the time of Washington
baked bread for George Washington’s troops when they crossed
the Delaware, and my own father was a slave. I stand here struggling
for the rights of my people to be full citizens in this country and they
are not. They are not in Mississippi and they are not in Montgomery,
Ala., and they are not in Washington, and they are nowhere, and
that is why I am here today. You want to shut up every Negro who
has the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of his people, for
the rights of workers and I have been on many a picket line for the
steelworkers too. And that is why I am here today. (Investigation of the Unauthorized Use, p.4499)

Unfortunately, Robeson’s testimony would also feature another prominent aspect of his public advocacy, one that makes him a source of controversy down to the present day: his unstinting support for the Soviet Union and refusal to criticize any aspect of its system or behavior. This, for example, was Robeson’s response to HUAC when asked about the USSR’s Gulag system of slave labor camps:

As far as I know about the slave camps, they
were Fascist prisoners who had murdered millions of the Jewish
people and who would have wiped out millions of the Negro people
could they have gotten a hold of them. That is all I know about that. (Investigation of the Unauthorized Use, p.4506)

Robeson’s labeling of the victims of Stalinist oppression as “fascists” was a direct echo of Soviet propaganda, and one rejected by historians. According to scholar Anne Applebaum, whose work Gulag is considered close to definitive, some 18 million people passed through Stalin’s slave labor camps between 1929-1953, of whom nearly 3,000,000 died as a result. (Applebaum, Gulag, p. 580-584)

 

Justifiably appalled by racism and Jim Crow, and convinced that communism offered a better future for humanity, Robeson was so attracted by the ideals of Soviet communism that he forced himself to overlook its often horrific reality. In the words of his sympathetic left-wing biographer Martin Duberman:

To the end of his life he would refuse to criticize the Soviets openly, never going further than to make the barest suggestion in private….that injustice to some individuals must always be expected, however much to be regretted, in an attempt to create a new world dedicated to bettering the lot of the many. (Duberman, Paul Robeson, 354)

 

Today, Paul Robeson is widely regarded as a heroic champion of civil rights. In 2004, he would even be honored by the US Postal Service with his own stamp. In the words of the USPS, “Paul Robeson was a tireless and uncompromising advocate for civil rights and social justice.” (USPS, ‘African-American on Stamps’)

For many eastern Europeans, however, Robeson’s unwavering support for the USSR and its actions make him anything but a symbol of freedom. As intellectual historian Ben Alpers put it, “if memories of Robeson have, at least in recent decades, been very positive in the U.S., his legacy is viewed quite differently in the former Soviet bloc.” (Alpers, ‘Rodriguez, Paul Robeson’). Czech writer Josef Skvorecky famously recounted his feelings about Robeson in his memoir:

In place of [Stan] Kenton, they pushed Paul Robeson at us, and how we hated that black apostle who sang, of his own free will, at open-air concerts in Prague at a time when they were raising the socialist leader Milada Horakova to the gallows…and at a time when great Czech poets (some 10 years later to be “rehabilitated” without exception) were pining away in jails. Well, maybe it was wrong to hold it against Paul Robeson. No doubt he was acting in good faith, convinced that he was fighting for a good cause. But they kept holding him up to us as an exemplary “progressive jazz man,” and we hated him. May God rest his-one hopes-innocent soul. (Quoted in Duberman, Paul Robeson, 351)

 

Balancing Paul Robeson’s passionate advocacy for civil rights and an end to racial prejudice with his support for Stalinism remains an unavoidable issue when assessing his legacy as a political activist.

 

Paul Robeson’s Testimony Before HUAC:

Investigation of the Unauthorized Use of United States Passports, Part 3. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fourth Congress, Second Session. June 12-13, 1956.  (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4: Un 1/2: P 26/pt. 3; circulating copy in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4: Un 1/2: P 26/pt. 3)

-Robeson’s testimony can be found from p. 4492-4510.

 

Additional Congressional Testimony by Paul Robeson and his Family:

Communist Training Operations: Part 3: Communist Activities and Propaganda Among Youth Groups. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty Sixth Congress, Second Session. 1960. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/104/PT. 3; also in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/104/PT. 3)

-Features testimony by Robeson’s son, Paul Robeson, Jr., on p. 1462-1467.

Control of Subversive Activities. Hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eightieth Congress, Second Session on H.R. 5852, an act to protect the United States against un-American and subversive activities. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.J 89/2:Su 1)

-Paul Robeson’s testimony can be found on p. 315-337.

State Department Information Program — Information Centers, Part 7. 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. 40, a resolution authorizing the Committee on Government Operations to employ temporary additional personnel and increasing the amount of expenditures. 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6:IN 3/PT. 7)

-Features testimony of Paul Robeson’s wife, Eslanda C. Robeson, covering p. 473-482.

 

Additional CWIS Documents:

The American Negro in the Communist Party. Prepared and Released by the Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives. December 22, 1954. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4: Un 1/2: N 31)

Hearings Regarding Communist Infiltration of Minority Groups. Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty First Congress, First Session. 1949-50, 3 pts. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4: Un 1/2: C 73/11/)

-Pt. 1 includes testimony by baseball legend Jackie Robinson, in part taking issue with pro-Soviet comments attributed to Robeson. The transcript of Robinson’s appearance can be found on p. 479-83.

 

Other Sources:

Alpers, Ben. ‘Rodriguez, Paul Robeson, and Complicated Narratives of Reception.‘ U.S. Intellectual History Blog, April 8, 2013.

Applebaum, Anne. Gulag: A History. New York: Doubleday, 2003. (Joyner Stacks: HV8964.S65 A67 2003)

Duberman, Martin Bauml. Paul Robeson. New York: Knopf, 1988. (Joyner Stacks: E185.97.R63 D83 1988)

FBI FOIA Vault: Paul Robeson’s FBI File.

National Archives and Records Administration: Teaching With Documents: The Many Faces of Paul Robeson.

United States Postal Service. ‘African-Americans on Stamps: A Celebration of African-American Heritage.’ USPS Publication No. 354, January 2004.

 

 

CWIS Bibliography: The Korean War: 1950-1953

1993 CIA map of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/resource/g7900.ct000970

1993 CIA map of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/resource/g7900.ct000970

 

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the start of one of the key events of the early Cold War: the Korean War. The conflict began on June 25, 1950, when communist North Korea invaded pro-western South Korea. Bolstered by a United Nations Security Council resolution, the US led a multinational intervention that beat back the North Korean invasion, then pushed on into North Korea itself. In November, 1950, communist China intervened to save North Korea from defeat, pushing the US-led forces back into South Korea and recapturing the South Korean capital of Seoul. An American counteroffensive in early 1951 liberated Seoul from the communists, and the war soon settled into a bloody stalemate running roughly contiguous to the 38th parallel. After two more years of fighting and negotiations, an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, bringing an end to the major fighting.

The Korean War exacted a horrific human toll, claiming some 2,000,000 lives, including over 36,000 Americans. Politically, it further intensified the already burgeoning US-Soviet confrontation. For the first time since the end of World War II, the West and the Communist Bloc engaged in direct armed conflict. Seventeen nations contributed combat forces to the UN coalition, including the United States and South Korea. Within the US, the Korean War intensified fears of a broader war with the USSR, as well as worries over the American Communist Party, and gave further impetus to internal security measures directed at real or alleged acts of subversion.

While North Korea and Communist China were the main participants on the communist side of the war, the Soviet Union was far more involved than has often been realized. Kim IL-Sung, North Korea’s communist dictator and grandfather of current North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un, had to obtain the permission of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin before launching his invasion, which Stalin finally granted in February 1950. The North Korean army was Soviet trained, Soviet equipped, and the plans for the invasion were drawn up by Soviet generals. While the USSR was officially not involved in hostilities, Stalin, in fact, committed a force of up to 200 Soviet aircraft, most famously the MiG-15 jet fighter, to provide air cover over parts of North Korea and northeast China, an area that would become famous as “MiG Alley.” Soviet pilots saw their first action in November 1950, and regularly engaged American and other aircraft in combat.

Technically, in the absence of a peace treaty, the Korean War has never ended, and the peninsula remains divided by a heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone. Tensions and hostility between North Korea, now nuclear armed, and South Korea, pose one of the main threats to international peace and stability.

The following is a very selective bibliography of CWIS and other federal documents relevant to the Korean War, both primary sources from the time, as well as secondary historical monographs. This represents just a portion of available sources in Joyner Library on this topic.

 

84532 AC - Gun camera photo of a MiG-15 being attacked by a USAF fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo). While not publicly acknowledged at the time, many of the MiG-15s over Korea were flown by Soviet Air Force pilots. Source: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force: Soviet Pilots over MiG Alley. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/MuseumExhibits/FactSheets/Display/tabid/509/Article/196389/soviet-pilots-over-mig-alley.aspx

Gun camera photo of a MiG-15 being attacked by a USAF fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo). While not publicly acknowledged at the time, many of the MiG-15s over Korea were flown by Soviet Air Force pilots. Source: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force: Soviet Pilots over MiG Alley. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/MuseumExhibits/FactSheets/Display/tabid/509/Article/196389/soviet-pilots-over-mig-alley.aspx

Korean War Era Documents in the CWIS Collection:

Communist Persecution of Churches in Red China and Northern Korea: Consultation with Five Church Leaders: Rev. Peter Chu Pong, Rev. Shih-Ping Wang, Rev. Tsin-Tsai Liu, Rev. Samuel W.S. Cheng, Mr. Kyung Rai Kim. Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Sixth Congress, First Session. 1959. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 47)

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; also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.UN 1/2:J 28)

-Jarecki, a Polish MiG-15 pilot who defected by flying his plane to Denmark, testified that his Soviet instructors had flown combat missions in Korea, testimony lent substantial credence by post-Cold War archival revelations.

International Communism (Communist Encroachment in the Far East) : Consultation with Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, United States Army. Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, Second Session. 1958. (Joyner Docs CWIS:Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/94)

International Communism, Red China and the Far East (testimony of Chiu-Yuan Hu). 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 73/75; also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/75)

Investigation of Communist Propaganda among Prisoners of War in Korea (Save Our Sons Committee). 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 73/6; also available in Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.UN 1/2:C 73/6)

Korean War Atrocities. Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session. 3 v., 1953. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.G 74/6:K 84/)

Military Situation in the Far East. Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-Second Congress, First Session, to conduct an inquiry into the military situation in the Far East and the facts surrounding the relief of General of the Army MacArthur from his assignments in that area, 5 v., 1949. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.AR 5/3:M 59/7/Pt. 1 and Pts. 3-5; Pt. 2 is missing)

Who Are They?: Prepared at the Request of the Committee on Un-American Activities: Part 6: Kim Il Sung and Ho Chi Minh (North Korea–North Viet-Nam.) Library of Congress. Legislative Reference Service, 1957. (Joyner Docs CWIS: Y 4.UN 1/2:W 62/PT. 6)

 

"Two American soldiers with a North Korean prisoner of war, 5 August 1950 (National Archives) " Source: The Korean War-The Outbreak: 27 June-15 September 1950, US Army Center of Military History. http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/KW-Outbreak/outbreak.htm

“Two American soldiers with a North Korean prisoner of war, 5 August 1950 (National Archives) ” Source: The Korean War-The Outbreak: 27 June-15 September 1950, US Army Center of Military History. http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/KW-Outbreak/outbreak.htm

 

Other Korean War Federal Documents:

Ammunition Shortages in the Armed Forces. Hearings Before the Preparedness Subcommittee No. 2 of the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session. 1953. (Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4. Ar 5/3: Am 6/2/1953)

Bowers, William T. Black Soldier, White Army: the 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, 1996. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D 114.2:B 56)

Endicott, Judy G. The USAF in Korea: Campaigns, Units, and Stations, 1950-1953. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2001. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D 301.82/7:K 84/6)

MiG Alley: Sabre vs. MiG. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 2015. (Available online at: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/MuseumExhibits/FactSheets/Display/tabid/509/Article/196385/mig-alley-sabre-vs-mig.aspx)

Mossman, Billy C. Ebb and Flow, November 1950-July 1951. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, U.S. Army, 1990. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D114.2 K84/5)

Return of American Prisoners of War Who have not been Accounted for by the Communists: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Far East and the Pacific of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session. 1957. (Joyner Docs Stacks: Y 4.F 76/1:P 93)

Smith, Charles R. U.S. Marines in the Korean War. Washington, DC: History Division, U.S. Marine Corps, 2007. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D 214.13:K 84/14)

U.S. Army Center of Military History: Korean War.
-Offers the full-text of digitized Army historical monographs and other resources.

Y’Blood, William T. Mig Alley: The Fight for Air Superiority. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2000. (Joyner Docs Stacks: D 301.82/7:M 58; also available online at: http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100928-020.pdf)

 

Related Readings:

Fehrenbach, T. R.. This Kind of War. New York: Macmillan, 1963. (Joyner Stacks: DS918 .F37)

Jager, Sheila Miyoshi. Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013. (Joyner Library Order on Demand via Library Catalog)

Jian, Chen. China’s Road to the Korean War: the Making of the Sino-American Confrontation. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. (Joyner Stacks: DS919.5 .C4513 1994)

Joiner, Stephen. ‘The Jet that Shocked the West: How the MiG-15 grounded the U.S. bomber fleet in Korea.‘ Air & Space Magazine, December 2013.

Sheng, Michael M. Battling Western Imperialism: Mao, Stalin, and the United States. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. (Joyner Stacks: DS740.5.S65 S562 1997)

Werrell, Kenneth P. Sabres over MiG Alley: The F-86 and the Battle for Air Superiority in Korea. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005. (Joyner Stacks: DS920.2.U5 W47 2005)

Wilson Center Digital Archive: ‘Korean War, 1950-1953.”
-“A collection of primary source documents related to the Korean War. Obtained largely from Russian archives, the documents include reports on Chinese and Soviet aid to North Korea, allegations that America used biological weapons, and the armistice.”

Xiaoming, Zhang. ‘China, the Soviet Union, and the Korean War: From an Abortive Air War Plan to a Wartime Relationship.‘ The Journal of Conflict Studies 22 (1), Spring 2002.

 

 

 

Congress Investigates the Katyn Forest Massacre

Rep. Ray Madden (D-IN) (1892-1987), chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Katyn Forest Massacre. Source: Wikipedia. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ray_Madden_%2892nd_Congress%29.jpg

Rep. Ray Madden (D-IN) (1892-1987), chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Katyn Forest Massacre. Source: Wikipedia. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ray_Madden_%2892nd_Congress%29.jpg

 

75 years ago, the Soviet secret police, known as the NKVD, would murder nearly 22,000 Polish prisoners, many of them army officers or policemen, in what became known as the Katyn Forest Massacre. In 1943, after the Germans found one of the major killing sites, in western Russia’s Katyn Forest, and gleefully exploited it for their own propaganda purposes, the Soviets denied responsibility for the atrocity and instead blamed it on the Germans. As then allies of the USSR, the US government accepted the Soviet explanation and refused to support the demands of the Polish government-in-exile for an independent investigation. Even after the end of World War II, when US-Soviet relations deteriorated with the start of the Cold War, the American government made no effort to reopen the Katyn issue. Only the efforts of Polish exiles and Polish-American organizations, in alliance with certain journalists and prominent anti-communists such as Julius Epstein and Arthur Bliss Lane, kept the Katyn question alive in America.

By 1951, the activist campaign to encourage an official American investigation of Katyn was gaining traction. Amplified by the fact that America was at war against communist forces in Korea, and fears that American POWs would meet a fate similar to those of the Polish POWs at Katyn, Congress showed a willingness to conduct its own investigation of Katyn. On September 18, 1951, the House of Representatives voted 398-0 in support of House Resolution 390, which “provided for the establishment of a select committee to conduct a full and complete investigation concerning the Katyn massacre, an international crime committed against soldiers and citizens of Poland at the beginning of World War II.” (Final Report, 1)

The House Select Committee to Conduct an Investigation of the Facts, Evidence and Circumstances of the Katyn Forest Massacre consisted of seven members, four Democrats and three Republicans. All seven committee members came from the Northeast or upper Midwest, and represented districts with large Polish-American populations. In all, the committee included members from Michigan (2), Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The committee was unofficially known as the “Madden Committee,” after its chair, Rep. Ray Madden. Madden, a Democrat, represented Indiana’s First Congressional District, centered around the industrial city of Gary.

The Madden Committee held hearings from October 1951-November 1952. It interviewed 81 witnesses, produced 183 exhibits, and took over 100 depositions. It was the first congressional committee to hold hearings overseas, meeting with witnesses in London, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Naples. Ultimately, it would produce 7 volumes worth of hearings, numbering 2,362 pages.

The Madden Committee published an interim report in July 1952, followed by its final report in December 1952. Among its major findings, the committee unanimously concluded that the NKVD committed the Katyn murders. As the committee’s final report stated:

On the basis of voluminous testimony, including that of recognized medical expert witnesses, and other data assembled by our staff, this committee concluded there does not exist a scintilla of proof, or even any remote circumstantial evidence, that this mass murder took place no later than the spring of 1940. The Poles were then prisoners of the Soviets and the Katyn Forest area was still under Soviet occupation. (Final Report, 2)

In light of its finding of Soviet guilt for Katyn, the committee recommended that the US government pursue charges against the Soviets before the International World Court of Justice at The Hague.

The Madden Committee’s most controversial findings concerned the response of the Roosevelt Administration to the news of the Katyn discovery in 1943. It concluded that, out of a desire to preserve the wartime alliance with the USSR, the US government overlooked or deliberately suppressed information pointing to Soviet guilt for Katyn. Specifically, in 1945 President Roosevelt himself had the Navy transfer an officer to American Samoa in order to prevent him from going public with his concerns about Katyn. In addition, the Chief of Army Intelligence suppressed a report by a former American POW who had been taken to Katyn by the Germans in 1943, and had reluctantly concluded that the Soviets were guilty. Finally, the Madden Committee established that the Office of War Information had coerced Polish-language radio stations in Detroit and Buffalo to cease their coverage of the Katyn allegations.

Historians who have studied Katyn have noted that the Madden Committee’s investigation was flawed in several ways. For one, it invited several witnesses whose testimony was proven to be unreliable. One in particular was an anonymous witness designated “John Doe,” who wore a hood and testified that he saw Poles being murdered at Katyn in November 1939, an allegation that flies in the face of all the available evidence. In addition, the Madden Committee was, almost unavoidably, caught up in the broader controversies over McCarthyism and domestic anti-Communism. Finally, its recommendation that the Soviets be brought before the World Court for Katyn was ignored by the incoming Eisenhower Administration and soon forgotten.

Despite these flaws, however, the Madden Committee served a valuable role in both the history and memory of Katyn. It firmly established Soviet responsibility for Katyn in the historical record, and its major conclusions have been vindicated by subsequent scholarship. In the words of historian Alexander Etkind and his co-authors, “The Madden Committee’s resounding verdict of Soviet guilt for the crime of Katyn was a central memory event.” (Etkind, 22) Similarly, Allen Paul has written that “on the whole the Select Committee went about its work in a methodical, workman-like manner. Like a skillful prosecutor, it carefully assembled its case; and when the facts were all laid out, the overall results were impressive.” (Paul, 340)

It was not until 1990, when Soviet communism was in its death throes, that the USSR would finally admit that it had perpetrated the Katyn massacre.  In 2000, the Polish parliament (Sejm) passed a resolution thanking the Madden Committee, among others, for its efforts in establishing the truth about Katyn. (Sanford, 218).

 

CWIS Documents:

The Katyn Forest Massacre. Final Report of the Select Committee to Conduct an Investigation of the Facts, Evidence and Circumstances of the Katyn Forest Massacre, December 22, 1952. (Joyner Docs CWIS Serial Set: Y 1.1/2:11578)

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/)

 

Additional Sources:

Etkind, Alexander, Rory Finnin, et al. Remembering Katyn. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2012. (Joyner Stacks: D804.S65 R45 2012)

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

Sanford, George. Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940: Truth, Justice and Memory. London; New York: Routledge, 2005. (Joyner Stacks: D804 .S65 S33 2005)

Previewing the Film Katyn

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“But the first film had to show the crime – and the lie. The crime: that was indeed my father who was murdered there. The lie: my mother was one of the ladies who was constantly trying to find information, she was writing to the Red Cross in London and Switzerland, she clung on to the hope that her husband would return from the war. She was lied to that he didn’t die in Katyń, and only gradually did we discover the truth. We learnt that there were other camps, and those camps were also liquidated. In short, we learnt about the machinery of death.”

Andrzej Wajda, quoted in The Krakow Post, June 19, 2009.

 

Tonight, Joyner Library is pleased to present, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Katyn Forest Massacre, the award-winning 2007 Polish film Katyn. The film is directed by Andrzej Wajda, a highly-acclaimed filmmaker who has directed nearly 40 films in a career spanning over five decades. Wajda’s contributions as a director would be recognized in 2000 with an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement, an honor for which he was nominated by Steven Spielberg. Katyn would be the fourth of Wajda’s films to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

 

1. The Context

Katyn is a deeply personal film for Wajda, one that he spent decades hoping he could make, yet doubting that he would ever be permitted the opportunity. Among the 21,857 Poles murdered at the behest of Josef Stalin in April-May 1940 was Wajda’s father Jakub, a Captain in the Polish army. Only 14 years old at the time, Wajda watched how his mother was consumed by years of grief and uncertainty. Communist authorities in Poland suppressed almost all discussion of the Katyn atrocities, especially if they hinted at Soviet guilt. Finally, the fall of the Soviet empire in eastern Europe in 1989 made it possible to openly discuss the Katyn massacre without fear of official repercussions. In addition, Soviet admission of guilt for Katyn in 1990, followed by the unraveling of the USSR, revealed many previously unknown facts about the killing operation of April-May 1940.

Seventy five years later, the Katyn Forest Massacre remains a highly-charged symbol of historical memory that shapes the distrustful way many Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Ukrainians view Russia. It is an integral part of the current struggle over the history of World War II in eastern Europe, in which Russia portrays itself as the heroic liberator of Poland and the Baltic states from the Nazis, while the latter see themselves as victims of Soviet oppression and occupation. Wajda’s film has become a key part of this struggle, a cinematic symbol of the numerous Soviet deportations and mass killing actions during the 1930s and 1940s conducted in the region that historian Timothy Snyder has called the “Bloodlands”. Both Ukraine and Estonia have honored Wajda for his achievement in making Katyn.

While keeping this context in mind, it is important to note that Wajda’s Katyn is not an anti-Russian film. It even includes a sympathetic Russian character in the form of a Soviet army officer who saves the wife and daughter of the main Polish protagonist from the secret police. In April 2010, the film was shown twice on Russian television in a gesture of reconciliation, and Russia even presented Wajda with the Order of Friendship in December of that year.

 

2. The Film

While Katyn is a deeply personal film, it is not autobiographical. The film is strongly rooted in the historical record; however, the characters themselves are fictional archetypes who represent broader themes and ideas. The specific events portrayed in the film, while in accord with historical scholarship, are there at least in part for their symbolic value. For example, the film’s opening sequence set on the bridge, where one crowd of terror-stricken Poles flees east to escape the Nazis, only to encounter another, equally terrified crowd fleeing west from the advancing Soviets.

Most of the film is spent not on the massacre itself, but rather on the impact of the atrocity and subsequent Soviet cover-up on the families and friends of those murdered. After the Soviets drive the Nazis from Poland in 1945, the characters in the film are confronted with a terrible dilemma: either to be part of the building of a “new” Poland, albeit on Soviet terms and requiring them to accept the Soviet lie that their loved ones were murdered by the Germans; or, to insist on telling the truth about what happened at Katyn, at the risk of marginalization or worse.

Finally, after taking us through 1945, Wajda uses the device of a recovered diary to take us back to April 1940 and show in stark, unsparing fashion the fate of those taken by the Soviet secret police into the Katyn Forest. In Wajda’s view, giving the viewer a window on the killings was a necessity. As he told the Krakow Post in July 2009, “For the first film, I had to show the crime and its consequences.” (Hodge, “Katyn”)

As Alexander Etkind and his fellow authors have noted, most historical films have uplifting endings. (Etkind, 49-50) Even a film as harrowing as Schindler’s List gradually lifts the audience out of the horrors into which they have been submerged for most of the film. Wajda’s Katyn grants the audience no such luxury. It ends with the horrifying spectacle of the Katyn executions. It is left to the audience to supply its own “happy” ending: to note that the very film they are watching is a reminder that Poland would ultimately shed Soviet domination; that the truth about Katyn would eventually prevail; that Wajda was, in fact, able to make the film he needed to make, showing both the crime that claimed the life of his father, and the lie that consumed his mother.

 

Katyn will be shown tonight, Wednesday, April 8, at 6:30 PM in the Faulkner Gallery of Joyner Library. The screening is co-sponsored by the Department of Student Involvement & Leadership Co-Curricular Collaborations. This is a Wellness Passport event.

 

Sources:

Etkind, Alexander, Rory Finnin, et al. Remembering Katyn. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2012. (Joyner Stacks: D804.S65 R45 2012)

Hodge, Nick. “Andrzej Wajda on Katyń: The Full Transcript.Krakow Post, June 23, 2009. (via Internet Archive)

Hodge, Nick. “Katyń: An Interview with Director Andrzej Wajda.Krakow Post, June 19, 2009. (via Internet Archive)

Katyn,” Wajda.pl, n.d.(via Internet Archive)

“The Crime and the Lie:” The Katyn Forest Massacre 75 Years Later

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)

 

 

New Evidence in the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer

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)

CWIS Bibliography: Paul Crouch (1903-1955)

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.

 

 

CWIS Guest Post: Cold War Pawn: One Man’s Ideological Journey through a Divided World

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)

 

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