CHAPTER X: 208-248 (1954)
In undermining a nation such as the United States, the infiltration of the educational process is of prime importance. The Communists have accordingly made the invasion of schools and colleges one of the major considerations in their psychological warfare designed to control the American mind. By such “cultural” work, the Soviet fifth column obtains an influence, directly or indirectly, over at least a portion of American youth. Some of the young men entering our armed forces, and some of the young women who must support them, are brought within the orbit of pro-Communist thinking, to the detriment of our national security. Future community leaders are also affected. Many by-products beneficial to the conspiracy arise from this infiltration, since concealed Communists in education or their friends become sponsors of Communist fronts, aid in financing Communist causes, and sometimes play a part in influencing the attitudes of certain scientists, specific church circles, and government agencies.
As early as 1924, in lectures delivered at the Sverdlov University in Moscow, Stalin specified “cultural and educational organizations” as valuable allies in the Communist battle for world dictatorship. These Stalin lectures are now the famous Foundations of Leninism, published and studied widely by the Communists. It was in 1933, however, that extensive infiltration began in the schools and colleges of this country-encouraged by American recognition of Soviet Russia, and stimulated by the Open Letter to the Party. The Trojan horse policy of the People’s Front, which had been initiated at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International in 1935, gave added impetus to this activity. By May, 1937, the conspiracy considered that enough progress had been made in the schools and colleges to justify a special article of directives in that month’s issue of The Communist, then the official theoretical organ of the Party. This article, “The Schools and the People’s Front,” laid it down as a necessity that “Marxist-Leninist analysis must be injected into every class.” In order that this might be accomplished successfully, “the Party must take careful steps to see that all teacher comrades are given thorough education in the teachings of Marxism-Leninism.” It was stressed that “Communist teachers are faced with a tremendous social responsibility.” They must affect the children’s thinking, and they must mobilize other teachers. But all of this was to be done from the work in the classroom to the agitation among other teachers—”without exposing themselves.” (Italics mine).
This is the instruction which runs through all directives to the infiltrators of our schools and colleges: they must exercise their Communist influence “without exposing themselves.” In this very article of May, 1937, an added precaution is given “Only when teachers have really mastered Marxism-Leninism will they be able to inject it into their teaching at the least risk of exposure.”
The article by John Williamson in the November, 1950, issue of Political Affairs, dealing with general infiltration but referring specifically to trade union work, makes much of the same necessity. The Red infiltrators are there counseled to perform their task in such a way as not to be “exposed” and dislodged from their positions.
This method must be thoroughly understood. If it is not constantly kept in mind, the Red techniques of entering education and influencing its course will be completely missed. Those who contend that Communists should be permitted to teach in our schools “as long as they do not teach Communism openly in the classroom” have not acquainted themselves with the ABC of Red infiltration. And yet, the late Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, who represented a considerable section of conservative opinion, has made this grave error.
In the classroom, the Communist teacher or professor very rarely, if ever, teaches Marxism-Leninism openly. There are hundreds of indirect ways of reaching the same end. Books by Howard Fast, the author who has refused to state whether or not he would fight against Communists if drafted, are proposed as suggested or recommended readings. The works and statements of many other “authorities” who invariably take a pro-Soviet position, such as Professor Frederick L. Schuman of Williams College, can be freely used. The Red instructor has many other “non-Communist” sources to draw on-those leading figures in public life who always follow the Communist line and whom Stalin has designated as the “reserves” the conspiracy should call upon. An entire syllabus which would inevitably lead a student either to embrace Marxism-Leninism or to be sympathetic to the Communist line, can be drawn up without one notably or openly Stalinite reference in it.
Building on that foundation, the Communist teacher or professor notes the pupil or student most susceptible to pro-Red ideas. This student is cultivated privately, with a view to drawing him toward the conspiracy. In like. manner, colleagues on the faculty who indicate sympathy for pro-Communist ideas are influenced by personal association to join the Communist Party. The influence of the teacher who is committed to Marxism-Leninism goes far beyond these con tact into parent-teachers associations (often working behind the scenes with Communists in those groups), in the preparation of books, the presentation of lectures, the voicing of opinions, the raising of finances for the conspiracy.
Anyone who doubts the widespread character of Communist infiltration into education needs only to consult the Congressional investigations over the years. Specifically, the report of the House Committee on Un-American Activities of April 1, 1951, is most helpful. Entitled The Communist “Peace” Offensive: The Attempt to Disarm, and Defeat America, it cites scores of educators who have aided the Kremlin’s peace partisans. Many of these have been sponsors or members of Communist fronts on a great number of occasions. Robert Morss Lovett, long with the University of Chicago and former American Governor of the Virgin Islands, is there cited as being a member of at least eighty-five Communist fronts. Dr. Harry F. Ward, Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, is reported to be a member of sixty Communist fronts. The late Dr. Walter Rautenstrauch, well-known professor of engineering at Columbia University, is reported to be affiliated with fifty Communist fronts. Dr. Henry Pratt Fairchild of New York University has been associated with forty of such organizations; Colston E. Warne of Amherst and Frederick L. Schuman of Williams College, with thirty, and that is the record also of Dr. Robert S. Lynd of Columbia.
Each student should examine this report carefully, since it gives an indication of the scale on which the peace partisans (so valuable to the Kremlin) have penetrated our educational institutions. Dr. J. B. Matthews, after careful examination of the records, declares that since 1935 “the Communist Party has enlisted the support of at least thirty-five hundred professors—many of them as dues paying members, many others as fellow travelers, some as out-and-out espionage agents, some as adherents of the Party line in varying degrees, and some as the unwitting dupes of subversion.” (American Mercury, May, 1953, “Communism and the Colleges,” by J. B. Matthews.)
Look for the Record
In the fall of 1952, there appeared before the Internal Sub-Committee on Internal Security a number of professors who refused to state under oath whether they were members of the Communist conspiracy (or in some cases espionage agents) on the grounds that their answers would tend to incriminate them. Among these were: Dr. Bernhard J. Stern, sociologist, Columbia University; Dr. Bernard F. Riess, psychologist, Hunter College; Drs. Moses Finley and Saul Heimlich, then of Rutgers University; Dr. Clarence A. Hiskey, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and Dr. Gene Weltfish, Columbia University. These are a few of those who took this attitude. What we should note about them is not only the leading educational institutions to which they were attached for years, but also that their records have been known for a long period of time. There are bulky dossiers in the reports of the Congressional committees, dealing with these individuals time after time. Their constant sponsorship of subversive organizations forwarding the Communist line has been cited on innumerable occasions.
When they refused to testify as to their Stalinite affiliations or espionage activities, they merely confirmed what had been known all along from their performance in the past. This should be sharply noted, for it is what can be observed in scores of other cases. So far as the American public is concerned, therefore, it is the record of the teacher or professor in aiding Communist fronts and other aspects of the conspiracy that should count, and not an attempted proof of membership in the Communist Party. Since 1948 and 1949 (the arrangement being made over a period of time) no Communist has had any vestige of membership. It was the same during the Hitler-Stalin Pact period. George Blake Charney, State secretary of the Communist Party for New York, confirmed this arrangement under oath, in his testimony in 1953 before the New York Board of Regents. Charney then stated that there was no record of any individual Communist Party membership, that the members were now known only as numbers. This conforms with the explanation presented by John Lautner, former head of the State Control Commission of the New York Communist Party, before the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security on October 13, 1952. Lautner showed in detail how the Communist teachers were divided into small groups, as they were organized for underground Party work. (Report in the volume of Subversive Influences in the Educational Process which covers the hearings from Sept. 8 to Oct. 13, 1952.)
Even before 1948, and through most of the history of the conspiracy in this country, those individuals who joined the Communist Party when they were already in key or delicate positions were ordered by the Party not to have any trace of membership, and not to attend any branch meetings. This rule applied specifically to certain professors who either were conspicuous because of being alleged authorities in subjects affecting government, or held governmental posts. It is important to recognize at once, then, that by and large it is impossible today to prove that any teacher or professor is a member of the conspiracy. Courts and Congressional inquiries have an obligation to seek for evidence of such membership. But for the American public and community leaders, the question that should be raised is: Does the record of this teacher or professor disclose constant aid to the Soviet dictatorship and the Soviet fifth column in this country?
That this should be the test is illustrated by the responses of Dr. Bernhard J. Stern of Columbia University before the Sub-Committee on Internal Security. Stern denied that he was a Communist on the day of his appearance before the Sub-Committee. He also denied that he was a Communist the year before. But he refused to answer, on the grounds that it would tend to incriminate him, the question whether he had been a member of the Party several years before. There is only one explanation for such a stand, namely, that in the period about which he refuses to answer the Party had not yet gone underground. Ex-Communists like Bella Dodd might be available to prove his membership then, and also some record of his affiliation might have been produced. A perjury conviction would have followed, and it was clearly to avoid this that Stern took his peculiar position.
Stern’s record of active participation in Communist causes goes back before the big infiltration of 1933. As early as 1931, he was a member of the early Communist fronts. In the spring of 1932, he met with a select group, called together by the veteran Communist, A. A. Heller, to institute the Red-created “Congress Against War,” out of which grew the first big front organization, the American League Against War and Fascism. In all, up to 1951, he was a member or sponsor of forty Communist fronts.
Under the name of Bennett Stevens, he taught at the Workers School, and under the same name he wrote Marxist-Leninist books. At the time of his appearance on the witness stand in 1952, he was editor of the Stalinite organ Science and Society, a quarterly publication for intellectuals. Stern’s record of consistent aid to the conspiracy over twenty years makes it unnecessary to prove legally that he is a Communist. He has done everything that a Communist would do. (For Stern’s record in full, see The Red Decade, Eugene Lyons, 1941. Numerous reports of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, including specifically that of April 1, 1951. Counterattack, vol. VII, no.14, April 3, 1953. These publications should also be consulted on the pro-Communist activities of other teachers and professors).
Pragmatism – Aid To Infiltration
The Communists have had a number of advantages in the penetration of schools and colleges. Outstanding among these is the philosophy of pragmatism, as enunciated by Dr. John Dewey, which dominates the present educational process. Pragmatism is not a Communist philosophy, but it serves as a convenient cover under which the Reds may operate and also under which they may win many allies in the educational field.
The philosophy of pragmatism rejects the supernatural and declares there is no absolute good or absolute truth, and that morality is growth and growth is morality. The Communists believe that there is an absolute truth, Marxism-Leninism. But with Stalin, they can pick up where the pragmatists leave off, asserting that that which is new and developing is right moral, and that which is dying and decaying is wrong and immoral. And of course, the rising and developing force today (as the Communists emphasize) is Soviet Communism itself. The Soviet dictatorship, from this viewpoint, represents the highest morality-no matter what crimes it commits, what slavery it establishes, and what terror it institutes (See Chap IV of the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph V. Stalin).
This conception, that everything new is right, flies in the face of history, which has witnessed many retrogressions and which has registered many setbacks for mankind by those who had the power, and were rising and developing The concealed Communist can utilize this meeting ground with pragmatism as a means to pose as a non-Communist, to widen the circle of his influence, and to implant himself in school or college From pragmatism (or instrumentalism, to give a more precise title to Dewey’s version), there flowed progressive education First proposed by Dewey forty years ago, progressive education became centered in Teachers College, Columbia University and from there reached out to change and color the entire method of teaching from nursery school to university Progressive education has been an attempt to get away from formal methods of teaching, and to depend on spontaneous activities brought about by group discussions The child is to be freed of discipline, and the program is to be initiated by the student rather than the teacher. Competition and rewards are to be eliminated, and the character of the pupil’s work is not to be a major consideration. The theory is that in this manner the child’s abilities will be released. In practice, the result has been on the whole confusion and chaos.
Of the sharp criticisms of progressive education, as it is administered, one of the most cogent is “Common Sense in the Classroom” by Marguerite Gretzinger, English teacher in Pershing High School, Detroit. In the Michigan Education Journal of 1950, Miss Gretzinger writes John Dewey pragmatism has confused the entire teaching profession from the college professors to the textbook writers, the boards of education, the school administrators, and the classroom teacher. None of us is sure of anything. The old methods have been declared authoritarian; the new methods have been preached about, but no one has demonstrated a working plan which anyone, except an angel, could administer. The results are disastrous.” (Miss Gretzinger’s full experiences, and her analysis of the chaos resulting from progressive education, were reprinted in The Wanderer, 112 E. 10th St, St. Paul, Oct. 30, 1952).
The Soviet dictatorship would not permit progressive education within any of its schools or colleges. It requires a supermilitary discipline, based on blind acceptance of Marxism-Leninism, beginning in the kindergarten. Such has been the rule for educational standards both in Soviet Russia and under all the satellite regimes. But in the United States, the Soviet fifth column favors this “new education” because of the general confusion, chaos, and breakdown in morale which it can bring about. Dr. Bella Dodd, in her testimony before the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security, stated that the Communists constantly plugged progressive education, inspiring and instructing the Teachers Union to do the same. A book praised by the Daily Worker and written by a man in close association with that Red organ has taken a similar position. This work, widely hailed by the Communists, is The Public School Scandal, by Earl Conrad, New York, 1951.
The apparent contradiction in this stand has a logic of its own. It is paralleled by the Red outcry for an extreme interpretation of “bourgeois civil liberties”—amounting to anarchy—in non-Soviet countries, while defending the degradation of terror and slavery in the Soviet domains. Chaos and confusion are what the Communists seek in every non-Soviet nation, to make its conquest easier; this was the prescription long ago insisted upon by Lenin and then by Stalin. The Stalinite teacher also sees in the loose methods of progressive education a rare opportunity to advance pro-Communist thinking. Being definitely under instructions and having a specific goal, he can so arrange the group discussions and “social study projects” as to bring about conclusions helpful to the Communist line.
The Two Streams
These two streams-the pragmatic philosophy, initiating progressive education, and Communist infiltration-have moved along together. Distinct from each other, they nevertheless have frequently fused, and the Communists have taken full advantage of the opportunities which the pragmatic viewpoint and practices offered them.
The two tendencies-one favoring Dr. Dewey’s teachings, the other sharply pro-Soviet-were originally combined in the person of Dr. George S. Counts of Teachers College, Columbia University. In the early thirties, Dr. Counts wrote several books highly laudatory of the Soviet dictatorship, and indicating that it had introduced a new era. At the same time, he was an outstanding figure in the Progressive Education Association, and author of the book Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order? which attained great popularity in progressive education circles. In this work, as its title indicates, Counts proclaimed the doom of the present social order, a doom that should be forwarded by the schools. He declared: “That the teachers should deliberately reach for power and then make the most of their conquest is my firm conviction. To the extent that they are permitted to fashion the curriculum and procedures of the school, they will influence the social ideals and behavior of the coming generation.” This influence was to bear in the direction of bringing about collectivism.
A good illustration of how the thinking of the pragmatists about “building a new social order” could be shot through with pro-Communist purposes was given in the panel discussion in 1933 among the leaders of progressive education. Participants in this panel were, among others, Dr. William H. Kilpatrick, upon whom Dewey’s mantle has fallen; Dr. Jesse H. Newlon of the New Lincoln School, Teachers College; Dr. Harold Rugg, author of the allegedly “collectivist” textbooks; and Dr. Goodwin Watson, psychologist, of the staff of Teachers College. There was much discussion back and forth on how the schools could overturn the present social order. Dr. Watson gave the answer. It was, he said, by linking the schools up “with socialist or communist agitators.” And that is precisely what happened to a serious degree. The “agitators” to whom Dr. Watson referred were not soap boxers nor the picket line variety of Communist; they were the infiltrators, ordered that very year by the Open Letter to the Party to penetrate the school system.
Dr. Watson’s thinking was in accord with his record of membership on numerous Communist fronts, including the vice-chairmanship of the committee on the Peekskill riots, which presented a distorted picture of the events, favorable to Howard Fast and Paul Robeson, Communists. (Reference to this panel discussion is made in the article, “Your Child Is Their Target,” by Irene Corbally Kuhn, American Legion Magazine, April, 1952. A photostat of the discussion is in my possession).
In the beginning-that is, in the early thirties-it was not only Dr. Counts who lauded Soviet Russia, although he did it most extensively, but also John Dewey himself. In his The Red Decade, Eugene Lyons could write: “Professor Counts of Columbia produced a eulogy of his largely subjective Russia and the foremost living American philosopher, John Dewey, hailed the mirage, adding, of Russia: ‘In some respects, it is already a searching spiritual challenge as it is an economic challenge to coordinate and plan.’ The spiritual challenge, presumably, was in the current arrests and liquidations of philosophers, historians, and professors accused of ‘rotten liberalism’ in their thinking.” (Lyons, The Red Decade, 1941, p. 107).
Both Dewey and Counts were to modify their pro-Soviet views later, Dewey to head the committee which exposed the gross character of the Soviet trials of 1937 and 1938, and Counts to criticize sharply Soviet practices. But their initial infatuation with Soviet Russia, shared by a number of their colleagues, was not lost upon the Communists; they rushed in, under such favorable circumstances, to place themselves in education from which they have not yet been successfully dislodged.
Other assistance came to the Reds. In 1933, the very year in which the Open Letter to the Party counseled such infiltration, a special committee of the Progressive Education Association issued A Call to the Teachers of the Nation. While some of the criticisms of the then current social conditions, contained in this document, were worthy of consideration, its open call for “collectivization,” and its insistence that the teachers promote collectivist ideas, gave the Communists those opportunities which they sought. The key thought of the report was contained in the statement: “Cumulative evidence supports the conclusion that, in the United States as in other countries, the age of individualism and laissez faire in economy and government is closing and a new age of collectivism is emerging.” This vague over-simplification, with its stress on ‘collectivism,” encouraged the Reds to use such statements for their own purposes and their friends to give them aid. (A Call to the Teachers of the Nation, issued in 1933 by the Committee of the Progressive Education Association on Social and Economic Problems. Members of this committee included Dr. Sidney Hook of New York University, Dr. Jesse Newlon of Teachers College, and Dr. Goodwin Watson of the same institution. This “call” is reviewed in the pamphlet, Is There a “Subversive” Movement in the Public Schools? being the speech of Hon. Paul W. Shafer of Michigan in the House of Representatives, March 21, 1952).
The “call” was the signal for a flood of discussions and articles in leading educational circles on the possibility and desirability of “socialism.” This discussion favoring “socialism” is found, in effect, in the official records of the National Education Association for 1933 and 1934. It was expressed by Granville Hicks, then a Communist and prominent educator, in Progressive Education, issue of January-February, 1934. It was encouraged by Dr. Harold Rugg, professor of education at Teachers College, and was channelized into admiration for Soviet Russia by Dr. Goodwin Watson in Social Frontier, publication of the Dewey school of educators, for February 1937. Reporting on an educators’ tour of the Land of Socialism, Dr. Watson declared that the tourists “had been aware of a society directed toward the sustenance of major human values.” He continued: “One question lingered in our minds. Anna Louise Strong had stated it to us. ‘I wish I knew,’ she said, ‘whether it will take longer for the Russians to develop efficiency or for America to develop socialism. Then I’ll know where I want to live.’
Miss Strong, one of the most notorious of pro-Soviet propagandists, did not get to decide the question eventually; the Soviet dictatorship threw her out of her “paradise” with the accusation that she was a “spy.” Dr. Watson remained in the United States, to continue his pro-Communist work on a number of Communist fronts and in various areas. (Reference to all these events and discussions is contained in the speech of Hon. Paul W. Shafer of Michigan, House of Representatives, March 21, 1952.)
The Case of Dr. Brameld
This interlacing of Red penetration and pro-Communism with pragmatic thought in education has marched down the years. There is the case of Dr. Theodore Brameld, professor of education at New York University and right-hand man of Dean Ernest 0. Melby. Dean Melby is perhaps the most conspicuous champion of progressive education, and also most vocal in his criticism of any investigation of subversion in education. His pamphlet, American Education Under Fire, which will be analyzed later, was written with the cooperation of Dr. Brameld, who has been a consistent member of Communist fronts for the past twenty years.
Brameld was an outstanding supporter and sponsor of the Communist created American League Against War and Fascism, denounced by the Attorney General of that time as set up to advance the interests of Soviet Russia. Its program, adopted in the fall of 1933, to which Dr. Brameld necessarily subscribed, said in part: “The black cloud of imperialist war hangs over the world . . . only in the Soviet Union has this basic cause of war been removed . . . therefore, the Soviet Union pursues a positive and vigorous peace policy and alone among the governments proposes total disarmament . . . The government of the United States, in spite of peaceful professions, is more aggressively than ever following policies whose only logical result is war.”
Dr. Brameld joined in that program, supporting a statement which the House Committee on Un-American Activities has denounced as “demands for outright treasonable activity.” This was the pledge: “To work toward the stopping of the manufacture and transport of munitions and all other materials essential to the conduct of war, through mass demonstrations, picketing, and strikes . . . to support the peace policies of the Soviet Union . . . to win the armed forces to the support of this program.”
When the American Politburo decided to change the name of the Workers School to the Jefferson School of Social Science, it became necessary to give the “new” institution an apparently non-Communist sponsorship. This would be one of the effective ways to disguise in part its completely Marxist-Leninist character, that is, its dedication to teachings and plans for the overthrow of the government of the United States by violence. Among the prominent sponsors who took on themselves the responsibility for launching the so-called Jefferson School was Dr. Theodore Brameld. In 1949, when the eleven Communist leaders were on trial, Brameld was one of those who came publicly to their defense. In that same year, he was one of the prominent sponsors of the Waldorf-Astoria Peace Conference – the so-called Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace. At this notorious conference, the United States was denounced and Soviet Russia hailed as a citadel of peace, civil disobedience against the United States was recommended to the point where it was said by Richard Boyer, writer for the New Yorker Magazine, who spoke openly for the Communist Party: “It is the duty of Americans to defy an American government intent on imperialist war.” Brameld made no objection to any such seditious statements, although opportunity was given to him to do so. By 1949, Dr. George Counts and Dr. Sidney Hook had a different view of Soviet Russia, although they seemed to weaken their new attitude by anti-anti-Communism. They were among those, however, who signed an open letter to the conference, pointing out the plight of culture under the Soviet system which Brameld and his associates were praising so highly. “Over the last three decades,” the letter stated, “the Soviet dictatorship has mercilessly imprisoned, exiled, or executed distinguished men of letters in that country.”
The letter asked “when the delegates from the Soviet Union appear at your conference, to make inquiry of them as to what happened to the purged artists, writers, and critics of the Soviet Union.” Neither Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard, to whom the open letter was addressed, nor Dr. Brameld, who was one of those to whom its inquiries were directed, could or would answer it. Both of them stood for Soviet purging of scientists; both of them had clearly only one view of “academic freedom,” that it should cover the Communists alone in their penetration of American education. There is no other explanation for their silent championship of the barbarities of the Kremlin.
Brameld is one of those who have woven in and out, sometimes contributing to the Deweyite organ, Social Frontiers, and sometimes writing for the Stalinist Science and Society. In the fall issue of 1936 of the latter publication, Brameld expressed the belief that Marxism “would applaud” the statement of Professor Jesse Newlon that “teachers must prepare to join in an organized army with the liberal forces seeking to build a better society-in the struggle of the people against special privileges.” Brameld, in the name of Marxism, in the pages of a Stalinist publication, is stating here the formula by which the Communists and pro-Communists took advantage of the vague plans and declarations of the Dewey school to overturn the social order.
In November, 1935, writing in the organ of the Dewey school, Social Frontiers, Brameld went farther along this line in his article on “Karl Marx and the American Teacher.” He defended the necessity for the violent overthrow of the present social order on the same grounds that Lenin and Stalin declared to be necessary. That reason, heard from the defense in all the trials of the Communist conspirators, is that those in control will resort to violence inevitably, and therefore violence and illegality are essential to overthrow the “capitalist society.”
Following up this thought of illegality which he defended, Brameld proceeded to declare that, consistent with Marxist strategy, teachers who wish to conduct their activity “within the school and without in behalf of the collectivist ideal must influence their students, subtly if necessary, frankly if possible, toward accepting the same position.” That is so clear an explanation of Communist methods in the classroom, and so definite an exhortation to follow those methods, that it deserves careful re-reading. If a lighter note were permissible in such a serious background, this distinguished professor of education at New York University should historically become known as “subtly if necessary, frankly if possible” Brameld. Such a title would serve to high-light his case history as one of the most illuminating in regard to the interlacing of pro-Communist ideas, seditious activities, and Marxist-Leninist tactics with the pragmatic school in education. (Dr. Brameld’s record is contained in part in two important documents: Review of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, prepared and released by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Washington, D.C., April, 1949, and in Is There a “Subversive” Movement in the Public Schools? – the printed speech of Representative Paul W. Shafer of Michigan, March 21, 1952).
This interlocking of the progressive education movement with the penetration by the Communists and their allies could be extended to a far degree and will be increasingly apparent as the reader examines the history of Communist fronts and the many uses to which educators have been put by the Communist conspiracy. To cite another instance, Professor John J. DeBoer of the University of Illinois was one of the outstanding panel speakers at the seditious Waldorf-Astoria “peace” conference. He has been a member or sponsor of from five to ten other Communist front organizations. In the movement which arose from Dr. John Dewey’s views, Professor DeBoer was also most active, being one of the well- known presidents of the Progressive Education Association. This association of the two tendencies was not surprising on the campus at Champaign, where the Soviet fifth column has made marked inroads into the adherence and thinking of a considerable section of the faculty. There has been a flourishing and effective cell of at least thirty Communist professors there, with the usual much more extensive influence than even that number indicates.
In order to keep a sense of proportion, a two-fold consideration must be borne in mind. As I stated in my article in the American Legion Magazine for November, 1951, “We must first recognize, in order not to get into a panic, that the overwhelming majority of our educators are patriotic and desirous of serving America. Sometimes in their educational organizations, they are too easily buffaloed by the Communists with the cry of ‘academic freedom,’ not realizing fully that all Reds are under direct instructions and serve as soldiers of an invading army. But when we consider the comparatively modest remuneration they receive for the important services they perform, we can pay a tribute to their devotion to the United States. “But the second reality is this: That there is a strong, aggressive and growing minority among our educators who are committed to the Communist cause and who serve repeatedly on Communist front organizations. What is more to the point’ they are well organized, function secretly, and have influence far beyond their numbers.” (“Do Colleges Have to Hire Red Professors?” Louis F. Budenz, American Legion Magazine, Nov. 1951).
It is unfortunate that up to the present, this strong and aggressive minority has intimidated the overwhelming majority of educators with new cries of “fascism” and “McCarthyism,” so that a considerable part of the vocal expression from educational circles has tended to favor the seditionists.
Culture Under One Roof
The Communists have another advantage, which must be understood if their invasion of education is to be properly estimated and combated. It is expressed by a phrase which I used in Communist discussions, and which still holds true, that they place “culture under one roof.” By this we mean that every “cultural activity” is designed to support all others. Anyone who examines carefully the report of the Cultural Commission of the Communist Party, Let Us Grasp the Weapon of Culture, will be made aware of this fact. Everything of a “cultural character” is there blended together. It can be readily seen from its pages how the Communists use lectures, entertainers, the placing of books in the libraries, the penetration of parent-teachers associations, women’s clubs, local men’s groups, and community organizations in their work of influencing the educational process. (This report, made under the name V. J. Jerome, was presented to the Fifteenth National Convention of the Communist Party in December, 1950, and first printed in Political Affairs for February, 1951. In 1953, it was reprinted as a pamphlet by the Communist Party and distributed in thousands of copies, in the drive to strengthen Communist infiltration of “the cultural field”).
A variety of methods is thus used to reach into education and affect it, and so to help in throwing the American mind into confusion or pro-Communism. Most desirable of all, necessarily, is the placing of Communist teachers in the schools and colleges. In this, the conspiracy has been very adroit. Dr. Bella Dodd has testified, before the Senate Committee on Internal Security, of 1500 Communist teachers in the elementary or high schools whom she knew to be in the Communist camp. At first blush, this would seem a small number. We must constantly remind ourselves, as Dr. Dodd and I agree, that two or three Communists on any faculty are normally enough to dominate the school or campus. They do not act alone, but have aid from the outside. They work under the directives of Communist functionaries who seek out ways to influence trustees of the college involved or members of the board of education. It is not unusual that certain men of wealth on the board of trustees give protection to the subversives on the faculty, to the detriment of those who are genuinely patriotic; these trustees being influenced by the cries of academic freedom, by a gross ignorance of the Communist methods, by personal considerations, or by partisan interests.
Beyond all this, the Communists on the faculty have the loud support of specific organizations in the community which other concealed Communists infiltrate and control. Nor do the Reds hesitate to resort to whispering campaigns against the character of an opponent, which frequently terrorize non-Communist teachers or professors. This goes far beyond the outspoken cry of “McCarthyite“; it extends into sly and organized gossip, reflecting on the work, the morals, and the integrity of the person under attack because of his patriotic position. Here, again, the gangster character of the Communist philosophy, carried on by non-gangsters, serves as a potent weapon. When to all of this we add the ease with which the subversives can persuade the champions of progressive education to come to their aid, the formidable character of even a small number of Communists can be properly measured. It is in this manner that the Reds, working through the Teachers Union (which received high praise in the report of the Party’s Cultural Commission), were able to wield great influence in the elementary and high schools.
In the colleges, we can start with the 3500 professors who are members of Communist fronts or in allied activities. The overwhelming number of these, probably, are direct adherents of the conspiracy. They are well scattered through the colleges of the country. Although there were concentrations in the larger universities, such as Columbia, Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, New York University, there was also a considerable representation on smaller faculties. In addition to the Communists who are members of fronts, there are substantial cells of less well-known teachers and professors, not only at such places as the University of Illinois, but also at Smith, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Cornell, Brooklyn Polytechnic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Haverford.
Libraries — Red Target
The school and college libraries are other targets of the Reds. For a number of years, cells have existed among librarians, and the Communist influence has not been small in the American Library Association. At the local level, the big effort is to get the works of concealed Communists into the libraries, and if at all possible to have them placed on the required or recommended reading lists. There are several objectives in this maneuver other than the effect the books themselves (apparently non-Communist in character but many slanted in a Communist direction) will have on the students. The Soviet fifth column is keenly aware of the value of prestige, of getting its concealed members recognized as “authorities.” So bitter an anti-American and disciple of Stalin as Howard Fast does not do damage solely through his books. When he is recommended to students as an authority on American history, as has been done in a great number of school libraries throughout America, the Communists can count on a certain sympathy for his views when he defiantly tells Congress in effect that he will not fight the Chinese Communists even if drafted. His works in themselves are carefully prepared to lead the immature mind to a pro-Stalinite position, or at least to the point where he will be an easy victim of the Communist line. And yet, on June 20, 1953, Otto E. Dobrenwend, chairman of the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, which has been opposing Red penetration of the schools in that community, could report: “Howard Fast’s books, earlier this year, were banned from the libraries of information centers of the State Department throughout the world . . . But, believe it or not, a book by this Communist is still recommended reading in the tenth grade of the Scarsdale High School.”
Langston Hughes, the Negro poet who had been a member of eighty-five Communist fronts, finally agreed before the Senate Permanent Investigations Committee headed by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy that none of his works written in his “pro-Communist period” should be read or studied. And yet, those works have been widely promoted by concealed Communists and have been kept on the shelves of school libraries in many cities. The whole school of “Far Eastern experts,” who betrayed the United States into a Chinese policy that has led to bloody Korea, are still popular as school references. The works of Owen Lattimore; Annalee Jacoby; Theodore White; Edgar Snow; Richard Lauterbach; Albert Rhys Williams; Kate Mitchell, Amerasia editor; Guenther Stein, the Soviet espionage agent; Israel Epstein, the Soviet espionage agent; and Agnes Smedley, the Soviet espionage agent-all these have been shown to be the result of planned propaganda to deceive American opinion on the Far East. That has been established beyond doubt by the hearings and findings of the McCarran Sub-Committee on Internal Security. Other pro-Soviet writers who have been especially favored are Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Clifford Odets, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Otto Kleinberg, Harrison Forman, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Carey McWilliams, Corliss Lamont, and George Seldes. Even such well-known Marxist-Leninists as James S. Allen and Herbert Aptheker are listed on high school and college libraries reading lists.
Other transmission belts used by the conspiracy include PTA speakers, assembly programs for children, career conferences for students, in-service workshop courses for teachers, and adult school lecturers.
The Scarsdale story illustrates what has happened in a great number of other communities. Scarsdale is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the United States; when we understand the materialistic philosophy of Communism, we can comprehend that this would be one of the fruitful centers of Red infiltration. The Communists laid plans as early as 1944 to invade Scarsdale and the other conservative precincts of Westchester County, New York. Lecturers and program directors brought into the school system there included Dr. Bernard F. Riess of Hunter College, whose pro-Communist record filled pages of Congressional hearings, and Dr. Bert Loewenberg of Sarah Lawrence College, sponsor and panel speaker at the notorious Waldorf-Astoria “peace” conference. Among the entertainers and speakers brought into Scarsdale, either to perform before the school children or to speak at PTA meetings and other community organization affairs, were: Paul Draper, the dancer, member of fifteen Communist fronts; Lisa Sergio, also with a Communist front record; Pearl Primus, who was built up as a dancer by the Communists; and Louis Dolivet, notorious Stalinist agent. Even to this day, the school board defends the exposure of the children’s minds to these pro-Communist influences. The Town Club education committee, composed of business executives, whitewashed the scandalous conditions in the Scarsdale schools in a report published in the spring of 1953. At the very time when the Town Club education committee was preparing its report, Professor Irving Goldman of Sarah Lawrence College was appearing before the Senate Internal Sub-Committee, where it was brought out that he has been a member of the Communist Party and of Red cells at Columbia University and Brooklyn College. He knew individuals who have been exposed as espionage agents for Soviet Russia. But the Town Club report ignores Goldman’s record, although he was one of the lecturers at the off-campus courses for Scarsdale teachers. (Address of Otto E. Dohrenwend, chairman of the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, before the Larchmont Knights of Columbus; printed in the Brooklyn Tablet, June 20, 1953).
In the colleges, much of the same picture appears in too many instances. At Princeton University, Professor H. Hubert Wilson is conspicuous in defending subversives in education and in supporting fronts. When the Communists organized the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, Professor Wilson became associated with it. More than that, when an anti-Communist organization, the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, called his attention to the character of this front, he replied with a sneer. Professor Wilson became one of the speakers at the conference held at Carnegie Hall on January 30, 1953, which took up the cudgels in defense of the subversives. This is not surprising, since Professor Wilson was one of the prominent contributors to the smear-America issue of The Nation—in 1952. (Counterattack, vol. VII, no. 4, Jan. 23, 1953).
In 1949, Professor Wilson was the author, along with Richard Carlton Snyder, of a “textbook” which enjoyed unusual popularity in the government and political science departments of many universities. This book, Roots of Political Behavior, has been described by an eminent lawyer and professor as “poison.” The reviewer is Ben W. Palmer, member of the Minneapolis bar, lecturer at the University of Minnesota, and member of the advisory editorial board of the American Bar Association Journal. The poisonous character of the work is the impression it conveys “that man is an irrational animal, that morals are relative, religion outmoded.” It also conveys the idea that the Constitution of the United States is “a bar to progress, respect for it mere ‘fetish-worship,’ American government a means for the exploitation of the masses by the rich, and on its record a colossal failure.” Logically, it includes an apologia for violence as a means of overthrowing the American government. Mr. Palmer’s judgment is supported by the five columns of quotations from the book’s pages, which show it to be a ground breaker for Communism. At least fifty leading colleges and universities use this text, including Columbia, Haverford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Rutgers University, Swarthmore College, and Williams College. (The Educational Reviewer, 112 E. 36th St., New York 16, N.Y., Oct.15, 1950).
Corliss Lamont, most consistent of pro-Soviet propagandists, teaches philosophy at Columbia University, and his works on that subject are used in other colleges. Lamont has been named as a Communist before Congressional committees, and was for years head of the leading Communist front first known as the Friends of Soviet Russia and then as the National Council for American-Soviet Friendship. He has been on more Communist fronts than any other member of the academic profession. Frederick L. Schuman of Williams College is lauded as an expert in international affairs, although his record (which has been given) shows that his works have been written in collaboration with the Soviet foreign office, and that one of them was published by the Communist Party itself, designed to show that the United States is “mad” in defending itself. The much-touted work by Sydney and Beatrice Webb on Soviet “civilization” has received an almost reverential attention in many colleges and universities, although it is now known that vital sections of it were prepared by the Soviet secret police.
On the faculties of some of our larger universities, the following are conspicuous for their presence on Communist fronts through the years and by their aid to other Communist causes:
* From Yale: Thomas I. Emerson, Fowler V. Harper, Halford E. Luccock, Dr. John Peters.
* University of Chicago: James Luther Adams, Rudolf Carnap, Dr. John B. Thompson, Kermit Eby, Edith Abbot, Dr. Anton J. Carlson, Wayne McMillen.
* Columbia University: Corliss Lamont, Robert Lynd, Dorothy Brewster, Bernhard J. Stern, Walter Rautenstrauch (now deceased), Clark H. Foreman.
* Harvard: Harlow Shapley, Kirtley Mather, Ralph Barton Perry, Dr. Alben Butler.
* Smith College: Dorothy Douglas (retired after many years as full professor), S. Ralph Harlow, Mervin Jules, Oliver Larkin.
* At Princeton, N.J., we find Dr. John A. Mackay and Paul H. Lehmann at the Theological Seminary, and Dr. Irwin Panofsky and Albert Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study.
We could also include many others, adding Montague Francis Ashley Montague, chairman of the department of anthropology at Rutgers University; Maurice Halperin, head of the Latin-American department of Boston University, who confesses in effect that he has been a Soviet espionage agent for years; Louise Pettibone Smith of Wellesley College; Eda Lou Walton of New York University; Ephraim Cross and Abraham Edel of the City College of New York; and Derk Bodde of the University of Pennsylvania. (The names of these educators appear in a number of reports of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, including The Communist “Peace” Offensive a Plot to Disarm and Defeat America; The March of Treason; The National Lawyers Guild, Legal Bulwark of the Communist Party; and Civil Rights Congress as a Communist Front Organization. They are all mentioned in “Communism in the Colleges,” J. B. Matthews, American Mercury, May, 1953).
If we would go into the less conspicuous cooperators with the conspiracy in each of these institutions, the list would grow to formidable proportions. The smaller colleges are not immune from the pro-Communist poison. On June 1, 1953, as an indication of this, Dr. Charles J. Turck, lawyer and president of Macalester College at St. Paul, made an impassioned attack on all Congressional inquiries. Dr. Turck was doing a piece of special pleading. He was a prominent member of the Communist-created Mid-Century Conference for Peace, and has been a familiar name on other Communist front lists. The faculties of Oberlin, the University of Miami, Kentucky, Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, West Virginia, Reed College in Oregon, Bible College in Missouri-to mention only a few-furnished sponsors or members to front organizations and to cooperators with Communist causes. Other women’s colleges than those mentioned hitherto, namely Mt. Holyoke and Bryn Mawr also were represented, and of course, Hunter College in New York.
Methods of Using Educators
In addition to serving the Kremlin in the classroom and the academic world, educators are valuable to the Soviet fifth column in the following ways: by raising finances for the Communist Party and Communist causes; by influencing governmental circles; by invading the field of science, where Moscow knows America is strong, to undermine that strength by subversion; by entry into the church and church organizations; and by encouragement of and participation in undercover work, specifically in espionage assignments to obtain American defense secrets.
Dr. Dorothy Douglas, until 1952 full professor at Smith College with great influence upon the students, furnishes a case illustrating the relationship of certain educators to Party finances. Dr. Douglas is a woman of some wealth. Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, she refused to state on the grounds it would tend to incriminate her whether she had given $600.00 per month for three years to Robert William Weiner, head of the “secret fund” of the conspiracy. This fund is used for many purposes, including the trips of secret Soviet agents to Latin America, European countries, and Moscow. It has also been used to bring secret agents into this country. The case of Dr. Douglas could be multiplied a number of times. Red educators are also often in a good position to raise funds from wealthy persons for Communist conspiratorial purposes.
Professors have a facility for getting into government posts, often in an advisory capacity. Those who bear allegiance to Stalin and to Stalinite fronts have not neglected this golden opportunity. Colston E. Warne of Amherst College, one of the Communist front veterans, was an adviser for several years to the Economic Advisory Council to the President of the United States. Marshall Dimock of Northwestern University was consultant to the Department of Defense since 1948, although he was praised by Howard Fast in Political Affairs in 1949 for his work at the seditious Waldorf-Astoria “peace” conference. (The pro-Communist records of Warne and Dimock are given in various reports of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, including The Communist “Peace” Offensive, 1951; The Review of Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, 1949. See also The Cry Is Peace, Budenz, pp. 145, 149, 162.) Maurice Halperin, now at Boston University, was advisor to the United Nations at the first conference at San Francisco, held many important posts with the United States and the United Nations in Europe and Latin America, finally becoming advisor to Secretary of State Acheson. Of Halperin, the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security said: “In the course of its investigation into Communists in government, the Sub-Committee had in its record Elizabeth Bentley’s testimony that a member of a Soviet espionage ring in Washington during the war was Maurice Halperin, who had been head of the Latin American division of the Office of Strategic Services and of Latin American Research Analysis in the State Department. It also had the information that Nathaniel Weyl, an ex-Communist who later testified fully before the Sub-Committee, had known that Halperin was a member of the Communist Party of Texas and Oklahoma who had been sent to Mexico for the Communists to attend meetings of the Communist Party there. In addition, a top secret memorandum circulated among
security authorities, dated November, 1945, was made known by the then Congressman Richard M. Nixon in 1950, and this listed Maurice Halperin as a member of a Soviet espionage ring.” And yet, when Halperin appeared under oath before the Sub-Committee, he refused to answer on any of these points, on the grounds that it would tend to incriminate him. Since fear of disgrace or embarrassment or a desire to protect one’s associates is no ground for the plea of self-incrimination, as will be noted below, Halperin’s refusal to answer at this moment of peril to the United States can be interpreted only in one light That is, that if he were to answer truthfully, his answer would have to be “Yes”—both to the inquiries about Communist Party membership and espionage. But in the face of this defiance of Congress by Halperin, Boston University merely censured him and then retained him as head of the Latin American Department.
Owen Lattimore of Johns Hopkins University and T. A. Bisson, now of the University of California, were conspicuous in working for those policies which would lead to the victory of a Red China. Although Mr. Bisson was shown clearly by the McCarran Sub-Committee on Internal Security to have joined with men like Frederick Vanderbilt Field, Israel Epstein, Guenther Stein, and Harriet Lucy Moor — veteran Communists—in bringing on the catastrophe that led to the killing of thousands of Americans in Korea, he had no difficulty in becoming a member of the faculty of the University of California. (For Bisson’s and Lattimore’s records, consult hearings of Senate Sub-Committee on Institute of Pacific Relations and that committee’s Report, entitled Institute of Pacific Relations, 82nd Congress, 2nd Session.) Thomas I. Emerson, at present professor of law at Yale University, and a consistent supporter of pro-Communist causes, worked with Nathan Witt, a Communist, in the legal department of the first National Labor Relations Board, and moved from there to many other spots in the government. Virginius Frank Coe, until recently secretary of the International Monetary Fund, got his start on the staff of Johns Hopkins Law Institute and was also at the University of Toronto, before he moved into the United States Treasury Department.
Despite Coe’s being in six successive important government posts, the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security can state: “Coe refused to answer, on the grounds that the answers might incriminate him, all questions as to whether he was a Communist, whether he was engaged in subversive activities, or whether he was presently a member of a Soviet espionage ring. He refused for the same reason to answer whether he was a member of an espionage ring while Technical Secretary of the Bretton Woods Conference, whether he ever had had access to confidential Government information or security information, whether he had been associated with the Institute of Pacific Relations, or with individuals named on a long list of people associated with that organization.” He took this stand in the face of sworn testimony by Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers that he had been in the Communist conspiracy and had served as a Soviet espionage agent. (Activities of United States Citizens Employed by the United Nations, report of Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security, Jan. 2, 1953, p.7; also see hearings and report of this Sub-Committee on the Institute of Pacific Relations).
These references give only a superficial glimpse of professors of a Communist or pro-Communist persuasion who found their way into government and would naturally have influence in those circles.
Pleading the Fifth Amendment
Since one of these men mentioned, Virginius Frank Coe, has been conspicuous in refusing to answer questions concerning his Communist affiliations or activities, some consideration must be given to the claim of privilege under the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution. The overwhelming majority of professors, teachers and government officials who were charged with pro-Communism have resorted to this plea before Congressional inquiries, particularly in 1952 and 1953. One of the first persons to make this plea was the notorious J. Peters, head of the Soviet espionage apparatus in this country for the Communist International and the man who directed the activities of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss. Under the assumed name of Alexander Stevens, one of his many aliases, Peters refused to answer all questions which touched on Soviet espionage in this country or on his association with the Communist conspiracy, although a letter of his was introduced into evidence which showed that he was acting representative of the Communist International here during the absence of Gerhart Eisler. (Hearings Regarding Communist Espionage in the United States, House Committee on Un-American Activities, 1948, pp. 1267-71.) Under the super-military organization and discipline of the Red conspiracy, what a Communist leader of Peter’s stature does is a signal for others to follow. The pattern which has been established since, and which has been loudly supported by the Communist Party, is therefore significant.
The portion of the fifth amendment upon which those charged with Communist affiliation or espionage must rely is that provision which states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security which is a subdivision of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has stated definitely that “fear of disgrace, embarrassment, or exposure of—one’s past associates is not proper grounds for the invocation of the privilege.” The Sub-Committee states: “The legal effect of such a claim of privilege on the part of a witness was that it constituted an affirmation that if he answered the particular question truthfully, he would be providing at least a link in a chain of circumstances that could lead to his conviction for a crime against which the statute of limitations has not run.” To which the Committee adds: “Moreover, the Sub-Committee could not fail to observe that in virtually every case the witness invoked his privilege against self-incrimination only when it became apparent that the evidence available to the Sub-Committee was so concrete and substantial that a denial would expose him to possible prosecution (for perjury); otherwise, he unhesitatingly denied membership.”
From all this, the Sub-Committee concludes: “For these reasons, the Sub-Committee considered the claim of privilege, particularly on the question of Communist membership, extremely significant in the determination of those who were Communists.” (Report of Sub-Committee on Internal Security, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subversive Influence in the Educational Process, pp. 6-8).
The Commission of Jurists, appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, reviewed this matter and came to the same conclusion. Dealing with those who refuse to answer on charges of espionage, the Jurists declare: “The officer has refused to answer the question on the only lawful ground open to him, namely, that in answering he would become a witness against himself. In our opinion such a person is just as unsuitable for continued employment by the United Nations in the United States as one who had actually been convicted, and his employment in the United Nations should not be continued.” The same opinion was also given regarding anyone who claimed privilege and refused to answer concerning his Communist Party membership. (Activities of United States Citizens Employed by the United Nations, Report of Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security, pp. 8-12)
In other words, both the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security and the United Nations Commission of Jurists declare that if any teacher, professor, or government employee refuses to answer concerning Communist Party affiliations or espionage work, it is because a “yes” answer on his part would be a link which would convict him of a crime connected directly with the answer. The Senate Sub-Committee states that the law is that the plea must be made “in good faith,” that is, that it not be made to avoid testifying about someone else or to avoid personal embarrassment. The reader can readily see that if this were not the law, witnesses could defy courts and Congress on behalf of criminals of any kind, specifically where conspiracies were involved. The whole structure of our legal procedure would be destroyed, and the courts and Congress made powerless.
The Senate Committee states that it gave all witnesses the benefit of the doubt about their “good faith,” although it gives as its opinion that they did not act in such good faith. Under the super-military discipline of the Communist conspiracy, “good faith” in this case is impossible. Every Communist must act according to orders and establish a pattern of conduct. Therefore,. although the Sub-Committee, in order not to appear unfair, recognized the plea under the fifth amendment, it is evident from the case of J. Peters to the latest case that men and women have been in this way breaking down the authority of the courts and Congress.
Both under the law and Communist practice, therefore, the man in the street is correct in regarding the person who refuses to answer as being guilty of criminal Communist affiliations or of espionage activities or both, as the case may be. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy has established the fact that for the fifth amendment to be pleaded, the witness must state that if he truthfully answers the question about Communist affiliation, this truth would tend to incriminate him. The “inference” of guilt which cannot be drawn in a criminal proceeding in court does apply, the Senator has stated emphatically as chairman of the Sub-Committee on Permanent Investigations, to Congressional inquiries or in public opinion. (This was stressed at the appearance of Harriet Lucy Moore before the Sub-Committee on September 28, 1953).
As to the field of physical science, the United States excels so greatly in that area that it became the chief target of the fifth column’s infiltration. The breakdown of morale in this field, the stealing of our defense secrets by scientists turned into espionage agents, and the employment of certain scientists to create public confusion were all involved in Soviet designs.
The importance of this penetration was emphasized by William Z. Foster, national chairman of the Communist Party, in a leading directive article appearing in The Communist for September, 1938, entitled “The Communist Party and the Professionals.” It contained a specific and significant instruction to “‘our scientists”‘ to bestir themselves on behalf of the conspiracy. When the Fifteenth National Convention of the Party in December 1950 hailed six leading scientists for their service to the cause of “peace,” it registered at the same time that Foster’s instruction had been taken seriously. Great emphasis was laid on the progress made among scientists, but also on what had to be done to extend Red control of scientific America. The six scientists hailed by the Party included Linus C. Pauling, atomic physicist of California, Philip D. Morrison of Cornell, Harlow Shapley and Kirtley Mather of Harvard, Anton J. Carlson of the University of Chicago, and Dirk J. Struik of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Each one of these men deserved the Red accolade, for each is a veteran member of Communist fronts and has aided Communist causes in other ways. Of Dr. Linus C. Pauling, the House Committee on Un-American Activities reported on April 1, 1951: “His whole record given below indicates that Dr. Linus Carl Pauling is primarily engrossed in placing his scientific attainments at the service of a host of organizations which have in common their complete subservience to the Communist Party, USA, and the Soviet Union. Professor Pauling has not deviated a hair’s breadth from this pattern of loyalty to the Communist cause since 1946.” (The Communist “Peace” Offensive, the Attempt to Disarm and Defeat America, House Committee on Un-American Activities, 1951, pp. 85-87). To support this indictment, the committee shows that “despite his eminence in scientific circles, his association with subversive organizations are numerous.” The list of those organizations and causes is then given, from the hearings and records of the House Committee, including his sponsorship of the seditious Waldorf-Astoria peace conference in 1949, his participation as speaker and vice-president at the Communist-created “American Continental Congress for Peace,” his association with the Civil Rights Congress, and his joining in a number of statements on behalf of Communist leaders.
Of Dr. Philip D. Morrison of Cornell, the second scientist praised by the Communists, the House Committee declares from its records that he is an “important pillar of the Communists’ ‘peace’ campaign.” It adds: “Professor Morrison travels up and down the country on his Red missions.” Then the committee lists Morrison’s pro-Red activities, including his being a sponsor and member of the program committee of the Waldorf-Astoria peace conference in 1949, his signing of many statements on “world peace,” initiated by the Communists, his sending greetings to the Daily Worker in connection with May Day, the international Communist holiday. The committee also discloses Morrison sponsored a conference “of the subversive National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions,” and attacked the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Daily Worker of May 12, 1947. Summing up its indictment of Pauling, Morrison, and other pro-Communist scientists, the House Committee states: “The examples of the pro-Communist sympathies and affiliations of certain scientists cited above pose a grave problem for the security of our country. It requires serious study and action.” (The Communist “Peace” Offensive, p. 90).
Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard, the third scientist praised by the Communists, has been a member of fully twenty Communist fronts, including organizations cited as subversive by the Attorney General, such as the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee and the League of American Writers. Shapley was an active participant in the seditious Waldorf-Astoria Peace Conference and was officially praised by the Communist Howard Fast for his work in that connection. To show how far Shapley has gone along the way with the Communists, his signing of statements in defense of Communist cases for both the Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions and the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties can be cited, together with his association with the Progressive Citizens of America when the Reds supported and dominated that organization. (Review of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, 1949, House Committee on Un-American Activities, pp. 18, 28, 29, 33, 39; also the Communist Peace Offensive, 1951, especially p.107.) The wide variety of Shapley’s affiliations with Communist causes is again illustrated by his sponsorship of the Spanish Rescue Ship Mission, a Red-created group to aid the Communists in Spain, and which by degrees developed into the Joint Anti-Fascist Rescue Committee. (Daily Worker, Feb. 6, 1941, p. 4).
Dr. Anton J. Carlson of Chicago University, also praised by the Communists, is a member of fully ten Communist fronts, including the American Peace Mobilization, which picketed the White House in 1941 in behalf of Hitler. That was during the Hitter-Stalin alliance. (Daily Worker, March 10, 1941, p. 2.) He also supported the Spanish Rescue Ship Mission in 1941 and eight years later signed a public statement to President Truman which “repeated the fraudulent ‘peace’ propaganda being issued from Moscow,” as the House Committee designates. Carlson urged the defeat of the American “arms program” and was a leading sponsor of the Mid-Century Conference for Peace, another notorious Communist front in which he was associated with Shapley. The Chicago scientist became a sponsor of the seditious Waldorf-Astoria Peace Conference of 1949 and of the Moscow-created Stockholm “Peace” Appeal. (Carlson’s record can be found in many issues of the Daily Worker but is summed up in two leading reports of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, that on The Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, 1949, and on The Communist Peace Offensive, 1951).
Professor Kirtley Mather of Harvard has shown like devotion to Stalinite causes, with membership in or sponsorship of an impressive number of Communist fronts. For four years he was national president of the American Association of Scientific Workers (AASW), part of an international movement to enlist scientists in support of Communist causes. This was the World Federation of Scientific Workers, cited by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as “another international Communist front organization.” Its leading officers were Frederick Joliot-Curie of France and John Desmond Bernal of England, two notorious Communist scientists. Joliot-Curie boasted that scientific workers in the United States had been affected by Communist propaganda, making this statement in a broadcast over the Moscow radio on March 24, 1950. He had also encouraged “espionage in behalf of the Soviet military machine,” as the House Committee directly charges. (Section of report of April 1, 1951, House Committee on Un-American Activities, “Subversion of Scientists Through the ‘Peace’ Movement,” pp. 83-84). The President of the Canadian Association of Scientific Workers, one of the companions to the AASW, was Professor Raymond Boyer, exposed as a member of the Canadian Red atomic spy ring and sentenced to prison for his crime of espionage. The Report of the Royal Commission, which is based on documents taken by Igor Gouzenko from the military espionage department of the Soviet Embassy at Ottawa, declares direct Communist control of the Canadian organization of scientific workers was a means by which espionage was furthered. The Royal Commission asserts, from evidence produced in its hearings, that the Canadian group maintained “liaison with corresponding organizations in other countries,” including Professor Mather’s organization. (The Report of the Royal Commission, June 27, 1946, Ottawa, p.70). Since the connection of the 4ASW with the World Federation and with the Canadian group was brought out in official documents in the United States and Canada, it is an eloquent fact that Professor Mather and his organization of scientists did not condemn the Canadian Soviet spies and did not demur against the “siren call to treason,” the House Committee on Un-American Activities terms Joliot-Curie’s broadcast. Quite to the contrary, he immediately associated himself with Communist-created “peace” movements which were stimulated by Joliot-Curie’s World Peace Congress. (Report of House Committee on Un-American Activities, April 1,: 1951, pp. 83, 149.) And in 1952, Mather was denounced the House Committee on Un-American Activities for his letter commending Dirk Struik, sent to “thirty ministers of the Gospel in Massachusetts,” when Struik was indicted for his Communist activities. The House Committee states that Mather “exerts an influence over thousands of students at Harvard University,” and then adds: “With individuals like Professor Struik and Mather teaching in our leading universities, your committee wonders who the Professor Struiks were at Harvard who led Alger Hiss along the road of Communism until he committed espionage against his country.” (Annual Report, House Committee on Un-American Activities, year 1951, Feb.17, 1952, 16, 17).
The sixth scientist publicly praised by the Communists, Dr. Dirk J. Struik of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has the longest pro-Communist record of those mentioned. He is a member or sponsor of fully fifty Communist fronts, as the House Committee on Un-American Activities shows in its report of April 1, 1951. These cover every possible variety of aid to the Communist cause in the United States and follow every twist and turn of the Communist line. Conspicuous among his pro-Red acts are his sponsorship of the “open” Communist Party School, the Jefferson School of Social Science. Especially to be noted also was his joining in the Statement in Defense of the Communist Party during the Hitler-Stalin alliance, reported in the Daily Worker of March 5, 1941. Of Dr. Struik the House Committee on Un-American Activities reports in 1952, on the basis of testimony given by Herbert A. Philbrick, undercover agent for the FBI: “Among those Philbrick identified as being members of the professional section of the Communist Party was Dr. Dirk J. Struik, a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to Philbrick’s testimony, both before your committee and during his appearance as a government witness in the trial of the Communist leaders, Dr. Struik taught courses at the Communist Samuel Adams School in Boston, in addition to teaching violent overthrow of the capitalist state to members of the professional section of the Communist Party. During this same time, Dr. Struik was teaching his students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” (Annual Report, Committee on Un-American Activities, for year 1951, Feb.17, 1952, pp.15, 16).
As I have stated on several occasions, specifically in my book The Cry Is Peace, the use of the names of outstanding scientists was of great value to the conspiracy in persuading lesser men in this field to engage in espionage as well as infiltration. We have the anomalous situation in the United States that we send the Rosenbergs to the electric chair but heap honors on those who helped to breed the Rosenbergs. Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard was chosen in 1952 to present the Westinghouse Awards to those students in science who had won scholarships of their outstanding work. The House Committee on Un-American Activities, in dealing with subversion among scientists, has emphasized how the three purposes of the Soviet dictatorship in regard to scientists work together. It is pointed out that the three purposes are: “‘To exert any influence they have on the peoples and governments of non-Communist nations in a direction advantageous to the Soviet Union,” and then “to maneuver these and other scientists into a position where they may render the following services: 1. To supply secret information to Soviet intelligence channels; 2. To sabotage American production of the atomic weapon.” The House Committee states: “In view of the key role played by scientific specialists, especially atomic scientists, in the defense program of democratic nations today, it is small wonder that the Communists have chosen this group as a major target of the subversive ‘peace’ movement.” (The Communist “Peace” Offensive, April 1, 1951, p. 82).
A chief Communist agency to advance espionage was the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians, known as FAECT. Active in this organization were Steve Nelson and Marcel Scherer, the latter of whom was national secretary of FAECT. Both Nelson and Scherer are veteran Soviet espionage agents. It was the FAECT which launched Rosenberg in his career as an atomic spy. It was through that organization that atomic secrets were stolen from the radiation laboratory at the University of California and from the Manhattan Engineering District. (The records of the FAECT, Marcel Scherer, and Steve Nelson are scattered through the reports on espionage and “peace” movements in the reports and hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, specifically in The Communist “Peace” Offensive, 1951, p. 69; The Shameful Years, 1951; and Hearings Regarding Steve Nelson, 1949).
The careless attitude of certain college administrators is indicated by the fact that the members of the Communist cell at the radiation laboratory, after their exposure, respectively became professors at the Universities of Minnesota, Princeton, Fisk, Puerto Rico, and California. American students were exposed to the men who had worked in the most scandalous manner for the military defeat of the United States by Soviet Russia. Out of such criminal carelessness, more Rosenbergs will he hatched.
Tactics of Communists and Their Friends
When subversive influences, or persons who tend to protect subversion, are brought into question, a common pattern of attack is made by the Communists and their friends. It runs something as follows:
First, the cry of “academic freedom” is raised. This is a false cry. Every Communist has surrendered his freedom to the Kremlin and the Party. That has been shown clearly in The Training of the Communist, and specifically in the demand for “obliteration” of a member’s personality into the Party, contained in How To Be A Good Communist. Despite this first principle of Red discipline, the American Association of University Professors has declared against exclusion of Communists from the teaching profession, on the grounds that it would interfere with “freedom” to choose one’s political party. They declare that Communists should teach, “so long as the Communist Party in the United States is a legal political party.” This declaration indicates that many university professors, at least as represented by this organization, know nothing about the Communist conspiracy or want to know nothing officially about it. The best interpretation of this attitude is that among the professors, as in a number of other fields, a minority subject to Communist pressure has dominated the majority.
Second, the “Save our Schools” device is used. According to this argument, everyone who raises the question of subversion, or of attitudes which aid the Communists, is accused of seeking to destroy the public school system. One of the big misrepresentations about the Pasadena situation was that “special interests” had sought to defeat a bond issue by attacking Dr. Willard Goslin, who was removed as head of the Pasadena schools. But Oliver Carlson has shown conclusively in the Freeman Magazine for October 30, 1952, that the first bond issue was defeated merely to get rid of Goslin, and that upon his resignation, a second bond issue was passed by an overwhelming vote. Among Dr. Goslin’s acts, incidentally, had been the bringing in of Dr. Theodore Brameld, veteran Communist fronter, to lead the summer workshops for teachers.
Third, the claim is made that “dissent” will be confused with “disloyalty,” a plea which flows from the academic freedom argument. (But, as Dr. Matthews points out, if an investigation of the use of marihuana by teenagers would be charged as a “drive against coca-cola,” the person making that charge would readily be seen to be incompetent. So it is in this case. And Dr. Harry Gideonse, President of Brooklyn College and a distinguished champion of civil liberties, came directly to the point when he stated under oath, referring to the hearings of the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security: “I appreciate that you are not concerned with the liberal, with the right to be critical, with the right to hold unpopular views; that is not your interest at all. That you are concerned, as a matter of fact, with protecting genuine freedom of thought against the temptation of some few who have sold their birthright as Americans for a mess of intellectual potage, to a foreign power.” Professor Harry Allen Overstreet, an experienced educator, author of The Mature Mind, strengthened this view by declaring that it is only by ridding our schools and colleges of Communists that we can protect genuine dissent or, as he put it, “the freedoms of investigation and the integrity of investigation that we require in our educational processes.” [Subversive Influence in the Educational Process, report of Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security, July 17, 1953, pp. 6, 28).
Fourth, statements are prepared and signed by leading officials of big corporations, “defending” the college or school in which subversive influences are found. This is the common practice and the presence of the vice-president of a big radio corporation or a big manufacturing concern on such a list is supposed to impress those who want to clear the schools of Communist penetration. The community is supposed to ask the question: “How could these industrialists ever be sympathetic to Communism?” But that is becoming an outworn practice, as it is becoming more widely known that among a number of representatives of management, pro-Communist influences do play a part. For some of these men are often bound up in a pragmatic and materialistic philosophy akin to that which forms the basis of Communism. A striking illustration of a leading industrialist who has aided the Communist line, though undoubtedly he did this unwittingly, is Ernest T. Weir, president of the National Steel Company of Weirton, West Virginia. Mr. Weir is known as a bitter opponent of organized labor. At the same time, he has been prominent in advocating recognition of Red China and in urging “negotiations” of a general character with Soviet Russia, going to the extent of issuing pamphlets on a nation-wide scale in support of these pro-Soviet proposals. His arguments are not based on moral grounds, but on strictly “practical” considerations which do not apply when confronting Soviet Communism.
In the same manner, officers of corporations can sometimes be induced to sign statements “defending” a certain educational institution when subversive influences are shown to exist on its faculty. The actuality is that the best way to support the school or college in question is to cleanse it completely of these subversive influences.
Fifth, the “smear” tactic, which the Communists have always used on a big scale, is brought to bear in various forms. Those who are protecting the Reds often borrow Red methods, and so it is in this case. Sometimes there is a misrepresentation of facts, as when Dean Ernest 0. Melby states in regard to Scarsdale that the Citizens’ Committee “was challenged to prove its charges—but presented only vague accusations and a sense of hysteria. The charges were dropped.” This is completely untrue, both as to the nature of the charges and as to the statement that they were dropped. The “smear” may take the form of crying “McCarthyite” or “book burner” at those who present the facts about Red teachers, books, lecturers, or entertainers. It may go further and lead to a whispering campaign against the sanity of the person or persons alleging the presence of subversive influences; this being an old device of the Communists in locality after locality.
These, and other similar methods of attack, can be defeated by carefully bringing out the facts, basing every statement on the record in the case. This is essential to offsetting Communist tactics in all situations but is of prime importance in the educational field.
It may be added that the American Association of Universities (not to be confused with the American Association of University Professors) set down as a matter of policy that Communists or those who follow the line would be excluded from American college faculties. Until mid-1953, very little had been done to implement this excellent statement, and, except for those professors who had been thoroughly exposed by congressional inquiries, few Communists or followers of the Communist line had been disturbed in their academic positions.
In certain areas there were honorable exceptions to this rule. New York City educational authorities received special commendation from the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security for the methodical manner in which they were proceeding to rid the school system of subversive teachers. Out in California, to all appearances, definite steps were being taken in the same direction. The Senate Sub-Committee, wishing to avoid Federal intervention on too large a scale, placed the responsibility for getting rid of subversive influences in the educational process in the hands of the college authorities and local school boards. That is where the case remained in the Fall of 1953.
~ the Author ~
Louis Francis Budenz (pronounced “byew-DENZ”; July 17, 1891 – April 27, 1972) was an American activist and writer, as well as a Soviet espionage agent and head of the Buben group of spies. He began as a labor activist and became a member of the Communist Party USA. In 1945 Budenz renounced Communism and became a vocal anti-Communist, appearing as an expert witness at various governmental hearings and authoring a series of books on his experiences. – (Source: Wikipedia)