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Full text of "Communist infiltration of Hollywood motion-picture industry : hearing before the Committee on Un-American activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-second Congress, first session"


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COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD 
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTY-SECOND CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 



JANUARY 24, 28, FEBRUARY 5, MARCH 20, AND APRIL 10, 30, 1952 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities 




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
95829 WASHINGTON : 1952 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 

United States House of Representatives 

JOHN S. WOOD, Georgia, Chairman 

FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois 

MORGAN M. MOULDER, Missouri BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New York 

CLYDE DOYLE, California DONALD L. JACKSON, California 

JAMES B. FRAZIER, Jr., Tennessee CHARLES E. POTTER, Michigan 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Rdssell, Senior Investigator 

John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee 

Raphael L, Nixon, Director of Research 

n 



CONTENTS 



Page 

January 24, 1952, appearance of M. William Pomerance ^__ 2307 

January 28, 1952 : 
Testimony of — 

Melvin Levy 2309 

Michael Seymour Blankfort 2328 

Oeorgo Passman 2306 

February 5, 1952, testimony of M. William Pomerance 2373 

March 20, 1952, testimony of Hyman ("Hy") Solomon Kraft 2397 

April 10, 1952, testimony of Elia Kazan 2409 

April 30, 1952, testimony of Edward G. Kobinson 2417 

in 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 1952 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC HEADING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to ad- 
journment, at 2 : 28 p. m., in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives John S. Wood, Clyde 
Doyle, Bernard W. Kearney, Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. 
Potter. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; John W. Carrington, clerk; Raphael 
I. Nixon, director of research ; Courtney E. Owens and William A. 
Wheeler, investigators; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. 

For the purposes of the hearing this afternoon, acting under the 
authority and resolution establishing this committee, I as chairman 
set up the subcommittee composed of the following members: Messrs. 
Doyle, Kearney, Potter, and Wood ; and they are all present. 

Who do you have for the first witness, Mr. Counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. I will call Mr. William Pomerance. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Pomerance, will you hold up your right hand and 
be sworn ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you will give this sub- 
committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat, please. 

TESTIMONY OF M. WILLIAM POMERANCE, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, DAVID REIN 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, my purpose in calling the witness 
was merely to have him respond to the subpena and to have the com- 
mittee set a date for his appearance, as it is quite evident with the 
work we have planned here for today and tomorrow that we are not 
likely to reach him. 

However, I will ask him one or two questions. 

Mr. Pomerance, you were served with a subpena to appear here 
today, the 24th day of January ? 

2307 



2308 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the subpena served on you ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Tuesday morning. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Pomerance, owing to the schedule that we have had 
this week, and its taking more time than the committee contemplated, 
I regret very much that we are not going to be able to hear your testi- 
mony, and I am going to excuse you until Tuesday, the 5th of 
February. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused and the committee proceeded 
with the witness, A. Marburg Yerkes, whose testimony is printed in 
a separate publication entitled "Communist Infiltration Into Profes- 
sional Groups.") 



COMMUNIST INFILTKATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 1952 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to ad- 
journment, at 10 : 10 a. m., in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. Francis E. Walter presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives Francis E. Walter, 
Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, James B. Frazier, Jr., (appearance 
as noted in record) , Harold H. Velde, (appearance as noted in record) , 
Bernard W. Kearney, Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; Thomas W. 
Beale, Sr., assistant counsel ; John W. Carrington, clerk ; Raphael I. 
Nixon, director of research; William A. Wheeler and Courtney E. 
Owens, investigators ; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order, please. 

Let the record show that there are present Messrs. Moulder, Doyle, 
Frazier, Velde, Kearney, Jackson, Potter, and Walter. 

Who is your next witness, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavenner. I will call Mr. Melvin Levy. 

What is your name, please, sir? 

Mr. Levy. Melvin Levy. 

Mr. Walter. Just a moment. Will you rise please, and hold up 
your right hand ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give 
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God? 

Mr. Levy. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF MELVIN LEVY 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 
Mr. Levy. Melvin Levy. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Levy ? 
Mr. Levy. In Salt Lake City, on May 11, 1902. 
Mr. Tavenner. Will you raise your voice just a little bit ? 
Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, briefly, what 
your educational training has been ? 

2309 



2310 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levy. I am a graduate with a master's degree of the University 
of Washington. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. It is rather difficult to hear you. 

Mr. Levy. I am sorry. I will try to raise it. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated you were a graduate of the University 
of Washington ? 

Mr. Levy. The University of Washington, and I have a master's 
degree. 

Sir. Tavenner. A master's degree ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession? 

Mr. Levy. Writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are a writer ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a writer of screen plays ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, I am a writer of anything. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee briefly what your record 
of employment or achievement has been in the field of writing? 

Mr. Levy. Well, my first novel was published when I was 21, called 
Matrix, M-a-t-r-i-x. 

Mr. Tavenner. Matrix? 

Mr. Levy. Matrix. And I published four novels. My first play 
was Gold Eagle Guv. 

Mr. Tavenner. We are having difficulty hearing you. 

Mr. Levy. I am terribly sorry. My first play was Gold Eagle Guy. 
It was done in New York in 1931:. And I have done, I suppose, a dozen 
or 15 or 20 pictures, I don't know; Bandit of Sherwood Forest; Sun- 
day Dinner for a Soldier; Renegades; She's a Soldier, Too. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the names of the last two ? 

Mr. Levy. The last two that I said. Let's see, did I say "Bandit 
of Sherwood Forest" ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Bandit of Sherwood Forest? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Sunday Dinner for a Soldier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sunday Dinner for a Soldier? 

Mr. Levy. Hitler's Hangman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Hitler's Hangman? 

Mr. Levy. She's a Soldier, Too. 

Mr. Tavenner. She's a Soldier, Too? 

Mr. Levy. That is right. 

Renegades. 

Mr. Tavenner. Renegades? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. It covers a 

Mr. Tavenner. That is sufficient. 

Mr. Levy, during the course of the hearings conducted by this com- 
mittee in Los Angeles in September of 1951, Mr. Martin Berkeley 
appeared as a witness, and identified you as having been at one time 
a member of the Communist Party. 
(Addressing news photographers:) 
May I ask that you get your pictures now? 
Mr. Levy. You can have a lot of them. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2311 

Mr. Tavenner. Now that is over with. 

Mr. Levy. I am very happy. 

Mr. Tavenner. I stated that Mr. Martin Berkeley had identified 
you as having been at one time a member of the Communist Party. 
Did you then voluntarily get in touch with the committee and ask 
the privilege of appearing before the committee? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. To make such statement or explanation of your 
membership as you desired? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee did announce in Hollywood, as it 
has frequently announced, whenever a person has been named as a 
member of the Communist Party, or any testimony is given relating 
to him or his organization, that either he or his organization is invited 
to appear here for such explanation as the individual or the association 
desires to present. 

Mr. Levy. That is what I understand. 

M r. Tavenner. And it is in response to that that you have appeared ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what is it that you desire to state to the com- 
mittee about it? 

Mr. Levy. Well, Mr. Berkeley's testimony was true. I was twice 
in m}' life. I was once a member of the Communist Party, and once 
a member of the Communist Political Association at various times. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is correct. 

Mr. Levy. I think that it is, at different times, and with no connec- 
tion between, no connection between the two things. 

I became a member of the Communist Party in 1933 at the request 
of Mr. Earl Browder. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did that take place? 

Mr. Levy. In New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the occasion of Mr. Earl Browder's talk- 
ing to you ? 

Mr. Levy. I don't remember precisely how I met Mr. Browder. I 
do remember that he spoke — asked me if he could come to my house 
and speak, in an apartment with my wife on Fifteenth Street, and he 
came there, and brought other people with him, whom I didn't know. 
And I met him then. And as asked me over some time if I would 
come in the Communist Party and I said "no," because I said that I 
was a writer and that as a writer I wanted no obligation to anything 
except my writing. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate it if the gentle- 
man would raise his voice. 

Mr. Levy. I said "no," because I told him that I was a writer and 
wanted to have no obligation to anything except my writing. 

I had never, even in college — because I have always thought of my- 
self as a writer, even when I was little. I didn't want to belong to 
anything. 

And Mr. Browder then suggested I become a member at large, and 
that I would not be asked to go to meetings, or anything of the sort. 

And I became a member at large in his office, and was given a name 
then, and a card. I no longer remember the name. I tried to think 
of it several times. It could have been Martin, but I am not sure. 



2312 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Levy. And then, about some months later, I went — this was at 
a time when I was engaged in a biography of a man named Tom 
Mooney, and I met Mr. Mooney on the coast. I had a contract with 
Harcourt Brace to publish this book. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you there. 

Mr. Levy. Am I saying more than I should? 

Mr. Tavenner. I want you to present it as you desire, but at times 
I would like to interrupt you. 

Mr. Levy. Please do. 

Mr. Tavenner. And ask you for more detailed information. 

Mr. Levy. Please do. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am interested to know why it was that Earl Brow- 
der was interested in your membership to the extent that he would 
suggest that you become a member at large. 

Mr. Levy. Well, I cannot answer that in any accurate way. I 
imagine that I was not the only person in this situation. I think he 
regarded me as a good writer, which I like to think of myself as 
being. That is it. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you became a member at the so- 
licitation of Mr. Browder, did you engage in any particular study 
in company with other members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. This was my understanding: That I was not 
to be required to go to any meetings of any kind; that I was to have 
conversations with Mr. Browder, as I desired them. 

Mr. Tavenner. What efforts were made to indoctrinate you in the 
principles of the Communist Party at that time? 

Mr. Levy. I was just trying to think. I talked to him a number 
of times, and I suppose that would be it. I don't think there was — 
there was no intense program. I mean, nothing that I can say "This 
is it." 

We had a number of discussions ; I suppose four or five or six. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. You may proceed. You were telling 
us about your work in writing the life story of Tom Mooney. 

Mr. Levy. Tom Mooney. And I went to the coast then, to San 
Francisco, and had met Mr. Mooney. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. Levy. I met Mr. Mooney, and he was an extraordinary man. 
And I very quickly found that the book was being destroyed for my 
purposes, because there were things going on. The Mooney Molders 
Committee was fighting with other people, and the book was being 
molded by decisions that were made that had nothing to do with the 
book. 

Mr. Tavenner. These decisions that were made that seemed to alter 
the normal course that such a book should take were being made by 
whom ? 

Mr. Levy. I don't know. They came to me from Mooney. They 
came to me from Mooney or his sister. But they were having fights 
with all kinds Of people whom I don't know. I was not their confi- 
dante. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to find out as to what extent the Communist 
Party endeavored, if at all, there. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2313 

Mr. Levy. This I cannot answer. All of my conversations were 
either with Mooney or with his sister, Miss Mooney. I don't remember 
her first name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were the changes or the difficulties that you had of 
such a character that you could determine the source of them ; that is, 
whether they came from problems in the Communist ideology? 

Mr. Levy. I would guess that they came from many sources. I 
would guess that the AFL would say something; that the molders 
committee would say something, probably the Communist Party would 
say something. There were many people interested in Mooney in a 
different way than I was interested in him. 

I remember one of the things — it is a long time ago, and it is hard 
for me to remember details — one of the things that went back and 
forth was the attitude about the American Federation of Labor, it 
sometimes was for and sometimes it was against, and this man was 
just lost sight of. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did your Communist Party membership have any- 
thing to do with your selection as a person to write the life of Tom 
Mooney ? 

Mr. Levy. No. This preceded it. No, this was Harcourt Brace and 
I that had this idea. It began with another firm whose name I do 
longer remember, which was later absorbed by Harcourt Brace who 
thought this was a good idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand this work commenced before you be- 
came a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. Yes; the contract was made before the negotiations, but 
just before I went to San Francisco to meet Mr. Mooney, I had these 
meetings with Mr. Browder. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Counsel, may I ask a question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Certainly. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Moulder (presiding). Mr. Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. At the time you talked with Mr. Earl Browder con- 
cerning your joining the Communist Party, was Browder the leader 
of the Communist Party in America at that time? 

Mr. Levy. I don't know if he was a leader. He was a very important 
man. I don't know if he was at the top. He was an important man. 
I think he had a special interest in writers and artists. 

Mr. Kearney. He had a special interest in obtaining recruits for 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. I think he also had an interest in writers and artists and 
painters. 

Mr. Kearney. For the Communist Party, and for recruitment into 
the party ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes; but I think — this is judgment, personally — that he 
was a widely read man, and a very literate man. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the reason he had? That is the question 
I was trying to get at a moment ago. What was the reason that 
Earl Browder had for taking this special interest in writers? Do you 
think it was to influence the course of their writings? 

Mr. Levy. Yes; I think it was two things. I think that certainly 
it was to influence the course of writings, but I think also that this 
particular thing came out of his own personality — this is a matter of 



2314 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

judgment — he was a man who I remember had read more poets than 
I had read, and that was at a time when I was reading a great many 
poets. 

He was a man who read a great deal. I think both things existed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he discuss with you at any time your assign- 
ment to write the story of Tom Mooney ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. I told him what I wanted to do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that before he asked you to become a member 
of the Communist Party ? Did he know 

Mr. Levy. I understand your question. I don't know the sequence 
of events. It was all about the same time. 

(Representative Bernard W. Kearney left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Levy. It all happened about the same time, and I cannot say 
what preceded what each time. He might very well have known. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time during the course of your work 
in connection with that assignment feel that you were being influenced 
in any way by members of the Communist Party in the performance 
of your task that was being attempted ? 

Mr. Levy. As I say, from the time I got to San Francisco until the 
job was finished all of my contacts were either with Mr. Mooney or his 
sister. 

But it was obvious that these contacts were reflecting a great 
many — I think you have to understand what kind of a man Mooney 
was. This is a man, who was, I think, as interesting as any man I 
have ever known. He had a particular quality. But he had a tre- 
mendous egotism, and he thought of himself in all the meetings I 
had with him, he spoke of himself in the third person. And he 
thought of himself as a nation thinks of itself, or as the Congress 
thinks of itself. 

He never thought of himself as a man named Tom Mooney. He 
would never say, "I think"; he would say, "Tom Mooney thinks." 
I never heard him use the first person singular pronoun. 

Now, these were things that I wanted to have in the book. There 
were a great many things. To me he was a character, and a great 
character. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Mr. Mooney at any time make a statement 
to you regarding either his membership or nonmembership in the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. No ; but he said to me a number of times, "Tom Mooney 
and the Soviet Union," as if they both occupied the same size of terri- 
tory. So I would doubt that 

Mr. Jackson. The sequence would seem to indicate that he per- 
haps occupied more space than the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Levy. That was always a sequence, an accidental 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask a question right there: 

At the time he used that phrase, "Tom Mooney and the Soviet 
Union," did he use it in such a way that it indicated to you that there 
was cooperation or functioning together by Tom Mooney and the 
Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Levy. I would think not. I would think that it indicated that 
there might be a temporary alliance at one/point or another, but at 
no time a breaking down of the borders, so to speak. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2315 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you publish your book? 

Mr. Levy. No. The 'book was a fiasco. Harcourt didn't want to 
publish it, and I didn't want to publish it, either. The book was just 
a hodgepodge. 

Then I went to Browder and said that this was why I did not want 
to have anything, any organizational contacts, and asked to be re- 
leased, and returned my card he had given me, I believe, and was 
released at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain in the Communist Party 
at that period ? 

Mr. Levy. Well, it must have been right around a year, shading 
one way or the other, right around a year. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the year^ I do not know that you have 
fixed the exact year. 

'Mr. Levy. Well, it was through most of the year 1933. One of the 
reasons I felt most strongly about this in terms of my experience 
was that I was them embarking on a series of what were going to 
be five novels on the Pacific coast from which I come, and I was going 
to treat the Pacific coast in terms of industry and industrialists. 

Mr. Jackson. Could you speak a little louder, please ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, I can. I say I was going to write ; I had the project 
of writing what was going to be a series of five novels on the Pacific 
coast, which is my home, in terms of industries, and the protagonists 
in each case were to be industrialists. 

And 1 felt that this was a field in which there could be all kinds 
of interference, the kind I didn't want. I took two of these. The 
first of these was the The Last Pioneers, which was a novel. 

The second was Gold Eagle Guy, which was done as a play. 

And I don't know if this is apropos, or not, but both of these were 
reviewed adversely in the left-wing press, generally on the basis that 
I had romanticized industrialists, although, I may say, that in at least 
one case, one who thought he was the protagonist, or his family, was 
just as adverse. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand you to say that you did not want 
to feel any restraints at the time that you prepared these, or wrote 
these two novels? 

Mr. Levy. I didn't want to feel any restraint about writing at all, 
but particularly because I knew I was going to deal with industry 
and industrialists. 

Mr. Tavenner. What reason did you have to believe that you would 
have any restraint placed upon you ? 

Mr. Levy. I had just been through it with the Mooneys. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did that have anything to do with your leaving 
the party at that particular time ? 

Mr. Levy. It had everything to do with it; yes, sir. That is it. 

Mr. Tavenner. So it was because of the restraint that you felt 
would be imposed by the Communist Party that you withdrew? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. I didn't want restraint from anybody. I didn't 
want restraint from anybody. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were of the opinion that that would inter- 
fere with your own creative work in the writing of the novels The 
Last Pioneer and so on? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 



2316 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. I think, counsel, when Mr. Levy testified before he 
did not use the word "restraint." He said "no obligation." I am. 
wondering if there is any difference in his mind between the terms. 

You used the term "obligation"; you did not use the term "re- 
straint," did you not? 

Mr. Levy. I don't remember, but let me say this : That I have been 
writing most of m} r life, and only once has anybody said to me, "this 
is what you are to write, and this is the way you are to write it." 
Nobody in my life has ever said to me excepting once "this is the way 
the thing has got to be done." 

And I don't remember using the word "obligation," but I think 
obligation is the closer word. 

Mr. Doyle. I think the exact language was — and I wrote it down 
because I thought it was significant — "I wanted to have no obligation 
except to my writing." 

Mr. Levy. I wasn't conscious of using that word, but that is the 
more accurate thing. That is what I meant. 

Mr. Tavenner. What I am trying to understand is whether or not 
you felt that membership in the Communist Party would hinder you 
in carrying out your work in the preparation of the novels vou spoke 
of. 

Mr. Levy. I felt, and do feel, that membership in any organization 
that has a program to which you bind yourself by being a member 
must give you an obligation — and thank you for giving me back 
that word — must give you an obligation to those things which must 
influence your writing. 

For instance, in Gold Eagle Guy, the protagonist is a shipping 
man, a San Francisco man, who is a shipper who creates a shipping 
empire. 

Now, as I say, the family of the man who thought that I was 
writing about him was very indignant that I had treated him this 
way, but to me he was a character. I didn't want to say, because the 
family may object to it, I didn't want to paint him one way, but also 
to me he was a very romantic and powerful, creative character, and 
I didn't want to be under — this was his significance to me, was that 
he was both things, was that he was creative, that he built, that he 
was essential, and also on the other side that he was ammoral, that 
he was ruthless, and you must have both these things to make a 
character, to make a man. 

And if you leave out either thing you are lying. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that there was only one occasion when 
you were told, or directed what to write. Has that any bearing 
upon the matters which this committee is investigating? 

Mr. Levy. I was working for the New York Journal. 

Mr. Taven*ner. As a result of the problem which you mentioned, 
you withdrew from the Communist Party in 1933? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the year's period when you were a member 
at that time, did you pay dues? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir; I think I paid Mr. Browder something when 
he gave me the card, some small sum, but no others. 

Mr. Tavenner. But as a member at large, you did not pay dues? 
Mr. Levy. No. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2317 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your next affiliation or connection with 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. This was either in late 1944 or early in 1945 with the 
Communist Political Association, and I stress the name because tliis 
was the connection. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you desire to say to the committee re- 
garding your experience at that time ? 

Mr. Levy. Well, I was asked to join, and said what had happened 
there before, said what had happened ; said much of what I have said 
to you here now. 

And then was told that the Communist Party no longer existed; 
that the Communist Political Association existed, and that it was 
an entirely different kind of thing; that it was part of the unity be- 
tween wartime allies, et cetera, et cetera, and I joined. 

Mr. Tavenner. And because of those representations your attitude 
toward your work and your party was different from what it had 
been back in 1933 ? 

Mr. Levy. Well, the party no longer — there was no more party. 
You see, this was the thing : That there was no more party. There 
was no more Communist Party at this time. And that the situation 
that I had found unpleasant did not exist and could not exist, and that 
we were wartime allies with them, and we were — I cannot finish that 
sentence. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was instrumental in bringing you into the 
party? 

Mr. Levy. A man named Willner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that George Willner ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether he is the same George Will- 
ner who was an agent for various writers and 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And who appeared before this committee and re- 
fused to testify on the ground that to do so might incriminate him? 

Mr. Levy. I didn't know that he had appeared before the com- 
mittee, but he was an agent, he was my agent, or he worked for my 
agent. He was an employee of my agent. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just tell us a little more in detail of what Mr. 
Willner did to bring you into the party again in 1944. 

Mr. Levy. It was either late 1944 or 1945 — I am not sure which. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Communist Political Association had its in- 
ception in 1944? 

Mr. Levy. Well, I am not sure. 

Mi 1 . Tavenner. And ended in 1945 ? 

Mr. Levy. I am not sure in my own mind, whether it was 1944 or 
1945. That is why I — and I don't know how to establish it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just recite the events or the circumstances under 
which George Willner approached you. 

Mr. Levy. He spoke to me about this a number of times saying 
more or less what I have said now, in different ways, and finally I 
said, or finally he said, "I would like you to go to a* meeting," and I 
said, "O. K." 

Mr. Jackson. A little louder, please. 

Mr. Levy. I am terribly sorry. 



2318 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

And he gave me an address, and I went to the meeting. He was 
not there. 

(Representative Bernard W. Kearney reentered the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. How is that ? 

Mr. Levy. He was not there. And the assumption was that — 
there was nothing more formal than that. I went to this meeting, 
and then I went to some others, not a lot. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were these meetings held ? 

Mr. Levy. It was in the valley; I don't know. You say whose 
house ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Levy. I am not — I don't know. It was in the valley. It was 
on the flat part of the valley. There was a house I never went to 
again, and Bill 1 asked me that, and I have tried to remember that, 
and I have tried to remember since, and I just don't know whose 
house it is. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many meetings did you attend? 

Mr. Levy. Six or eight over a period of time ; maybe five. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period of time ? 

Mr. Levy. Over a period of several months. There were a half 
dozen, I should think. 

(A note was handed to the witness.) 

This note just says "Louder." 

Mr. Tavenner. I think you should read it because I would not want 
it to appear that we were handing you private notes. 

Mr. Levy. No. You looked so distressed. 

Mr. Tavenner. The note says "Louder"? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, try to speak a little louder. 

Mr. Levy. Over a period of several months, I think there were five 
or six or eight. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were these meetings held ? If you attended 
about five meetings, can you tell us, or give us the names of the homes 
of any of the persons ? 

Mr. Levy. A man named Bill Blowitz. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bill, is that Blowitz, B-1-o-w-i-t-z ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes; it is apparently the same man, if that is the way 
you pronounce it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall his first name ? 

Mr. Levy. Bill. 

Mr. Tavenner. And in what business was he engaged? 

Mr. Levy. He is a publicity man. 

(At this point, counsel for the committee interrupted the pro- 
ceedings to discuss another matter.) 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that you attended a meeting in the home 
of William Blowitz. 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of other persons in 
whose homes you met ? 

Mr. Levy. I am trying to do that now. At a later time, Lester Cole — 
I think not at this time ; I'm not sure — it's hard to remember them, 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 23 J 9 

because they were often in the homes of people I didn't know, and 
because it was so irregular, they were usually with people whom I 
didn't know. 

I think you have something in front of you there 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall meeting at the home of Mortimer 
Offner? 

Mr. Levy. I believe so. 

(Representative Bernard W. Kearney left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Levy. I think there was one of these that was at my house. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of any other members of 
this group ? 

Mr. Levy. No; Bill 1 has the names there. Mr. Berkeley was one; 
Betty Wilson, who also testified that I met her at such a meeting, has 
testified accurately. 

Mr. Tavenner. And she testified in the Hollywood hearings ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes ; and this was accurate. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall a person by the name of Edward 
Huebsch, H-u-e-b-s-c-h ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party, to your 
knowledge? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. On what do you base your statement ? 

Mr. Levy. Because he asked me if I would like — when I had left, if 
I would like 



Mr. Tavenner. Speak a little louder. 

Mr. Levy. When I had left, he asked me if I wanted to be in or out. 

(Representative Bernard W. Kearney returned to the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Alfred Levitt, L-e-v-i-t-t? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. This is something that I have been trying to remember. 
I have said — when I read this, I found his name there, and I cannot 
now say — I would say "Yes," but I cannot — I would say he is, but 
I keep trying to find a reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't want you to say so unless you know it of 
your own knowledge. 

Mr. Levy. I am trying to find the reason in my mind that I would 
say "Yes." 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, if you have any reason, state it. 

Mr. Levy. Well, I have been trying to think if I ever was at that 
meeting with him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me say this, that before you express any opinion 
you should first conclude in your own mind whether you know he 
was a member of the party. 

Mr. Levy. That is a difficult thing. I read it there, and when I said 
it 1 must have had a reason for saying it. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean, you read it there ? 

1 Bill refers to William A. Wheeler, committee investigator. 
95829— 52— pt. 7 2 



2320 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levy. When I read over the testimony I gave Bill, what I gave 
Bill earlier. And then, afterward, when I saw it there, I began to try 
to remember why I said it. I cannot remember now whether I was 
at a meeting with him or not. I was with him at a number of Screen 
Actors' Guild meetings and that kind of thing. And I would say that 
I am pretty sure the answer is "Yes," but I cannot say right now why 
I say ''Yes." And I would like to, because this has bothered me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, is that all you have to say with regard to 
Mr. Levitt? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, for your information, as you were 
not at the Hollywood hearings, Mr. Levitt was identified by witnesses 
there as a member of the Communist Party. 

Now, were you affiliated with the Communist Party in any way 
between the years 1936 and 1944 ? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. 

(Representative Clyde Doyle returned to the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend any meetings of the Communist 
Party during that time? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or Marxist study groups during that period of 
time ? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. No, I was living on a farm in Bucks County. 

Mr. Tavenner. In Pennsylvania ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. And I don't remember attending any public things 
except auction sales. But during that time, I certainly had no con- 
nection with anything. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you go to California ? 

Mr. Levy. 1941, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you were in California in 1933 ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you were working on the Tom Mooney book? 

Mr. Levy Yes. I was in San Francisco then. Then when Gold 
Eagle Guy was running, I was out to do one picture for Metro. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Levy. That was 1935. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you in California between 1936 and 1941 ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. I had a job for Universal. I was out there for 6 
weeks, in 1939. But I did not have any connection with anything. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter returned to the hearing room at 
this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you out there between 1936 and 1939, that is, 
out in California? 

Mr. Levy. No. I was there for the first time in 1933. Then I 
was there in 1935 at Metro. And in 1939, at Universal. Then I came 
out again just before Pearl Harbor in 1941, shortly before Pearl Har- 
bor. And that time I brought my family, and I have stayed. 

Mr. Moulder. In 1944, were you issued a membership card, or was 
your affiliation just by attendance at meetings which you recognized 
or assumed to be Communist meetings? 

Mr. Levy. Which I recognized. So far as I know, the only card I 
ever remember was the one Mr. Browder gave me in 1933. There may 
have been cards made out that were not issued to me, but I do not re- 
member seeing them. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2321 

Mr. Moulder. Then could we assume you were a member of the 
Communist Party in 1941 other than attending meetings, or what was 
your attitude about that ? 

Mr. Levy. Well, I regarded myself so. Of the political association, 
rather. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you said there was no more party. 

Mr. Levy. That is right. It was the political association. 

Mr. Doyle. It was your understanding that it did not exist? 

Mr. Levy. I think that was true. I think the party did not exist 
then, or did not exist in any form that 

Mr. Moulder. That was the point that I referred to. 

Mr. Levy. I think Mr. Tavenner used the words interchangeably. 

Mr. Velde. Well, in your own mind, was not the Communist Politi- 
cal Association the same as the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. 

Mr. Velde. What, in your mind, was the difference between the 
two? Was there any difference in the personnel or the membership? 

Mr. Levy. This I don't know, because I don't know what the mem- 
bership was. There was certainly a difference, because I was a dif- 
ference. 

Mr. Velde. You mean there was a difference in your own mind? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, I was a difference. It was a difference in member- 
ship. 

Mr. Velde. You had belonged to the Communist Party prior to 
1944? 

Mr. Levy. But I left for the specific reasons I stated, and would 
not have gone back, for those reasons. 

Mr. Velde. I am a little confused about this. I am sorry, Mr. 
Counsel. 

I understood you were a member of the Communist Party prior to 
its change to the Communist Political Association. 

Mr. Levy. This was in 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. In 1933 he dropped out of the Communist Party. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Vei.de. And you did not rejoin it again 

Mr. Levy. Unti 1*1944. 

Mr. Velde. When you joined the Communist Political Association? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. I see. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of the Communist 
Political Association? 

Mr. Levy. Well, actually, technically, I suppose, I was a member 
until 1947, I think, some time in 1947. * I had stopped going to meet- 
ings a long time before that. But I think technically it was in 1947. 

Mr. Tavenner. Actually, the Communist Political Association went 
out of existence in 1945. 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Therefore, you just remained in the Communist 
organization, which had converted in 1945 back to its former title, 
that of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. What happened was that finally — I wasn't being around, 
and finally I was called on to say, "What do you want to do ?" Finally 
Mr. Huebsch called and said, "What do you want to do?" 

Mr. Tavenner. Who called ? 



2322 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levy. Mr. Huebsch. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please ? 

Mr. Levy. You spelled it a minute ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. I know. 

Mr. Levy. H-u-e-b-s-c-h. 

Mr. Moulder. During all that time you referred to, as being asso- 
ciated with the Communist Party or the Political Association of the 
Communist Party, would you say it influenced your writings, books, 
or an}^ other publications or works that you have done? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir ; it did not. 

Mr. Moulder. Then the association you had with the Communist 
Party organization, or with the Communist Party members, did not 
influence in any way your publications or the work that you were 
doing ; that is, the philosophy or the belief of those people or the party 
organization ? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. 

Mr. Moulder. Your answer is "No" ? 

Mr. Levy. My answer is "No." And I am smiling because one 
meeting that I remember clearly, the content of it was on literature. 

Mr. Tavenner. Speak a little louder. 

Mr. Levy. The one meeting I remember clearly, and I don't know 
why I remember it, was on the question of literature. It was on the 
question of realism and naturalism. The announced subject was 
Marxist Criticism. And I think of myself as knowing something 
about these subjects, and I was told by a girl whom T had neverseen 
before or since that I had no right to know about these subjects, 
because she, who represented the working class, understood them 
instinctively, and she disagreed with me, and therefore I must be in 
error. 

Mr. Moulder. Was there ever any attempt on the part of any of 
the members of the Communist Party or the organizations you men- 
tioned in your testimony to influence you or to persuade you to write 
in such manner as would include the Communist philosophy or belief? 

Mr. Levy. Nothing that is overt, excepting in a kind of an almost 
automatic sense, that you are influenced by the people that you are 
with. If I spent time with you, I would be influenced by you, and 
you would be influenced by me, I mean, that kind of thing. ^ But there 
is only one time in my life that somebody has said, "This is what you 
have to write." 

Mr. Moulder. Then was it your purpose, in joining the party in 
1933, as well as associating yourself with the meetings that you have 
mentioned in 1944, to inform yourself or to broaden your information 
concerning the workings and the functions of the Communist Party 
organizations in this country? 

Was it curiosity, or what? 

Mr. Levy. I am trying to find a way of saying this so that it doesn't 
sound kind of silly. 

But my purpose both times was in the hope that I would find a way 
of leaving my kids a better world than I lived in. 

And when I found that I was not doing that, then I didn't want 
to do it any more. I have lots of kids. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was this person who stated to you that you 
should not think as you were thinking ? 

Mr. Levy. As I say, it was a girl I never saw before or since. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was this in one of the Communist Party meetings? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2323 

Mr. Levy. Oh, yes, I can't remember anything about it excepting 
this, that I felt such a fury. I find the kind of an automobile me- 
chanic or somebody might feel 

Mr. Tavenner. During this part of your experience in the Com- 
munist Party, was Communist Party literature made available to you 
for study ? 

Mr. Levy. Yes. There was always literature, but a great variety of 
literature. There was both Communist literature and general litera- 
ture available. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you expected to study and master the Com- 
munist Party literature ? 

Mr. Levy. No. You could either buy it or not buy it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were discussion groups held on Communist matters, 
matters involving Communist ideology ? 

Mr. Levy. I never attended one. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many meetings in all did you attend? I be- 
lieve you have stated about five. 

Mr. Levy. I would say not less than five nor more than eight. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the circumstances under 
which you left the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. I just left. I just wasn't there. And then after a long 
period of time Mr. Huebsch came to see me and said, "What do you 
want to do? Do you want to be in or out?" And I say, "Out." In 
my own mind, I had been gone a long time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you pay Communist Party dues during this 
period ? 

Mr. Levy. I paid some dues in meetings. They were small dues. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall to whom you paid them ? 

Mr. Levy. No, I think somebody would get up and say, "Give me 
your quarter," or something of that kind. I don't think it was more 
than a quarter. It may have been as much as 50 cents. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you contribute to any functions of the Com- 
munist Party by making special contributions, or such things as bene- 
fits for the New Masses ? 

Mr. Levy. I bought a picture once at a New Masses sale, a very good 
picture. This was before I had any connection with 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time attend a fraction meeting of 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. Not at any time, knowing that I was so doing. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were a member, I believe, of the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization, were you not? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. I have some place a note from Mr. Roosevelt 
thanking me for that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you engaged in any of the activities of that 
group after the termination of the war? 

Mr. Levy. I didn't know that it existed after the war. I was later 
told it had. But I was told it went out of existence during the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything of the purpose that the or- 
ganization had in perpetuating itself after the period of the war? 

Mr. Levy. I didn't know it did. As I say, I was told quite recently 
that it had. But as far as I knew, it was a wartime thing, for civilian 
defense. 

(Representative James B. Frazier, Jr., left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with John Howard Lawson ? 



2324 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir; very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. John Howard Lawson, by the testimony adduced at 
numerous hearings before the committee, has been shown to be the 
head of the Communist Party in Hollywood. 

Mr. Levy. I didn't know him as such. I met John Howard Lawson 
in 1925, when my first novel was published. We had the same pub- 
lisher. And this was the way I knew him 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you going to say something else? 

Mr. Levy. No, I was just hesitating as to whether it was worth 
while to tell the circumstances of my meeting with him. I don't think 
it is. They are amusing, but they are not pertinent. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you active in the work of the committee for 
the Writers' Congress, which was held in the campus at Los Angeles 
October 1,2, and 3, 1943? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir, and so were a great many people from the Army, 
from the State Department, from the university. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was shown by hearings before the committee that 
that work was done as a result of being influenced by the Communist 
Party. Do you know anything about that? 

(Representative Harold H. Velde left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Levy. No, sir. I was introduced to it and asked to participate 
in it by Phil Dunn of the OWI, who is certainly not by the farthest 
stretch of the imagination a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall signing a petition dated October 18, 
1948, for the nomination of Lester Cole and Ring Lardner, Jr., as 
members of the executive board of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1948 is a period of time later than that when you 
said you withdrew from the Communist Party ? _ 

Mr. Levy. Yes. sir. That had nothing to do with that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you in favor in 1948 of electing to the execu- 
tive board of the guild persons who were known to you to be members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. I can only tell you that either in that year or the year 
before I also signed a nominating petition for a man named Fred 
Niblo, Jr., who is as far to the right as you can get. 

Mr. Tavenner. But was Lester Cole known to you to be a member 
of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And was Ring Lardner, Jr., known to you to be a 
member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. No, sir; not known. 

Mr. Tavenner. But Lester Cole was? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. But I signed these two petitions, the Niblo 
petition and this petition, on the basis that a man who had anything 
to say to the guild ought to have a chance to say it. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not speaking of the opportunity to say what 
he wanted to say, what one wants to say, before the guild. This is a 
matter of the election of the members of the executive board. 

Mr. Levy. No, sir ; this is a matter of nomination, putting a name 
on the ballot and letting the members decide. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2325 

(Representative Francis E. "Walter returned to the hearing room at 
this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. You don't mean to say you would sign a person's 
petition for nomination and then vote against him? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that your view in this instance? Is that what 
you expected to do ? 

Mr. Levy. In this case I would have voted for one of the men and 
against the other one. In the case of Mr. Niblo, I would, and told him 
I would, vote against him. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am speaking about Lester Cole, the person known 
to you to be a member of the party. 

Mr. Levy. I say of these two people I would have voted for one and 
against the other. I don't reniembsr how I did vote. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you intend in signing the petition to 
support Lester Cole, who was a person then known to you to be a 
member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levy. Lester is the person I would not have voted for and did 
not vote for. 

Mr. Tavenner. Although you did sign his nominating petition? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. I would and assume I did vote for Ring 
Lardner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any statement that you desire to make 
to the committee with regard to the character of your break with the 
Communist Party, that is, whether it was full and complete? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. I assume that I have made that statement, that 
it was full and complete, I mean, that this is the content of my ap- 
pearance here; that it is full and complete, that I have not heard 
anything nor have any desire or reason to hear anything, since this last 
time, about 4 years ago. I don't think there would be 

Mr. Tavenner. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Levy, do you have legal counsel with you? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you want to identify him? 

Mr. Levy. Mr. Gang, sir. [Martin Gang.] 

Mr. Doyle. I was interested in your comment that back in 1943, as 
I thought you said, you thought you paid Earl Browder some dues. 

Mr. Levy. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Did he ask you for dues for the Communist Party, or 
how did you happen to pay him ? 

Mr. Levy. Well, as I remember, he gave me this card, and I don't 
remember the words, but the sense of it was, "I want a quarter," or 
it may have been a dime. The sums were very, very small. I mean, 
it just seemed to me the way things were done. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kearney? Mr. Potter? Is there any reason 
why the witness should not be excused? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, there is one question I may desire to 
ask the witness, if you will bear with me a moment, please. 

There was a witness who appeared in Los Angeles in response to a 
subpena by the name of Carl Foreman. Were you acquainted with 
him? 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not he was a member of 
the Communist Party? 



2326 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levy. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. On what do you base your statement? 

Mr. Levy. Because I was invited to hear him talk to a meeting, 
which I have every presumption was a Communist meeting, to talk 
about his work. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the meeting held, as nearly as you can 
recall ? 

Mr. Levy. Possibly '46. It was at a time when I had not been 
around for a long while, and I went to this because I was very in- 
terested in hearing him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same person who appeared in the hear- 
ings at Hollywood and refused to answer questions on the ground that 
to do so might tend to incriminate him ? 

Mr. Levy. I assume so. I don't know. I didn't hear that testimony. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was Carl Foreman employed at that time, the 
one that you were speaking of? 

Mr. Levy. He was a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time he appeared? 

Mr. Levy. You mean who was he working for ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Levy. I don't know. He is not a man that I have known well. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Levy. Mr. Chairman, before concluding my testimony I should 
like to repeat part of the testimony I gave to Mr. Wheeler on October 
22, 1951. 

Mr. Walter. Very well. 

Mr. Levy. My name was mentioned at the recent hearings of the 
Committee on Un-American Activities in Los Angeles as having for- 
merly been a member of the Communist Party in the United States. 

1 also heard statements made by the chairman of the committee to the 
effect that any person named as having been a member of the Com- 
munist Party would have the opportunity to testify before this com- 
mittee as to whether the statement was true or untrue, and if true 
that any statements with reference to disaffiliation with the party 
might be given to the committee under oath. 

I am taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the committee 
since the statement made with reference to my past affiliation with the 
Communist Party was a true and correct statement. I have for a con- 
siderable period of time, however, not been a member of the Com- 
munist Party. I left because I did not believe in the aims, purposes, 
or operation of the party. I found it had nothing to offer me and 
had no place in this country. I did not offer to testify before the 
committee since I frankly felt that I had had such a minor connection 
with the party that I would serve no useful purpose in volunteering. 
Nevertheless, my name has been mentioned and I am grateful to the 
committee for granting me this opportunity to get the record straight. 

Mr. Walter. Thank you. The witness may be excused. 

Mr. Levy. Thank you, gentlemen. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will stand in recess until 2 o'clock this 
afternoon. 

(Whereupon, at 11 : 55 a. m., the committee recessed to reconvene at 

2 p. m. of the same day.) 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2327 

(The following statement was inserted at this point by Representa- 
tive Morgan M. Moulder:) 

It is my opinion that the committee should commend and express appreciation 
to all witnesses who cooperate and truthfully testify and reveal all of their 
knowledge and information of communistic activities in our country. Therefore, 
I want to record to show that witness Melvin Levy voluntarily appeared and has 
so cooperated and testified in his assistance of this committee of its work of 
exposing communistic activities in this country. 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(The hearing reconvened at 2 : 15 p. m., Representatives Morgan 
Moulder, James B. Frazier, Jr., Harold H. Velde, Bernard W. 
Kearney, and Donald L. Jackson, being present, Mr. Walter, 
presiding.) 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order. 

Who is your first witness, Mr. Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Michael Blankfort. 

Mr. Walter. Will you raise your right hand, please ? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will 
be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you 
God? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, please. 

TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL SEYMOUR BLANKFORT 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your full name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Michael Seymour Blankfort. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Blankfort? 

Mr. Blankfort.- December 10, 1907, in New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee, please, what 
your educational training and background has been? 

Mr. Blankfort. I was educated in the public schools of New York 
City. I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. 
I graduated with the degree of bachelor of arts in 1929. 

I was an instructor of psychology at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, 
Maine, 

I was an instructor in psychology at Princeton University. 

Mr. Tavenner. During what years? 

Mr. Blankfort. At Princeton it was from 1930 to 1932, where I 
took graduate work as well as teaching, and received my master's 
degree. 

My educational record includes teaching at New York University 
in the adult education, in playwriting; a session at the University 
of Heidelberg in Germany, as a student of the language. 

Mr. Tavenner. What years were you teaching in New York? 

Mr. Blankfort. 1934, *I believe, or 1935. It "may even have been 
later than that; I am not certain now. I wasn't a member of the 
regular faculty of New York University. This was teaching adults 
playwriting. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I am a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been actively engaged in the 
writing profession ? 



2328 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. Since the early 1930's. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee briefly what some of 
the more outstanding productions have been ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I am both a novelist and a screen writer. I have 
particular pride in my novels, since they are the sole product of what- 
ever ability I have, and they are not collaboration efforts as moving 
pictures sometimes are. 

My first novel was called I Met a Man. It was published in 1936, 
I believe, or 1937. 

I published a novel in 1938 called The Brave and the Blind; one 
in 1942 called A Time To Live; another in 1946 called The Widow 
Makers. 

I'published a biography of Brig. Gen. Evans Carlson in 1946. 

They are my books, generally speaking. I may have left out one 
or two that I wrote under a pseudonym which I was not particularly 
proud of. 

But to clear that up, they are just mystery stories, and I wrote 
them to earn a living. 

My screen productions have been — I believe the first one was Blind 
Alley, which was about a psychologist, which is why I got the job. 
That was 1939. 

Perhaps the best known of my screen work is Broken Arrow, pro- 
duced by Fox; Halls of Montezuma, a picture, obviously, about the 
United States Marine Corps in 1950. 

Those are the best known. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned the Marine Corps. Did you at any 
time serve with the Marine Corps? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, though 
I was married and had two children, and was above draft age— and 
also had a contract at Columbia Pictures as a writer — I volunteered. 
I received my commission in the summer of 1942 as a first lieutenant, 
and I served for a little over 2V£ years, and was honorably discharged 
as a captain. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Blankfort, during the course of the hearings 
conducted here in Washington on January 15, 1952, Mr. Louis Francis 
Budenz was a witness. 

In the course of his testimony, the following questions were asked 
him, and answers given by him to those questions, which I will read 
to you : 

Mr. Jackson. I have several questions, Mr. Chairman. If I may depart from 
this particular phase of the inquiry, I have some corollary questions which deal 
with another aspect of the committee hearings, and not knowing when we will 
have the pleasure of having Mr. Budenz here, I would like to ask him at this 
time: 

During the course of the hearings in the Senate Subcommittee on Internal 
Security dealing with the Institute of Pacific Relations, I believe you were a 
witness. 

Mr. Budenz. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I would like to direct your attention to page 582 of the published 
hearings, or the testimony on those hearings when the matter of Evans F. 
Carlson's book The Big Yankee was under discussion. There was one quota- 
tion given from that book, and you were asked as to whether or not in your 
opinion, this quotation represented Communist propaganda, and your answer to 
that, as quoted in the record, was "Yes, I also would recognize the author of 
General Carlson's biography as a Communist, Michael Blankfort. He is well 
known to myself as a Communist. He had many consultations with me as such." 

And then Mr. Jackson continues : 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2329 

Mr. Jackson. Inasmuch as his name has occurred a number of times during 
the course of the committee hearings in the Hollywood matter, I should like to 
ask several questions on that particular individual. 

When did you first meet Mr. Michael Blankfort 

Mr. Budenz. In 1935, at the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you recall the occasion of the meeting, or what brought it 
about, or in what connection you met him? 

Mr Budenz. Yes; he was then writing for the Daily Worker, that is. 1 
wouldn't say he was a regular member of the staff although in a way he was. 
He wrote reviews and other articles for the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Jackson. Over how long a period of time did your association with Mr. 
Michael Blankfort continue? 

Mr. Budenz. Well, it continued— I cannot tell you the exact year at the mo- 
ment, but until he went out to Hollywood. In the first place, when he came to 
me and had a 3-hour conference with me in regard to how to penetrate the/, 
ranks of the Catholics of the west coast, he told me he had received instructions 
from the Politburo to endeavor to look into that while he was on the west coast. 
He was driving through, by the way, and came to see me before he left. 

Mr. Jackson. You say effort to penetrate the Catholics? Do you mean on 
behalf of and for the Communist Party? 

Mr. Budenz. That is correct. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you know Mr. Michael Blankfort? And I say Mr. Michael 
Blankfort because there is also a Henry Blankfort who testified or refused to 
testify before the committee during the course of the Hollywood hearings. Did 
you know Mr. Michael Blankfort to be a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Budenz. Yes, sir ; he came to me as such. 

Mr. Jackson. These consultations that you had with Mr. Blankfort took 
place in the offices of the Daily Worker? 

Mr. Budenz. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you ever see Mr. Michael Blankfort in the Communist 
Party meeting or Communist Party function where those present would have to 
be presumed to be Communists? 

Mr. Budenz. Oh, yes ; I have seen him, not in a branch meeting, or anything 
of that sort, but I have seen him in the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Jackson. Was Mr. Michael Blankfort an open member of the party, or 
was he a concealed member? 

Mr. Budenz. I should say he was a concealed member, although he did not 
conceal it very much while he was around the party. 

Mr. Jackson. He did not conceal it to you? 

Mr. Budenz. No; he did not. 

Mr. Jackson. What was Mr. Blankfort's profession, do you know? 

Mr. Budenz. Well, he was a writer. He wrote for the Daily Worker at that 
timp, and was going to Hollywood also to get in some writing. 

Mr. Jackson. When did you last see Mr. Blankfort? 

Mr. Budenz. That is the last time I saw him, when he went out to Hollywood. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know where he was going in Hollywood, or what em- 
ployment he was going to undertake in Hollywood? 

Mr. Budenz. He discussed it with me at that time, but I do not recall for the 
moment. 

Mr. Jackson. Was it in connection with the moving-picture industry? 

Mr. Budenz. Yes, sir ; in my remembrance it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Mr. Louis Budenz in 
1935? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir 

May I comment generally on the point? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Blankfort. First, may I say that through my attorney, Mr. 
Martin Gang, I was able to read the testimony given by Mr. Budenz, 
and I have worked hard and searched my memory for any recollection 
of the testimony which he has presented before this committee. 

I have made a few notes, and if you will permit me, Mr. Tavenner, 
may I refer to them in reply to the general testimony of Mr. Louis 
Budenz ? 



2330 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no objection. 

Mr. Blankfort. In essence, Mr. Buclenz says that he had never seen 
me at any Communist Party meeting, or anything of that sort, or any 
Communist Party function where those present would have to be pre- 
sumed to be Communists. But that he knew that I was a Communist, 
as he says, because I came to him as such. 

He states further that I had a discussion with him, and told him 
that the Politburo had instructed me to penetrate the ranks of the 
Catholics on the west coast. 

This alleged discussion with Mr. Budenz said that I had with him 
took place between 15 and 17 years ago, although he couldn't remember 
the exact year. 

Right now and here, and first of all, I want to categorically deny 
that any such discussion ever took place between me and Mr. Budenz. 

Mr. Tavenner. What discussion are you referring to specifically? 

Mr. Blankfort. To the one about the penetration of the Catholics on 
the west coast, that I had told him that the Politburo had instructed me 
to penetrate the Catholics on the west coast. 

Mr. Tavenner. There may be a slight distinction between your 
statement as to the Politburo telling you to penetrate it and Mr. Bu- 
denz' statement. But Mr. Budenz' statement was that you came to him 
and had a 3-hour conference with him in regard to how to penetrate 
the ranks of the Catholic Church, and that you told him that you had 
received instructions from the Politburo to endeavor to look into that 
while he was on the west coast. 

Now, that may be a different thing from directing you to penetrate. 
Are you making a distinction of that kind? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I am not. I am saying categorically that 
I never had any discussion with Mr. Budenz about any of the matters 
which he has described. 

I am going into detail as to what discussion I may have had with 
Mr. Budenz, not nt that time. 

Now, since Mr. Budenz, in his testimony, stated that he met me for 
the first time in 1935, as I said, I have tried to remember when I did 
meet Mr. Budenz. I associate him with a group of people around a 
man named V. F. Calverton. 

Mr. Tavenner. Spell the name. 

Mr. Blankfort. C-a-1-v-e-r-t-o-n. Mr. Calverton was a member of 
the magazine called the Modern Quarterly, when I first met him in 
about 1933 or 1934. 

It later became the Modern Monthly. I had just left Princeton 
University where, as I have already explained, I taught and was 
studying. 

I didn't take any doctorate of philosophy, which I was supposed to 
do, because I then determined that I was not going to become a teacher, 
but a writer, and I wanted to get to writing. 

Mr. Calverton was my first real major writer, the first man I met 
who was a major writer, and I was a disciple of his. It was he who 
introduced me to his — he made me a kind of junior office boy editor 
of the magazine, which meant that I had to correct the typed script 
and make sure that contributors sent their contributions in on time, 
and so on. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2331 

It is here, through Mr. Calverton, where I met such men, and this 
was part of his group, as John Chamberlin, you might remember, who 
was soon after, I think, literary editor of the New York Times ; Henry 
Hazlitt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Spell the name. 

Mr. Blankfort. H-a-z-1-i-t-t. He was, I think, writing for the 
New York Sun then. 

Thomas Wolff, the great novelist. 

There was a Professor Dewey, a Professor Hook, Max Eastman, 
and others of that kind. There, to the best of my recollection, was 
the first time I met Mr. Budenz, because he was a contributor to the 
magazine, came to the house, which was open house. 

Of all the people of that group that I can recall now, he is the only 
one who became a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was not a member of the Communist Party at 
that time? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; he wasn't, because the distinguishing char- 
acteristic of this group was that it was anti-Communist, it was at- 
tacked frequently as a group and as individuals as anti-Communists 
during that period and, to the best of my recollection, I never saw 
Mr. Budenz after the time he left this group and became a member 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Walter. Before you proceed, you say this group was under 
attack. By whom ? 

Mr. Blankfort. By the New Masses and the Daily Worker. It was 
well known as an anti-Communist group. I don't mean to say that it 
was an organized group. This was a literary circle. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of Dewey. Was that John Dewey ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And Hook? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir, 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that Sidney Hook ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Now, I want to add, if I might, because it is relevant and pertinent 
to this testimony, and I don't want to overexaggerate or overestimate, 
this committee has heard from countless witnesses in Hollywood, from 
the days in which I arrived in Hollywood, which was 1937, with posi- 
tions of authority in the Communist Party. I knew some of them as 
a writer in my trade. I knew some of the people who have testified 
before this committee. 

Not one of them has said that I was a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Now I think, if you will forgive this, I am a fairly competent person. 
If it had been my job to go to Hollywood to penetrate or even look into 
the problem of how to make Communists out of the Catholics, I 
couldn't have been so cleverly concealed, which is the implication of 
the testimony, that I could have gone into the Catholic circles, tried to 
convert them to communism, tried to take their God away, which is a 
very serious matter with me, and yet no one knows it. 

The fact is that there was nothing to know. The fact is that 
though I have been open in all my opinions, I speak about them, I have 
always maintained throughout my mature life an independent position, 
and I am sure we will go into that later. 



2332 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

There is one further thing, and I must take this opportunity to say- 
it, why I particularly resent that I should be charged with antireligious 
activity, because I consider to make Communists out of the Catholics 
an antireligious activity. 

Mr. Moulder. At this point, may I interrupt, Mr. Chairman? 

It has always been the procedure before that the first question asked 
was, "Are yon now or have you ever been a member of the Communist 
Party"? 

Mr. BLANKForT. No, sir; I have not, and I am not. 

I think you should know this: I was brought up in an orthodox 
Jewish family. Anyone who knows me can confirm that throughout 
all my years I have always been a deeply religious person. It is in- 
credible to me that I should be charged with antireligious opinion or 
activity. 

And there is this additional fact here I am telling you, that the 
first thing I did, when I settled in Los Angeles, was to join and become 
active in the B'nai B'rith, which some of you may know as a Jewish 
fraternal organization. I helped edit the newsletter which was fight- 
ing totalitarianism and hate groups at the time. Why would I do 
anything like that if I had the slightest interest in penetrating the 
ranks of the Catholics and making them Communists ? 

Mr. Budenz states that the conversation he had with me was right 
before I left for Hollywood. That was in the fall of 1937. 

The last time, to the best of my recollection — I am pretty certain of 
this — that I ever wrote for the Daily Worker was around the end of 
1935. 

I would like to tell you about my writing for the Daily Worker. I 
wrote play reviews. I was a young man. I was interested in the 
theater. I am not ashamed to say that there was a certain amount of 
opportunism involved in this, because to be a play reviewer meant that 
I could get free tickets to all the plays. 

Well, it turned out that I didn't get tickets to all the plays, because 
not all the managers and producers would give tickets to the Daily 
Worker. It wasn't that I was a daily reviewer. There was no dead- 
line. I got my tickets chiefly by mail. I sent my copy in chiefly by 
mail. 

There may have been a few occasions when I went there in person. 

As I try to look back over the 17 years, I have a picture in my 
head of the offices of the Daily Worker, and that picture represents 
an opening in a partition where the telephone operator sat and met 
people coming up. 

That is the picture that I have in my mind, and that is where I 
went, if I ever went there, to pick up the tickets in person and got 
them. 

After 1935 I stopped writing for the Daily Worker, and I had no 
occasion ever to go up to the offices of the Daily Worker, nor did I 
go, as far as I can recall. 

Now, there is one resemblance to fact, and I want to bring it to 
your attention, in Mr. Budenz' testimony, and that is that I did drive 
out west. 

The only way I can explain the fact that Mr. Budenz knew that I 
drove out west is that I was, at that time, not well off. I looked for 
companions and I looked for paying companions. It was wide- 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2333 

spread. I asked everybody I knew whether they knew anybody who 
wanted to share the expenses for the drive out. This was general 
knowledge, and it is the best explanation I can offer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you call upon Mr. Budenz at or about the time 
that you left for Hollywood ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. No, sir, to the best of my recollection, 
and I know that whatever I am giving you is that, I did not. I did 
not see Mr. Budenz before I left for Hollywood. I had no reason to 
see him. I had no reason to go into the offices of the Daily Worker. 

Finally, and I will conclude these notes, beyond the placing of my 
word, because this is, as you gentlemen well know, an important 
moment for me, I am placing my word against that of another man. 
I would like to call your attention to the fact that during the very 
same years during which Mr. Budenz calls me a Communist Party 
member, I was dropped as a writer by both the New Masses and the 
Daily Worker. I was dropped as a writer because, specifically, I 
refused to fit my play reviews into the political theory of the moment. 

The Communist influence in the John Reed, at that time 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment there, please. What was the time 
when you state you were dropped by the New Masses ? 

Mr. Blankfort. What was the question? 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you dropped as a writer by the New 
Masses ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I would say probably in 1934. 

Mr. Tavenner. And when were you dropped as a writer of the 
Daily Worker? 

Mr. Blankfort. 1935. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you explain why the Daily Worker would 
accept you as a writer if the New Masses had dropped you as a writer, 
when both of those papers are well known organs of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, I think I can. The times were different. The 
New Masses, which, to anybody now, looking back on it, was clearly 
a Communist magazine, at that time there were many, many people 
who wrote for the New Masses and the Daily Worker who were not 
Communists, or even Communist sympathizers. 

Now it has always been — I have always expressed an independent 
view, and I expressed it to the New Masses, when I was dropped be- 
cause of a play review. The Daily Worker, I am sure, anxious to 
increase its circulation, perhaps I impressed people with my ability 
as a play reviewer, hoped that by my reviewing plays for the Daily 
Worker I might increase the interest in the Daily Worker. That is 
the only explanation I can give of that. It wasn't, Mr. Tavenner, 
if I may, an official hiring. I got no money for it. I never was hired. 

Perhaps it was Mike Gold, whom I knew, who said, "How would 
you like to write reviews for the Daily Worker?" And I grabbed at 
it. That is how it came to pass. 

Now whether the New Masses people told the Daily Worker people 
that I had "geed" at slanting a play review, I don't know. They may 
or may not have. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was this review which you said you 
"geed" at? 



2334 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. Interestingly enough, both plays were written by 
the same playwright. His name is Odets. 

Mr. Tavenner. Clifford Odets? 

Mr. Blankfort. Clifford Odets. The first play was Awake and 
Sing, I believe. It was produced, I think, in January 1935. The 
reason I can give you that date very specifically is because I called 
the New York Times and asked them. 

I did not like the play. By that I mean that I liked it, but I wasn't 
enthusiastic. I felt that there were many weaknesses in the play. 

Apparently — now, this is assumption on my part — the Communist 
Party did like the play. Now I had no personal knowledge, I want 
to assure you at this point, that Mr. Odets was a Communist or he 
wasn't a Communist. But they liked Awake and Sing, and I didn't. 

So after presenting my review I found, in both cases, that the re- 
view was being held up, it wasn't being published, and I may have 
called a man named Joe North who, I think, was editor of the New 
Masses at the time, or it may have been Joe Freeman, I don't recall, 
and said, "What about this?'' And they said, "Well, we are going 
to publish it sometime, but are you sure that you are right about the 
play?" 

I said, "Yes." He said, as far as I can recall now, "We think it 
is a fine play." I said, "Well, I don't think it is such a fine play." 

The next thing I knew there were no more tickets for me, nnd 
someone else began writing play reviews, one of the editors. The 
same thing happened in the Daily Worker. The play was also by 
Mr. Odets. It was called Paradise Lost. This time I loved the play, 
and this time, for some reason, the play was not loved by the Com- 
munist Party. 

The same thing happened. "Well, we will get another reviewer. 
We will try someone else out." 

In this case, I can't tell yon who it was specifically because it hap- 
pened after the performance, the opening night performance, because 
I was shocked by this. Of course, there was no deadline; I didn't 
have to go out and write the review, and maybe 6 of us went for 
coffee, and I heard this thing, "Do you like it or don't you?" And I 
said, "I loved it." 

They said, "Oh, you are wrong. It can't be so good." As a result, 
I didn't get any more tickets. I guess I went into too much detail 
on that. 

Mr. Tavenner. No, you have not. I think it is necessary for us to 
know these matters in our effort to ascertain the facts. 

Was this first play which you mentioned, and which you were re- 
viewing for the New Masses, of political implications? 

Mr. Blankfort. Specific political implications, no; general politi- 
cal implications, yes. What I mean by that is that it didn't say any- 
thing about the Communist Party in the play. There was no specific 
reference to revolution or Marxism or communism or Russia, or any- 
thing of that kind. 

It was an analysis of the middle-class attitudes. Both plays were 
analyses of the middle-class attitudes. 

Now, for the life of me, I can't tell the difference between Mr. 
Odets' attitude toward his material in the first play or the second 
play. The material was pretty much the same. It was the crafts- 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2335 

manship and the way lie did it that concerned me. I had been pri- 
marily concerned with craft and not so much with what you use 
it for. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you know Joe North at that time to be 
a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. To my personal knowledge, no. I assumed that 
he was. 

May I finish, I have one more remark to make? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. Just a moment, before you proceed. 
What was the reason you can assign as to why you were dropped as 
a reviewer by the New Masses and the Daily Worker? 

Mr. Blankfort. That I didn't fit into the current party line at 
the moment on the plays. Now, that is the reason I assumed. 

I want to finish only by adding to the fact that I had, during these 
various years that Mr. Budenz says I was a member of the Com- 
munist Party, this experience with the Daily Worker and New 
Masses. 

Another experience which is way out of the past is that there rcas 
a club in New York called the John Reed Club which consisted of 
artists and writers. 

You must understand that as a young man coming to New York, 
and who wanted to be a writer, he went where writers were. That is 
part of the job. 

I applied for membership in the John Reed Club, and the Com- 
munist influence in the John Reed Club was so powerful that I was 
not accepted; my application was rejected, on the basis of the material 
which I have told you about. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the approximate date? 

Mr. Blankfort. I can't place it in date. I don't know, I would 
say it was anywhere from the time I arrived in New York, which was 
1932 to 1935 or 1936. I wish I could, sir. But I do remember that 
I had applied and was turned down. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that before your experience with the New 
Masses and the Daily Worker, when you were dropped by those 
papers, or after? 

Mr. Blankfort. I can't honestly say what the sequence was. I 
can't say that. 

I want further to add that during this very period I maintained 
a close and constant friendship with pepole who were well known in 
vocal anti-Communist groups, something no party member would 
be permitted to do. 

I would like to add here that one of the reasons — if I could have 
accepted every political tenet of the Communist Party, one of the 
reasons which would have prevented me from becoming a Com- 
munist Party member was that it transcended personal relationship. 
If you were a Communist you just were not friends with people 
who were anti- Communist. I maintained relationships throughout 
this whole period of time with well-known anti-Communists. 

Mr. Jackson. May I ask a question at this point. Mr. Blankfort, 
upon what do you base your statement that Communists were not 
permitted to associate with anti- Communists when there is ample 
testimony in the record before this committee that Communists were 
directed to maintain entirely cordial relations both in church, in 

95829— 52— pt. 7 3 



2336 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

lodges, in political registration with non-Communists for the purpose 
of influencing? 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Jackson, I am sure that you are correct. I was 
referring to anti-Communists, not non-Communists. That is, the 
whole Calverton group were anti-Communists. These were people, 
as I hope will come out later, who compared me in review of my novel, 
who compared me with Eugene Lyons and said I am with Eugene 
Lyons and Max Eastman and all these people. These were not non- 
Communists. I knew Max Eastman, I never met Eugene Lyons, but 
you could not persuade Max Eastman about communism. 

Mr. Jackson. I do not ask that in the spirit of contention. I accept 
your distinction between anti- and non-Communists. 

Mr. Blankfort. My first novel, by the way, which was published 
in 1937 and which was written long before 1937, before I left for 
Hollywood, was given a very cold treatment in the Communist Party 
press. 

My second novel was criticized for treating Fascists as human beings 
even though wrong — that was the theme of my second novel — that 
Fascists were human beings, even though what they stood for was 
wrong. 

My third novel was savagely denounced as anti-Communist in the 
New Masses and the Daily Worker. 

In 1939 or 1940 I wrote a commemorative article in a magazine 
about V. F. Calverton, whose name was a curse word among Com- 
munists and the Communist circle. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me have the dates of the criticism of the Com- 
munist Dress of your productions? 

Mr. Blankfort. 1937, 1939, 1942. I wrote this article in 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was all after you had left New York and had 
gone to Hollywood ? 

Mr. Blaxkfort. But. if I may say so, relevant to the statement 
that I had told Mr. Budenz that I was being sent to Hollywood to do 
ob ,; ously Communist Party machinations. 

Mr. Berkeley, who is present, reminded me this morning that he 
had b~en instructed to recruit me into the Communist Party, and he 
tried for 2 years. This would have been — I think he referred to my 
first appearance in 1937 or 1938, when I first met Mr. Berkeley. 

Now, if I had been this person that Mr. Budenz describes, the record, 
my record, subsequent to that I think is relevant. 

During those years, Mr. Budenz saw and talked to thousands of 
people. Communists and non-Communists and anti-Communists, and 
I thmk we would all agree that events and incidents over a 20-year 
period tend to become confused and jumbled in one's mind. No human 
memory is so infallible. Mr. Budenz is clearly in error. 

I repeat, I had no such conversation with him, to the best of my 
recollection, I never saw him after he became a Communist Party 
member, and, as I answered your question before, I am not nor have 
I been a member of the Communist Party. 

T r»m finished commenting on Mr. Budenz. 

M>\ Tavenner. You have indicated that your subsequent action 
was inconsistent with your having been a member of the Communist 
Party prior to your leaving New York for Hollywood, and certainly 
inconsistent with your alleged statement to Mr. Budenz of your pur- 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2337 

pose and intent to look into certain phases of the Communist Party- 
activity in California. 

I want to question you a little more fully regarding your activity 
in California. But before doing so, perhaps I should ask you addi- 
tional questions about your activities before going to California. 

You were interviewed, I believe, by a member of the committee staff 
in April of 1951, were you not? 

Mr. Blankfcrt. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You denied at that time having ever been a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were asked if you had at any time come under 
the influence of the Communist Party and replied, as I am informed, 
"Yes, I think that while critical of much of it or part of it, in the early 
1930's I was influenced by what I felt was not so much the Communist 
Party as the Communist view of Marxism." 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you explain further what you meant by that 1 

Mr. Blankfort. Please stop me if you think I am going on too 
long. 

Marxism, as I understand, and I have read a lot, I don't think that 
I have ever been thoroughly conversant with Marxism, but I have 
tried — in the early thirties I tried to understand what Marxism was. 
I never did finish Das Capital, the book Marx wrote, but I read a 
lot of popularizations. Marxism had, for example, the Socialist Party 
which considered themselves Marxists. The Communists or the 
Stalinist group of Communists considered themselves Marxists. The 
Trotskyite group considered themselves Marxists. 

In those days there was the Lovestone group and there, probably 
if I recall, perhaps six or seven groups, and each one considered itself 
the pure followers of Karl Marx. 

Now when I speak of the Communist angle or Communist view of 
Marxism, I am talking specifically about the Stalinist view. 

During those years what brought me first to interest was I looked 
for opportunities to fulfill what I considered to be the imperative 
for me, and that is to partake in the alleviation of human distress. 
Put it in its context it was the 1930,'s, there was a depression, this was 
shocking. 

Now of all these groups, only the Communist Party group seemed 
to be active. They were the ones who, at least to my knowledge, the 
ones who were big, important, and did things like fight for unemploy- 
ment insurance, for example. 

Now, unemployment insurance was a very serious thing in those 
days. I don't think there had ever been unemployment insurance 
in this country that I knew of. I am not giving the Communist Party 
credit for getting unemployment insurance; I want that to be clear. 
But they were active. They did call for unemployment insurance. 
So that when I say that I came under the influence of the Communist 
view of Marxism, I meant that I joined organizations which subse- 
quently I have now become convinced were Communist, pure Com- 
munist-front organizations, to put it that way. 

I would be honest to say that if you, Mr. Tavenner, had told me 
in 1935 or 1934, around that time, that the Committee to Get Un- 



2338 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

employment Insurance for the Unemployed was a Communist-front 
I would have joined it anyway. I believed, at that time, that the 
Communist movement represented a progressive force in the American 
life. Wherever I disagreed — as I said, there were many things that 
1 disagreed with them with — wherever they moved in this type of 
activitiy, I supported them. 

Mr. Walter. Did you not recognize the fact that those Communist- 
front organizations were nothing but band-wagon riders. They cer- 
tainly did not take the lead in bringing about social reforms. When 
they saw that a social reform was about to become effective, then they 
adopted that as their policy because it was the popular thing. 

Mr. Blankfort. Sir, I did not see it, and I was not sophisticated 
enough at the time. 

Mr. Walter. I want to say to you that those of us who have brought 
about social legislation have frequently been embarrassed by the sup- 
port that we have received from those groups. 

Mr. Blankfort. I can well understand that. 

Mr. Walter. So that they actually were a hindrance rather than 
any help in bringing about any social reforms. 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe that, yes, sir. But in the early 1930's I 
didn't know as much about it. Eight up beyond the 1930's, wherever 
there were activities, possibilities for action, I partook. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you partake in the sense of joining any groups 
which were studying Communist Party ideology? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. In this connection, you say you did become active 
and take part in a number of activities, which you now recognize, 
probably, as Communist fronts or organizations and publications 
sponsored by the Communist Party. 

The Daily Worker was known to you at the time you worked there 
as an organ for the Communist Party, was it not? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir ; I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the same was true when you were employed 
and worked for the New Masses. Is that not correct ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, no, sir. In the first place, I wasn't employed, 
but when I wrote reviews for the New Masses I didn't believe that it 
was a Communist Party Magazine. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to show you a photostatic copy of a 
clipping taken from the Daily Worker of April 27, 1934. This article 
does not appear to be a review, but it appears to be an article on the 
problems connected with producing a play called The Stevedore. 

According to the Daily Worker, the article was written by Michael 
Blankfort, director of The Stevedore. Do you recall the article? 

Mr. Blankfort. I didn't recall it until I saw it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recognize it as a contribution which you 
made to the Daily Worker? 

Mr. Blankfcrt. I am certainly sure it is, and I would like to point 
out that it is about a play that I had been the director of, a play. 
As a director of a play, I had written articles about this play, the only 
play I did direct, for any periodical that would have asked me. It 
was part of the publicity program for a play. Directors do that; 
actors and playwrights do that regularly. It is part of the procedure. 

Mr. Tayknner. I want to point out to you several expressions used 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2339 

by you in the course of this article. In the first line of the last para- 
graph, there appears the words, "a familiar canard of the white 
chauvinism." Do you see that expression? 

Mr. Blankfort. The last line? 

Mr. Tavenner. The first line of the last paragraph. 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; wait a minute. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is the last paragraph of the first column. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir; I have read it. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Would you tell the committee what meaning you 
intended to convey by the use of those words ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. I must preface it by saying this took 
place in 1934, and to ask me what I had in mind then is difficult. 

But I think I can say that up to Stevedore, up to the time in the 
theater in New York, it was difficult for Negro actors to get work, 
and the point that I was trying to make here is that people — I said, 
"A familiar canard of the white chauvinism is that Negro casts are un- 
reliable," and which was a stereotyped reaction that producers and 
directors gave about Negro actors. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was not the language the stereotyped language 
of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, it may well be. It may well be. I want to 
remind you that I was reading Communist literature. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you reading it under the supervision of some 
leader of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. I was reading it because I was interested. 
I was interested in everything that was going on around me. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the second column appears these words : 

There are no stock Mammies or night club jazz babies or comic butlers, or 
any other of the false characters which colored actors or actresses are called 
on to play in the bourgeois theater. 

Will you tell the committee what you meant by "bourgeois theater"? 

Mr. Blankfort. I was a student at that time, and most of my read- 
ing was directed toward an analysis of the social content of the history 
of the theater, and there have been many histories of the theater 
written. 

The whole French theater of the nineteenth century has been called, 
in many histories, not necessarily left wing, the theater of the 
bourgeoisie. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that not the stereotyped language of the Com- 
munist Party in referring to anything which was not Communist? 

Mr. Blankfort. It may well have been at that time; yes, sir. I do 
not deny that the Communists had stereotypes. Believe me, I dis- 
liked them and I had an enormous distaste for them. I used them 
with a sheer part of my education. But the word "bourgeois" goes 
back long before the Communists took it as a stereotype. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. But at this particular time it was, and has 
since that time, used as a stereotype expression of the Communist 
Party to describe anything which is not of Communist art; is that 
not correct? 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe 

Mr. Velde. Do you still use that term, "bourgeoisie"? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't; no sir. I think it is too inclusive. I don't 
use the term. I try my best not to use any general terms of that char- 



2340 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

acter. My experience has been in America that to use that word to 
any class or any group in our country would be completely misleading. 
It has no sense. 

Mr. Velde. Do you recall when you stopped using it,- or any of the 
other well-known Communist terms ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir ; I don't recall. I was not conscious of ever 
saying that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of course, it is a term that has been used back in 
French history, but was it not adopted in the Communist Manifesto 
itself, and appears in the manifesto? Did you learn of it there? 

Mr. Blankfort. I read the manifesto. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you find it there ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No. I read the word "bourgeois" long before I 
read the Communist Manifesto. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand, but you do know it was recognized, 
as a Communist Party term in the manifesto — the Communist Mani- 
festo? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, the Communist Manifesto preceded the Com- 
munist Party by a long number of years, and the writings of the Amer- 
ican Socialists, Jack London, whom I remember reading, and Debs, 
used the word "bourgeois" very, very often. However, I think your 
point is about the use of the word as a Communist Party or a Com- 
munist stereotype. 

On that, there is no disagreement. I am sure it was used as a Com- 
munist stereotype. 

Mr. Tavenner. But do you mean to tell the committee that at the 
time you were using language of that type, while working for the 
Communist Party organs, you were not a member of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of the clipping from 
the Daily Worker of December 21, 19:$5. This article is entitled 
"Introducing the Staff." The name of Michael Blankfort appears as 
the theater editor. Does that refer to you ? 

Mr. Blankfort. That is me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Does that not indicate a connection with the pub- 
lication of that paper of a more definite character than merely that 
of making reviews for the paper, when you would be paid for it only 
in theater tickets? I mean, does it not show that you had a definite 
position with the Daily Worker ? 

Mr. Blankfort. The fact is that I did no more for the Daily Worker 
than I described. I cannot be responsible for the way the Daily 
Worker advertised my appearance as a play reviewer in it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you not the theater editor of the paper? 

Mr. Blankfort. I never considered myself the theater editor. Now, 
I believe that on several issues my name did appear as the theater 
editor. But what does an editor do ? He makes up a page, he is re- 
sponsible for the theater section. As far as I know, I never was re- 
sponsible for anything but my play reviews. I never attended a staff 
meeting. I assumed that that is what a regular member of the staff 
would do. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to this same article, the editors of the 
Daily Workers are C. A. Hathaway, Joseph North, James Allen, and 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2341 

Edwin Seaver. Were you personally acquainted with each of those 
individuals? 

Mr. Blankfort. The only two that I was personally acquainted 
with, I can remember, was Edwin Seaver and Joseph North. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have already testified regarding Joseph North. 
Was Edwin Seaver known to you to be a member of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall a meeting held in Philadelphia in 
April 1936, and referred to as the National Conference of the New 
Theater League? Do you recall a meeting held in Philadelphia, in 
April 1936, referred to as the National Conference of the Theater 
League ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't recall it at all. I am pretty certain that 
I never attended it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I show you a photostatic copy of a clipping 
from the Daily Worker of April 23, 1936. It is an article by Ben 
Irwin regarding the conference. In the last column appear these 
words : 

Greetings from John Howard Lawson, Michael Blankfort, and from a number 
of exiled German playrights now in the Soviet Union received prolonged ap- 
plause from the delegates. 

Does that refresh your recollection ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Not at all, because I am pretty certain I wasn't 
there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you and John Howard Lawson send greetings 
to that meeting of the National Conference of the Theater League? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't know about Mr. Lawson. I may have sent 
greetings. I may have been asked to send a telegram of greetings. 
I have no recollection that I did. But I may have, as it says here 
I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you recall having collaborated with John 
Howard Lawson in regard to it ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I didn't collaborate. I have never col- 
laborated with John Howard Lawson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of course, they could have been entirely separate. 
This article does not necessarily mean that it was done jointly. Did 
you know John Howard Lawson at that time, in 1936 ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Not well. 

Mr. Tavenner. This was before you had gone to California, to 
Hollywood ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, how had you met John Howard Lawson be- 
fore going to Hollywood ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I may have met him at the League of American 
Writers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was John Howard Lawson in New York along 
about that period, in 1936, or prior to that ? 

Mr, Blankford. I think so ; yes. I think I met him in two ways : 
One was in the League of American Writers, and the other was in 
the Theater Union, which produced his play. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party prior to your going to Hollywood ? 



2342 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Referring again to the greetings alleged to have 
been sent by you to the National Conference of the New Theater 
League, it would indicate that you were a member of the New Theater 
League; is that true? 

Mr. Blankfort. I wrote for a magazine called The New Theater 
magazine, which may have been the organ of the New Theater League. 
1 wrote a series of three articles on the psychology of the audience — 
what makes an audience respond as it does to different kinds of 
material. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee what the New Theater 
League was, how it was created and what it advocated ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I was never an active or leading member of the 
New Theater League, but my recollection was that it was an organ- 
ization to which Little Theater groups, throughout the country, are 
joined. It was an organization of theaters. There was a theater 
in Los Angeles, which I am reminded of by this article. There were 
Little Theaters throughout the country doing plays like Bury the 
Dead, Waiting for Lefty, and others, that formed a national organ- 
ization, and this was it. 

(Representative Bernard W. Kearney left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time travel outside of the United 
States? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir ; many times. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you visited any countries of Europe ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir; almost all of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you visit the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Blankfort. In 1929. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the purpose of your trip ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I had been teaching at Bowdoin College. It was 
the first money I made and I wanted a trip to Europe, i found out 
that there was an American tour of anthropologists being sent into 
the remote part of the Caucasus. I remember the name of a Uni- 
versity of Buffalo anthropologist — I think he was the head of it — a 
man named Leslie White. 

As a psychologist, I was interested. So somehow, I can't remember 
who arranged it — my meeting with Leslie White — I then joined the 
party. I can remember two girls from Philadelphia, sisters, named 
Wasserman. I remember their names. 

We went down to the Caucasus and spent most of our time, about 
5 weeks, on horse, and went into a village of the Caucasus, in the 
inner Caucasus, where people spoke pure Greek. 

The myth was that Jason was there for the Golden Fleece, and 
that is how these people spoke the Greek that they did. They had 
blood feuds. They lived in fortified farms with towers, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you whether or not World Tourists, Inc., 
or Open Road 

Mr. Blankfort. Open Road. A man named Rothschild, I think, 
was head of the Open Road at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. This was sponsored by Open Road ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2343 



Mr. Blankfort. Not the tour. But I think our tickets were gotten 
through Open Road. There were a couple — I say a couple; I am not 
certain how many there were — of Russian anthropologists who joined 
this group and went into the Caucasus with us. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether you paid the regular cost 
of transportation or whether any assistance was given you, any finan- 
cial assistance by Open Road or World Tourists, Inc. ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I paid. 

Mr. Tavenner. But the tickets and the arrangements for transpor- 
tation were made available by Open Road ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of another article 
appearing in the Daily Worker, and of the date of June 6, 1936. 

Mr. Jackson. It seems to me that the various exhibits which are 
being shown should be made a part of the record. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you would like them a part. 

Mr. Jackson. I request that they be received and marked as exhibits 
in the testimony. 

Mr. Walter. Without objection, they will be marked and made a 
part of the record. 

(The documents referred to, marked "Exhibits Nos. 1, 2, and 3," 
are filed herewith. ) 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have the article before you ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to introduce it in evidence, and ask that 
it be marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 4." This article is by Michael 
Gold and Michael Blankfort, and begins with these words : 

We have been asked by the editor of the Daily Worker's feature page to com- 
ment on the matters that impelled us to write Battle Hymn, the drama about 
John Brown, the abolitionist, which is now playing at Daley's Experimental 
Theater of the WPA. 

Do you see that ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Further along in the article you said : 

There is a great and epic pathos in the fact that an abolitionist like John 
Brown, who was hounded by spies, cursed as a madman, beaten, and finally hung, 
just as our Tom Mooneys and Vanzettis are today, and for almost the same 
reasons, and by the same exploiters. 

Will you explain to the committee what you meant by the use of 
those words? 

Mr. Blankfort. I can't explain to the committee because I didn't 
write this. I wrote a play called Battle Hymn with Michael Gold. 
Specifically, I didn't collaborate with him. He had written a play 
called John BroAvn, which was not right. It wasn't good enough. 
He brought it to me and I rewrote the play and it subsequently was 
produced by the Federal Theater here in San Francisco. 

Michael Gold's name is on the play as coauthor. Michael Gold at 
this time, I suspect, was writing for the Daily Worker and wrote this 
article. As coauthor he credited me with coauthorship of the article. 
I can't explain that. I am as certain as anything that I did not write 
this article. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were employed by the Daily Worker at that 
time ; were you not ? 



2344 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I mean you were working for the Daily Worker at 
that time. 

Mr. Blankfort. Not to my recollection did I work for the Daily 
Worker as late as June 6, 1936. I use the word "work." I don't feel 
like I worked for the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were making contributions during this period 
o± time to the Daily Worker; were you not? 

*ff" B If NKF0RT - I don't recall any. There may have been. I have 
no hies, Mr. Tavenner. I don't recall any. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you saw the article at the time that it ap- 
peared, or shortly thereafter ; did you not ? 

+ i^ Ir ' 5 1 LA ^ F °? 1 T - * have no recollection of seeing this article before 
this. Ihe likelihood was that in June I may have been awav from 
New York. J 

Mr Tavenner. Later in the article appears another statement that 
1 want to call to your attention. It is this : 

himLV P weuTe^rdea. er ^ ^ helP rGViVify ** gFe&t traditi ° n wiU find 

Will you tell the committee what a proletarian writer is? 
( Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing room at this 
point.) to 

Mr Blankfort Well that phrase kind of tips it off to me that I 
diclnt write it. I may have used the phrase "proletarian writer," 
but I sometimes tried to qualify it because at that time there was a 
great discussion as to what is a proletarian writer. Is he a man who 
works as a member of the proletariat— that is, the working class— or 
is he a man who writes about the workino- class « 

J! J ?, u T ask ™ e ,T* at T th ? u ^t then about the phrase "proletarian 
writer, I couldn't be certain about it. It is not qualified here. The 
feeling then which I shared was that a writer should participate in 
the deep currents of his time. I don't believe that a man can be a 
good writer without loving people. 

Now, I don't mean to say that people are limited to just a working- 
class people I think we are all workers. But you had to go out and 
you had to love these people if you were going to be a good writer. 
1 ou had to feel them. I came from a closed corporation. I was 
brought up in a family, and I didn't know much of the world. I cer- 
tainly had never known a union man. 

Mr- Tavenner This was another of those stereotyped expressions 
of the Communist Party used frequently by it in referring to writers? 

Mr. Blankfort Mr. Tavenner, may I comment on that? 

Mr. Iavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Blankfort I think if you were to look through the periodicals 
of that time the New York Times, and all the periodicals— right, left 
and center— I think you would find that these phrases had widespread 
use, that many people who were not members of the Communist Party 
used these words. J 

This was the current of the time, the way Fair Deal now has become 
the current. One can use the word even in a sympathetic sense with- 
out indicating his connections. I mean, these were current words of 
the time. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2345 

(Representative Francis E. Walter returned to the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had you known Michael Gold? 

Mr. Blankfort. Probably for 2 or 3 years. At the time the play 
was produced, which I believe was 1936, I didn't see him. I mean, I 
knew him but I didn't have contact with him. I didn't talk with him. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time you collaborated in the work referred 
to 

Mr. Blankfort. We didn't collaborate in the sense of two people 
getting together and working. I got his script and rewrote it, and 
then either gave it to him or sent it to him, and I think he wrote me 
about it. He didn't like some of the things I had done with it, and 
so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostat copy of an article that 
appeared in the Daily Worker on December 9, 1936. I ask that it be 
introduced in evidence and marked "Blankfort Exhibit 5." 

Mr. Walter. It will be marked and received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 5," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. It is an announcement of the twenty-fifth celebra- 
tion of New Masses. At this celebration, it appears that they played 
Anniversary Cavalcade by Michael Blankfort. Would you tell the 
committee the circumstances under which you contributed to that 
occasion ? 

Mr. Blankfort. That is true. They dropped me as a contributor. 

Mr. Blankfort. The Anniversary Calvacade, as I have now recalled 
it to me, the New Masses was an outgrowth of a magazine called the 
Masses, which in turn was an outgrowth of the magazine called, I 
think, the Liberator, which, in turn, I believe, was an outgrowth of a 
magazine called or published by the Inter-Collegiate Socialist Society. 

That is, it was kind of an inheritance. I believe Max Eastland was 
the editor of the old Masses, as was perhaps John Reed or Jack London, 
and so on. I would like to be able to recall with absolute accuracy who 
asked me, or how I came to write this. But obviously, someone asked 
me whether I would write a history of the New Masses. That is why 
it was called Anniversary Cavalcade, and I wrote one. 

I went to the library, I looked up the Liberator, I looked up the old 
Masses, and I got material from them and I wrote the Calvacade. 

Mr. Tavenner. This was some years after you say they had dropped 
you because of your attitude toward your work on reviewing plays? 

Mr. Blankfort. That is true. They dropped me as a contributor. 

Mr. Tavenner. And then came to you again to perform this par- 
ticular work? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you another photostatic copy of a page from 
the March 9, 1936, issue of New Masses, which I desire to offer in 
evidence and have marked as "Blankfort Exhibit No. 6." 

Mr. Walter. It will be marked and will be received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 6," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. It contains a review by Michael Blankfort of An 
Actor Prepares, by Constantine Stanislovsky. Do you recall that 
occasion? 



2346 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes. I still have the book. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that a contribution made by you to New 
Masses ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well now, there is confusion here. I said that I 
had stopped contributing as a regular contributor to the New Masses 
and Daily Worker at a certain time. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understood you to say you had been dropped by 
them. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes; that is true. They stopped asking me to 
contribute play reviews. I don't know how long it was before they 
stopped sending me books. In this case, I may have begged for the 
book. In this case, I may have run into Joe Freeman or Joe North 
and said, "Will you send me a book to review?" 

There are no two ways about this. Book reviews, to review books — 
for which, by the way, I was paid nothing — means that you got the 
book. That means that you owned it. This book cost $2.50 ; it was a 
book I wanted. I begged to review for the New York Times. I begged 
to review for the Nation and New Republic. I wanted those books. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; but the fact that you were continuing to make 
reviews for the New Masses, regardless of what purpose you had in 
mind, is inconsistent with your prior statement that they dropped you 
because of your attitude unless you have some explanation of it. 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, they knew that I would not write play re- 
views to fit their design. Now, if I had said in this review that I 
thought that Stanislovsky was a something, that they didn't like, then 
they wouldn't have published this review. 

I wrote a review about a theater piece. It is about acting. It is a 
nonpolitical piece about acting. I had no objection — I want this to be 
clear, I don't want to mislead you — I had no objection to contributing 
as a writer on nonpolitical material to the New Masses. I would say, 
when I would not have written for the New Masses 

Mr. Tavenner. I know, but the point is that you have reiterated 
here several times that the New Masses dropped you because you 
would not conform your views to their wishes and their desires. Now, 
if that were true, it is hard to reconcile it with the appearance of other 
reviews several years later. 

Mr. Moulder. As I understand it, you mean to construe that they 
dropped you as a regular contributor to the paper? 

Mr. Blankfort. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that the only explanation you have of that, that 
you were dropped as a regular contributor ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of a pamphlet pub- 
lished by the National Committee Against Censorship of the Theater 
Arts. According to this pamphlet you were a member of that com- 
mittee. Will you tell us when that committee was created, the purpose 
of its creation, and who solicited your support, if you were a member? 

(Representative Harold H. Velde left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Blankfort. I can't even remembar the committee. This was 
1935. I was opposed to censorship, and I can't — as I look over the 
names, I am impressed by the number of people that I knew and 
didn't know, and people like Brooks Atkinson, of the New York Times, 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2347 

and Bennet Cerf , and Clifton Fadiman. I don't know anything about 
this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. You notice there also the name of Mary Virginia 
Farmer? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with her? 

Mr. Blankfort. I think — I know I was, but I am trying to remem- 
ber under what circumstances. I think she was an actress whom I met 
who may have appeared in some plays. 

Mr. Tavenner. And John Howard Lawson? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether either of those persons were 
members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I didn't. I think this list characterizes 
the spirit of the times. There were people whom we now know as 
Communists there, and there are people quite unlike the others, Charles 
Angoff and others. I don't want to go on reading all the names, but 
I think an examination of this list would show at that time people who 
were Communist Party members, as we now know, people who were 
generally sympathetic, .people who were liberals, people who were 
interested only in the theater, and that is the point about this. This 
was the National Committee against Censorship of the Theater Arts. 
These were the people interested in the fight against censorship. 

Now, if this was a Communist-front organization, it was very clever, 
because who in the theater is not interested in fighting against censor- 
ship ? This was organized by the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Of course, every Communist front is made up of 
persons who are not members of the Communist Party as well as those 
who are. If there were only Communist Party members it would 
not be a front ; it would be a Communist group. 

Mr. Blankfort. That is right. I understand that. 

Mr. Walter. What attempt was being made at that time to impose 
any sort of censorship ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't remember the detail of the theater at that 
time, sir. What I recall, as you ask the question, is something by 
O'Neill, by Eugene O'Neill ; it may have been some play of his that 
was — I don't recall the details, in fact, back in the period 1935 in the 
theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of the letterhead of 
the American Society for Technical Aid for Spanish Democracy. 

According to information in the files of this committee, some of this 
technical aid was the recruiting of Americans to fight in the Loyalist 
Army during the Spanish Civil War. The name of Michael Blankfort 
appears as a member of the board. 

Will you tell the committee how this organization was formed, its 
purposes, and how your support of it was solicited ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Tavenner, there are two things about this: 
One is that I never attended as a member of the board, I never at- 
tended as a member of the committee, I have no recollection of an}'- 
body asking for my name, or giving it. That is one thing. And the 
other thing that I want to say is that if I had been asked I would have 
given it, so there it is. 



2348 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I have no hesitancy or shame or anything but a deep feeling about 
my views on the Spanish war. I was for the Loyalists. This is some- 
thing I believe in. I believed in the Loyalists, and I wanted them 
to win. I was opposed to Franco and the Spanish Fascists. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will stand in recess for 10 minutes. 

(Whereupon, a short recess was taken, and upon reconvening, Rep- 
resentatives Francis E. Walter and Donald L. Jackson were present.) 

Mr. Walter. The committee will be in order. Proceed, Mr. Tav- 
enner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Blankfort, I show you a photostatic copy of 
the program of the banquet given Mother Bloor on the forty-fifth 
anniversary of — and I quote — 

your [Mother Bloor's] never-ceasing fight in the ranks of the revolutionary 
movement for the liberation of the American toilers. 

I ofLu- this in evidence and ask that it be marked "Blankfort Ex- 
hibit No. 7." 

Mr. Walter. Let it be marked and received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 7," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. The name of Michael Blankfort not only appears as 
a sponsor, but personal greetings by Michael Blankfort appear in the 
form of "All power to Mother Bloor." At the time when you were 
interviewed by Mr. Wheeler in April of 1951 you stated that you were 
not a sponsor of that banquet. Does this photostatic copy of the pro- 
gram refresh your recollection? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, it doesn't, Mr. Tavenner. I don't remember 
ever being asked to be a sponsor. I don't remember ever sending a 
message of greetings. I don't remember whether I ever met Mrs. 
Bloor or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever permit anyone to use your name in 
sending greetings to Mother Bloor? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. But it is not unlikely that someone may 
have said to me, ''They are having a conference, or an anniversary or 
a birthday party for Mother Bloor," and I might have said "That is 
fine, all power to her." I don't go beyond that. 

Mr. Tavenner. The date on the program is January 24, 1936, so 
this was prior to your going to Hollywood. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. As I have read, Mother Bloor is an old 
lady. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you say an' old Communist lady? 

Mr. Blankfort. I certainly would, I certainly would. 

Mr. Tavenner. The First American Writers' Congress was held 
in 1935, and this congress founded the League of American Writers. 
According to the report of that congress, you were among those sub- 
mitting articles. Do you recall that? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a printed record of the First Congress 
of American Writers published by the International Publishers in 
1935. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Among the articles submitted to this conference 
was one entitled "Social Trends in the Modern Drama," by Michael 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2349 

Blankfort and Nathaniel Buchwald, appearing in the report begin- 
ning at page 128. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you submit that article to this Congress of 
American Writers?. 

Mr. Blankfort. To be precise about it, I spoke it aloud. It was 
a regular congress, and I read the article ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the League of American 
Writers at the time? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is the League of American Writers still in existence? 

Mr. Blankfort. To the best of my knowledge, it is not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know when it ceased to function ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No ; I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you not recall that it became nonexistent shortly 
after the German invasion of Russia ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I am not personally — I don't remember 
that. I don't remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are aware of the fact, are you not, that the 
publishing company, International Publishers, which published this 
book, has been cited as a Communist Party publishing house headed 
by Alexander Trachtenberg ? 

Mr. Blankfort. When was that cited? 

Mr. Tavenner. The date is September 24, 1942, that it was cited 
by Attorney General Francis Biddle. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. This is published in 1935, these pro- 
ceedings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware that it was cited as a Communist 
Party 

Mr. Blankfort. I am now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know at the time that the International 
Publishing House was a part of the Comunist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I suspected strongly that it was a Communist 
Party publishing house. Although sometimes it published non-Com- 
munist stuff. That was a little confusing about it. 

But I certainly believed that it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you also aware that the Attorney General 
classified the League of American Writers as a Communist Party 
organization? 

Mr. Blankfort. When was that? 

Mr. Tavenner. The League of American Writers was cited by 
Attorney General Tom Clark on June 1, 1948, and again on September 
21, 1948, as subversive and Communist ; and by the Special Committee 
on Un-American Activities in its report on January 3, 1940, and Juno 
25. 1942, and again on March 29, 1944. 

Mr. Blankfort. 1 think I was aware of the Attorney General's 
designation in 1948 — was that the date? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Blankfort. I cannot say that I was aware of its earlier 
citations. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of a clipping from the 
People's World, of May 2, 1942. According to this article, you were a 



2350 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

master of ceremonies of the feature presented by the school for writers 
of the League of American Writers. Do you recall that occasion? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, I recall it now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you affiliated with the school for writers? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir; I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of a circular con- 
cerning the American people's meeting held at Randall's Island, N- 
Y., on April 5, 1941. This was a meeting of the American Peace 
Mobilization. 

According to the circular you were a sponsor of the American 
Peace Mobilization. Is that correct? 

Mr. Blankfort. According to the circular, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. And I desire to oifer the circular in evidence and 
ask that it be marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 8." 

Mr. Walter. Mark it and let it be received . 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 8." 
is filed herewith.) 

Mr. Blankfort. May I comment on this. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. I am going to ask you further questions. 

Mr. Blankfort. Pardon me. 

Mr. Tavenner. You state that, according to the circular, you are 
listed as a sponsor. Were you a sponsor? 

Mr. Blankfcrt. Mr. Tavenner, I do not recall ever sending per- 
mission or greetings or anything of that kind to the American Peace 
Mobilization. 

1 want to say in this connection — and I think you have found this 
to be true of me so far, that of many of the activities in my past I have 
no apologies. If at any time I have ever been connected with the 
American Peace Mobilization, it is the one thing of which I am deeply 
ashamed. That is all I want to say. I can expand, but that is all I 
want to say now. I did not sponsor it, to my real recollection on the 
thing. 

Mr. Jackson. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman, at that point? 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. You remember that this is one of a number of 
organizations with which your name has been associated, and which 
have later been proscribed either by this committee, or by the Attor- 
ney General's Office, as being Communist-front organizations, and 
dominated by Communists. You have entered a vehement denial in 
the case of the Peace Mobilization. Does that mean that you did not 
effect such rejection of the other organizations upon the finding by 
the United States Government that they are and were Communist- 
dominated organizations? 

Mr. Blankfort. On the contrary, Mr. Jackson. I respect these. I 
would not belong to an organization that had been called subversive. 

Mr. Jackson. That is the point I wanted to make. You em- 
phatically reject the America Peace Mobilization? 

Mr. Blank.fi rt. I do, because my principle has been whenever I 
have joined an organization, to examine the objectives, the stated 
objectives. 

Mr. Jackson. You should have examined the membership lists of 
some of them. 

Mr. Blankfort. I certainly should have. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2351 

Mr. Jackson. The membership lists would have (old you a great 
deal more about the organizations than the avowed principles. 

Mr. Blankfort. I agree with you. However. I subsequently have 
been shocked to find that there have been people connected with 
these organizations who have been listed as Communist Party mem- 
bers. It had never occurred to me. honestly, that a lot of these 
people who have been listed, were Communist Party members. 

Mr. Tavexxer. You are aware that the Attorney General has 
listed the American Peace Mobilization as a Communist organiza- 
tion, and that it has also been cited by this committer, are you not? 
Mr. Blankfort. That was in 1948 it was cited \ 
Mr. Tavexx t er. I do not think I gave you the date of the American 
Peace Mobilization. December 4, 1947, was the date it was cited as 
subversive and Communist by Attorney General Tom Clark, and also 
by Attorney General Francis Biddle, on September 24, 1942, and it 
was cited by this committee first on June 25, 1942, and later on Janu- 
ary 2, 1943, and March 29, 1944, as one of the most seditious organiza- 
tions which ever operated in the United States, and an instrument of 
the Communist Party prior to Hitler's attack on Russia. 

Mr. Blax t kfort. I certainly would not knowingly have remained 
in any organization that was cited as subversive. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Did you write the book The Big Yankee? 
Mr. Blax'kfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Was this book based on the life of Evans F. 
Carlson ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr.' Tavexxer. Were you personally acquainted with Evans F. 
Carlson ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. May I comment on that? 
Mr. Tavexxer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Blaxkf :rt. The first time I met the then Col. Evans F. Carlson 
was at Camp Pendleton, when I served in the Marine Corps. 

This is a man whose reputation, as it came to me, was as a Marine 
Corps leader who had won the adoration of every marine who had 
ever heard of him. My friendship with General Carlson is one of 
the dearest things of my memory. I cannot tell you with what out- 
rage I responded to the accusation and allegation that General Carl- 
son was a member of the Communist Party, for many reasons. One, 
I knew him well ; but more than that, his public record. His public 
record as a God-fearing man, who made no pretenses about it, whose 
eulogy after his death at Guadalcanal, in which his own words were 
used, stated "This experience reaffirms our belief in the Supreme 
Being." 

This is a man who fought at Guadalcanal, at Tarawa, at Makin, 
was wounded twice, and at Saipan. I would like to point out that his 
father is a Congregational ist minister, who is still alive. 

When I was at General Carlson's home, grace was said before meals. 
His total attitude toward life is that of a very deep feeling religious 
man. 

I would like to add further that any reference to General Carlson 
in relation to the Chinese Communist armies — so it is on the record- 
was done, as far as I know, and as far as the records are, as a member 
of the Naval Intelligence. He sent his reports in, and that is what 
he was there for. And it is a terrible blow to the American morale. 

95829 52— pt. 7 4 



2352 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

If you are going to call — I don't mean you, Mr. Tavenner — but if 
one calls General Carlson a Communist, this is good for the Commu- 
nists ; it is not good for the country. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you are acquainted with the fact that the 
book which you wrote was distributed by the Liberty Book Club, a 
new book club organized in New York to distribute Communist books, 
are you not? 

Mr. Blankfort. I was very happy that they did. It meant an ad- 
ditional royalty. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, aside from the question of royalties, what 
special purpose would the Communist Party have in circulating your 
book? Do you attach any speeial significance to that? 

Mr. Blankfort. Has the Liberty Book Club been cited as a Com- 
munist Party organization? I don't know that. 

Mr. Walter. Who ever charged General Carlson with being a Com- 
munist? 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Budenz, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Where was that, sir ? 

Mr. Blankfort. In his testimony before the Senate Internal Af- 
fairs Committee. 

Mr. Jackson. Internal Security Committee. 

Mr. Blankfort. Internal Security Committee. 

Mr. Jackson. On hearings referring to the Institute of Pacific 
Eel at ions. 

Mr. Walter. Are you sure that Mr. Budenz described General 
Carlson as being a Communist, or did he say that the author of the 
biography was? 

Mr. Jackson. I retract that. He did not identify him. I don't 
think he did. I think the question was whether this excerpt from Mr. 
Blankfort 's book would be interpreted as Communist propaganda. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the answer was "Yes" and then he said he 
identified the author of the book. 

Mr. Walter. That is it. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to the testimony which I read, there was 
no identification of Carlson. 

Mr. Blankfort. I have it here on page 581, the date is August 1951, 
part II, Mr. Budenz, in answer to a question said : 

Yes, sir ; General Carlson was a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand from your statement that your study 
of the document and other material which you had available to you 
for use in writing the life of Carlson, that you saw nothing to indi- 
cate membership on his part in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Blankfort. I certainly did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have been listed in an advertisement of the 
Civil Rights Congress as a sponsor of the Los Angeles chapter of the 
Civil Rights Congress. In this advertisement it is said that : 

The Civil Rights Congress is defending Gerhart Eisler, world renowned 
anti-Fascist fighter. 

Do you recall that ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2353 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, I recall that. I got out as quickly as I could. 

As soon as — let me put it like this: I am for civil liberties. I don't 
believe that any civil-liberties organization should devote itself to 
the defense of the civil liberty of the Communists, and no one else. I 
did not know until Mr. Wheeler brought it to my attention, that the 
Civil Rights Congress had been formed out of the International Labor 
Defense and someone else, some other organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. The National Federation of Constitutional Liber- 
ties. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes. That is what was brought to my attention. 
I didn't know that. 

I joined the Civil Rights Congress. I got out pretty quick, and I 
joined the American Civil Liberties Union. I got out because I felt 
some — by the way, I never attended a meeting, but I felt from 
what I gathered in the public press — I don't believe everything I 
read in the newspapers, but I believe the Civil Rights Congress was 
not in business to defend the civil rights of everybody or of anybody. 
The American Civil Liberties Union, of which I became a member 
afterward, will defend Communists and anti-Communists and Fas- 
cists. That is what I believe the civil rights should be. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to introduce in evidence a photostatic copy 
of the Daily People's World of May 2, 1947, and ask that it be marked 
"Blankfort Exhibit No. 9." That is the advertisement to which I 
have referred. 

Mr. Walter. Mark it and let it be received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 9," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. This advertisement of the Civil Rights Congress, 
which lists you as a sponsor, also says that Eisler, Gerhart Eisler, was 
framed by this committee, and it calls for the abolishment of this 
committee. 

Upon what evidence do you base the statement that Eisler was 
framed by this committee, if you had any part in the sponsorship of 
the movement which the article says you were a sponsor of? 

Mr. Blankfort. I want to confess to something: I gave my name 
to an awful lot of organizations. It took me a long time — and this 
is no credit to me, believe me, it is no credit to me — to realize that 
giving one's name to an organization of any kind means one of two 
things: Either you have sot to get into that organization actively 
and go over a copy like this, or you don't give your name, or you don't 
belong. I didn't realize that. 

I say this, and it is no credit to me, I repeat again I never saw that 
ad. I am not in a position to say or to have said that Mr. Eisler was 
ever framed by anybody. 

Mr. Walter. Why did these Communists have Communist-front 
organizations and feel that they could use your name without con- 
sulting you ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't believe that they did, often. In this con- 
nection, I am reasonably certain they asked me. I think several 
places, that there were several organizations where my name is used 
without my recollection. 

Mr. Walter. Why is it that your name is always used when it was 
used, in connection with Communist-front and Communist move- 
ments ? 



2354 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. That is a good question, and I have tried to thrash 
this thing out with myself. 

I think I was lazy, intellectually lazy. 

Sir, since I was a writer, since I was not a journalist, in which my 
views would have appeared in daily comment on the things that were 
happening around me, my only expression was verbal. 

Mr. Walter. Because of these verbal expressions, these left- 



wing- 



Mr. Blankfort. On the contrary 

Mr. Walter. Left-wing organizations thought they could use your 
name? 

Mr. Blankfort. No; on the contrary; quite on the contrary. My 
verbal expressions ; that is, in trying to describe an independent atti- 
tude which I had — ever since I was a mature person my independence 
was not so much in terms of organizations, although I belonged to- 
organizations and participated in anti-Communist groups ; neverthe- 
less, my total anti-Communist expression, or critical expression, was 
verbal. 

Mr. Walter. Then you feel that it was because of your anti-Com- 
munist expressions that the Communist organizations used your 
name ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir ; I said about that that I was intellectually 
lazy. Someone would ask me would I join the Civil Rights Con- 
gress, and I just didn't go and say "Well, let me see who is connected 
with it? What does it stand for?" 

Mr. Walter. You want us to believe, then, that you were asked to 
join the Civil Rights Congress because of your anti-Communist ex- 
pressions ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I am sorry. I didn't say that at all. I 
didn't mean to say that. 

Mr. Walter. I think that is what it adds up to. 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir; I didn't mean that at all. I was talk- 
ing of two different things. I am not sure but what General Carlson 
was a member of the Civil Rights Congress, and I am not certain 
but what I joined just on his say-so. You have the record of the 
national sponsorship there ; I don't. But, if it were General Carlson r 
I guess I would have followed him without question at all. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you not also a member of the Com- 
mittee for the First Amendment ? Or were you not a sponsor of it ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Whether I was a sponsor or not, I would have 
been a sponsor, and I certainly would have been a member. I believe 
that the Committee for the Frst Amendment had a good point. This 
committee was the broadest, widest committee one could possibly get 
in Hollywood. I don't know — were there Communist Party mem- 
bers on that committee? 

Mr. Jackson. There w T ere Communist Party members on almost 
every committee formed at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your first examination by the committee, in 
April of 1951, you stated that you supported the Committee for the 
First Amendment. I do not know whether you meant that you were 
a member of the committee and took part in its activities or not. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2355 

Mr. Blankfort. No; I had no — I don't believe I ever attended a 
meeting of the Committee for the First Amendment, but I supported 
it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who solicited your support? 

Mr. Blankfort. I think it was an ad put out in the Hollywood 
Reporter, and asking people to join and cont ribute money. There was 
going to be a national broadcast, I believe, and I sent in $25 or what- 
ever it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me show you a photostatic copy of the original 
statement of the Committee for the First Amendment, and its original 
signers, and that may be the advertisement you were speaking of? 

Mr. Blankfort. Did this appear in the Hollywood Reporter? 

Maybe Phil Dunn asked me. I think I was at his studio at the 
time. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer the photostatic copy in evidence, 
and ask that it be marked '"Blankfort Exhibit No. 10." 

Mr. Walter. Mark it and let it be received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 10," 
is filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. If you will examine it, please, I think you will see 
that your name appears there as a sponsor. 

(Mr. Blankfort consults document.) 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who asked you to become a sponsor? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, on this list, any one of these people could 
have asked me. Bob Ardrey could have asked me. It depended on 
what studio I was working at at the time. It may have been Ardrey. 
It may have been Dunn. It may have been a man named Gomberg. 
It may have been — I don't know. I don't know who asked me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, after looking at the exhibit, you are con- 
vinced that you did become a sponsor of it ; are you not? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir; I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me read to you the opening statement : 

We the undersigned, as American citizens who believe in constitutional demo- 
cratic government, are disgusted and outraged by the continuing attempt of 
the House Committee on Un-American Activities to smear the motion-picture 
industry. 

Do you believe that the efforts of this committee to expose the Com- 
munist infiltration into the moving-picture industry constituted a 
smear of that industry ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Was it this committee that this refers to, this pres- 
ent committee ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Of course, that is dated, as you will see, 1947. 

Mr. Blankfort. Then it wasn't this committee. I mean it had the 
same name, but it wasn't the committee which is presently constituted. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is the same regardless of the member- 
ship of it. A corporation doesn't go out of existence because the 
board of directors are changed. 

Mr. Blankfort. This is the only committee I know. I don't have 
to tell you, Mr. Tavenner, what the opinion of Hollywood was about 
the earlier 1947 committee. I don't want to go into details as to the 
activities. 



2356 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not asking you to make any comparisons that 
may be in your mind, but I do want to know whether you think it was 
smeared. 

Mr. Blankfort. Whether I think Hollywood was smeared ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, in light of the evidence as you now know it. 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, "smear" is a word which is a color word. 
Certainly it has not helped Hollywood. I don't mean that the com- 
mittee has had anything to do with it, but the fact that it has come 
out that people in the moving-picture industry have been Communist 
Party members certainly is not helpful. 

Mr. Tavenner. But that is not a smear of it. 

Mr. Blankfort. No ; it is not a smear of it. It is a fact. These are 
the facts, and it is unfortunate for Hollywood. 

Mr. Walter. Do you not think that this committee would have been 
derelict in its duty if it did not expose the machinations of these 
Communists ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I think it would have been. I think this is the 
function of your committee, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why did you permit the use of your name as a 
sponsor of a committee which was organized to try to destroy the work 
of this committee ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, again, you force me to make the perhaps 
invidious comparison there are committees and there are committees. 
There is a way of handling interrogation, and a different way. I 
don't feel for myself — and I am glad to take this opportunity — that I 
have been under any pressure. I don't feel that I have been a victim of 
any kind of unfair questioning. I am not certain that that would 
have been true of the earlier committee. I am not an authority on 
that. But nevertheless that was our impression. 

It was our impression, and Hollywood, as perhaps one man, was 
under the same impression of that earlier committee. And that is 
why, if we look at the list, it contains the names of the foremost people 
in Hollywood. 

Now, we could all perhaps have been wrong about it, but that was 
our feeling at the time. 

Mr. Jackson. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. In the light of what has developed in the interim, do 
you still feel that the Committee for the First Amendment was per- 
forming a worth-while function, or do you feel that in light of what 
has developed it was being largely used by Communists, some of whom 
came here for the express purpose of smearing the committee? 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Jackson, as I said before, I was not an active 
member of this committee, but I did speak to some of the active 
members of this committee much later. And I found out, to my amaze- 
ment, which I had not known before, that the active members of the 
committee had tried to persuade those 10 men from pleading as they 
did. They tried to get them to cooperate with the committee. I 
hadn't known this. 

As I say, I didn't know this, and I think that is answer to your 
question. I don't think that the Committee for the First Amendment 
knew the total picture. I think that today if you went over that list 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2357 

perhaps 95 percent of them would say that they had been misled in 
their efforts. I personally believe that the men who came up before 
the committee in 1947 were wrong. 

I didn't believe that at the time, but I believe they were wrong in 
taking the attitude they did. 

Mr. Walter. Do you not think that perhaps they were misled by 
those people who were afraid of an investigation, whose own guilty 
consciences dictated to them that they should take steps in order to 
prevent a disclosure of their activities? 

Mr. Blankfort. That is certainly possible. 

Mr. Jackson. The activities of the previous committee, after all, 
was the opening gun in an investigation which was to disclose the pres- 
ence of a highly organized, well-integrated group of Communists 
in Hollywood. I think that that is historically on the record today 
to the satisfaction of everyone, even those who at the time said "There 
is no organized Communist movement in Hollywood. There may be 
a few individuals running around who are doing no damage; but, as 
far as organized communism is concerned, there isn't any." 

The activities of this committee through the years has proven quite 
the contrary : that there was a very effective organization. I agree 
with the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Walter, when he says 
that much of the furor created by the Committee for the First 
Amendment was furor created in self-defense by others who had 
not been subpenaed before the committee, but who had every reason 
to believe that as the time went by they would be subpenaed. Many 
have subsequently been. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information that you also joined 
in an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Dalton 
Trumbo and John Howard Lawson. Is that true ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes ; it is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which your 
assistance in that matter was obtained? 

Mr. Blankfort. As I remember it, I got a letter asking for my 
support. It was signed, I believe, by a professor at the University of 
California, or Stanford. His name was Max Radin. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name, please? 

Mr. Blankfort. R-a-d-i-n. All I knew of Max Radin was that 
he was — in references in books and so on — a very distinguished con- 
stitutional lawyer, or a constitutional authority. I don't think he 
practiced law. This was a constitutional point. It was raised in the 
minds of people that the question of the proceedings was a constitu- 
tional and moot point, and that is why I signed it. 

Mr. Walter. Do you suppose that the eminent professor wrote that 
letter because he knew of your anti-Communist utterances? 

Mr. Blankfort. Sir, he didn't know me, and I am sorry that I 

Mr. Walter. Why do you suppose he wrote to you asking for your 
support? 

Mr. Blankfort. Sir, I was under the impression that he wrote to 
everybody. I think he wrote to everyone. 

Mr. Walter. By "everybody" you mean whom? 

Mr. Blankfort. I mean that he probably got a list of the sub- 
scribers to the Nation and the New Republic. He probably got a list 
of the members of the Screen Actors' Guild or Screen Directors' 



2358 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Guild. I am not charging that he did. When you ask me every- 
body, I 

Mr. Walter. That is what you said. That is the reason I asked you. 
Mr. Blankfort. Yes. I would say that everybody in Hollywood, 
including those who wouldn't have signed the amicus curiae brief 
under any circumstances, received it. I know, I believe, that at the 
time I was interrogated by Mr. Wheeler that my own attorney had 
received a letter. I think Professor Radin got the lists, the public 
lists of everybody and sent it out. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you have informed the committee prior 
to this that as a member of the American Veterans" Committee you 
supported a resolution to deprive members of the Communist Party 
from membership in the American Veterans' Committee. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir; that is true. I was an active member of 
the Beverly Hills Chapter of the American Veterans' Committee. 
Mr. Tavenner. When? 

Mr. Blankfort. From its inception to its dissolution, the dates, 
probably from 1946 to 1948. A resolution had been submitted to 
instruct our delegates to the national conference as to whether they 
would support an anti-Communist resolution in the national organi- 
zation. 

I not only spoke in favor of it, in support of an anti-Communist 
resolution, but I think that I swung it. I spoke at great length. 

The reason, you might be interested to know, why I supported an 
anti-Communist resolution was brought out earlier by Mr. Walter, 
I believe, that I believed in the objectives of the American Veterans' 
Committee, and therefore wanted to drive out the Communists be- 
cause they would only confuse the issue. They would make it diffi- 
cult for the American Veterans' Committee to fulfill its objectives, 
which I thought were good. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, at the same time you were a member of 
the Screen Writers' Guild; were you not? 
Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. But in the Screen Writers' Guild you did not take 
the same position with regard to Communists; did you? 

Mr. Blankfort. The issue never came up. I will tell you what I 
did do in the Screen Writers' Guild. I have never been an active 
member of the Screen Writers' Guild. That is, I served on the board, 
I think, 10 or 11 years ago for 6 months. I never made a speech, as 
far as I can recall, on the floor of the guild. 

But I was nominated recently, 2 years ago. My nomination speech, 
which did not win me the — I had to make it myself, not nominate 
myself, but I had to say what I stood for — which did not win me the 
election, was that when I am on that guild the board, if I am on the 
guild board, I would vote for those things that I considered to best 
represent the guild as a whole. 

Now, practically everyone else right and left had a partisan view of 
what they would do. The issue about driving the Communists out 
of the Screen Writers' Guild was not sharply brought before the 
guild. If you ask me whether I would support such a resolution — 
which you haven't, but I will tell you— I would not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why would you not support such a resolution in 
the Screen Writers' Guild when you did support a similar resolution 
in the Veterans' Committee ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2359 

Mr. Blankfort. Because one has to do witli the question of whether 
a man can earn a living:, and the other doesn't. We have a 100-percent 
guild shop now; so, if you are not in the Screen Writers' Guild, you 
don't work. 

Mr. Tavenner. I see. Were you affiliated with the National Council 
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, at any time? 

Let me show you a photostatic copy of a letter of the National Coun- 
cil of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. I believe your name ap- 
pears there as one of the signers. 

Does that refresh your recollection? 

Mr. Blankfort. You mean to say if I have ever seen this letter 
before ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; I mean whether examination of that letter re- 
freshes your recollection to the point where you can state definitely 
whether you were affiliated with the National Council of the Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions. 

Mr. Blankfort. I think I was, but I have no recollection of this 
letter. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer the letter in evidence and ask that it 
be marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 11." 

Mr. Wadter. Mark it and it will be received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 11," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. You will notice that there appears, if you examine 
the article again, please, that it is directed to the Members of the 
Eighty-first Congress. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it uses this language : 

The Eighty-first Congress can and must abolish the Committee on Un-American 
Activities. 

Will you examine the document again and state what the date is? 

Mr. Blankfort. There is no date on it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee who solicited your sig- 
nature to that letter ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No one. I never saw this letter before now. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not recall permitting the use of your name? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a signer ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Not to my recollection. This was sent from New 
York. What was the date? 

Mr. Tavenner. In 1948, December 1948. 

Mr. Blankfort. To the best of my recollection, I never saw this 
letter before now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Aside from the fact that you may never have seen 
it, did you authorize the use of your name? 

Mr. Blankfort. Not to my recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a signatory to the letter? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir ; not to my recollection ; no, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Did you advocate the abolition of this committee at 
that time ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me see it again, now. 

Mr. Biankfort. Sir? I beg your pardon? 



2360 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Walter. Did you advocate the abolition of this committee at 
that time ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I advocated a change in procedure. That was my 
chief criticism. 

Mr. Walter. Was that because you were fearful that the committee 
would continue its investigation of Hollywood? 

Mr. Blankfort. No ; I don't think I was fearful that the committee 
would continue its investigation. I was fearful that the investigation 
would not be fair, let us say, or reasonable. 

Mr. Tavenner. Attached to the letter which I handed you is an 
article, a photostatic copy of an article appearing in the Daily Worker 
of December 29, 1948, which says : 

A group of distinguished writers, clergymen, actors, and other notables, called 
upon the Eighty-first Congress to abolish the Un-American Activities Committee. 
The request was made in a statement released by the National Council of the 
Arts, Sciences, and Professions. Signers of the statement included — 

and giving the list of names, a person by the name of Michael 
Blankfort. 

Mr. Blankfort. Doesn't that come from the same list ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; the same list refers to the same incident. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. But I want you to look at the article from the Daily 
Worker and state whether or not you saw that article. 

Mr. Blankfort. I can answer that without looking at it. I never 
saw the article. I have never seen the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, as far as the use of your name in that par- 
ticular article is concerned, or the article referred to, it was done 
without your permission? 

Mr. Blankfort. To the best of my knowledge, yes. 

Mr. Walter. Have you ever seen the article before ? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. What do you propose to do now that your name has 
been used without authority to find out why people had the temerity 
to use your name without permission? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't think these organizations are still in exist- 
ence. If they were I would write them a letter and tell them, and 
express my view on this. 

Mr. Jackson. You can write the Hollywood Chapter of the Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions. It is still in existence. 

Mr. Blankfort. I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. They are still in existence. 

Mr. Blankfort. I have. I cannot tell you the date, but I perhaps 
could find out when I did and resigned from my membership. Has 
that committee ever been classed subversive? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, it has been. The National Council of the Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions was cited as a Communist front by the 
Committee on Un-American Activities on April 26, 1950. The Holly- 
wood chapter is an affiliate of that national organization. 

Mr. Blankfort. You understand, Mr. Tavenner, I did not say I 
had not been a member. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that. 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't want that to — I think you understand better 
than I do that when you are a member of an organization, I never 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2361 

■understood that they would have to have special permission to use 
your name for any function of that organization. I don't want it 

Mr. Tavenner. I am very much surprised to hear you state that, 
because I don't see how anyone could be assumed to have agreed to 
the use of his name m any project in which an organization may be 
interested without permission. I have never heard that advanced 
before. 

Mr. Blankfort. I didn't think I was advancing original theory. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think a great many of the names of people were 
used without permission, but this is the first time I have ever heard 
it suggested that the mere joining of the organization was tantamount 
to a consent to use the individual's name in matters of this kind with- 
out specific permission. 

I show you a photostatic copy of a program of the Cultural and 
Scientific Conference for World Peace held in New York City in 
March 1949. Your name appears as one of the sponsors. 

I desire to offer the copy in evidence and ask that it be marked 
"Blankfort Exhibit No. 12." 

Mr. Walter. It may be marked and received. 

(The document referred to, marked "Blankfort Exhibit No. 12," is 
filed herewith.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee who received your spon- 
sorship of that group, if you actually sponsored it? 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes. I have a recollection about this. This took 
place in March 1949, 1 believe, that was your date, March 1949. I was 
in Israel. I wasn't present. The only specific recollection I have is 
that I received a letter asking for my permission, and I did not give it. 
As I remember the letter a card was enclosed, I am not certain, "Will 
you sponsor or give permission" — or whatever the thing is for — "this 
conference." 

I know I got the letter before I left, or on my way to Europe, and 
I did not give permission for my name to be used. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, Mr. Blankfort, you stated in the early part 
of your testimony in effect that the pattern of your conduct had been 
such as to show that you could not have been or were not a member of 
the Communist Party at the time that Mr. Budenz testified you were, 
and that you could not have or did not go to Hollywood for the purpose 
of looking into Communist activities out there. 

You have testified here about your membership in many Communist- 
front organizations in Hollywood. 

Mr. Blankfort. Sir, I was the front in the Communist organization, 
that is clear, that is very clear. Parallel with these activities, as I 
pointed out and as you pointed out, were other activities. I was a 
member of organizations which had taken decided stands against Com- 
munists : The American-Jewish Congress, the B'nai B'rith, the Amer- 
ican Veterans' Committee. 

My whole life has been one of independent radicalism. I suppose 
radicalism is the word for it. I am not a party joiner. It is appar- 
ent that I am an organization joiner. That is apparent. One of the 
things 

Mr. Tavenner. It is pretty hard to differentiate between the two at 
times, is it not? 



2362 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't believe, I really don't believe it is, because 
when one joins an organization the general purposes seem to catch you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any occasion other than the time that you 
said Mr. Martin Berkeley solicited, or I believe you said the two times 
that Mr. Martin Berkeley solicited your membership in the party, that 
other persons solicited you to join the party? 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, as I said before, in the early thirties — what 
I said before to Mr. Walter has a point here — and I was not clear be- 
fore — that one of the reasons why I didn't get the solicitation that one 
would assume I would have was because verbally in social groups I had 
for so long taken an anti-Communist Party position that if there were 
Communist Party people there they knew where I stood. 

That is the point. You probably don't — were you listening to me? 

Mr. Tavenner. I did not hear all of what you said. I was confer- 
ring with the investigator. 

Mr. Blankfort. What I referred to in talking to Congressman Wal- 
ter was that I had in circles, at social gatherings, I had always been 
critical and outspoken about my anti-Communist position. I had al- 
ways been critical of the Communist Party. That is why people 
didn't come and ask me to join the Communist Party, because it was 
obvious where I stood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. But your activities were so closely attached to 
the Communist Party that it is difficult to understand how you could 
have been so vocal in opposing the Communist Party, and yet so close 
to the Communist Party in your conduct of your activities. 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Tavenner, these organizations were not 
brought to my attention as Communist organizations and under the 
circumstances, one joins them. Now, one learns, too. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then in the final analysis you are saying that you 
are not now and never have been- 

Mr. Blankfort. Never have been. 

Mr. Tavenner. A member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. Exactly. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Blankfort, can you assign any possible reason 
for the testimony given by Mr. Budenz before this committee on 
January 15? 

Mr. Blankfort. You mean do I have a theory as to why he testified 
this way ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. Why would Mr. Budenz, in your opinion, say 
that? Could it have grown, perhaps, out of a personal disagreement? 
Have you ever had a personal disagreement with Mr. Budenz ? 

(Representative Harold H. Velde reentered the hearing room at 
this point.) 

Mr. Blankfort. No. If the sense of your question is that this 
could have been a personal matter, no. 

Mr. Jackson. Because the situation with which the committee is 
confronted is that of a positive identification on the one hand and a 
positive denial on the other up to this moment. 

Did you know Michael Gold to be a member of the Communist 
Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2363 

Mr. Blankfort. I sure assumed that he was. I may add at this 
point that Michael Gold told me never to join the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. That is recruitment in reverse. 

Have you ever made any public statement, or have you ever re- 
pudiated the use of your name by any of these several organizations 
with which you were alleged to have been associated, or to have 
sponsored ? 

Mr. Blankfort. You mean, did I ever call the press and 

Mr. Jackson. Well, the press or any group, or did you, for instance, 
ever tell the Beverly Hills AVC that your name was used by such-and- 
such an organization, and that you were not a member of the organiza- 
tion? 

Mr. Blankfort. I may have told personal friends. 

Mr. Jackson. But you have never made a public pronouncement to 
that effect? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, I cannot say that I ever did make a public 
announcement, if by public you meant in the public press. 

Mr. Jackson. That would be one method, yes, probably the most 
logical method to us. 

Mr. Blankfort. You are talking about specific organizations. 

Mr. Jackson. The organizations which have been mentioned here 
today. 

Did you know Gerhart Eisler? 

Mr. Blankfort. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you feel, Mr. Blankfort, that in light of the 
identification made before the committee by Mr. Budenz, and in the 
light of the many suspect groups with which you have been associated, 
t hat the committee was doing the proper thing in asking you to appear 
before it to explain the situation ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I certainly do, I appreciate the opportunity. 

Mr. Jackson. You used the word "smeared" in connection with the 
previous committees that antedated this one. Do you know anyone 
who has been smeared by this committee either now or in times past ? 

Mr. Blankfort. This present committee; no, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I am speaking of the committee generally. I would 
like to know who has been unjustly accused. If that accusation still 
stands, 1 am sure the committee would want to give him an opportunity 
to affirm or deny the allegations that resulted in the smear. 

Mr. Blankfort. As I understand it, this committee has checked the 
names before it has called them, called the people before the committee. 
To call the man before the committee who has no real business being 
before the committee, that might be considered a smear. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, but who ? I want to know the names. 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't know. You are asking me the names? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, I am asking you for the name of anyone who has 
been unjustly accused before this committee. 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't think anybody has as far as I know of this 
committee. 

Mr. Jackson. By this committee I am also talking of its prede- 
cessors. I should like to know whether the House Committee on Un- 
American Activities actions has smeared anyone. I think it is a 
very important matter. 

Mr. Walter. It. is extremely important, because we have spent a 
great deal of time in executive session endeavoring to put up the safe- 



2364 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

guards that will protect anybody from any unjust intimation, even,, 
and that is why Mr. Jackson's question is so very important to those 
of us in the committee who have tried so hard for so long to protect 
people that are entitled to protection. 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe you have. I don't believe this committee 
has smeared anybody, and Mr. Jackson asks me about preceding com- 
mittees, and I am caught on the word "smear," because I cannot bring 
to mind the name of anybody who was brought before even the pre r 
ceding committees who, in the long rim — perhaps not at first — but in 
the long run there was justification for it. 

The word "smear" is a color word again. And I guess what it has 
meant is that men have lost their jobs just on the announcement of the 
subpena. 

Mr. Velde. I think the gentleman from California used the words 
"unjustly accused," too. What would you say about that? 

Mr. Blankfort. I don't think anybody who was brought before the 
committee has been unjustly accused. You have had 

Mr. Walter. We have not accused anybody of anything. When 
these witnesses have been subpenaed it is because we have every reason 
to believe they possess information that will aid us in letting the 
American people see to what extent this Communist conspiracy has 
gone in our society. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, sir ; I realize that. I don't say that 

Mr. Walter. We do not accuse anybody of anything. 

Mr. Blankfort. I agree with you. I haven't said that you have. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, my question naturally sprung from the fact 
that your name was associated with a petition, or with a letter which 
accused the committee of having smeared individuals. And I have 
asked a great many witnesses, and of course the unfriendly ones snarl, 
and the friendly ones say, "No, I don't know of anyone that was 
smeared," but the word is still used. 

The Daily Worker, and all of the Communist press and some 
people who should know better still fling the charge that the 
committee is smearing. To the best of my knowledge, I don't know 
of anyone being smeared, and I am still trying to find the name of 
one so he may avail himself of the opportunity to come forward and 
say in what manner he has been smeared. 

If any name occurs to you after you leave here I wish you would 
let us know. 

When did you disassociate yourself from the ASP, Arts, Sciences 
and Professions? 

Mr. Blankfort. Probably 1948 or 1949, I don't know. It must 
have been 1948. 

Mr. Jackson. Was that the Hollywood council? 

Mr. Blankfort. As far as I know. I never attended a meeting 
of the Hollywood group. And I think what happened was that I 
got a request for renewal of membership and said I wouldn't renew it. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2365 

Mr. Walter. Do you have anything further, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavenner. One question, please, sir. 

You stated that Michael Gold advised you not to become a member 
of the Communist Party. What were the circumstances of his giving 
you that advice? 

Mr. Blankfort. The first time I met Michael Gold was probably 
when I got the manuscript of that play; and he just complained about 
the fact that he was a writer, and any writer who is a member of 
the Communist Party was just insane. That is a recollection of many, 
many years. . 

Mr. Tavenner. You know Michael Gold was a member; wasn't he? 

Mr. Blankfort. He certainly was, from all appearances; and this 
goes into the psychology of people. He probably felt lack of personal 
freedom, of one kind or another, and he just spoke against the party 
membership of anybody who wanted to be a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Walter. Is there any reason why the witness cannot be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. 

Mr. Walter. Very well. We appreciate your cooperation, and it 
is only because of the willingness of people like you to come here 
and give us a full statement of the facts as you know them that we 
are able to point up to the American people the danger of this con- 
spiracy. We are deeply appreciative of your efforts to assist us. 

The witness is excused from further attendance. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Bassman. 

Mr. Walter. Will you raise your right hand, please? 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give 
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

Mr. Bassman. I do. 

Mr. Walter. Be seated, please. 

TESTIMONY OF GEORGE BASSMAN 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your full name ? 

Mr. Bassman. George Bassman. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. B \ssman. New York City, February 7, 1914. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a statement of your 
general educational background ? 

Mr. Bassman. Well, 1 was brought up in Boston, and I went to 
Memorial High School there. I stayed in Boston until 1932 or 1933, 
and then I went to New York where I lived until 1936, and from 
there I left for Hollywood where I worked until 1948, and then 
returned to New York. 



2366 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession ? 

Mr. Bassman. I am a musician, composer, and arranger. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Bassman, in the course of the hearings in Holly- 
wood in September you were identified as a member of the Communist 
Party by Mr. Martin Berkeley. I understand that very soon there- 
after you indicated a desire to appear before the committee and be 
heard in regard to the matter. 

Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, sir, you are at liberty to make any explanation 
to the committee you desire to make. 

Mr. Bassman. Well, I believe in 1938 I was invited to a few meet- 
ings, which I attended, which I discovered were of Communist nature. 
I probably attended six or seven meetings, in all, over a period of 3 or 4 
months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment, please. You said these meetings 
were, you discovered, of a Communist nature ? 

Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you mean that they were meetings of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Bassman. I didn't know it at the time I went, but I subsequently 
found out that they were. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you find that out ? 

Mr. Bassman. Oh, after I went to maybe three of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you continued to attend the meetings ? 

Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. I interrupted you. You may proceed. 

Mr. Bassman. Well, I went for a short time longer. I found that 
1 had no interest in anything that went on there and just ceased 
going. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many Communist Party meetings did you 
attend ? 

Mr. Bassman. Well, there couldn't have been over a half dozen, 
perhaps seven. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were the meetings held? 

Mr. Bassman. Well, there were a couple of them that were held 
at my home, there were a few that were held at the home of Mr. 
Berkeley, and I don't recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a Communist Party meeting at the 
home of Mr. Ornitz, Sam Ornitz ? 

Mr. Bassman. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. On Martell Street in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Bassman. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say possibly several meetings were held in 
your home? 

Mr. Bassman. Yes ; probably two or three. 

Mr. Tavinner. Probably two or three? 

Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you invite those who attended to come ? 

Mr. Bassman. I never invited anybody. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, how did it happen that these meetings were 
held in your home? 

Mr. Bassman. They were invited by my ex-wife, who had invited 
me. 



COMMUNISM IX HOLLYWOOD .MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2367 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean you only, came to your home when you 
had Communist Party meetings? 

Mr. Bassman. No, no, no, I was invited originally by my ex-wife, 
who had gone to some meetings before I ever went. Because she felt, 
and when we talked it over we both felt that we both should be inter- 
ested in the same things, I went with her to one of these meetings, 
and then I went to the second, and then the third might have been 
at my home, and that is how I attended a meeting - in my own home. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Actually, at the end of a meet ing, say, in your home, 
was it not agreed by all present as to where the meeting should be 
held the next week, or in the next 2 weeks ? 

Mr. Bassman. Undoubtedly, but I really don't recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Don't you think you were present and took part 
in meetings at which it was determined that the next meeting would 
be at your home? 

Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir; but I don't recall — there is so little that I 
recall about these meetings now, because it is so many years later, 
I don't really remember now. I remember going, but I don't remem- 
ber much of what happened. I remember a few things, but not 
much. 

Mr. Tavenx'er. In other words, your position is that you were 
not active in the work of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Passman. Not at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Put you were a member of the Communist Party, 
do you mean that? 

Mr. Bassmax t . So I have been told. I never joined to my recollec- 
tion, but I cannot say that I wasn't a member, because I might have 
been. I don't recall ever paying dues. I know that I never took 
money out of my pocket and gave it to anyone, according to my best 
recollection ; but I have been told that I was in the party for a short 
period of time, and I cannot deny it. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Did } T ou take any action to stop the Communist 
Party from meeting in your home? 

Mr. Bassman. When I stopped going to the meetings, I asked my 
wife if she would mind never having a meeting there, and we never 
did again. 

Mr. Tavexxer. What was your reason for not attending other 
meetings? 

Mr. Passmax. Well, I didn't understand too much of what went 
on. I have never been a political person. I am a musician. The 
kind of work that I do in my music sometimes will keep me working 
for 3 weeks straight with maybe 2 or 3 hours sleep a night. 

I tried to study a Marx pamphlet and couldn't make heads or tails 
out of it; and this was why I stopped going. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Well, did high functionaries of the Communist 
Party appear at your meetings and endeavor to instruct you on the 
subject of Marxism ami communism? 

Mr. Passmax. No, sir; I recall in 1937 attending a chiss where I 
was supposed to be studying a Marx pamphlet, and I went to two or 
three of those classes and stopped going to those, because I didn't 
understand them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were conducting those classes? 

Mr. Passman. As I recall, there was a man bv the name of Jacob- 
son, but I don't know his first name. 

95829 — 52— pt. 7 5 



2368 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Eli Jacobson ? 

Mr. Bassman. I think that is his name ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any others? 

Mr. Bassman. I beg your pardon ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any other instructors? 

Mr. Bassman. Not that I recall 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, is it your statement that you left the 
Communist Party because you could not understand the Marx 
theory? Is that your reason for leaving? 

Mr. Bassman. I hate to appear stupid, because I don't really feel 
that I am. But on political matters, I just really had no interest. I 
was interested in music, in playing tennis, in, well, in things that 
were not political. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was it that you happened to get into the Com- 
munist Party if you had no interest in matters of that kind? 

Mr. Bassman. Well, occasionally, one follows someone that is close 
into some sort of a project that interests them, and that is what hap- 
pened to me here. 

I recall someone very close to me in — may I deviate for a moment? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Bassman. I recall someone very close to me interested in psycho- 
analysis once who was in it for 2y 2 years, and they insisted that I 
would have to be analyzed, because they were interested in it. Well, 
it was the same sort of thing. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is a very interesting thing. 

Mr. Walter. I think that is true of most of the people that are 
members of these Communist fronts. They should have been psycho- 
analyzed. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't understand the sense in which you were to 
be psychoanalyzed in going into the party. I can understand that 
about coming out of the party. 

Mr. Bassman. No; my analogy was simply this, Mr. Tavenner: 
I had a very unhappy marriage. 

Mr. Tavenner; I don't wish to go into personal things. 

Mr. Bassman. I am not going to be personal. I am trying to ex- 
plain my analogy of entering the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell us about entering the party. I am not inter- 
ested, particularly, in your analysis. We want to know of the exact 
facts about it. 

Mr. Bassman. The fact is simply this: I went to these meetings 
because my wife asked me to accompany her. She went before I did 
and explained some of the functions to me, which were of no interest 
to me, but because we lived together as a family she thought that 
I should be involved with her in a project in which she had great 
interest. 

Well, I went. After going to a few meetings I decided it was not 
for me, and I just ceased going. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any further statement you want to 
make to the committee about your leaving the party ? 

Mr. Bassman. Only to say that I never really felt that I left any- 
thing, because I never really felt that I belonged, but I stopped going 
because I had no interest and have never bothered with it since. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2369 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the others who were members of this 
group with you ? 

Mr. Bassman. I didn't remember until I was shown Mr. Berkeley's 
testimony, and there were a couple of names on there that I recall. 
There were a couple on there that I don't recall or remember ever 
seeing at a meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Give us the names of those whom you recall were 
members. 

Mr. Bassman. Well, there was a girl by the name of Babb, that 
I recall seeing at a meeting. 
Mr. Tavenner. Is that her first name or last name ? 
Mr. Bassman. No ; that is her last name. 
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell it ? 
Mr. Bassman. B-a-b-b. 
Mr. Tavenner. What is her first name ? 
Mr. Bassman. Sonora. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you be more definite as to the first name? 
Mr. Bassman. As far as I remember I thought it was Sonora. 
Mr. Tavenner. Could it have been Sonja? 
Mr. Bassman. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is Sonora according to your recollection? 
Mr. Bassman. That is right. If you have the testimony I could tell 
you better. I really don't remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1 am advised that that is the correct name. And 
who were the others? 

Mr. Bassman. Then I recall someone there who was in publicity 
by the name of Shapiro. 
Mr. Tavenner. Shapiro? 
Mr. Bassman. Yes. 
Mr. Tavenner. What is the first name ? 

Mr. Bassman. I don't know him well, I don't really remember. 
Mr. Tavenner. Male or female? 
Mr. Bassman. A man. 
Mr. Jackson. Was it Victor Shapiro ? 
Mr. Bassman. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say his name was Victor Shapiro? 
Mr. Bassman. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had you known Victor Shapiro ? 
Mr. Bassman. I had met him there and just saw him at those few 
meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his activity in the meetings? 
Mr. Bassman. Mr. Tavenner, I don't remember anyone's activities 
at those meetings. I just remember that I went and usually held a 
book in my hand and listened, and couldn't wait to get out of there, 
and that is the truth. 
Mr. Tavenner. Were there others? 

Mr. Bassman. There were a couple of other names in the testimony, 
but I don't remember them being at the meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Walter. Does the committee have any questions? 

Mr. Velde. I have no questions. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Are you here in response to a subpena ? 



2370 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Bassman. No, sir; I came here because I felt that it was im- 
portant for my work, which is in New York City, to have it on the 
record that whereas I may have at one time been a member of the 
Communist Party, I haven't been for over 12 years, that I am no 
longer interested in it, and I wanted to take advantage of the fact 
that I knew that this committee would give me this kind of a hearing. 
So to prospective employers in New York City, if the question were to 
come up, since I had been named, as to was I or am I or am I not a 
member, I could truthfully state that I am not. 

Mr. Jackson. You state under oath now that you have broken all 
connections, physical and philosophical, with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Bassman. Oh, yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Walter. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Thank you. The witness is excused. 

The committee will recess subject to the call of the Chair. 

(Whereupon, at 5 : 15 p. m., the committee was recessed to be recon- 
vened subject to the call of the Chair.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1952 

United States House of Kepresentatives, 

Subcommittee of the Committee on 

Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. G. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pursuant to call at 10 : 45 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. John S. Wood (chairman), presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives John S. Wood, 
Francis E .Walter, Clyde Doyle, and Donald L. Jackson. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Raphael I. 
Nixon, director of research; John W. Carrington, clerk; Jackson 
Jones, investigator ; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. 

Let the record show that for the purposes of this hearing the chair- 
man has set up a subcommittee composed of three members, Mr. 
Walter, Mr. Jackson, and myself, who are all present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance? 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn, please? 

You do solemnly swear that the evidence you give this subcommittee 
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your full name, please, sir ? 

TESTIMONY OF M. WILLIAM POMERANCE, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, DAVID REIN 

Mr. Pomerance. M. William Pomerance, P-o-m-e-r-a-n-c-e. 
Mr. Tavenner. M. William Pomerance? 
Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 
Mr. Tanner Are you represented by counsel ? 
Mr Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel please identify himself for the record? 
Mr. Rein. David Rein, 711 Fourteenth Street, NW., Washington, 
D. C. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr Pomerance, when and where were you born? 
Mr Pomerance. I was born in New York City on August 2, 1905. 

2371 



2372 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please what your educa- 
tional training has been? 

Mr. Pomerance. I went to the public schools and a private school in 
New York City up till the age of 17, when I went to work. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't have a profession. I am a businessman, a 
salesman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now live ? 

Mr. Pomerance. New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state briefly for the committee, please, 
what your record of employment has been, say, from 1935 until the 
present time ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Well, actually, I did various jobs; and my first 
really continuous or permanent job that lasted for any time was with 
the NLRB. I went to work for the NLRB, I believe in December — 
1 am not positive of the month — 1937. I think it was 1937. 

Mr. Tavenner. And how long did you remain an employee of the 
National Labor Relations Board? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think it was until August of 1941. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then what was your employment beginning with 
August 1941 ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I resigned from the Board in New York and went 
to work as the business agent for the Screen Cartoonists, Local 852, 
A.F.ofL. " 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you assume your duties there? 

Mr. Pomerance. Immediately after I resigned from the Board. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that would have been approximately what 
date? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall the exact date, but it would have 
been in August, I think, or September, of 1941. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was your employer? 

Mr. Pomerance. The Screen Cartoonists, Local 852, A. F. of L., 
Painters International. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain employed by the Screen 
Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am not sure of the month, but I think it was either 
November or December of 1944. I can't be sure of the month. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, after that, how were you employed ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was the executive secretary of the Screen Writers' 
Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. And how long did you remain employed by the 
Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think it was December of 1946, either Novem- 
ber or December. Again I am not positive of the year, but it was the 
end of 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. And after that, how were you employed ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was unemployed for about 6 months. Then I 
came to New York and was employed in a business that was exploit- 
ing or attempting to exploit an invention. This lasted only about — 
I can't recall exactly ; I think it was less than a year. And then I went 
into another business, as salesman, and took care of sales for a com- 
pany making television commercials. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did your employment continue with that com- 
pany? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2373 

Mr. Pomerance. It has continued until the present except that in 
the past year I have been off payroll at least once for a long period 
because of my health. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, you stated that beginning in De- 
cember 1937 and continuing until August 1941, you were employed 
by the National Labor Kelations Board. Where were you employed, 
and in what capacity ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was a field examiner, and I first was employed 
with the Board in the Atlanta, Ga., office for about 3 months, after 
which I was transferred to Los Angeles, where I worked as a field 
examiner until, I think, either the end of 1938 — December of 1938. I 
transferred to L. A., I think, in March of 1938, and I left the end 
of 1939, when I was transferred to New York, to the New York office. 

Mr. Tavexner. What were your duties as a field examiner, when 
you took over your position in Georgia ? 

Mr. Pomerance. We were enforcing the National Labor Kelations 
Act, and that involved investigating charges of unfair labor practices 
and running elections. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you function, and what part were you to 
play in running elections ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall the exact machinery any more of 
the Board, but when a case was filed concerning a question of repre- 
sentation, if the Board either ordered it it was voluntarily agreed to, 
we would set up the necessary machinery for holding an election, to 
decide who the bargaining agents were to be. 

Mr. Tavenner. Didn't your duties as a field examiner include the 
taking of a vote or the receiving of petitions to hold an election ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Well, after a case was filed, we would examine the 
situation to see if there was sufficient reason to hold the election, and 
also to get the parties together concerning the bargaining unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, specifically, wasn't it part of your duties to 
examine the cards, or the applications, of the members of a union in 
the preliminary step that was taken, to determine whether or not an 
election would be held ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct, as I recall ; against the payroll, to 
see if there was a sufficient reason to hold such an election. I think 
that was the way it was worked. 

Mr. Tavenner. And wasn't it provided by the regulations that a 
certain percentage of a union must make application for the holding 
of an election ? I believe it was 20 percent, wasn't it ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall the percentage. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before an election would be held ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I remember that there had to be sufficient reason 
to hold it. but I don't recall the percentage. 

Mr. Tavenner. And wasn't it your duty to take that petition with 
the names on it and check it to ascertain whether their names were 
legitimately used for that purpose, that is, to compare the signatures 
against known signatures of the individuals, for instance? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think that that was done where there was a 
consent to recognize the union without an election, that the Board 
sometimes would, by agreement between the company and the union, 
examine the cards and the payroll to see whether or not the union 
represented a majority. You are going back into machinery that I 
haven't been connected with in a long time. 



2374 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. The. purpose of my questioning along that line, is 
to ascertain from you whether or not a person employed as a field 
examiner, if he chose to do it, could influence the results by improperly 
considering these cards or applications or petitions as being bona fide, 
when they were not. 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall the exact machinery, but I am posi- 
tive that that was impossible. At no time did I know, or has anybody 
ever charged, that any such thing happened. I don't remember the 
machinery, but I am positive no such thing could happen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, if in the holding of a particular election, it 
was the duty of the field examiner to determine whether the names 
on the petition were put there in a bona fide way and were the sig- 
natures of the individuals, the true signatures, wouldn't the improper 
investigation of a matter of that kind have influenced the enforcement 
of the National Labor Relations Board matters I 

Mr. Pomerance. I am trying to recall how it operated, and it seems 
to me that I know that on elections, when ballots were counted, there 
were always present not only the Board people but also members of 
the company and the union ; and it seems to me that whenever cards 
were compared for purposes of certifying a union as the bargaining 
agent, there were present the company and the union. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that you were transferred to Los 
Angeles after having served about 3 months in Georgia. 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your assignment in Cali- 
fornia ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was a field examiner. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you performed the same duties, general duties, 
which you have already described ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then I believe it was the end of 1939, you testified, 
that you were transferred from Los Angeles to New York ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What type of work were you assigned to in New 
York? 

Mr. Pomerance. The same ; field examiner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, where? Where was your office? 

Mr. Pomerance. New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the reason that you were assigned from 
Los Angeles to New York ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Well, there was a difficulty in the office, a disagree- 
ment between the field examiners for the most part and the then 
director of the office, which resulted in my transfer as well as some 
other changes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain as an employee of the 
National Labor Relations Board after youx return to New York? 

Mr. Pomerance. I guess about a year and 8 or 9 months, something 
like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. That would bring you up to August 1941 ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which you left 
the employment of the National Labor Relations Board ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I resigned. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2375 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to your resignation, had you been in contact 
with the Screen Cartoonists' Guild regarding employment in an official 
capacity for it ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was made aware of the job just prior to my 
resignation. 

Mr. Tavenner. What I am getting at is this: Did you leave your 
employment with the National Labor Relations Board in order to 
accept employment with the Screen Cartoonists' Guild? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any other reason that contributed to 
your leaving your position with the National Labor Relations Board? 

Mr. Pomerance. None. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your position with the Screen Cartoon- 
ists' Guild? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was the business agent. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who employed you? 

Mr. Pomerance. The guild, the union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I know, but the guild had to act through its 
officers in making its contact. Who handled the matter for the guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was elected by the membership. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who was it that first conferred with you 
regarding acceptance of employment with the National Screen Car- 
toonists' Guild ( 

Mr. Pomerance. I can't recall. There were several people. I don't 
think I would be able to say. I can't recall. I know there were a num- 
ber that suggested it. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand you remained employed by the Screen 
Cartoonists' Guild until December of 1944. 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which you left 
that employment and went to the Screen Writers' Guild? Under 
which you went there as its executive secretary? 

Mr. Pomerance. I resigned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the circumstances under which 
you were employed as secretary by the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. As far as I remember, I was interviewed by a 
number of the executive board members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were they? 

Mr. Pomerance. And the officers. 

Emmet Lavery was president. And I don't recall all the officers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who were those who talked to you about com- 
ing with the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall all of them. I remember having 
lunch with Lavery and a couple of them, but I don't recall who was 
present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well there are others who talked to you about the 
matter besides Mr. Lavery ? 

Mr. Pomerance. There were of the board. 

Mr. Tavenner. ('an you give us their names? 

Mi-. Pomerance. If I had a list of who was on the board, I might 
be able to recall some of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. We may return to that later. Were you ever 
employed by or connected in any way with the American Communi- 
cations Association? 



2376 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Pomerance. Very briefly — I don't recall, but I think for about 
2 months or so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Approximately when was that? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you relate it to your employment in these other 
capacities? 

Mr. P( merance. It was before any of these employments. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was prior to your employment by the National 
Labor Relations Board ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that employment began in December 1937? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to read to you a part of a letter directed to 
Mr. Mervin Rathborne, president of the American Communications 
Association, which is set forth in the testimony of Mr. Frey when 
he appeared before this committee on August 13, 1938; that is, Mr. 
John P. Frey, president of the Metal Trades Department of the 
American Federation of Labor. 

This letter appears at page 134, volume 1, of this committee's report, 
in 1938. 

I may preface the reading of the letter by stating that a Mr. Ri ch- 
ord D. Hallett, H-a-1-l-e-t-t, wrote a letter of resignation addressed to 
Mr. Rathborne, the president of the American Communications Asso- 
ciation. Were you acquainted with Mr. Richard D. Hallett? 

Mr. Pomerance. I can't recall the name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Possibly this will refresh your recollection regard- 
ing the incident I want to interrogate you about. 

Mr. Mervin Rathborne, 

President, American Communications Association, CIO, 

New York, N. Y. 

Dear Sir: Kindly consider this my resignation not only as chairman but also 
as meml:er of the American Communications Association, effective immediately. 
Since I have been most active in the interests of ACA since the very beginning 
of its organizing campaign in Washington, D. C, and since I was the second 
Western Union man in the entire country to join ACA, this action calls for some 
explanation. 

When I signed my application for membership in ACA on April 23, 1937, I 
bargained for unionism and unionism only. I definitely did not bargain to aid 
or comfort or to support in any way financially or otherwise communism or any 
Communistic agencies. 

However, during the 14 months of my chairmanship of local 35-B, ACA, I have 
not only received communications from numerous pseudopatriotic organizations 
askirg for support but have been strongly urged by numerous representatives 
of the national office of the ACA to support these organizations. These afore- 
mentioned representatives of ACA included — 

various persons whose names appear here, including William Pom- 
erance. 

Are you the William Pomerance referred to in the letter of resig- 
nation by Richard D. Hallett? 

Mr. Pomerance. I worked for ACA, and therefore I assume that 
I am the one he is referring to. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your duties as an employee 
of ACA? 

Mr. Pomerance. I went on a sort of survey for them through the 
South at a time when they were attempting to organize Postal 
Telegraph. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2377 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, Mr. Hallett says that you, as a representative, 
called upon him to support certain pseudopatriotic organizations, 
which he claims and states was a part of his reason for resigning from 
the ACA. 

Now, what was it that you were asking him to do ? 

Mr. Pomenance. May I speak to my counsel ? 

Mr. Wood. You have a perfect right, sir, to consult with your coun- 
sel any time you desire. 

(Mr. Pomerance confers with Mr. Rein.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have conferred with counsel. Can you 
answer ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I can't recall the man at all, or his 
name. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Well, aside from that, will you tell us whether or 
not you were soliciting funds or support from officials of the ACA in 
behalf of any organizations while employed by the ACA? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that under my rights under the 
fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean you refuse to answer the question ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline. 

Mr. Tavenner. On what ground? 

Mr. Pomerance. The fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean to state that you decline to answer the 
question on the ground that if you did answer it, it might tend to 
incriminate you ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. In a criminal action ? Incriminate you in a criminal 
action ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I assume that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to return now to a question I asked you 
a little while ago, regarding the persons in the Screen Writers' Guild 
who talked with you about your employment by the guild as its 
executive secretary. You stated you were unable to recall the names 
of the members of the executive board. 

Mr. Pomerance. And officers. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have before me a list of the members in 1946. Mr. 
Emmet L'avery was at that time president. The other officials of 
the executive board, or the other officers and executive members at 
that time, were : first vice president, Lester Cole. I suggest that as 
I read these names out, you write down any of those whom you talked 
to about your employment, and then when I have completed reading 
the list, tell me who they are. 

Second vice president, Howard Estabrook; third vice president, 
Oliver H. P. Garrett ; secretary, Maurice Rapf ; . treasurer, Harold 
Buchman. 

Executive board : Harold Buchman, George Callahan, Richard Col- 
lins, Lester Cole, Gordon Kahn, Howard Koch, Emmet Lavery, Mary 
McCall, Jr., Frank Partos, Maurice Rapf, Marguerite Roberts. 

Alternates: John Wexley, Allen Scott, F. Hugh Herbert, Henry 
Myers, David Hertz, Waldo Salt ; and at this time, 1946, the executive 
secretary was William Pomerance. 

Now, which of those, if any, conferred with you about your employ- 
ment with the Screen Writers' Guild, as executive secretary ? 



2378 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry, I don't recall. By listing everybody, 
yon have more confused me. I think their records would show that 
they set up a committee — they usually do — to interview persons. It 
would be much more accurate. 

Mr. Tavenner. That may be. But you should also know who con- 
ferred with you. 

Mr. Pomerance. I honestly don't remember. I honestly don't re- 
member beyond the meeting with La very. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do remember that you met with others, but 
La very is the only name that you recall? 

Mr. Pomerance. That's the way I remember it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, I show you a photostatic copy of 
page 3 of the People's World, the issue of July 14, 1044. and I will 
ask you to look at the center of the page at a double column entitled, 
"Communist ban." This article has to do with the Los Angeles 
Central Labor Council rejecting a recommendation of the executive 
board to bar Communists. You will note a marked portion, where 
it is said that Bill Pomerance, business agent of the Screen Cartoon- 
ists' Guild, and certain other persons, led the fight against banning 
Communists. Do you see that ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that a correct statement, that you were one 
of the leaders in the fight against banning Communists ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you to look further in the article at 
the paragraph which I point out to you and ask you if you see whether 
or not it is stated that Pomerance said that the issue is not Com- 
munists. "We are not interested in them, but unity in the council." 
Do you see that statement ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you have any explanation that you can 
make of the reason for that statement? 

Mr. Pomerance. Can I ask counsel, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

(Mr. Pomerance confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall the statement. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you can easily see the sense of the statement 
by looking at it now. Regardless of whether you recall the state- 
ment, what reason could you have had for that statement ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't see how I can discuss a statement I didn't 
make. I don't remember making it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Central Labor Council 
at that time, July 14, 1944? 

Mr. Pomerance. I believe so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at 
that time on that date, July 14, 1944? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. And could that have been the real reason why the 
statement is attributed to you that you were not interested in Com- 
munists, if made? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline, for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at 
the time that you occupied the position of executive secretary of the 
Screen Writers' Guild? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2379 

"Sir. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were yon a member of the Communist Party at 
the time yon were employed by the Screen Cartoonists' Guild? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, a witness by the name of Martin 
Berkeley, appeared before the committee on Un-American Activities 
at its hearing- conducted in Los Angeles of the 19th day of September 
1951, and in the course of his testimony, he had this to say in response 
to a question. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter entered the hearing room at this 

point. ) 

Mr. Tavenner. This question was asked : 

What fraction meetings did you attend? I know you will not be able to tell 
us that in detail, but give us a general description of those meetings and the 
purposes of them. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, we had a fraction of the Screen Writers' Guild. The 
guild fraction, especially in its early days, and you gentlemen are quite familiar 
with the struggle we had in the early days of the guild, we had the advice of 
Mr. Charles Katz, an attorney at law in this town, in our legal' problems in the 
guild. Mr. Katz was a member of the body. Lester Cole, Ian McLellan Hunter, 
to whom I referred before, who was married to Alice Goldberg. John Wexley, 
W-e-x-1-e-y, the playright. Marguerite Roberts, who is a writer at Metro- 
Goldwyn-Mayer, and the Charles Page I spoke about before who is no longer 
with the State Department. Fred Rinaldo, a writer, and his collaborator, 
Bob Lees. 

Question. Do you know whether that is the same Bob Lees who appeared 
before the Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington? 

Mr. Berkeley. It is, sir. 

And then, continuing : 

Albert Maltz, the writer. Now we come to the third member of the party 
who was also an executive secretary of my guild, William Pomerance, who had 
been with the NLRB and who. on the recommendation of party members on the 
Board, was entrusted with the job of guiding our guild through its struggle. 

Question : Do you know anything about the connection of William Pomerance 
with the National Labor Relations Board, or any function of that Board, prior 
to his coming to California? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. He was a member of the Board, I believe, in the 
South. It may have been New Orleans ; I'm not sure. I know be worked with 
the NLRB down South and he worked with them back East. He was under 
tire constantly for the stand he took. He was suspected of having sympathies 
too far to the left. Either about the time he was to lose his job with the NLRB, 
or having hist it, the comrades out here felt that he was an ideal man to move 
into our guild and they promptly proceeded to move Pomerance into our guild. 

Question : Was he what is known as a field examiner with the National Labor 
Relations Board? 

Mr. Berkeley. He was. 

Question: Do you know whether at the time he was a member of the Com- 
munist Party here in California that he was serving in that capacity, that is, 
as a field agent of the National Labor Relations Board? 

Mr. Berkeley. Do you mean whether I know at the time he was working for 
the Government he was also a party member? 

Question : Yes. 

.Mi'. Berkeley. Sir, I cannot say to my own personal knowledge. I can only 
say that he was brought out here by the party to work in the guild, and was a 
party member when he got here because he was brought right into our fraction. 
1 can presume from that that he was a party member before he reached 
California. 

Xow, do you have any statement that you desire to make in explana- 
tion or in denial of the testimony given by Mr. Martin Berkeley to this 
committee \ 



2380 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer, if that is a question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I will ask you, to be specific, whether or not 
Mr. Martin Berkeley's statement was true, or false? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Fleury, Mrs. Bernice Polifka Fleury, testi- 
fied before the committee in Los Angeles on September 24, 1951. Mrs. 
Fleury had described to the committee meetings which she had, Com- 
munist Party meetings which she attended at the homes of various 
persons. She was asked this question : 

Will you tell us who met with you in these groups? First, I want to make cer- 
tain that the persons you have mentioned were persons known to you to be 
members of the Communist Party, if they were. What persons who were mem- 
bers of the Communist Party met with you in these meetings? 

Mrs. Fleuky. I believe, sir, there are only two persons — I beg your pardon? 

Mr. Walter. Go ahead. Proceed. 

Mrs. Fieury. I believe there are only two persons which it would be at all 
possible for me to connect with the Communist Party. One of them is Mr. William 
Pomerance, and one is Mr. David Hilberman. 

Question : * * * What were the circumstances under which you met with 
them in the Communist Party matters? 

Mrs. Fleury. At the same meetings about art, same — 

Question : Where were these meetings held? 

Mrs. Fleury. They were held at various bouses. I remember going to meetings 
at Mr. Hilberman's. I remember going to meetings at Mr. Pomerance's. I re- 
member going to meetings at other houses who, believe me, I cannot remember 
whose house they were or where they were. I understand, also, that my husband, 
in his previous testimony to this committee, mentioned that there was a meeting 
at our house. I do not remember that meeting at all. We have discussed it 
since and evidently I either was out of town or — evidently, the only thing we can 
think of is that I was out of town. 

Question : Well, how did you learn when and where meetings were to be held? 

Mrs. Fleljry. Well, it was a very va^ue thing. Somebody would say, "Well 
let's meet 2 weeks from today at such and such a house." Perhaps you would 
get a phone call putting it over for a couple of weeks or perhaps someone would 
say, "Well, we are going to get together at" somebody's. There was no regular 
routine at any time on where we were to meet. 

Question : Well, how did you go to the places of these meetings? What 
means of transportation did you have? 

Mrs. Fleury. When my husband was in the Army, I was very often picked up 
by either Mr. Hilberman or Mr. Pomerance, inasmuch as we lived in the same 
district of the Los Angeles area. 

Is there any comment that you desire to make, either by way of 
denial or explanation of the testimony of Mrs. Fleury regarding your 
alleged Communist Party membership? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Wcod. Permit me to ask the witness a question at that point, 
Mr. Counsel. 

I will ask you, Mr. Pomerance, whether or not the testimony you 
have just heard read by Mr. Tavenner, referring to you to have been 
known to her as being a member of the Communist Party and attend- 
ing these meetings, is true. Is that testimony true, or false? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you were an employee for the 
National Labor Relations Board in New York, were you a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you were an employee of the Na- 
tional Labor Relations Board in California as a field examiner, which 
was from an early date in 1938 until the end of 1939, were you at any 
time a member of the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2381 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party when 
you became employed, in December 1937, by the National Labor Re- 
lations Board? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, I hand you a photostatic copy of 
a personnel affidavit. I will ask you to examine it. 

(Mr. Pomerance confers with Mr. Rein.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer the personnel affi- 
davit in evidence, and ask that it be marked "Pomerance Exhibit 
No. 1." 

Mr. Wood. Has he identified it? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir ; not yet. 

Is that your signature to the affidavit, Mr. Pomerance? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson left the room at this point.) 

Mr. Wood. The document will be marked "Pomerance Exhibit No. 
1," and received. 

(The document referred to was marked "Pomerance Exhibit No. 1, 
and received in evidence.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mow, will you read the last paragraph, please? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. [Reading:] 

I, M. William Pomerance, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have read and 
understand the foregoing ; that I do not advocate the overthrow of the Govern- 
ment of the United States by force or violence ; that I am not a member of any 
political party or organization that advocates the overthrow of the Government 
of the United States by force or violence; and that during such time as I am an 
employee of the Federal Government, I will not advocate nor become a member 
of any political party or organization that advocates the overthrow of the 
Government of the United States by force or violence. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the date of the affidavit ? 

Mr. Pomerance. June 19, 1941. 

Mr. Tavenner. On June 19, 1941, the date of the giving of this 
affidavit, were you a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Tavenner. On wliat ground? 

Mr. Pomerance. The fifth. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean that to answer the question might tend 
to incriminate you? 

M r. Pomerance. It might. 

Mr. Walter. I would like to point out that the statute of limita- 
tions has run, and that you could not be prosecuted for perjury. 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I am not aware of all the legal — of 
the law, on this, and I therefore have taken that position. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the room at this 
point. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will stand in recess until 3 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 11 : 42 a. m., the hearing was recessed until 3 p. m., 
this same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

For the purposes of this hearing this afternoon, let the record show 
that I have set up a subcommittee composed of Messrs. Walter, Fra- 
zier, Velde, and Wood, and we are all present. 



2382 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavexxer. Mr. Pomeranee. will you come back to the stand, 
please ( 

Mr. Pomeranee, I hand you a photostatic copy of what appeal's to 
be a ballot for the election of officers and the executive board of the 
Hollywood Democratic Committee, bearing the date of July 26, 1944. 
Will you examine it, please, and state whether or not your name ap- 
pears at the bottom of the middle column as one of those standing for 
election to the executive board? 

Mr. Pomeraxce. It does. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Of the Hollywood Democratic Committee? 

Air. Pomeraxce. It does. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you elected to the board? 

Mr. Pomeraxce. I decline to answer that question on the previous 
grounds stated. 

Mr. Walter. What was the name of the organization? 

Mr. Wood. Hollywood Democratic Committee. 

Mr. Walter. Would you take the position that it might incrimi- 
nate you to admit that you had been elected to a committee of the 
Democratic Party ? Is that what I understand your position to be ? 

Mr. Tavexxer. That was a committee out there. 

Mr. Walter. I know that. 

Mr. Pomeraxce. What, sir? 

Mr. Walter. Go ahead. 

Mr. Pomeraxce. Would you mind repeating it ? I am sorry. 

Mr. Walter. I will withdraw the question. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Do you know anything about the circumstances of 
the organization of the Hollywood Democratic Committee? 

Mr. Pomeraxce. I decline to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavexxer. You are acquainted with the fact, are you not, that 
the Hollywood Democratic Committee was cited by the California 
Committee on Un-American Activities by its report in 1048 in this 
form : 

This Communist front grew out of a series of fronts designed to entrap Holly- 
wood innocents in the motion-picture industry. Organized in 1942 for the an- 
nounced purpose of reelecting Governor Olson, of California, it had no connec- 
tion with the Democratic Party. When it faced exposure as a Communist front, 
it changed its name in June 194") to "Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee 
of the Arts. Sciences and Professions." 

Were you acquainted in any way with the activities of the Holly- 
wood Democratic Committee? 

Mr. Pomeraxce. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you one of a group of persons who met at 
the time that the name was changed from the Hollywood Demo- 
cratic Committee to the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee 
of the Arts, Sciences and Professions?' 

Mr. Pomeraxce. When was that? 

Mr. Tavexxer. I hand you a photostatic copy of the June 11, 1945, 
issue of the People's World, entitled "Hollywood Democrats Choos- 
ing Name," in which a number of persons are represented as being 
part of the group. You will see your name appearing there under- 
scored with a red pencil. Possibly that will refresh your recollec- 
tion. 

Mr. Pomerance. My name appeals on there. 



COMMUNISM IX HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2383 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you become affiliated with the Hollywood 
Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Profes- 
sions, which was the new name for the Hollywood Democratic 
Committee '. 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer thai on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a letterhead bearing date of December 
lo. 1946, of the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the 
Arts, Sciences and Professions. At the bottom of a letter appear the 
names of those who comprised its executive council. Will yon ex- 
amine it and see whether or not your name appears as a member of 
the executive council? 

Mr. Pomeranoe. My name appears in the letterhead. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the executive council of 
the 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me mention the name. Of the Hollywood Inde- 
pendent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions? 

Mr. Pomeraxce. I decline to answer on the same grounds. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson entered the room at this point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of the articles of 
incorporation of the Hollywood Community Radio Group, which, 
Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer in evidence and ask that it be marked 
"Pomerance Exhibit Xo. 2." 

Mr. Wood. It will be admitted. 

(The articles of incorporation referred to were marked "Pomerance 
Exhibit Xo. 2" and filed for the committee.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, will you examine the document 
and state whether or not your name appears as one of the incorpo- 
rators of the Hollywood Community Radio Group \ 

Mr. Pomeraxce. It does. 

Mr. Tavenner. I notice the name of Sam Moore, among the direc- 
tors or incorporators. Were you acquainted with Sam Moore? 

Mr. Pomerance. I know 7 Sam Moore. 

Mr. Tavenner. I notice also the name of Abraham L. Polonsky. 
Were you acquainted with Abraham L. Polonsky? 

Mr. Pomerance. I know Mr. Polonsky. 

Mr. Tavenner. I notice also the name of Philip M. Connelly. Were 
you acquainted with Mr. Connelly? 

Mr. Pomerance. I know Mr. Connelly. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is that? 

Mr. Pomerance. I know Mr. Connelly. 

Mr. Tavenner. I see also the name of Pauline Lauber. She is also 
known as Pauline Lauber Finn. 

Mr. Pomerance. I know her. 

Mr. Tavexx t er. Were you acquainted with her? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I notice also the name of John T. McTernan. Were 
3 r ou acquainted with Mr. McTernan? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the legal profession in Los 
Angeles \ 

Mr. Pomerance. He is a lawyer. 



95829— 52— pt. 7- 



2384 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he the lawyer for this corporation, to your 
knowledge ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I believe he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. I notice also the name of Hy Kraft. Were you 
acquainted with him ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I know Hy Kraft. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were any of these persons whose names I have 
asked you about known to you to be members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you connected with this corpora- 
tion, the Hollywood Community Radio Group, as a member of the 
board of directors ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't think I said I was connected. 

Mr. Tavenner. Oh. Well, were you connected ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state what the purpose of the formation 
of this Hollywood Community Radio Group was? 

Mr. Pomerance. I would say it was set forth in whatever document 
you have there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did it have any purposes other than those set forth 
in the provisions of its certificate of incorporation or charter? 

Mr. Pomerance. Not that I am aware of. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
stances which led up to the establishment of this corporation ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are acquainted, are you not, with the fact that 
this corporation was cited also by the California Committee on Un- 
American Activities, as a Communist-inspired and directed organi- 
zation, whose immediate objective is the establishment of a radio sta- 
tion in Los Angeles County ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I was not aware of it ; but I assume that it is cor- 
rect, if it is in their hearings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the purpose of the corporation, or any of its 
directors, to your knowledge, to use it for the purpose of operating 
a radio station upon which the Communist Party would be given 
any special privileges or that the Communist Party would use it for 
any special programs or purposes? 

Mr. Pomerance. Can I speak to my attorney, please ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir; at any time, you are at liberty to con- 
fer with counsel. 

(The witness conferred with his counsel.) 

Mr. Pomerance. I claim my privilege for the same reasons. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, according to an article appearing 
in the People's World of December 16, 1943, a provisional committee 
was set up to organize the People's Educational Association, and, 
according to the article, M. William Pomerance, business agent of 
Screen Cartoonists, Local 852, was a member of that committee. 

I hand you a photostatic copy of the article and ask you whether 
or not you served as a member of the committee to organize the 
People's Educational Association? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer on the same grounds. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2385 

Mr. Tavenner. Referring to People's Daily World of April 19, 
1946, William Pomerance, business agent of the Screen Writers' Guild 
was engaged in conducting a class on the Film Industry Today, at 
the People's Educational Center, and then also another class on "The 
trade-union line-up in Hollywood." 

I hand you a photostatic copy of the clipping from the April 19, 
1946, isue of the People's Daily World, and I will ask you to state 
how clearance was obtained for you in your work or in your participa- 
tion in teaching at the People's Educational Center. 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I don't understand. 

Mr. Walter. Where was that? 

Mr. Tavenner. In Los Angeles. 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I don't understand the question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you first if you did engage in teaching 
courses at the People's Educational Center ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. I referred you there to the article reciting that you 
did conduct a class on "The film industry today" and another class 
on "The trade-union line-up in Hollywood." Did you conduct either 
of those classes, or any other classes? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, will you tell the committee how teachers were 
selected to conduct courses in the People's Educational Center, that is, 
whether or not there were special groups who had to pass upon the 
qualifications of the teacher or any other matter relating to the 
teacher ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think I declined to answer any questions about 
my connections with that organization. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Pomerance, did you ever see this article that ap- 
peared on the 19th of April, 1946, in the Peoples Daily World? 

Mr. Pomerance. I can't recall, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Do you deny that you are the William Pomerance 
mentioned in this article ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't. 

Mr. Walter. You do not ? 

Mr. Pomerance. It is there. 

Mr. Walter. Well, are you the same William Pomerance who is 
mentioned in this article ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I assume so. 

Mr. Walter. Well, if you are, then you were a teacher in this 
school ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline, under my constitutional rights under 
the fifth amendment, to answer any questions about the school, be- 
cause it appears as a subversive organization, both in this committee 
and in the Tenney committee hearings, I am told. 

Mr. Walter. You have just testified that you are the William 
Pomerance mentioned in this article. This article concerns a school. 
Now, is that the fact or isn't it ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. I think the record should show positively that the 
People's Educational Center, incorporated under the name of "Los 



2386 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Angeles Educational Association, Inc.," also known as People's Uni- 
versity, People's School, and People's Educational Association, was 
cited as Communist and subversive by Attorney General Tom Clark 
in a list furnished the Loyalty Review Board and released on June 1 
and September 21, 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware of the fact that this school had been 
cited as a Communist-front organization ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think Mr. Jackson said the date was 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. I am asking you if you ever learned the 
fact that it was cited in 1948 ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. I don't remember whether it was in 1948, 
but I have learned of the fact, yes, that it was cited. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of course, in 1948, you were living in New York ; 
were you not ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever make a public pronouncement of any 
kind of disaffiliation with that school? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall that I said I was affiliated with it, 
or I refused to answer the question with regard to that. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to an article in the People's World of 
October 6, 1944, the American Youth for Democracy sponsored a 
teen-age mock congress at the Virgil High School, Los Angeles. I 
show you the article and call your attention to the fact that in the 
place underscored your name appears as the sponsor or consultant. 
Do you recall that ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grc nds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publi- 
cations, published by this committee on May 14, 1951, shows that the 
American Youth for Democracy was cited as subversive and Commu- 
nist by Attorney General Tom Clark, by letter to the Loyalty Review 
Board, released December 4, 1947, and that it was cited as the new 
name under which the Young Communist League operates and which 
also largely absorbed the American Youth Congress, according to the 
report of this committee, the Committee on Un-American Activities. 
in its report of March 29, 1944. 

After the citation of this group by this committee on March 29, 1944, 
did you do anything to disassociate yourself from it? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't recall that I admitted that I was associated 
with it. 

Mr. Tavenner. No, you have not. 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't think you asked me the question about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you associated at any time in any manner 
with the American Youth for Democracy? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. The "win the peace" conference was held in Wash- 
ington, D. C, on April 5 to 7, 1946, according to the Daily Worker of 
April 3, L946. 

Mr, Velde. Mr. Counsel, do you have the date that the A YD suc- 
ceeded the YCL? According to your statement there, the report of 
the Committee on Un-American Activities was in 1944. 

Mr. Jackson. It was formed in October 1943. 

Mr. Velde. The AYD? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2387 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. It succeeded the Young Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; there is another citation which shows that 
fact. 

I was saying that, according to the Daily Worker of April 3, 1946, 
William Pomerance of the Hollywood Citizens' Committee, attended 
that conference, that is, the conference in Washington from April 
5 to 7, 1946. Will } T ou examine the photostatic copy of the issue of the 
Daily Worker of April 3, 1946, and state whether or not it is correct 
in stating that you were scheduled to attend that conference? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you attend the conference in Washington, 
that is, the conference of April 5 to 7, 1946, a "win the peace" con- 
ference ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer the question, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware of the fact that the Attorney General 
classified the National Committee to Win the Peace as a Communist 
organization, as subversive and Communist, on December 4, 1947? 

Mr. Pomerance. I suspect it was. I cannot recall specifically. 

Mr. Walter. Why do you suspect that? He described it as being 
a Communist organization. 

Mr. Pomerance. Because a number of people had so stated, and 
the press has carried that story. 

Mr. Walter. It wasn't because you knew it was a Communist or- 
ganization? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer the question regarding the 
organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you an official of the Hollvwood Writers' 
Mobilization or did you hold any official position with that organ- 
ization ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware that it, too, has been cited as a Com- 
munist-front organization ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever affiliated with any organization de- 
voted to the defense of Harry Bridges? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever affiliated with or did you ever aid in 
any way the work of the Bridges' Victory Committee ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with the fact that the Harry 
Bridges Victory Committee was cited by the Special Committee on 
Un-American Activities on March 29, 1944, as a Communist-front 
organization operating in San Francisco, and that after the Com- 
munist Party became prowar, Harry Bridges, a Communist Party 
member and leader of the Communist Party, planned a general strike 
in San Francisco in 1944, was threatened with deportation, the de- 
fense against which was almost entirely in the hands of Communists? 
Were you acquainted with that fact, that is, the fact that it had been 
so cited by this committee? 



2388 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Pomerance. May I speak to counsel a minute ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

(The witness consulted with his counsel.) 

Mr. Pomerance. The answer is "Yes" to the last question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Pomerance, in my earlier questioning of you 
this morning I read to you the testimony of Mrs. Fleury, wherein she 
identified you and Mr. David Hilberman as persons known to her to 
be members of the Communist Party, and with whom she attended 
meetings of the Communist Party in Los Angeles. 

Were you acquainted with Mr. David Hilberman ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was Mr. David Hilberman employed, or what 
was his business when you knew him in California ? 

Mr. Pomerance. He was employed in one of the studios. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know in what capacity ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I believe as a lay-out man. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us again when you left California? 

Mr. Pomerance. I left the Screeen Writers' Guild, I think, in De- 
cember of 1946. I actually left California a few months later, after a 
rest. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Mr. Hilberman known to you to be a member 
of the Communist Party when you knew him in California? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you seen Mr. David Hilberman since you left 
California in 1946? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. In New York City ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you employed by Mr. Hilberman now? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am employed by the corporation of which he is an 
officer. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is his official position in the corporation ? 

Mr. Pomerance. He is president. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the name of the corporation ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Tempo Productions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tempo Productions? 

Mr. Pomerance. Tempo Productions, Inc. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell the word "tempo"? 

Mr. Pomerance. T-e-m-p-o. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did he leave California, to your knowledge! 

Mr. Pomerance. I think he left before I did. I think he left in — 
1 couldn't be sure, but I think he left before I did. I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you left California did you come to New 
York to accept employment in his company ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No; I did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Fleury stated in her testimony before the com- 
mittee in Los Angeles that she remembered going to meetings at Mr. 
Hilberman's house. Did you ever accompany Mrs. Fleury to a meet- 
ing of any kind in Mr. Hilberman's home ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend a meeting of any kind in the 
home of Mr. Hilberman ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2389 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. Yes, 
excuse me, I do. 

Are you now a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, I am not. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are not ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party when 
you left Los Angeles in 1946 ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Tavenner. And came to New York ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry, I decline to answer that, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the subpena served on you to appear as a 
witness before this committee ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think Tuesday, 2 weeks ago, whatever that 
date was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party on 
Tuesday, 2 weeks ago, when the subpena was served on you ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer the question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. You appeared before the committee in response to 
the committee, I believe, on the Thursday following your 

Mr. Pomerance. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Following the service of the subpena upon you?. 

Mr. Pomerance. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you appeared before the committee and you 
were directed to return today, I mean, at which time you were directed 
to return toda} 7 , were you then a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party when 
you appeared before this hearing this morning? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds ? 

Mr. Tavenner. But you are not a member now ? Is that what I 
understand you to say ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I was talking in the present, and I 
did not mean to divide the hearings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Well, how do you divide it? That is what 
I am trying to find out. 

Mr. Pomerance. I said as of the present date I am not now a 
member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean at this precise moment? Is that what 
you mean ? When you spoke of dividing things, I am trying to find 
out what your measure of division is. 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I don't know how to state it, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Perhaps we can clarify the situation in this way: 
Were you a Communist when we recessed this noon? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Were you one yesterday ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Walter. Now, what impression do you suppose that answer 
has made on the members of this committee ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I don't know, sir. 



2390 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jackson. Will you be a Communist Party member when your 
presence is no longer required by this committee under the subpena? 

Mr. Pomerance. I can answer that by saying that I have no inten- 
tion at this time of joining the Communist Party, but I think any man 
has taken something on himself in talking about what he does in 
the future. 

Mr. Jackson. I hardly think so, in the matter of the Communist 
Party. I think it is pretty clear in your mind whether you are 
going to be a Communist when you walk out of the door or not. 

Mr. Pomerance. I answered that as truthfully as I can, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. You have no intention at the present time of becoming 
a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you trying to tell the committee that, while 
you are sitting here before it, that you are not a member of the Com- 
munist Party, but that when you are outside, you are? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mi*. Tavenner. Well, when did you become associated with the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. I never said that I was. 

Mr. Wood. Were you a member of the Communist Party last night? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Were you a member of the Communist Party this morn- 
ing at breakfast time? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Well, what happened during the night? 

Mr. Velde. Maybe he listened to Billy Graham. 

Mr. Tavenner. Today is Tuesday. Does that have anything to do 
with your membership or nonmembership ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Are there any further questions? 

Mr. Tavenner. No further questions. 

Mr. Velde. Are you acquainted with Harry Bridges personally ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I have met Harry Bridges. 

Mr. Velde. Have you ever met Harry Bridges in a Communist 
Party meeting? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Velde. Are you acquainted with Bartley Crum? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Velde. How well acquainted with him are you? What is the 
nature of that acquaintance, I believe I should ask you ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Well, I have had a drink with him a couple of 
times. 

Mr. Velde. Did he ever act as your counsel ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Are you acquainted with Kichard Gladstein? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. I may have met him, but I don't know 
him. 

Mr. Velde. Is Harry Bridges a member of the Communist Party, 
to your knowledge? 

Mr. Pomerance. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2391 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Pomerance, what were the circumstances of your 
employment by the National Labor Relations Board? Was it by 
examination or by appointment? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think it was appointive, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. With whom did you carry on negotiations for your 
employment? Who appointed you? 

Mr. Pomerance. 1 think there was a change of Secretaries at the 
time I came in. I made application when Mr. Wolf was Secretary 
of the Board. Mr. Witt subsequently became a member, but as I 
understood it, the Board passed on all of the employees, as I met 
the Board members at that time. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you receive a written appointment as a member 
of the NLRB ? 

Mr. Pomerance. As I say, I can't recall whether it was written or 
not. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you recall who notified you that you had been 
accepted ? 

Mr. Pomerance. It is a long time ago. 

Mr. Jackson. With whom did you carry on negotiations for em- 
ployment as a business agent for the Screen Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I said this morning that I couldn't recall. There 
were a number of people that I knew on the coast who were in the 
Cartoonists 

Mr. Jackson. Well, who was the president or chairman of the 
Screen Cartoonists' Guild at the time that you took this employment ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think William Littlejohn, but I wouldn't be 
sure of that. The record will show. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was the secretary ? • 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I don't remember. 

Mr. Jackson. You were business agent for the Screen Cartoonists' 
Guild, were you not? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, I assume that that would bring you into fre- 
quent contact with the officers of that organization, would it not? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I thought you said when I was hired 
by them. 

Mr. Jackson. During your tenure as business agent. 

Mr. Pomerance. I am sorry. I don't remember the name of the 
secretary. 

Mr. Jackson. How many members were there in the Screen Car- 
toonists' Guild? 

Mr. Pomerance. I think at that time there •were about 800 or possi- 
bly more, 1,000. 

Mr. Jackson. You do not remember the name of the chairman of it, 
or the president or the secretary? 

Mr. Pomerance. I said that, as I recall it, the president of the guild 
was William Littlejohn. 

Mr. Jackson. And the secretary? 

Mr. Pomerance. I can't recall the name of the secretary. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you recall the name of the treasurer of the 
organization ? 

Mr. Pomerance. There is an office called secretary-treasurer, and 
secretary. The secretary I can't remember. I think the then secretary- 
treasurer was Pepe Ruyz, but I am not sure of that. 



2392 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name ? 

Mr. Pomerance. R-u-y-z, I think. I am a very bad speller. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the first name ? 

Mr. Pomerance. P-e-p-e. 

Mr. Jackson. You were shown by counsel an affidavit that you 
signed in 1941 stating that you were not a member of any organization 
which sought the overthrow of the Government of the United States 
by force and violence. Would you sign such an affidavit today ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you have signed one yesterday? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Would yo have signed one a week ago? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. During the course of the past 5 years was there any 
time that you could not have signed such an affidavit in good faith? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you believe that the Communist Party advocates 
the overthrow of the Government of the United States by force and 
violence ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I am not prepared to go into any discussion on 
that. I am no student of sufficient stature to discuss that question. 

Mr. Wood. By that you mean you have no opinion on the subject, 
sir? 

Mr. Pomerance. Well, I would never agree with anything that 
would go for force and violence in relation to the overthrow of the 
Government. 

Mr. Wood. You are asked whether or not, in your opinion, the 
Communist Party, as it is constituted, has as one of its objectives, the 
overthrow of the Government of the United States by force and 
violence. Your reply was that you feel you are not qualified to discuss 
that question. 

My question is: Have you any opinion on the subject? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. You do not have any opinion ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you believe that this committee should recom- 
mend to the Congress legislative restrictions upon the operations of 
the Communist Party in the United States? 

Mr. Pomerance. I would not have any opinion about what this 
committee recommends. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, you understand that the end product of 
this committee is recommendation of remedial legislation, and if you 
don't understand it, I will read it into the record at this time. 

I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Are there any further questions by counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Pomerance, you stated that at the time of your employment 
by the National Labor Relations Board, a person by the name of Witt, 
I believe, you said, was counsel ; is that right? 

Mr. Pomerance. No ; he was secretary, as I remember it. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his first name? 

Mr. Pomerance. Nathan Witt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Nathan Witt confer with you prior to your 
appointment, regarding your appointment? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2393 

Mr. Pomerance. I made application to Wolf, who was the secretary 
just prior to Witt, and met with him and then later I met Mr. Witt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Mr. Witt have anything to do by way of rec- 
ommendation or otherwise toward bringing you into the organization 
of the National Labor Relations Board ? 

Mr. Pomerance. I assume that he did, because I got the appoint- 
ment, but I know that I met with the Board members. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am speaking of in addition to his official act at 
the time you were employed ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No ; I didn't know the man. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you obtain your employment with the 
Board? 

Mr. Pomerance. I made application and I had several letters, I 
think, of recommendation. The file would show it. I am sure the 
Board file would show it. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Do you know that Nathan Witt was a member of the 
Communist Party % 

Mr. Pomerance. No, I don't. 

Mr. Wood. Not at the time you made application, but at the time 
you became employed by the National Labor Relations Board, you 
say Witt was a member of the Board at that time ? 

Mr. Pomerance. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Do you know whether he was then a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Did you ever know that he was a member of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Pomerance. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. It is so ordered. 

We will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 10 : 30. 

(Representative Clyde Doyle entered the room at this point.) 

(Whereupon, at 4 p. m. the committee was recessed, to reconvene 
at 10 : 30 a. m., Wednesday, February 6, 1952.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 1952 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 
public hearing 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to call, at 10 : 40 a. m., in room 226, Old House Office Build- 
ing, Hon. Francis E. Walter, presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Francis E. Walter, 
Bernard W. Kearney, and Donald L. Jackson. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Raphael I. Nixon, director of re- 
search ; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order. 

Let the record show that a subcommittee consisting of Messrs. Kear- 
ney, Jackson, and Walter has been appointed to conduct this hearing, 
and all of the members of the subcommittee are present. 

Call your witness, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Hy Kraft. 

Mr. Walter. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are 
about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Kraft. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF HYMAN "HY" SOLOMON KRAFT, ACCOMPANIED BY 

HIS COUNSEL, SIDNEY COHN 

Mr. Walter. You are represented by counsel ? 
Mr. Cohn. I as Sidney Colin, 1776 Broadway, New York City. 
Mr. Tavenner. What is your name? 
Mr. Kraft. My full name is Hyman Solomon Kraft. 
Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Kraft ? 
Mr. Kraft. I was born on April 30, 1899, in New York City. 
Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside ? 
Mr. Kraft. I now reside at 410 East Fifty-seventh Street. 
Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I was wondering if the witness could 
raise his voice a little. He is hard to hear. 
Mr. Walter. Keep your voice up. 
Mr. Kraft. I will try, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you say is your present place of residence? 
Mr. Kraft. 410 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York City. 

23r6 



2396 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived in New York City ? 

Mr. Kraft. I spent 10 years, about 10 to 12 years in California. 
Most of my life I have spent in New York Cit.v. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you review briefly for the committee your 
educational training? 

Mr. Kraft. I was educated in the public and high schools of New 
York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what has been your occupation since 1935, 
say? 

Mr. Kraft. My major occupation throughout my adult and pro- 
fessional life has been that of a Broadway playwright. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the performance of your work, have you been 
employed by any particular organization or group ? In other words, 
state for the committee briefly what your employment record has 
been. 

Mr. Kraft. In the theater I have held various jobs. Among other 
things I have produced several shows. One was Gentlemen of the 
Press in 1928 by Ward Morehouse, and another play called Poppa by 
the Spewacks, they are a well-known Broadway writing team. Sub- 
sequently I wrote in collaboration with Marc Hellinger a musical 
called Hot Cha. 

I also wrote the original story of the musical called the New Yorkers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you raise your voice a little, please? 

Mr. Kraft. I will try to. I am trying to direct it to the stenog- 
rapher. 

Mr. Cohn. Direct it to Mr. Tavenner, please. 

Mr. Kraft. I will, sir. 

I wrote the original story for the musical called the New Yorkers. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that, approximately ? 

Mr. Kraft. Some time in the thirties, sir. I then wrote the play 
Cafe Crown, which was produced in 1941 or 1942 in New York City. 

I spent the years from about 1937 or 1938 to 1950 living in Cali- 
fornia and working sporadically in the motion-picture business. My 
last screen credit 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the principal screen credits you received 
between 1938 and 1950 while living in Hollywood? 

Mr. Kraft. My credits are very sparse, Mr. Tavenner. I wrote 
several original stories for the screen, and my last credit, if I remember 
correctly, was in 1942 when I did the screen adaptation of a musical in 
Fox-Twentieth Century called Stormy Weather. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other productions have you had besides those 
that you received the screen credits for ? 

Mr. Kraft. I worked on several originals at MGM, but these were 
never produced. One in particular was a story for Esther Williams, 
but through the mechanics of the studio the picture itself was never 
produced. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Kraft. That was in 1942. I think that was in 1942. 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. My last actual part in Hollywood was for Paramount 
Studios in 1946 or 1947, an original story which was unproduced. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you been employed from 1946 on ? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2397 

Mr. Kraft. Mr. Ta vernier, I have occupied rather ambivalent posi- 
tions since my chief interest has always been the theater, and, as I 
say, I have worked only sporadically in Hollywood from time to time, 
and sold an original when the circumstances were such that I could 
get them. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Will you briefly describe what your work in the 
theater has been since you returned to the East from the west coast? 

Mr. Kraft. For the last 2^2 years or the last 3 years, I have been 
almost completely occupied in preparing the production of the musical 
Top Banana, which is also running in New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kraft, you are aware of the fact, I suppose, 
that your name has been brought into the hearings before this com- 
mittee at various times during its investigation of communism in the 
entertainment field, especially in the moving-picture industry; are 
you not ? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. There have been several witnesses who have men- 
tioned your name, and there have been several who have mentioned it 
in a very positive manner, and I want to ask you several questions 
with regard to that testimony. 

On September 18, 1951, a subcommittee of the House Un-American 
Activities Committee heard the testimony of Martin Berkeley, who 
admitted former membership in the Communist Party and furnished 
the committee information concerning his activities and associations 
while in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Berkeley in describing various transactions of the Communist 
Party furnished testimony concerning those dealing with minority 
groups. In describing individuals whom he knew to be members of. 
the Communist Party in these hearings, he described a Hy, H-y, 
Kraft, K-r-a-f-t," and stated : "I presume that he is Hyman, H-y-m-a-n. 
I have also know him as Hy. H-y. His name is spelled K-r-a-f-t." 

Were you acquainted with Mr. Martin Berkeley? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes. 

Mr. Kearney. Was that answer yes ? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. In what work were you engaged at any time in 
conjunction with Martin Berkeley, if any? 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. I was never engaged in any professional work with 
Mr. Martin Berkeley. 

Mr. Tavenner. You limited or restricted your answer to profes- 
sional work. 

Mr. Cohn. He did not, Mr. Tavenner. You may not have heard 
the last. He said, "or any other kind of work." 

Mr. Tavenner. Oh, I did not hear that. 

Mr. Berkeley, in the course of his testimony, was talking about 
fraction meetings, and I should read this question and answer in 
order to give you the proper background of his statement. I asked 
him this question : 

By "fraction meetings" I mean fraction meetings of the Communist Party. 
That was my statement. 

Mr. Berkeley. Of the Communist Party. Someone asked me where the name 
"fraction" came from, whether it was "faction," and I told this gentleman that 



2398 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

if there was a faction you were thrown out of the party; that was a fraction 
[f-r-a-c-t-i-o-n] which was called a fraction because it was part of the whole. 

Question. Well, will you tell us about the work of those fraction meetings? 

Mr. Berkeley. The fraction dealing with minority groups — 

which I interpolate to mean fraction of the Communist Party in the 
light of the questions — 

and again this ran over a period of time. Jerome Chodorov, one of the authors 
of My Sister Eileen, was a party member, and Lester Koenig, K-o-e-n-i-g, who 
is now an associate producer; Rowland Kibbee, K-i-b-b-e-e. and Marguerite Rob- 
erts, husband John Sauford, a writer; Morton Grant and Melvin Levy, L-e-v-y, 
Allen Boretz, B-o-r-e-t-z, coauthor of Room Service, Hy Kraft — 

Now, Mas Mr. Berkeley correct in stating that you were associated 
as part of this fraction meeting involving minority groups of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Kraft. Mr. Tavenner, I would like to state first that I am not 
a member of the Communist Party, and I decline to answer this 
question on the grounds that it violates my privilege under the fifth 
amendment. 

Mr. Kearney. Were you ever a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, sir. on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to correct the record for the sake of ac- 
curacy. The testimony of Mr. Berkeley was on the 19th instead of 
the 18th of September. 

You state that you are not now a member of the Communist Party, 
is that correct ? 

Mr. Kraft. I stated that I am not a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean at this time ? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kraft, on January 23, 1952, Mr. Max Silver, 
formerly a high functionary of the Communist Party in Los Angeles, a 
county organizer of Los Angeles County, to be exact, testified in 
executive session before this committee, and until the present time you 
have had no opportunity to know to what extent if any he might have 
involved you in his testimony. 

The committee has permitted the release of that executive testimony 
to the extent that I am now going to state to you. Mr. Silver was asked 
the question as to whether or not you were known to him to have been 
a member of the Communist Party. His answer is : 

I have known Hy Kraft in Hollywood in, I believe, the year 1937. He was a 
party member. 

Were you a member of the Communist Party in 1937 \ 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, Mr. Tavenner, on the previously 
stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is the statement made by Mr. Silver true or false? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know Mr. Max Silver \ 

Mr. Kraft. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. In what connection did you know Mr. Silver? 

Mr. Kraft. 1 decline to answer, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Kearney. Have you ever attended any meetings of any kind 
with Mr. Silver ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, General, on the previously stated 
grounds. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2399 

Mr. Tavenner. You state that you are not a member of the Com- 
munist Party now. And you refuse to answer whether or not you wen- 
a member of the Communist Party in L937. May I ask you whether 

you wert' a member of the Communist Party in L950 when you left 
Los Angeles and returned to New York Cil v 



/ 



Mr. Kraft. I was not a member of the Communist Party in L950. 

Mr. Tavenner. Specifically when did you leave Los Angeles to re- 
turn to New York? 

Mr. Kraft. I think it was in September of 1950. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at any 
time during the year 1950 \ 

Mr. Kraft. 1 was not a member of the Communist Party during 
1950. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, there is a little difference in your answer from 
my question. Were you a member of the Communist Party at any 
time during the year 1950? 

Mr. Kraft. No. 

Mr. Kearney. Were you a member of the Communist Party in 1949 ( 

Mr. Kraft. I was not a member of the Communist Party in 1949 ; no. 

Mr. Kearney. In 1948? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you employed in 1948 ? 

Mr. Kraft. I don't remember that I had any specific employment 
in 1948. I think that is when I started work on Top Banana. I think 
that is when I started working on shows. 

Mr. Kearney. If you were not a member of the Communist Party 
in 1948, would you so state to this committee? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, General. 

Mr. Cohn. Would you get that again? Do you mind if we con- 
sult for a moment I 

Mr. Kearney. Not at all. 

( Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel. 

Mr. Cohn. Would you read the question back? 

Mr. Walter. Read the question, please. 

( The record was read by the reporter as follows :) 

If you were not a member of the Communist Party in 1948, would you so 
state to this committee? 

Mr. Kearney. If you were not a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Kraft. I would have so stated, that is correct. 

Mr. Kearney. And the same question pertaining to 1947 ? 

Mr. Kraft. I must decline — I decline to answer. Just a minute. 

( Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. ('on n. You do not mind my consulting with him ? 

Mr. Kearney. No, no ; that is what you are there for. 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kearney. I will rephrase that question. If you were a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party in 1947, would you so state ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer this question, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kraft, the committee is in possession of in- 
formation regarding your alleged participation in various Com 
munist-front activities prior to 1948. The committee is anxious to 
know the circumstances under which your affiliation, if it existed, 
with such organizations occurred, and any other information that you 

95829 — 52 — pt. 7 7 



2400 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

can give us regarding the Communist Party activities within those 
organizations. 

For instance, the committee is in possession of a pamphlet describ- 
ing the Writers' Congress of 194.°>. which was held, as you know, in 
early October of that year, which indicates that this congress was 
held under the joint auspices of the University of California and the 
Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. This pamphlet indicates that you 
were on the panel for arrangements. 

First of all, were you a member of the Hollywood Writers' Mobil- 
ization ( 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer that question, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you a participant in the Writers' Con- 
gress of 1948 sponsored by the University of California and the Holly- 
wood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is also in possession of a photostatic 
copy of a booklet published by the Actors' Laboratory, Inc., which 
is described as a schedule for activities for 1949 and 1950. This 
pamphlet indicates that you were a member of the Actors' Laboratory, 
Inc. Were you a member of that organization? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Kearney. Is his name on that photostatic copy ( 

Mr. Cohn. After you are through with it, General, do you mind 
if we see it, too? 

Mr. Tavenner. I think the name appears as a member of the board. 

Mr. Kearney. I would like to ask the witness if he ever repudiated 
the use of his name as a member of the board of Actors' Laboratory, 
Inc. 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Tavenner. In 1949-50. 

Mr. Kraft. May I see that ? 

(Document handed to Mr. Kraft, and Mr. Kraft and his counsel 
consult document. ) 

Mr. Kraft. I never saw this pamphlet before, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your name does appear as a member of the board, 
does it not ? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you authorize the use of your name for that 
purpose ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer on that question. 

Mr. Walter. This was in 1949. You say that in 1949 you were not 
a Communist. 

Mr. Kraft. I have said that ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Walter. And you decline to answer the question of whether or 
not you were a member of this organization, because I am assuming 
that you know that was a Communist organization? 

Mr. Kraft. The Actors' Laboratory has been cited. 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Kraft. As a subversive organization. 

Mr. Walter. That is why you refuse to answer the question, because 
of that? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I think the record should also show 
that the citation on the Actors' Laboratory was in 1947, or fully 2 years 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2401 

before the dates given on this photostat, which reflects thai Mr. Kraft 
was a member of the execul ive board. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is also in possession of a letterhead 
bearing the date of October 1939 on which your name appears on the 
margin of the letterhead as a sponsor of the Hollywood Anti-Xazi 
League. Were you a sponsor of that organization? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, may I ask Mr. Tavenner the date of 
the formation of the Anti-Xazi League ? 

Mr. Tavenner. My recollection is that it was in 1936. 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or 1937. about that date. 

Mr. Walter. When was it captured, do you remember that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. The testimony in our hearings was to the effect that 
V. J. Jerome played a part in it when he went to Hollywood, but i s 
to the date, my recollection is the date was between 1936 and 1933, 
probably 1938/ 

Mr. Jackson. Do you want the citation, Mr. Chairman \ 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Hollywood Ant i-Xazi League incorporated on June 8, 
L936, as the Hollywood League Against Nazism. It became the Holly- 
wood Anti-Nazi'League in September 1936. The Stalin-Hitler pact 
brought this front to abrupt termination in August of 1939. The 
Hollywood Motion Picture Democratic Committee was its successor. 
That is a citation of the California State Committee on Un-American 
Activities. 

Mr. Kearney. In other words, Mr. Chairman, the witness is sug- 
gested as being a member of this Anti-Nazi League pripr to the Hitler- 
Stalin pact, and long before this country entered the war. 

Now, for my own personal information, I would like to know why 
does the gentleman refuse to answer whether he was a member of 
that organization? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline because the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League has 
been cited as a subversive organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Artists' Front to Win the War was organized 
October 16, 1942. You are listed as one of the sponsors under the 
heading of "Literature." Do you. recall your membership in that 
organization ? 

Mr. Kraft. Could I see that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

(Document handed to Mr. Kraft, and Mr. Kraft and his counsel 
consult the document.) 

Mr. Kraft. I don't recall my membership in this group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you any explanation to give for the use of 
your name as a sponsor of the organization ? 

Mr. Kraft. I have no explanation, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you participate in any manner in the work of 
the Artists' Front to Win the War? 

Mr. Kraft. I have no knowledge of any activity in connection with 
the Artists' Front to Win the War. I cannot remember it specifically. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is also in possession of information 
that the New Masses of May 3, 1938, at page 19, contained the names 



2402 COMMUNISM IX HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

of individuals upholding the Moscow trials, and purported to under- 
stand the real facts about this situation in the Soviet Union at that 
time. Among the signers appears the name of H. S. Kraft. 

Mr. Cohn. May we take a look at that, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavenner. It appears that it has not been brought into the 
hearing, and I will proceed to another question and come back to that. 

Mr. Cohn. Is it important to you? Can we get off the record? 

Mr. Tavenner. It may be important to the witness in answering the 
question. That is my only point. 

Mr. Cohn. We would like to look at it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Surely, I think you have that right. 

I will proceed to another matter. The committee has possession of 
a photostatic copy of the articles of incorporation of the Hollywood 
Community Radio Croup, which has been described by the California 
Committee on Un-American Activities as Communist-inspired and 
directed, and an organization whose immediate objective was the es- 
tablishment of a radio station in Los Angeles County. These articles 
of incorporation indicate that you were a member of the first board 
of directors of this group. 

You were a member of the first board of directors, were you not ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer on the previously stated grounds, 
sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photostatic copy of the certificate of 
incorporation and ask you whether or not your name appears as a 
member of the first board of directors. 

(Document handed to Mr. Kraft, and Mi'. Kraft and his counsel 
consult the document.) 

Mr. Kraft. The document, Mr. Tavenner, speaks for itself, but I 
decline to answer any questions in connection with this. 

Mr. Tavenner. But your name does appear there, does it not ? 

Mr. Kraft. My name does. 

Mr. Kearney. Did you have any knowledge of your name being 
used on that certificate of incorporation? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, General. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us the extent to which the Commu- 
nists controlled the formation of that organization? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now I will return to the question that I asked you a 
few moments ago. I hand you now a photostatic copy of page 19 of 
the May 3, 1938, issue of New Masses where there appears an article 
entitled "The Moscow Trials'' and I will ask you to state whether or 
not you see your name in the right-hand column of that article. 

(Document handed to Mr. Kraft, and Mr. Kraft consults the docu- 
ment with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. My name does appear, Mr. Tavenner, but I have no 
recollection of this matter. I think this is dated 

Mr. Tavenner. 1938. 

Mr. Kraft. 1938. I have no recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, the persons whose names appear in that 
article are alleged to have approved, or to have upheld the Moscow 
trials. Did you advocate or approve at any time the Moscow trials? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, Mr. Tavenner. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2403 

Mr. Tavenner. Does this serve to refresh your recollection re- 
garding this particular article: 

We, the undersigned, are fully aware of the confusion that exists with regard 
to the Moscow trials, and the real facts about the situation in the Soviet Union. 

Now, did you have any knowledge about the real facts in the Soviet 
Union ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, Mr. Tavenner. 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. I never visited the Soviet. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have never been to Russia ? 

Mr. Kraft. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you answer my question? 

Mr. Kraft. I believe I did. I declined to answer the question as 
to whether I had the real facts. I think that was the question. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to the letterhead of February 24, 1940, 
you were a sponsor of the Hollywood League for Democratic Action. 

Mr. Cohn. Is that one of the organizations on the list? 

Mr. Tavenner. It is. I will read the citation. The Hollywood 
League for Democratic Action appears in the guide to subversive or- 
ganizations and publications issued by this committee. It appears in 
the following form : 

Cited as a Communist-front organization in which Communist individuals 
were "pulling the strings and setting the policy." It "was a continuation of the 
Motion Picture Democratic Committee after the invasion of Russia by Germany 
precipitated an abrupt change in Soviet foreign policy." It lasted until 1942 
when it reorganized as the Hollywood Democratic Committee. 

You recall my question, do you ? 

Mr. Kraft. I wish you would repeat it, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read the question? I will reframe the 
question to save time. 

I have before me a letterhead of the Hollywood League for Demo- 
cratic Action dated February 24, 1940, and on the margin appears the 
list of sponsors, among whom is your name, or the name H. S. Kraft. 
That is your name, is it not, H. S. Kraft ? 

Mr. Kraft. Yes, sir ; the initials of my name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a sponsor of that organization ? That is, 
as indicated by this letterhead ? 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer, sir. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Tavenner, these organizations are the ones that 
are listed as subversive by the Attorney General in the State of Cali- 
fornia ? 

Mr. Tavenner. The citation in this particular instance was by the 
California Committee on Un-American Activities. 

Mr. Kearney. If this organization were not listed as a subversive 
organization by the State of California, would your answer be dif- 
ferent ? 

Mr. Cohn. Do you mind if we consult? 

Mr. Walter. Gfo ahead. 

(Mr. Kraft consults with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. It is a difficult question. The fact of the matter is that 
the organization has been listed, and therefore, I decline to answer. 

95829 — 52— pt. 7 8 



2404 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Kearney. Let us assume that it were not listed as subversive ; 
would your answer be different ? 

Mr. Kraft. I can't answer that question. I can't tell you the answer 
that I would give to that question. 

Mr. Kearney. You mean you won't answer? 

Mr. Kraft. Sir. 

Mr. Kearney. You mean you won't answer ? 

Mr. Cohn. Would you repeat the statement? I am sorry, we did 
not hear. 

Mr. Kearney. You mean the witness won't answer the question. 

Mr. Cohn. Won't. 

Mr. Kearney. In other words, you still stand on your original 
answer? 

Mr. Kraft. It is a hypothetical question, and I must stand — 

Mr. Kearney. I do not see anything hypothetical about it at all. 

Mr. Kraft. I must stand on my original answer. 

Mr. Kearney. That is what I assumed you would do. 

Mr. Tavenner. We find upon examination of the amicus curiae 
brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of John 
Howard Lawson against the United States and Dalton Trumbo 
against the United States that you are listed on it. Now, this was 

Mr. Cohn. It must have been some time in 1949, was it not ? 

Mr. Tavenner. That was the October term, 1949, of the Supreme 
Court of the United States and was filed on the tenth day of September, 
1949. 

We would like to know the circumstances under which you became a 
party to that proceeding. 

Mr. Kraft. Mr. Tavenner, in all honesty, I cannot remember the 
circumstances under which I became a party to this proceeding. But 
I certainly admit being a party to this proceeding, because I think the 
issue involved was one that the Court should have settled. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have a perfect right, of course, and I am not 
attempting by innuendo to criticise you from becoming a party to the 
proceeding in the form in which you did. But we are interested in 
the means used to obtain your participation, because you have stated 
to us that in 1949 you were not a member of the Communist Party, 
and we are anxious to know to what extent any Communist Party 
influences were brought to bear upon you to use your name in this 
connection. 

Mr. Kraft. I can only repeat that I don't remember the circum- 
stances under which my name was obtained. 

Mr. Walter. Who asked you to become a party to these proceed- 
ings ? 

Mr. Kraft. I don't remember, sir. 

Mr. Walter. 1949 this was. How much money did you contribute 
to the legal expenses involved in that appeal ? 

Mr. Kraft. As far as I can recall, sir, I contributed no money be- 
cause in 1949 it was a very bad year for me. 

Mr. Walter. Don't you remember who asked you whether or not 
your name could be used in this brief? 

Mr. Kraft. J honestly don't, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with V. J. Jerome? 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2405 

Mr. Kraft. I decline to answer on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Walter. Why? Why do you decline to answer the question 
as to whether or not you know somebody ? 

Mr. Kraft. Mr. Jerome's name and Mr. Jerome himself has ap- 
peared before this committee. 

Mr. Walter. The mere fact that you knew him certainly does not 
mean anything. You cannot be convicted of anything because you 
happen to know somebody. I know a lot of Communists myself, 
and I admit that I know them. 

(Mr. Kraft confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Kraft. I stand on my rights in regard to this question. 

Mr. Walter. All right. Mr. Tavenner, is there any reason why 
we should go on ? This witness certainly is not going to assist this 
committee. 

Mr. Kraft, Martin Berkeley, who was a member of the Communist 
Party, felt that he was in error when he aided and assisted in this 
conspiracy and came forward and assisted this committee tremen- 
dously in its work. We had hoped that you would do the same thing, 
because we know that you were a member of the Communist Party, 
and we hoped when we subpenaed you down here that you would 
assist this committee in showing the machinations of this Communist 
crowd that you were connected with. 

In view of the fact that you are not going to assist, I do not see any 
reason why we should waste our time in asking questions when we 
know the witness is not going to answer them. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is quite obvious, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will be adjourned. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I can agree with the chairman for 
his reasons, but personally I think the answers given by the witness 
have been very enlightening. But I do believe that the witness should 
be instructed by the chairman to hold himself in readiness for further 
questioning. 

Mr. Walter. I do not think that is necessary. We know where 
he is, and if he ever has a change of heart, and, Mr. Kraft, if you 
ever feel that you would like to make a slight contribution to the secu- 
rity of your Nation during these troubled times, we will give you every 
opportunity that you seek to come down here. And if we feel there 
is anything we want to know we will know where you are, and we 
will subpena you again. I do not see any reason why the witness 
should not be excused. 

Mr. Kearney. Do you still believe in the philosophy of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Kraft. I do not. 

Mr. Walter. The committee is adjourned. 

(Whereupon, at 11 : 30 a. m., the subcommittee was recessed subject 
to the call of the chairman.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 1952 * 

United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the Committee 

on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. 0. 

EXECUTIVE HEARING 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met at 
4 : 25 p. m., in room 330, Old House Office Building, Hon. Francis E. 
Walter, presiding. 

Committee member present : Representative Francis E. Walter. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; and 
Raphael I. Nixon, director of research. 

TESTIMONY OF ELIA KAZAN 

Mr. Walter. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn, please % 
Do you solemnly swear the evidence you are about to give this com- 
mittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God? 

Mr. Kazan. I so swear. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state your full name? 

Mr. Kazan. Elia Kazan. 

Mr. Tavenner. E-l-i-a? 

Mr. Kazan. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kazan, you testified before this committee on 
January 14, 1952, in an executive session; did you not? 

Mr. Kazan. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. In that hearing, you testified fully regarding your 
own membership in the Communist Party approximately 17 years 
ago, and your activity in the party; did you not? 

Mr. Kazan. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. However, you declined at that time to give the 
committee any information relating to the activities of others, or 
to identify others associated with you in your activities in the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Kazan. Most of the others, yes, sir. Some I did name. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you declined at that time to name all of them? 

Mr. Kazan. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I understand that you have voluntarily re- 
quested the committee to reopen your hearing, and to give you an 

1 Released April 11, 1952. 

2407 



2408 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

opportunity to explain fully the participation of others known to 
you at the time to have been members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Kazan. That is correct. I want to make a full and complete 
statement. I want to tell you everything I know about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, in preparation for your testimony here, have 
you spent considerable time and effort in recalling and in reducing 
to writing the information which you have? 

Mr. Kazan. I spent a great deal of time ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have prepared, in written form, the full 
and complete statement which you say you would like to make to the 
committee ? 

Mr. Kazan. Yes, sir; I have such a statement prepared. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you hand itlo me please, sir? 

(Mr. Tavenner received the statement.) 

Mr. Walter. Let the statement be made a part of the record and 
considered to be the sworn testimony of the witness. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I introduce in evidence this state- 
ment prepared and submitted by the witness and ask that it be marked 
"Kazan Exhibit No. 1." 

Mr. Walter. Mark it and let it be made a part of the record. 

(Statement of Elia Kazan:) 

New York City, N. Y., April 9, 1952. 
The House Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

Gentlemen : I wish to amend the testimony which I have before you on 
January 14 of this year, by adding to it this letter and the accompanying sworn 
affidavit. 

In the affidavit I answer the only question which I failed to answer at the 
hearing, namely, what people I knew to be members of the Communist Party 
between the summer of 1934, when I joined it, and the late winter or early 
spring of 1936, when I severed all connection with it. 

I have come to the conclusion that I did wrong to withhold these names 
before, because secrecy serves the Communists, and is exactly what they want. 
The American people need the facts and all the facts about all aspects of com- 
munism in order to deal with it wisely and effectively. It is my obligation as 
a citizen to tell everything that I know. 

Although I answered all other questions which were put to me before, the 
naming of these people makes it possible for me to volunteer a detailed descrip- 
tion of my own activities and of the general activity which I witnessed. I have 
attempted to set these down as carefully and fully as my memory allows. In 
doing so, I have necessarily repeated portions of my former testimony, but I 
believe that by so doing I have made a more complete picture than if I omitted it. 

In the second section of the affidavit, I have tried to review comprehensively 
my very slight political activity in the 16 years since I left the party. Here 
again, I have of necessity repeated former testimony, but I wanted to make as 
complete an over-all picture as my fallible memory allows. 

In the third section is a list of the motion pictures I have made and the plays 
I have chosen to direct. I call your attention to these for they constitute the 
entire history of my professional activity as a director. 
Respectfully, 

Elia Kazan. 
State of New York, 

County of Neiv York, 88: 

I. Elia Kazan, being duly sworn, depose and say : 

I repeat my testimony of January 14, 19."ii2, before the 'House Committee on 
Un-American Activities, to the effect that I was a member of the Communist 
Party from some time in the summer of 1934 until the late winter or early spring 
of 193fi, when I severed all connection with it permanently. 

I want to reiterate that in those years, to my eyes, there was no clear oppo- 
sition of national interests between the United' States and Russia. It was not 
even clear to me that the American Communist Party was taking its orders 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2409 

from the Kremlin and acting as a Russian agency in this country. On the 
contrary, it seemed to me at that time that the party had at heart the cause 
of the poor and unemployed people whom I saw on the streets about me. I 
felt that by joining, I was going to help them, I was going to fight Hitler, and, 
strange as it seems today, I felt that I was acting for the good of the American 
people. 

For the approximately 19 months of my membership, I was assigned to a "unit" 
composed of those party members who were, like myself, members of the Group 
Theatre acting company. These were — 

Lewis Leverett, co-leader of the unit. 
J. Edward Bromberg, co-leader of the unit, deceased. 

Phoebe Brand (later Mrs. Morris Carnovsky). I was instrumental in 
bringing her into the party. 
Morris Carnovsky. 

Tony Kraber; along with Welhnan (see below), he recruited me into 
the party. 

Paula Miller (later Mrs. Lee Strasberg) : We are friends today. I believe 
that, as she has told me, she quit the Communists long ago. She is far too 
sensible and balanced a woman, and she is married to too fine and intelligent 
a man, to have remained among them. 
Clifford Odets : He has assured me that he got out about the same time I did. 
Art Smith. 
These are the only members of the unit whom I recall and I believe this to 
be a complete list. Even at this date I do not believe it would be possible for 
me to forget anyone. 

I believe that in my previous testimony I mentioned that there were nine 

members in the unit. I was including Michael Gordon, but in searching my 

recollection I find that I do not recall his having attended any meeting with me. 

As I testified previously, two party functionaries were assigned to "hand the 

party line" to us new recruits. They were — 

V. J. Jerome, who had some sort of official "cultural" commissar position 
at party headquarters ; and 

Andrew Overgaard, a Scandinavian, who was head, as I recall, of the 
Trade Union Unity League. 
There was a third party official who concerned himself with us, although 
whether he was officially assigned or merely hung about the theater when he 
was in New York, I never knew. He told us that he was State organizer for 
the party in Tennessee. He was obviously stagestruck and he undertook to 
advise us. He was — 

Ted Wellman, also known as Sid Benson. 
Our financial contributions and dues were on a puny scale. We were small- 
salaried actors, frequently out of work and it was depression time. 
What we were asked to do was fourfold : 

(1) To "educate" ourselves in Marxist and party doctrine; 

(2) To help the party get a foothold in the Actors Equity Association; 

(3) To support various "front" organizations of the party ; 

(4) To try to capture the Group Theatre and make it a Communist 
mouthDiece. 

The history of these efforts in my time, were as follows : 

(1) In the "education" program we were sold pamphlets and books and told 
to read them. There were also "discussions" of these. The "discussions" were 
my first taste of totalitarian methods, for there was no honest discussion at 
all. but only an attempt to make sure that we swallowed every sentence with- 
out challenge. 

(2) The attempt to gain a foothold in Actors' Equity was guided by an actor, 
Robert or Bob Caille (I think that was the spelling). He was also known as 
Bob Reed. I have been told tnat he died some years ago. 

The tactic — and the sincere effort of many individuals — was to "raise a 
demand" that actors receive pay during the weeks when they rehearsed for 
shows. The long-range plan was, by leading a fight for a reasonable gain for 
the actors, to sain prestige for individual Communists and sympathizers who, 
the party hoped, would then run the union. 

Pay for tlie rehearsal period was obtained, but at no time that I saw, either 
then or after I left, did the party come within sight of controlling the actors' 
union. 



2410 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

(3) Most of our time, however, went directly or indirectly into providing 
"entertainment" for the meetings and rallies of front organizations and unions. 
The "entertainment" was strictly propaganda. 

There were two front organizations in the theater field, but off Broadway, 
whose purpose was to provide such propaganda entertainment and with whom 
I had dealings. They were the League of Workers Theatres (later the New 
Theatre League) and the Theatre of Action. It was into these that my time 
went. I acted, I trained and directed other actors and, with Art Smith, I 
co-authored a play called Dimitroff, which had to do with the imprisonment 
of the Bulgarian Communist leader by the Nazis following the Reichstag fire. 
It is my memory that the play enjoyed either two or three Sunday-night per- 
formances before benefit audiences and was then retired. 

I taught at the school for actors and directors run by the League of Workers 
Theatres. This was unquestionably a Communist-controlled outfit. Its officials 
were never bona fide theater people and it was my impression that they had 
been imported by the party from other fields to regiment the political novices 
in the theater. To the best of my knowledge, when the league came to an end, 
they retired from the theater again. I do not recall any Communist meeting 
which I attended with them, but my impression that they were all Communists 
is very strong. The ones I remember were — 
Harry Elion, president; 
John Bonn, a German refugee ; 

Alice Evans (I am told she later married V. J. Jerome) ; 
Anne Howe. 

In the Theatre of Action, there was a Communist thought and behavior and 
control, but I did not attend their political meetings so I cannot tell which of 
the actors were party members and which were not. I did some acting training 
here and I co-directed with Al Saxe a play called The Young Go First, and I 
directed another called (I think) The Crisis. 

About 1936, I began a connection with an outfit called Frontier Films, but the 
party had nothing to do with my making this connection. The organization 
consisted of four or five men, of whom I remember Paul Strand, Leo Hurwitz, 
and Ralph Steiner. From long friendship with Steiner, I believe him to be a 
strong anti-Communist. I do not know the party affiliations of the others. 
They were trying to raise money to make documentary films. They put me on 
their board, but I attended few meetings. I wanted to make a picture. This 
I did, with Ralph Steiner, in 1937. It was a two-reel documentary called The 
People of the Cumberlands. 

That was my last active connection with any organization which has since 
been listed as subversive. 

(4) I want to repeat emphatically that the Communists' attempt to take over 
the Group Theatre failed. There was some influence and a great deal of talk, 
the members of the Communist unit consumed a great deal of time at group 
meetings, they raised some money from the non-Communist members for Com- 
munists' causes and they sold them some Communist pamphlets ; they brought 
the prestige of the group name to meetings where they entertained as individ- 
uals, but they never succeeded in controlling the Group Treatre. 

This was because the control of the group stayed firmly in the hands of the 
three non-Communist directors, Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Cheryl 
Crawford. (In 1937 Clurman became sole director and remained so until the 
theater broke up in 1940.) 

In a small way I played a part in blocking the Communist unit's maneuvers 
to get control. In the winter of 1935-36 I was a member of the actors' com- 
mittee of the group. This was an advisory committee, but it was the nearest 
the actors ever came to having any voice in the running of the theater. I was 
instructed by the Communist unit to demand that the group be run "democrati- 
cally." This was a characteristic Communist tactic : they were not interested 
in democracy ; they wanted control. They had no chance of controlling the 
directors, but they thought that if authority went to the actors, they would have 
a chance to dominate through the usual tricks of behind-the-scenes caucuses,, 
block voting, and confusion of issues. 

This was the specific issue on which I quit the party. I had enough regi- 
mentation, enough of being told what to think and say and do, enough of their 
habitual violation of the daily practices of democracy to which I was accus- 
tomed. The last straw came when I was invited to go through a typical 
Communist scene of crawling and apologizing and admitting the error of my 
ways. The invitation came from a Communist functionary brought in for the 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2411 

occasion. He was introduced as an organizer of the Auto Workers Union from 
Detroit. I regret that I cannot rememher his name. In any case, he prob- 
ably did not use his own name. I had never seen him before, nor he me. 

He made a vituperative analysis of my conduct in refusing to fall in with the 
party line and plan for the Group Theatre, and he invited my repentance. My 
fellow members looked at him as if he were an oracle. I have not seen him 
since, either. 

That was the night I quit them. I had had enough anyway. I had had a 
taste of police-state living and I did not like it. Instead of working honestly 
for the good of the American people, I had found that I was being used to 
put power in the hands of people for whom, individually and as a group, I felt 
nothing but contempt, and for whose standard of conduct I felt a genuine 
horror. 

Since that night, I have never had the least thing to do with the party. 

II 

After I left the party in 1936, except for the making of the two-reel documentary 
film mentioned above, in 1937, I was never active in any organization since listed 
as subversive. 

My policy in the years after 1936 was an instinctive rather than a planned one. 
I could usually detect a front organization when I first heard about it and I stayed 
away from it. I never became a member of such an organization, although I 
was pressed to join dozens of them. 

Contradictorily, on a few of the many occasions when I was asked to sign 
a statement or a telegram for a specific cause, I may have allowed my name to 
be used, even though I suspected the sponsoring organization. They insidiously 
picked causes which appealed to decent, liberal, humanitarian people; against 
racial discrimination, against Japanese aggression, against specific miscarriages 
of justice. There was a piece of spurious reasoning which influenced me to let 
them use my name in rare instances. It went like this, "I hate the Communists 
but I go along with this cause because I believe the cause is right." 

Today I repudiate that reasoning, but it accounts for those of the instances 
listed below in which I may have done what is alleged. I repudiate the reasoning 
because I believe that all their fights are deceitful maneuvers to gain influence. 

My connections with these front organizations were so slight and so transitory 
that I am forced to rely on a listing of these prepared for me after research by my 
employer, Twentieth Century-Fox. I state with full awareness that I am under 
oath, that in most of the cases I do not remember any connection at all. It is 
possible that my name was used without my consent. It is possible that in a few 
instances I gave consent. 

I am told that the New Masses of November 4, and the Daily Worker of Novem- 
ber 8, 1941, list me as an entertainer at a meeting sponsored by the American 
Friends of the Chinese People. I remember no connection whatsoever with this 
organization and especially since I ceased all "entertaining" in 1936 when I left 
the party, I can only suppose that my name was used without my permission 
in this instance. 

I am told that I signed an appeal put out by the Committee for a Boycott 
Against Japanese Aggression. I do not remember this either, but it is possible 
that I signed such an appeal. No date is given, but it must have been before 
Pearl Harbor. 

I am told that the official program of the Artists Front To Win the War listed 
me as a sponsor in October 1942. I have no memory of this either, but it is 
possible that I gave my consent to the use of my name. 

I am told that on July 19, 1942, I signed an open letter sponsored by the Na- 
tional Federation for Constitutional Liberties, which denounced Attorney Gen- 
eral Biddle's charges against Harry Bridges. I have no recollection of this 
either, but again it is possible that I did so, for I remember that, in contrast to 
what I had heard about the New York water front, what I had heard about San 
Francisco suggested that Bridges had done a good job for his union. And I 
remember that I believed the story, current at that time, that he was being 
hounded for this. At that time I did not believe him to be a Communist. 

I have been reminded that my name was used as a sponsor of the publication, 
People's Songs. I have no doubt that I gave permission for this. The date could 
be found by referring to the first issues of the publication. Beyond allowing my 
name to be used initially, I had no contact with it. 



2412 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

The only money contribution which I remember between 1936 and 1947 or 1948 — 
and I remember it with regret — was one of $200 which I gave to Arnaud D'Usseau 
when he asked for help in founding what he said was to be a new "liberal literary 
magazine." This magazine turned out to be Mainstream and from its first 
issue was a patently Communist publication altogether detestable and neither 
liberal nor literary. 

Now I come to the only case of cause in which I got involved, even to a limited 
extent, in those 16 years between 1936 and 1952. It was what became known as 
tbe case of the Hollywood 10. 

I would recall to this committee the opening of the first investigation into 
communism in Hollywood by the previous committee under the chairmanship of 
J. Parnejl Thomas. I would recall that a large number of representative people 
in the creative branch of picture industry, regardless of their politics, were 
alarmed by the first sessions. They signed protests and they banded in organ- 
izations which certainly did not look to me like front organizations at their incep- 
tion, although later the Communists plainly got control of them. 

I am listed as sponsoring a committee to raise funds for the defense of the 
10 and as having sent a telegram to John Huston on March 5, 1948, when he was 
chairman of the dinner for them. I do not remember these specific actions, but 
I certainly felt impelled to action of that sort at that time and did this or some- 
thing like it. I also made a contribution of $500 to a woman representative of 
the committee for the Hollywood 10. This was in New York. If I am able to 
recall her name, I will advise you of it, but I cannot recall it at the moment. I 
am also listed as supporting a radio program for the 10 as late as August 1950. 
I am surprised at the date. It is possible that I was approached and gave per- 
mission to use my name as late as this, but it seems to me more likely that my 
name was reused without asking me, since I had allowed its use earlier. 

For by that time I was disgusted by the silence of the 10 and by their con- 
temptuous attitude. However, I must say now that what I did earlier repre- 
sented my convictions at the beginning of the case. 

That is the end of the list of my front associations after 1936, insofar as I can 
remember them, with the assistance of the memorandum prepared for me. 

I should like to point out some of the typical Communist-front and Communist- 
sympathizer activities which I stayed away from : 

From the day I went to Hollywood to direct my first picture, in 1944, I had 
nothing to do with any front organization there. Neither had I anything to do 
with them on three earlier trips as an actor. I had nothing to do with the Actors' 
Lab. I never gave a penny to any front organization on the west coast. 

I did not sign the Stockholm peace pledge. I saw what that was. I resented 
the Communist attempt to capture the word "peace." 

I did not sponsor or attend the Waldorf Peace Conference. My wife's name was 
used as a sponsor without her permission. She protested and asked for its with- 
drawal in a letter to Prof. Harlow Shapley of Harvard University, who had some 
official post. She received no answer from him, but she did get an apology from 
James Proctor, who had given her name without her permission. 

I had nothing to do with the Arts, Sciences, and Professions or any of its 
predecessors or successors. 

I did not support Henry Wallace for President. 

I do not want to imply that anyone who did these things was one of the Com- 
munists ; I do submit that anyone who did none of them was a long way away 
from them. 

Ill 

There follows a list of my entire professional career as a director, all the plays 
I have done and the films I have made. 

Casey Jones, by Robert Ardrey, 1938 : The story of a railroad engineer who 
comes to the end of his working days. 

It is thoroughly and wonderfully American in its tone, characters, and outlook. 

Thunder Rock, by Robert Ardrey, 1939 : This is a deeply democratic and deeply 
optimistic play, written at a time when there was a good deal of pessimism about 
democracy. It told of a group of European immigrants headed for the West about 
1848, and showed how they despaired of reforms which this country has long 
since achieved and now takes for granted. A failure in New York, this play was 
a huge hit in wartime London. 

Cafe Crown, by Hy Kraft, 1942 : A comedy about Jewish actors on New York's 
East Side. No politics, but a warm and friendly feeling toward a minority of a 
minority. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2413 

The Strings, My Lord, Are False, by Paul Vincent Carrol, 1942: An Irishman's 
play about England under the bombings. Not political. It shows human courage 
and endurance in many kinds of people, including, prominently, a priest. 

T/he Skin of Our Teeth, by Thornton Wilder, 1942: One of the plays I am 
proudest to have done. It celebrates the endurance of the human race and does 
so with wit and wisdom and compassion. 

Harriet, by Florence Ryerson and Colin Clements, 1943: The story of Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

One Touch of Venus, by S. J. Perelman, Ogden Nash, and Kurt Weil, 1943 : 
Musical comedy. The goddess Venus falls in love with a barber. 

Jacobowsky and the Colonel, by S. N. Behrman, 1942 : Humorous-sad tale of 
the flight of a Jewish jack-of-all-trades and a Polish count before the oncoming 
Nazis. Not political, but very human. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (my first picture), 1944: A little girl grows up in 
the slum section of Brooklyn. There is pain in the story, but there is health. It is 
a typically American story and could only happen here, and a glorification of 
America not in material terms, but in spiritual ones. 

Sing Out Sweet Land, by Jean and Walter Kerr, 1944 : A musical built around 
old American songs. Nonpolitical but full of American tradition and spirit. 

Deep Are the Roots, by Arnaud D'Usseau and James Gow, 1945 : This was a 
very frank and somewhat melodramatic exploration of relations between Negroes 
and whites . It was shocking to some people but on the whole both audiences and 
critics took it with enthusiasm. 

Dunnigan's Daughter, by S. N. Behrman, 1945 : A comedy drama about a young 
wife whose husband was too absorbed in his business to love her. 

Sea of Grass (picture), 1946 : The conflict between cattle ranchers and farmers 
on the prairie. 

Boomerang (picture), 1946: Based on an incident in the life of Homer Cum- 
mings, later Attorney General of the United States. It tells how an initial mis- 
carriage of justice was righted by the persistence and integrity of a young 
district attorney, who risked his career to save an innocent man. This shows 
the exact opposite of the Communist libels on America. 

All My Sons, by Arthur Miller, 1947 : The story of a war veteran who came 
home to discover that his father, a small manufacturer, had shipped defective 
plane parts to the Armed Forces during the war. Some people have searched for 
hidden propaganda in this one, but I believe it to be a deeply moral investigation 
of problems of conscience and responsibility. 

Gentlemen's Agreement (picture) : Picture version of the best-selling novel 
about anti-Semitism. It won an academy award and I think it is in a healthy 
American tradition, for it shows Americans exp'oring a problem and tackling a 
solution. Again it is opposite to the picture which Communists present of 
Americans. 

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, 1947 : A famous play. Not 
political, but deeply human. 

Sundown Beach, by Bessie Breuer, 1948 : A group of young Army fliers and 
their girls at a hospital in Florida. Not political, but a warm and compassion- 
ate treatment. 

Lovelife, by Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weil, 1948 : Musical comedy. Story 
of a married couple, covering 100 years of changing American standards and 
customs. 

Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, 1949 : It shows the frustrations of the 
life of a salesman and contains implicit criticism of his materialistic standards. 
Pinky (picture), 1949: The story of a Negro girl who passed for white in the 
North and returns to the South to encounter freshly the impact of prejudice. 
Almost everybody liked this except the Communists, who attacked it virulently. 
It was extremely successful throughout the country, as much so in the South 
as elsewhere. 

Panic in the Streets (picture), 1950: A melodrama built around the subject 

of an incipient plague. The hero is a doctor in the United States Health Service. 

A Streetcar Named Desire (picture), 1950 : Picture version of the play. 

Viva Zapata (picture, my most recent one), 1951: This is an anti-Communist 

picture. Please see my article on political aspects of this picture in the Saturday 

Review of April 5, which I forwarded to your investigator, Mr. Nixon. 

Flight into Egypt, by George Tabori, 1952: Story of refugees stranded in 
Cairo and trying to get into the United States. 



2414 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I think it is useful that certain of us had this kind of experience with the 
Communists, for if we had not, we should not know them so well. Anyone 
who has had it is not to be fooled by them again. Today, when all the world 
fears war and they scream peace, we know how much their professions are 
worth. We know tomorrow they will have a new slogan. 

First-hand experience of dictatorship and thought control left me with an 
abiding hatred of these. It left me with an abiding hatred of Communist 
philosophy and methods. 

It also left me with the passionate conviction that we must never let the 
Communists get away with the pretense that they stand for the very things 
which they kill in their own countries. 

I am talking about free speech, a free press, the rights of labor, racial equality 
and, above all, individual rights. I value these things. I take them seriously. 
I value peace, too, when it is not bought at the price of fundamental decencies. 

I believe these things must be fought for wherever they are not fully honored 
and protected whenever they are threatened. 

The motion pictures I have made and the plays I have chosen to direct repre- 
sent those convictions. 

I have placed a copy of this affidavit with Mr. Spyros P. Skouras, president of 
Twentieth Century Fox. 

Elia Kazan. 

Sworn to before me this 10th day of April 1952. 



Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kazan, the staff or members of the committee 
may desire to recall you at some future time for the purpose of ask- 
ing you to make further explanations of some of the matters con- 
tained in your sworn statement. 

Mr. Kazan. I will be glad to do anything to help — anything you 
consider necessary or valuable. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kazan, we appreciate your cooperation with our 
committee. It is only through the assistance of people such as you 
that we have been able to make the progress that has been made in 
bringing the attention of the American people to the machinations 
of this Communist conspiracy for world domination. I am sure the 
American people are more aware today of the seriousness and gravity 
of the situation than they were a year ago, but certainly not as aware 
as they should be. It is still possible, as is attested to by some notices 
of phony peace movements that have come to my desk, that there are 
still people who are deceived by the Communist groups and fronts, 
and we appreciate your cooperation. I feel that you have made a 
considerable contribution to the work of the committee in whatever 
we do. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTKATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTUKE INDUSTRY— PART 7 



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1952 

United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the Committee on 

Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. G. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to recess, at 2 p. m., in room 226 Old House Office Building, 
Washington, D. C, Hon. Francis E. Walter, presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Francis E. Walter, 
Morgan M. Moulder, Bernard W. Kearney, and Donald L. Jackson. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Raphael I. Nixon, director of re- 
search; Donald T. Appell and James A. Andrews, investigators; John 
W. Carrington, clerk ; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order. 

Mr. Robinson, will you raise your right hand, please, and be sworn? 

Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Robinson. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF EDWARD G. ROBINSON 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please ? 

Mr. Robinson. Edward G. Robinson. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand, Mr. Robinson, that this morning you 
requested of the committee that you be permitted to appear before it ? 

Mr. Robinson. That is quite right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that privilege was granted you ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. * 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee your purpose in 
desiring to appear before the committee at this time? 

Mr. Robinson. I have just finished my season with Darkness at 
Noon, Monday night in West Virginia, and I had come to Washington 
on a personal matter. I hoped that I would have the opportunity of 
appearing before your committee, so that I could give you an idea 
of just what my feelings and my thoughts are in this matter since the 
revelations that have been made during 1951 and 1952 by your 
committee. 

I have prepared a written statement, and I should like to read it 
to you. 

2415 



2416 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

My voice is a little hoarse — I have had a very arduous part for 
a long time. If you will permit me to read this statement 

Mr. Walter. You may proceed, sir. 

Mr. Kobixson. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, as on previous oc- 
casions, I have asked for this opportunity to appear before you so as 
lo make unmistakably clear my feeling about communism and Com- 
munists. 

As on previous occasions when I have appeared, I desire to repeat 
under oath a denial that I am or ever have been a Communist or know- 
ingly a fellow traveler. 

I have always been a liberal Democrat. The revelations that 
persons whom I thought were sincere liberals were, in fact, Com- 
munists, has shocked me more than I can tell you. That they per- 
suaded me by lies and concealment of their real purposes to allow 
them to use my name for what I believed to be a worthy cause is now 
obvious. I was sincere. They were not. I bitterly resent their false 
assertions of liberalism and honesty through which they imposed upon 
me and exploited my sincere desire to help my fellowmen. Not one 
of the Communists who sought my help or requested permission to 
use my name ever told me that he or she was a member of the Com- 
munist Party. 

My suspicions, which should have been aroused, were allayed by 
the fact that I had been falsely accused of Communist sympathies, 
and I was, therefore, willing to believe that other accused persons were 
also being unfairly smeared. 

My conscience is clear. My loyalty to this Nation I know to be 
absolute. No one has ever been willing to confront me under oath 
free from immunity and unequivocably charge me with membership 
in the Communist Party or any other subversive organization. No 
one can honestly do so. 

I now realize that some organizations which I permitted to use 
my name were, in fact, Communist fronts. But their ostensible pur- 
poses were good, and it was for such purposes that I allowed use of 
my name and even made numerous financial contributions. 

The hidden purposes of the Communists, in such groups, was not 
known to me. Had I known the truth, I would not have associated 
with such persons, although I would have and intend to continue to 
nelp to the extent of my ability in worth-while causes, honestly 
calculated to help underprivileged or oppressed people, including 
those oppressed by Communist tyranny. 

The committee will, I am sure, appreciate the fact that I have been 
active in groups opposed to the Communists. 

For instance, my memory was recently refreshed concerning the 
support I gave the William Allen White Committee to aid the Allies 
at a time when Hitler and Stalin sympathizers were using the slogan 
"The Yanks are not coming." I was at that time urging aid for 
Great Britain, which was fighting the Communist-Nazi alliance. My 
stand was definitely contrary to the stand of the Communists. I 
have helped other anti-Communist causes, but this has somehow been 
lost sight of by those who seem intent upon trying to make me out a 
Communist, in spite of my repeated denials under oath of my Com- 
munist sympathies. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2417 

May I add that of the very many civic, cultural, philanthropic, and 
political organizations of which I have been a member and a con- 
tributor, but a small percentage I later discovered were tinged with 
the taint of communism. 

It is a serious matter to have one's loyalty questioned. Life is less 
dear to me than my loyalty to democracy and the United States. I 
ask favors of no one. Ali I ask is that the record be kept straight 
and that I be permitted to live free of false charges. 

I readily concede that I have been used, and that I have been mis- 
taken regarding certain associations which I regret, but I have not 
been disloyal or dishonest. 

I would like to find some way to put at rest the ever-recurring in- 
nuendoes concerning my loyalty. Surely there must be some way for 
a person falsely accused of disloyalty to clear his name once and for 
all. It is for this purpose that I come again voluntarily before this 
committee to testify under oath. What more can I do ? 

Anyone who understands the history of the political activity in 
Hollywood will appreciate the fact that innocent, sincere persons were 
used by the Communists to whom honesty and sincerity are as foreign 
as the Soviet Union is to America. I was duped and used. I was 
lied to. But, I repeat, I acted from good motives, and I have never 
knowingly aided Communists or any Communist cause. 

I Avish to thank the committee for this opportunity to appear and 
clarify my position. I have been slow to realize that persons I thought 
sincere were Communists. I am glad, for the sake of myself and the 
Nation, that they have been exposed by your committee. 

While you have been, exposing Communists, I have been fighting 
ihem and their ideology in my own way. I just finished appearing 
in close to 250 performances of Darkness at Noon all over the country. 
It is, perhaps, the strongest indictment of communism ever presented. 
I am sure it had a profound and lasting effect on all who saw it. 

Allow me to again thank you for permitting me to appear before 
this committee to frankly express my views. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I think that inasmuch as Mr. Robin- 
son is here at this time I should ask him whether he recalls the testi- 
mony of Mr. Dmytryk regarding a meeting which took place in his 
home. 

Mr. Robinson. In my home ? 

Mr. Tavenner. At which time the witness was said not to have 
been present. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think I should read that testimony and see what 
explanation you have of it. 

Mr. Robinson. Certainly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Dmytryk was one of the early witnesses who 
appeared before the committee in the course of our investigation of 
communism in the field of entertainment, with particular reference 
to the moving-picture industry. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. This question was asked : 

During the early period — I might say about the time you were subpenaed to 
appear before this committee, was there any indication to you that the Com- 



2418 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

munist Party was endeavoring in any way to influence the course of action 
that you as a group should take when you appeared here before this committee? 

the testimony then followed : 

Mr. Dmytryk. You mean the first time? 1 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Dmytryk. Well, I certainly had no idea of it at the time. ' In looking 
back, of course, I can reach conclusions based on my later experiences about that, 
which I couldn't have had at the time. I think, in looking back on it and 
remembering how the 19 2 were organized, I would say the answer to that would 
probably be '"Yes." 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, describe that to the committee. 

Mr. Dmytryk. Well, it went something like this. When we first got the sub- 
penas, Adrian Scott and I accepted subpenas from the marshal at RKO studios. 
We had been in touch with nobody else, nor did we get in touch with anybody 
else at that time. We decided we wanted to get a lawyer. 

So I think that Adrian Scott at that time on a story, Behind the Silken Curtain, 
had some contact with Bartley Crum, whom we knew as a liberal Repuolican 
from San Francisco, a man who had been very active in Willkie's campaign. 
So we decided to contact Bartley Crum and ask him to serve as our counsel. 

We went to San Francisco and talked to him. He agreed. We told him our 
experience, that we had been members of the party. We had both gotten out. 
We asked him to serve as our counsel. 

Now, we came back to Hollywood, and we were asked to attend a very loose 
meeting of a group of the people who had gotten subpenas, other people who had 
gotten subpenas and who were not friendly to the committee. 

This meeting was held in Edward G. Robinson's house. He was not there. 
As a matter of fact, he wasn't even in town at the time. The only reason it was 
held there — I want to make this very clear — is that Senator Pepper was visiting 
in Hollywood at the time, and whether he was a house guest with the Robin- 
sons — I know he was quite friendly. They thought it would be wise if we could 
get together with Senator Pepper and find out from him what the situation 
was in Washington, what the feeling was, which we did. He spoke, extempor- 
aneously, of course, very informally, completely harmless. He simply tried to 
give us a picture of people in Washington, what was going on in Washington, 
in a very broad sort of way. There was nothing there you could pick on in 
any way at all. 

At the end of that meeting, however, we were approached by people like 
Herbert Biberman, Adrian Scott, and asked to attend a further meeting, at 
which we would discuss procedure for our mutual benefit. 

Now, reference has been made to that meeting. Did you in advance 
give your approval or were you consulted about the holding of that 
meeting in your home? 

Mr. Robinson. No; I had never been consulted. I found that out 
very much later. The story that Mr. Dmytryk tells is true. Senator 
Pepper was a very close friend of ours, and his wife w T as a very close 
friend of my wife. 

I think that they were in this particular quandary, and they knew 
that Senator Pepper was well versed in what was going on in Wash- 
ington, and I think they wanted some advice as to what tactics to 
pursue and how to go about it. That is the way it has been explained 
to me. 

May I say this, however? I say this in absolute honesty to you. 
Had I been there, I feel fairly certain that I would have allowed that 
thing to happen because it was previous to the investigations. I think 
that in one of my first testimonies I said that I felt that I was with 
these men at that particular time because, long before that, one of 

1 This rotors to the hearings conducted by tho Committee on Un-American Activities in 
October 1947 regarding Communist activities in Hollywood. 

2 This refers to the 19 persons who were originally served with subpenas for the 1947 
Hollywood hearings. Of this group, 10 were actually called upon to testify. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 241& 

the past chairmen of this committee, Parnell Thomas, had given out 
a story that I was going to be one of the first to be subpenaed, and I 
never was subpenaed. Consequently, that sort of allayed my sus- 
picions that I might have regarded everybody else, and I thought at 
the time that the first amendment was a very important thing, and 
perhaps I would not have been backward and shy in allowing Senator 
Pepper and this group to come to my house. 

There was nothing, I am sure, because my wife is the one who gave 
the approval. 

Mrs. Robinson — may I say this — was the head of the USO of the 
State of California, and was on the national board. She has testi- 
monials showing that she has done perhaps a great deal more than 
most women who had been associated with the USO in the country. 
She broke down as a result of it, and instead of taking a rest, she or- 
ganized the Desert Battalion, which became rather famous. 

That was made up of all sorts of working girls, which gave them a 
certain amount of glamour. They went out to these God-forsaken 
places in the desert where the Hollywood coordinating committee 
would not send any entertainers. They used to be put in barracks 
there for the week ends, and they w T ould dance with the boys and 
entertain them. 

She goes way back to Valley Forge, and I know, and everybody 
knows, what a great American she is. So there couldn't have been 
anything subversive in her mind in allowing this thing to happen. 

So that I go beyond your question, and say that I feel fairly certain 
that at that time I would have given the approval myself, even though 
I knew nothing about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was there ever an occasion prior to that time 
when a Communist Party meeting was held in your home, which you 
recognized as a Communist Party group? 

Mr. Robinson. No ; but I would say that some of the members, that 
some of the people who were present at my house, who have been asso- 
ciated with these causes, and who have now been revealed as being 
Communists, and who would not answer the question which, to me, 
is more or less tantamount to their being Communists, have been in 
my home at various times. 

There were tremendous activities that went on in my house during 
the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did they ever meet there in Communist Party meet- 
ings, to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Robinson. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. On Communist Party matters or business % 

Mr. Robinson. Never, sir, because, if I had had any idea that any 
of these organizations, as I told you in my statement, that any of these 
men who were important cogs in these organizations were Commu- 
nists, I would not have been a member of these organizations. 

It was difficult for me to consent, up to these recent hearings, to 
say that I had been used, because, while I would still have been for 
these causes, I would not have done them in company with these men. 
I think that is the wncked and the horrible and the treacherous thing 
that these rascals have done in masquerading as supporters of a cause, 
but who at the time were just trying to encroach upon — and I sup- 
pose now I am getting wise — in trying to capture the organizations. 

95829— 52— pt. 7 9 



2420 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

But, as far as my knowing them as Communists, or suspecting them 
as Communists, it may be naive, but I certainly didn't know that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, since you testified before the committee in 
October and in December of 1950, a great deal of investigative work 
has been done in the Hollywood area, with the result that the com- 
mittee has released the testimony identifying quite a few persons in 
Hollywood as having been members of the Communist Party, pos- 
sibly as many as 300. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes ; that is shocking to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have read the testimony, I suppose ? 

Mr. Robinson. I have read some of it. I was on the road. I read 
some of it that I got in my papers, and my wife occasionally would 
send me some excerpts from the Hollywood Reporter. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, as a result of what you have read and what 
you have learned from the investigations which the committee has 
conducted, have you any information that would be of value to the 
committee ? 

Mr. Robinson. I wish to God I had. 

Mr. Tavenner. With regard to its work in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Robinson. Of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Robinson. I don't know a thing about it. This is the God's 
truth. I wish I could be of help to you in this way, and I would 
willingly volunteer any information that I had. But I was never 
mixed up with anything of that sort, that I knew of, or that had 
Communist reasons behind it. I am sure that a good many of us have 
been victims of that sort of thing. They have their own subtle way 
of working, so that you couldn't put your finger on it as being com- 
munistic. 

As far as I knew, whatever activities they were concerned with 
were causes that I was interested in, and which I thought represented 
the finest American ideals. 

Mr. Tavenner. Isn't that virtually the same position that you took 
when you were before the committee previously ? 

Mr. Robinson. No, not before, because now, in retrospect, I can 
see where I had been used, and where a good many of the important 
people of these organizations, garnered and gathered a lot of decent, 
sincere people who were champions of a cause and cared for it, while 
they absolutely came in for another reason. 

In other words, they were just masquerading as supporters of the 
cause, while the others had sincere purposes behind them. 

When I found out that certain of the executive secretaries of the 
Arts, Sciences, and Professions 1 — I cannot recall the name — were 
Communists, as well as some other organizations that I had been in, 
I realized the dirty, filthy work that they had been doing. 

There was a lot of conniving going on, but at the time that it hap- 
pened, I was not aware of it because, as I tell you, had I known any- 
thing like that, I would have dropped them. 

All of my life I have been against tyranny, and I don't give a hang 
for it. 



1 Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions and 
the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2421 

To me, communism is abhorrent. Certainly I supported Russia dur- 
ing the war. but, as an ally, and no more than as an ally. What I did 
for Russia was relatively negligible, compared to what I did for our 
other allies. 

You see, yon can take things out of context and build up a case 
.against someone, but I think that if you will really look at my record 
and see again, as I say, the pattern of life that I have lived all of my 
life and the kind of American that I have been, it is rather difficult 
to estimate it in any other way than what a darned good American 
I have been, of which I am proud. 

I think 1 told you that, Congressman Jackson, when I saw you in 
California. 

Mr. AValter. Mr. Robinson, you stated that you were duped and 
used — by whom ? 

Mr. Robinson. By the sinister forces who were members, and prob- 
ably in important positions in these organizations. 

Mr. Walter. Well, tell us what individuals you have reference to. 

Mr. Robinson. Well, you had Albert Maltz, and you have Dalton 
Trumbo, and you have — what is the other fellow, the top fellow who 
they say is the commissar out there ? 

Mr. Walter. John Howard Lawson? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, John Howard Lawson. I knew Frank Tuttle. 
I didn't know Dmytryk at all. There are the Buchmans, that I know, 
Sidney Buchman and all that sort of thing. 

It never entered my mind that any of these people were Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well now, will you tell us more in detail in what 
manner these people, or any of them, approached you and attempted 
to use you in the way that you have described ? 

Mr. Robinson. I came in for a cause that appealed to me. Now, 
if you take the important organizations that I belonged to — the Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions, principally — they represented to me that 
they Avere the champions on the Rooseveltian policies, both internal 
and external. Consequently I was very much interested in it. I was 
a great admirer of Mr. Roosevelt. 

I have found out now in retrospect, and since these revelations have 
been made, how many of the important people in that organization 
were Communists at the time I was a member of it. My interest really 
waned with the death of Mr. Roosevelt. 

Well, when Mr. Gerald L. K. Smith came to California, he made 
some speeches. You know the kind of speeches he had been making. 
I was asked whether I would appear, whether I would go there and 
do some picketing. I thought it was a silly sort of thing to do, but I 
said. "Well, the others have been doing it," and after the second or 
third meeting that had taken place, I fell for the idea. 

Now I have found that they used me. I thought that it was a funny 
thing for me to do. I have found that a good many of the people who 
more or less backed Gerald L. K. Smith were Communists. 

I think these outside things that were being done, the superficial 
things that were done were done principally by this Communist group. 

I am thinking of something that was in Counterattack or in Red 
Channels, that had me down for Yugoslav Relief, 1 and I find that that 

'American Committee tor Yugoslav Relief. 



2422 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

is a subversive organization. Now, I was not a member of Yugoslav 
Relief, despite what may be written in that book; but I had been 
solicited to come and make a speech for Yugoslav Relief. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, can you tell us the circumstances under which, 
you were solicited, and who it was that solicited you ? 

Mr. Robinson. Well, as I remember, it was Abe Burrows who solic- 
ited me. I don't know that he is a Communist. Mind you, I am 
just talking about the organization being set down as being com- 
munistic. I remember Abe Burrows and his wife. I don't know 
wthether they were in Yugoslav Relief or not. They asked me whether 
I would appear on the steps of city hall. The mayor was to appear, 
and I was to introduce him and make an appeal for Yugoslav Relief. 
I found out now that that has been put down as a subversive organi- 
zation, as a Communist front. That is as far as my association with 
it was concerned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there repeated efforts made to have you con- 
tribute to the organization ? 

Mr. Robinson. I don't know that I contributed anything to it. I 
was to just contribute my services as a speaker, and to introduce the 
mayor. Naturally, it appealed to me — that is, Yugoslav Relief — they 
were with us. 

Now, what is the other item I was going to mention — yes, the Society 
for the Protection of the Foreign Born. 1 I was solicited there by 
Donald Ogden Stewart, whom I had known for many years in the 
theater and long before I came into pictures, and he was a very per- 
sonable and likable fellow. I find now that he is a Communist. 

I was asked to appear at one of their dinners and make a little talk. 
At the dinner at which I appeared, William Allen White made the 
principal address; Dorothy Thompson spoke; Grace Moore sang the 
Star Spangled Banner. There were other people of that kind present, 

I made a funny little talk about not having been born in America. 
I thought that it was incumbent on me to do what I could and to 
appear at a function of that kind. 

Now, it later turned out that these were Communist organizations. 
I have been seeing some of their recent literature that they have sent 
out, such as from the Society of Arts, Sciences, and Professions, for a 
number of years, now, and they certainly, I would say, are subversive 
and communistic and are following the Russian line in that everything 
that America has been doing is wrong. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you made a fairly substantial contribution, 
did you not, to the American Committee for the Protection of the 
Foreign Born? 

Mr. Robinson. It was very negligible — I will find that in here 2 — I 
don't think it amounted to hardly anything. 

You will find that amongst the list of the organizations to which I 
gave between $350,000 and $400,000 in 10 years, that the so-called 
subversive organizations got hardly anything. I think it was $10 or 
something, and $10 again that they have gotten. They still send me 
literature, although I have asked them not to send it to me, but it still 
kind of filters in. They follow absolutely, for my purposes, that is,, 
according to my ideas, the Communist line. 

1 American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born. 

2 Testimony of Edward G. Robinson. October 27, and December 21, 1950, printed hear- 
ings of the committee, 81st Cong., pp. 3299-3344. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2423 

Mr. Walter. Practically the entire activities of that organization 
'today are involved in trying to prevent the deportation of known 
•Communists. 

Mr. Kobinson. That is right. That is exactly it. And the Society 
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions follows the line that the Mar- 
shall Plan, the Atlantic Treaty, and all those sorts of things are all 
wrong and cockeyed. 

The Society for Soviet- American Friendship. 1 My heavens — I had 
better be careful what I say — but you will find that while I appeared 
-at two or three meetings at the Hotel Astor, a good many of these 
were clone at the instigation and behest of the State Department, our 
own State Department. They asked me to appear at various meetings, 
and make a little talk. They have asked me to make some recordings 
•which were sent back on Red Army Day. 

The people who appeared at these places were the most reputable 
and certainly unimpeachable Americans. You couldn't question their 
loyalty. 

Now, to pick that up out of context and to forget all of the other 
things that I had done for the other allies, for France, for Britain, 
for Greece, and for Poland — I mentioned something about the William 
Allen White Committee. The first thing my wife and I did when we 
;got back in 1939, which was just about a week after war had been 
declared and there was the Moscow-Berlin Pact, was to hold a great 
big garden party for the victims of Poland. You will find that in my 
testimony. That was also clone for the Reel Cross of Britain, and for 
all of the victims of that particular pact. 

Mr. Moulder. Following the chairman's statement, you made an 
■expression about everything having been all wrong and not right. I 
take it you were quoting the belief of the organization — that was not 
your own belief? Don't you think that for the record you should 
•clarify that? 

Mr. Robinson. I don't quite understand the question. 

Mr. Moulder Following the chairman's statement, you made some 
statement about that organization believing that the Marshall Plan 
and everything else were all wrong. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Moulder. That was the belief of the organization and not your 
own ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, the Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Profes- 
sions. I was not a member of it any longer. There was not a formal 
membership in many of these organizations, and there was no formal 
resignation. As I think you well know, there wasn't anything of that 
kind that went on. They continued to send me literature. They con- 
tinued to use my name. I finally wrote them to stop doing that, and 
I found that they were still doing it and still sending me literature. 

Mr. Tavenner. In these cases where they were using your name, 
were they doing so without your consent ? 

Mr. Robinson. Without my consent. There is one organization, the 
Civil Rights Congress, which has been mentioned in Red Channels. 

1 National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. 



2424 communism in Hollywood motion-picture industry 

Now, I know nothing about the Civil Rights Congress. As a mat- 
ter of fact, I made it my business to investigate that organization. 
I found that there was a Civil Rights Congress office in Los Angeles. 

Well. I went there against the advice of my friends, who knew a 
little better and said, "Don't be seen in a place like that.'' 

I said, "Why, I have nothing to be afraid of. I am certainly not a 
member. I am going down there to get some information." 

They had me down as an initiator of that particular organization. 
I went down there and found that they certainly had nothing of the 
kind. I tried to ask them to show me letterheads, or something, where 
my name was written down as a sponsor or as an initiator, or anything 
at all, and they had nothing of the kind. 

Where they got that information, I don't know. 

Mr. Kearney. Well, they did use your name, though, Mr. Robinson. 
What steps did you take, if any, to prevent the use of your name by 
this organization ? 

Mr. Robinson. I went down there and asked them to show me how 
they were using my name. My name was never on any letterhead 
that they presented to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you go there to make that investigation X 

Mr. Roeinson. Previous to my first appearance before you. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think you have testified on that. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. It is incorporated in the brief that I presented 
during my first appearance. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have spoken about the large contributions 
that you have made and the relative smallness of your contributions 
to these organizations which you have now recognized to have been 
Communist-front organizations. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you endeavored to calculate the proportions 
of your contributions to Communist- front organizations as compared 
to contributions to the other organizations? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. I believe you have that in my first brief. 
Would you like me to read that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Just as you like. 

Mr. Robinson. Well, I think it answers your question, Mr. 
Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right, sir. 

Mr. Robinson. Do you mind ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Go right ahead. 

Mr. Robinson (reading) : 

Perhaps Mr. Robinson's character, mental make-up, and spheres of interest 
is revealed more clearly in analysis of his financial contributions to worthy 
causes. In a period of 10 years from 1939 to 1949, he contributed more than 
a quarter of a million dollars. 

The figures for this analysis were drawn from Mr. Robinson's books and 
income-tax reports. 

The largest sum, close to $130,000, was given to organizations whose purpose it 
was to build morale during the war among our soldiers at the home front. This 
does not include the personal services of which he gave unstintingly. Mention 
should be made that he financed the major portion of both his trips abroad out 
of his own funds. 

The largest recipient of Mr. Robinson's gift was the USO. Other large con- 
tributions went to the Desert Battalion, Salute to the Wounded Chaplains FUnd, 
Hollywood Guild Canteen, and the Masquers Servicemen's Morale Corps. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2425 

More than $30,000 was given by Mr. Robinson to charities which, in one way 
or another, aided victims of World War II. Among these were contributions to 
foreign war relief organizations, such as the China Relief Agency, Free French, 
British Relief, Aid to Greece, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and so forth. 

His contributions to the people who were victims of the Berlin-Moscow Pact 
began at the very outset of the war, in 1!)39, while the Berlin-Moscow Pact was 
still in effect and before the United States entry into the conflict. 

Charities maintained by religious groups received more than $67,000 in the 
10-year period, and in that case, too, practically every denomination was given 
consideration. Catholic churches and hospitals, the Salvation Army, Episcopal 
and Congregational churches came to Mr. Robinson for aid and received it. Of 
course. Jewish charities received a good share of this sum, since Mr. Robinson 
is of that faith. 

Organizations dedicated to the promotion of better understanding among 
people of different race or creed received $10,000. Among them were the United 
Negro College Fund, the George Washington Carver Association, National Con- 
ference of Christians and Jews. The Urban League, National Association for 
the Advancement of Colored People, University Religious Conference, and others 
of that type. 

Another $10,000 went to educational and cultural groups, particularly to art 
associations, museums, symphony associations, artists' fellowships, universi- 
ties, libraries, and so forth. 

Groups aiding underprivileged, disabled, blind, aged people, etc., received over 
$15,000, among them the Braille Institute, Helping Hand, National Society for 
Prevention of Blindness, Home of the Aged, Industrial Center for the Aged, etc. 
There were contributions also to the National Foundation on Infantile Paralysis, 
Damon Runyon Fund, Sister Kenny Foundation, and the Community Chest's 
crippled children's fund, Children's Aid Society, Benefit for Spastic Children, 
Nursery School for Handicapped Children, Prison Relief Organizations, and the 
motion-picture relief fund were among the beneficiaries. 

Patriotic, youth and veterans' organizations received around $2,000, among 
them the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, YMCA, 
YWCA, Eddie Cantor Camp Committee, Boy Scouts, boys clubs of various sorts, 
and many others. 

These figures do not add up to make the donor a Communist or fellow traveler. 
Most of the recipients are what the Communists call either bourgeois or fascist. 

Being a consistent Democrat and a follower of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mr. 
Robinson contributed to the party's election campaigns. 

In 1940, he contributed $250 to F. D. R.'s campaign through the Hollywood 
for Roosevelt Committee. In 1944 he contributed to the Democratic candidates 
seeking election to the United States Congress and the California State Assem- 
bly; $500 was given to the Hollywood Democratic Committee, and $1,500 was 
given to the NCPAC to purchase radio time in Franklin Roosevelt's behalf. 

HICCASP 1 received $250 at the time of its founding, in May 1945. In addi- 
tion, three contributions, amounting to $195, were made to HICCASP in 1946 
to support regular Democratic candidates. 

The Los Angeles chapter of PCA 2 received $200 to cover part of the expenses 
of its founding meeting on February 11, 1947, and two additional contributions 
followed in that year amounting to $373.50, the latest of these on May 19, 1947. 

The National Council for American-Soviet Friendship received during the war 
period a contribution of $100 and annual dues for 2 years of $5 each, totaling $110. 

In addition, the following amounts were given to the American Society for 
Russian Relief, Inc. : In 1941, $11 ; in 1942, $144.50; in 1943, $11.50; in 1945, $75. 
Mr. Robinson's books do not contain an explanation for the odd figures, but he 
assumes they were for purchases of tickets. 

In comparison to the quarter of a million dollars, the contributions to organ- 
izations listed in Red Channels are microscopically small. The point need not 
be labored. The facts and figures speak for themselves. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have no changes that you desire to make 
in your statement with regard to contributions since you were before 
the committee? 

Mr. Robinson". I have none whatever, sir. They are all in my 
books, and as reported on my income-tax returns. 

1 Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of tbe Arts, Sciences, and Professions. 

2 Progressive Citizens of America. 



2426 COMMUNISM IX HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. There was a period during World War II when 
the policy of the Army toward members of the Communist Party, 
who were inductees in the Army was changed. The decision was 
reached to commission, or to permit men who were members of the 
•Communist Party to be commissioned as officers in the Army. 

We find that you sent a telegram commending the Army for that 
action. What is your explanation for that? 

Mr. Robinson. The telegram had been sent to me signed by very 
reputable people, and I think they solicited my name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you be specific? To whom do you refer 
when you say "they" ? 

Mr. Robinson. I haven't the telegram with me. I submitted that 
telegram to the FBI when I asked them to investigate me. I wish 
I were prepared now as I was prepared the last time when I came 
to see you, but they do have a copy of that telegram. I am sure they 
have it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well now, what is your recollection about the cir- 
cumstances under which you were asked to take part or to sign that 
telegram ? 

Mr. Robinson. They thought it was an un-American idea not to 
allow Communists to receive commissions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whom do you mean by "they" ? 

Mr. Robinson. The people — whoever they were — whose names were 
on that particular telegram. I do not recall them, Mr. Tavenner, at 
the moment ; but I submitted that telegram to the FBI. I submitted 
everything that I thought might be damaging against me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were they individuals or were they acting as mem- 
bers of an organization ? 

Mr. Robinson. Well, I don't recall. I believe they were individuals. 
Perhaps it was a committee, and perhaps they enumerated the various 
names of those who were backing it. I thought, being a liberal-mind- 
ed man at that time, that that was the right sort of thing to do, to 
lend my name as well. In terms of today, I certainly would not do it, 
considering what I know now years later, but I thought then that 
since they were good enough to be in the Army they ought to be good 
enough to have equal privileges of becoming officers. That is the way 
it appeared to me at the time. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am principally interested in how the movement 
was organized, and what was behind the movement, which I cannot 
do without knowledge of the names of the individuals or the organ- 
izations who were sponsoring it. 

Mr. Robinson. I cannot recall whether it was an organization or 
whether it was a committee made up of certain people, but I do 
know that there were some very reputable names that sort of im- 
pressed me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you endeavor to secure that information and 
furnish it to the committee? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes; I will try to do it, sir. I shall do that. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that Dalton Trumbo was one of those 
who visited your home? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. On a number of occasions? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2427 

Mr. Tavenner. After his conviction for contempt of Congress, did 
yon have any financial transactions with him ? 

Mr. Robinson. He had written me a letter, sir, in which he described 
to me the financial straits that he was in. He had been denied em- 
ployment for some time, and he stated that he had consumed a lot of 
money in his appearances, in fighting his legal battle as to his contempt 
charges. He enumerated to me in his letter the various difficulties 
that he was in, stating that he was going to lose his farm, that some- 
thing was going to happen to his home and to his family, and he 
asked me for the loan of some money. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you understand whether or not the money you 
were lending him was to be used in his defense ? 

Mr. Robinson. It had nothing to do with his defense. I have sub- 
mitted letters to the FBI on the question — I voluntarily submitted 
them — showing the purpose of all that and also a letter that he wrote 
to me previous to his going to the penitentiary, telling me that he 
was thanking me for the loan that I had made him, how much it had 
helped set his economic situation straight, and that he felt it incumbent 
upon him when he got out of the penitentiary as one of his first obliga- 
tions, to repay his debt to me. 

I have found out recently, Mr. Tavenner, that he has made a settle- 
ment with his company regarding his contract, and I thought it best 
to send him a letter and say "What about the money you owe me?" 
I sent it to him, but I never received an answer. 

Mr. Kearney. Do you know whether he is working in Hollywood 
at the present time ? 

Mr. Robinson. No, sir; I don't know where he is. I sent him a 
letter to what I think was called Hopewell Ranch, some place in 
California. That is where I sent the letter. It was never returned 
to me, although it had the return address on it, so I imagine that he 
received it. I don't know how he could work in Hollywood. I really 
don't know where he is — I have no idea at all. 

They say that some of them are in Mexico. Isn't that what they 
say ? I was told that he was in Mexico, by somebody. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a member at the present time of any 
Communist-front organization that you recognize as a Communist- 
front organization? 

Mr. Robinson. Not any. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or which has been cited, to your knowledge, by the 
Attorney General of the United States, or this committee ? 

Mr. Robinson. I am not a member of any organizations except 
clubs, now, my country club and my actors' club — two actors' clubs. 
Try and get me. I can tell you that actors' clubs are very good, con- 
servative organizations. As you know, the Screen Actors' Guild, 
Actors' Equity at that time, is a good, conservative organization. 

Mr. Walter. You are a litle gun shy now ? 

Mr. Robinson. Oh, yes. 

There ain't room for both of us in this town — one of us has got to 
go, and it was me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Jack Johnstone ? 

Mr. Robinson. The name doesn't mean anything to me. It doesn't 
strike a bell. 



2428 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a copy of the Daily Worker, which has 
in it the photograph of Jack Johnstone, and I will ask you to look at 
it and state whether you can identify it. 

Mr. Robinson. That face looks familiar to me. It vaguely looks 
like somebody I know, but I couldn't tell you what his name is. I 
don't know that this man is Jack Johnstone. The face looks familiar 
to me. That is all that I can tell you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are.you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Robert Reed, usually called Bob Reed? 

Mr. Robinson. What is his business? Mr. Tavenner, you must 
excuse me, but all of my life — and I am telling you the truth — I have 
been awfully bad on names. That face looked familiar to me. I must 
say that. What was his business? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kazan testified that Robert Reed was an or- 
ganizer within the cultural group of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Robinson. I had nothing to do with Kazan. I just used to see 
him from the other side as an auditor, when I was an actor. Then 
when I got into pictures, I would see him in California, when he 
became a motion-picture director. I don't believe I know Mr. Reed. 
The name doesn't strike a bell with me. I don't know that man John- 
stone. He looks like a man whom I know is not him at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not you ever had an en- 
gagement or an appointment with him ? 

Mr. Robinson. With Robert Reed? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; with Jack Johnstone. 

Mr. Robinson. I don't think so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or with Robert Reed ? 

Mr. Robinson. No. I don't know any Robert Reed. If I do, the 
name does not sort of conjure up a face before me. But I would like 
to know what you have in mind regarding Mr. Reed, and perhaps 
I can answer you that way. 

Mr. Tavenner. There is a question in our minds as to whether 
you ever had a conference with Jack Johnstone, or whether one had 
been arranged for you. 

Mr. Robinson. I don't know of any, and I don't know any Jack 
Johnstone. That is the truth, and I don't know anything about a 
Robert Reed. What would the meeting have been about ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, it would have related to Communist Party 
matters, if it were held. 

Mr. Robix t son. I never had any such meeting in my life. I have 
never met with anyone about any such thing, never in my life. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have never met with anyone from the na- 
tional committee of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Robinson. If I had, I wouldn't know about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. On Communist Party matters, to your knowledge? 

Mr. Robinson. Never, to my absolute knowledge — I am saying this 
under oath. I say to my absolute knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time ever been acquainted with 
a person named Alpa Brown? That may not have been the man's 
correct name. His correct name may have been Ferruccio Marini. 

Mr. Robinson. No, sir; not that I can recall. I don't recall any 
such name. I have met an awful lot of people in my days, but I don't 
recall any name of that kind. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2429 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions. 

Mr. Walter. Any questions, Mr. Moulder? 

Mr. Moulder. No questions. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kearney? 

Mr. Kearney. No questions. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Jackson ? 

Mr. Jackson. I have just a couple of questions. 

What is your feeling, Mr. Robinson, with respect to those witnesses 
who have appeared before this committee in recent months, and de- 
clined to affirm or deny public identification of themselves as members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Roiuxsox. 1 haven't the least sympathy with them. I think the 
tempo of the times have completely changed. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you believe that those people should be reem- 
ployed in the motion-picture industry in any capacity? 

Mr. Robinson. I am not an employer, and I don't think that I should 
have to answer that question. 

Mr. Jackson. I am asking you your opinion, as one who has been 
closely associated with the entertainment world for a long time. 

Mr. Robinson. Well, I have no use for people of that kind. I think 
that wherever you find anyone who works under wraps, who does 
things in a clandestine fashion, and, as I said before, masquerades as 
something he is not, and then you find out that he has been engaged 
in sinister purposes, which I believe the Communist Party and Com- 
munists represent, drastic measures should be taken. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, I don't think there is any question but that 
Communists work under wraps. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. The reluctance of these people to associate themselves 
with the Communist Party is indicative of that. 

Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions, but I should like to 
say this, since this is perhaps an excellent place to clear up a lot of 
public misunderstanding as to the functions of the committee. 

The committee is an investigative body, and my understanding of 
it is that it does not have the power, nor is it delegated the authority 
to find either guilt or innocence. It marshals certain facts and certain 
information which is made available to it and, in turn, questions wit- 
nesses. The testimony of the witness, then, must stand on its own feet. 

I am sure that no member of this committee has ever identified you 
as a member of the Communist Party, Mr. Robinson. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, but, Mr. Jackson, may I recall that — I don't 
know whether this is in order or not- — - 

Mr. Walter. Go ahead. 

Mr. Robinson. I think that in my meeting with you I told you the 
same thing that I told this committee. After all, I am saying exactly 
what I said here before, and that is that I feel that this is the only 
tribunal where an American citizen can come and ask for relief from 
smears, false accusations, and innuendoes. 

Mr. Jackson, I think that when I saw you, I said that if you found — 
I didn't ask for one bit of mercy — that in any way I had trespassed on 



2430 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the truth, or that in any way I had perjured myself, you would go- 
ahead and take absolute steps against me. 

I have been a victim of this sort of thing for 3 or 4 years, and you 
must realize how much that must mean to an individual whose loyalty- 
is questioned. 

Where can I go and ask for relief ? 

Mr. Jackson. That is very true, and no member of this committee,, 
nor any Member of the Congress has the idea that he is to persecute 
the innocent. Hysterical witnesses to the contrary, that is the truth. 

However, how could this committee relieve any witness of responsi- 
bility for prior activities and prior associations, which the committee 
did not lead the witness into, but which he went into of his own free 
will ? Your previous testimony here is simply a compilation of cer- 
tain information which had reached the committee. The committee 
cannot say that that information is incorrect because in several in- 
stances, at least, you have acknowledged that you were led into these 
things, and that you were to an extent a dupe. 

The committee cannot say, for instance, that you were not associated' 
with the Soviet-American Friendship Committee or HICCASP, or 
the Hollywood Democratic Committee. 

Mr. Robinson. Wouldn't you say, Mr. Jackson, that some of our 
most illustrious — and again I say most unimpeachable — people have 
been members of those organizations, too ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. Several unimpeachable persons testified as wit- 
nesses for Alger Hiss. 

Mr. Robinson. It is a question of weeding out those who are really 
sinister people and those who are really good Americans. 

Mr. Jackson. The committee has said that there is no evidence that 
you are or have ever been a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Robinson. I am here to be investigated, but may I ask you a 
question ? 

Do you believe in your heart that I have been disloval to my coun- 
try? 

Mr. Jackson. Let me put it this way : I don't believe that you have- 
knowingly been disloyal to your country, Mr. Robinson. I think that 
some of your activities have lent aid and comfort to the Communist 
Party, perhaps inadvertently on your part. 

Mr. Robinson. Inadvertently and unknowingingly. 

Mr. Jackson. I would be the last person in the world to call anyone 
a Communist unless I had irrefutable evidence to that effect. 

Mr. Robinson. Will you say that about me ? 

Mr. Jackson. What is that? 

Mr. Robinson. Will you repeat what you told me before? I hope 
you will say it now. 

Mr. Jackson. I personally do not believe that you were a member of 
the Communist Party. Let me extend that a little further. Let me 
say that the activities in which you have engaged have, to some extent 
and in some degree in the past lent aid and comfort to the international 
Communist conspiracy. Perhaps that was through no volition of your 
own, but again, the fact of association with and activities on behalf of 
some of these organizations is a fact which will stand or fall of its own 
weight. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2431 

The point is that the committee or no member of the committee 
-can simply say "Well, these organizations didn't really exist. Mr. 
Kobinson wasn't actually associated with them in any way." 

That is the point I make, Mr. Robinson. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Robinson, the only question I have to .ask is 
this : 

You made some reference to Red Channels. 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kearney. This is just to clear up a thought in my own mind. 
Were you designated as a member of the Communist Party in Red 
Channels ? 

Mr. Robinson. No, but having my name appearing there is almost 
•equivalent, I think. It was almost tantamount to it, considering the 
way, considering the way the thing was gotten up, that particular 
paper, magazine or book, whatever you call it, with a drawing of a red 
hand stabbing at the heart of something or other. 

The first thing that I did was to come down and present my case 
as to "Red Channels." I had this brief drawn, which I incorporated 
in my first hearing before the committee. They never had me down 
as a member of the Communist Party. If they had done that, they 
would have had something on their hands. 

You see that is what I have been a victim of Mr. Kearney. If you 
are a member of the Communist Party there is something positive 
there. What happens to a man who has never been a member of the 
Communist Party and who has been smeared and upon whom insinua- 
tions, innuendoes and false accusations have been heaped, so as to make 
people question his loyalty ? Where is an American going to go and 
find some relief from that ? 

It is none of my business to say that, and I hope you will not think 
that I am presumptious. 

Mr. Kearney. Let me understand you. Do I understand from your 
statement just now that you have been called a Communist by certain 
people ? 

Mr. Robinson. I have been called subversive. What does it actually 
mean ? It means a traitor. After all, that is the most heinous crime 
that a man can be guilty of. I think is the rarest sort of crime, because 
I think most everybody can point to the fact that he is a good citizen. 

Mr. Kearney. Have you ever taken counsel with any of your attor- 
neys on that particular score, wherein you have been called subversive 
by certain individuals, or perhaps organizations? 

Mr. Robinson. I did, Congressman Kearney. When my name was 
first mentioned by Matthew Woll in a magazine article in which he 
mentioned some other rather good names, I took that article, which 
was republished in The Reporter, and showed it to my attorney in 
California. 

He said, "Well, look, this is so cowardly worded, that if you went 
to court you would not get a judgment." That happened again and 
again, and so I abandoned it, and did nothing about it. 

Mr. Kearney. In other words, your attorney probably felt the same 
as some of us on this committee who have been designated as Red 
baiters by certain people. 

Mr. Robinson. It is exactly the same thing. One is as wicked as 
the other. I put them in the same category. 



2432 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I made a picture called Confessions of a Nazi Spy and I was very 
proud to have been associated with the play that I have just finished 
doing and which I hope will be made into a picture, if I can persuade 
them out there to do so. 

Mr. Kearney. Is your residence still in Hollywood? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes; Beverly Hills. 

Mr. Kearney. You said that you knew John Howard Lawson ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes ; I have seen him at meetings. 

Mr. Kearney. Is he connected with the motion-picture industry at 
the present time ? 

Mr. Robinson. Is he in the motion-picture industry? 

Mr. Kearney. Yes. 

Mr. Robinson. I don't believe so. I have been out of the motion- 
picture industry myself for about a year or so, and so I don't know r 
but I am sure he isn't however. 

Mr. Kearney. I didn't hear that. 

Mr. Robinson. I am sure that he is not, Congressman Kearney. I 
don't think he will ever be in again, for that matter. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Robinson, from the record it appears that most of 
the organizations to which you made contributions were meritorious, 
worth-while, and outstanding charitable organizations? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Moulder. And as to some of them that you say you made con- 
tributions to, it later developed, without your knowledge at the time r 
that they may have been or later became under control of Communists. 

Mr. Robinson. At least they were so designated by the Attorney 
General as subversive organizations. 

Mr. Moulder. But you had no knowledge of that whatever? 

Mr. Robinson. I said that I did not at the time, sir. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Jackson has made the statement that this com- 
mittee is not in a position to exonerate or to vindicate any person who 
has been wrongfully accused of being a Communist or who has been 
smeared as a result of such false accusations. I will agree with him 
to a certain extent. 

However, I believe that when, as a result of any proceedings or func- 
tions of this committee, someone has been unjustly smeared or injured y 
it is our duty to aid that person and give that person an opportunity 
to appear before the committee to explain and defend himself as you 
have done. 

Mr. Robinson. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Moulder. I want further to say that I appreciate the strong 
and vigorous statement that you have made. It was a splendid state- 
ment — clear and convincing. 

Mr. Robinson. Thank you, Congressman Moulder. 

Mr. Moulder. I don't believe that any member of the committee is 
any more anxious to reveal or expose dangers of communism and sub- 
versive activities in our America than you are. You are a great artist 
and I believe that you have been unjustly imposed upon and smeared. 
You have been generous to many worthwhile charitable organizations 
and on many occasions you have voluntarily contributed and per- 
formed valuable and patriotic service for our great country. 

Mr. Robinson. Thank you. 

Mr. Moulder. According to the evidence presented to this com- 
mittee you are a good, loyal, and intensely patriotic American citizen, 

Mr. Robinson. Thank you, sir. You are very kind to say that. 



COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 2433 

What I am most jealous of, after good theatrical notices, is my 
Americanism, and I am very happy to hear that coming from you. 

Believe me, Congressman Jackson, when you said that you didn't 
believe that I am a Communist, it made me feel good. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, I am happy that it did. I have several more 
questions. 

Have you, Mr. Robinson, recently made application for a passport? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the outcome of that application? 

Mr. Robinson. I am to meet with Miss Shipley. 1 

Mr. Jackson. With Miss Shipley? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. There has been no decision rendered upon the request? 

Mr. Robinson. No. I am to meet her today. I was coming in to 
see her. 

Mr. Walter. Have you anything further? 

Mr. Jackson. I have nothing further. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Robinson, your testimony before this committee 
has been valuable in this respect: It ought to give notice to a lot of 
well-meaning people that they can be imposed upon through the 
machinations of this group who are past masters at organizing the 
innocent. 

You certainly opened up the door to all sorts of suspicion by be- 
coming a member of so many organizations. That is understandable 
because of your prominence. The fact that you would be identified 
with a movement would of itself attract other people. 

By the same token I hope that other people in this country have 
learned a lesson from your unfortunate experience, and will not 
permit themselves to be imposed upon. 

Mr. Robinson. I hope so. 

Mr. Walter. This morning we had a witness testify concerning the 
activities of this organization for the protection of the foreign-born, 
of which you were a member. 

Well, actually, that organization does more harm to the foreign- 
born than does anything else in America today. 

Mr. Robinson. It is in the hands of the wrong people. 

Mr. Walter. But still, thousands of unsuspecting, innocent people 
join it, just as you did, and contribute their money to it, and that 
money is used for the purpose of preventing the deportation of Com- 
munists or felons. 

It is indeed refreshing to have somebody like you come here and 
make the kind of statement you did, because I am sure that people 
will be warned and will not want to find themselves in the position 
that you found yourself, with the only place to which you could ap- 
peal, was this committee. 

The statement that Mr. Jackson made about the function of this 
committee not being to determine the guilt or innocence of anyone 
is quite correct. However, we have felt in the last few years that 
this committee is under certain obligations to give to people an oppor- 
tunity, where they have been mentioned m connection with any in- 
vestigation, the opportunity to come here and make a statement. 1 
don't know of any other forum where that could be done. 

1 Individual in the Passport Division of the State Department. 



2434 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I also believe that in justice to any 
individual who comes before this committee, it should be noted in the 
record whether or not the committee has any information that the 
individual is a Communist. 

Mr. Walter. Well, actually, this committee has never had any evi- 
dence presented to indicate that you were anything more than a very 
choice sucker. I think you are No. 1 on every sucker list in the 
country. 

Mr. Robinson. We were in very trying and emotional times. The 
war was going on. 

Mr. Walter. Well, I am shocked to see my name on the list of con- 
tributors to some of these organizations myself. 

Mr. Robinson. Well, there you are. 

Mr. Kearney. It is the same way, Mr. Robinson, with reference 
to the individuals who are signing the so-called peace petitions that 
daily come before the Congress. They are all well-meaning indi- 
viduals. I do not know of anybody in this country that does not 
want peace. 

Mr. Robinson. They pick on a subject on which they are all agreed, 
some cause on which they are all agreed. 

Mr. Walter. Is there anything further, Mr. Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. The committee stands adjourned. 

Mr. Robinson. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon, at 3 : 20 p. m., the committee recessed, to reconvene 
upon the call of the chairman.) 

X 



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