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Full text of "Report on the Congress of American Women"

Union Calendar No. 730 

81st Congress, 2d Session _ . _ _ - House Report No. 1953 



REPORT 

ON THE 

CONGRESS OF 
AMERICAN WOMEN 




OCTOBER 23, 1949 
(Original release date) 



April 26, 1950. — Committed to the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed 



Prepared and released by the 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 

U. S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
65891 WASHINGTON : 1950 



Committee on Un-American Activities, U. S. House of 

Representatives 



John S. Wood, Georgia, Chairman 

Francis E. Walter, Pennsylvania 
Burr P. Harrison, Virginia 
John McSweeney, Ohio 
Morgan M. Moulder, Missouri 
Richard M. Nixon, California 
Francis Case, South Dakota 
Harold H. Velde, Illinois 
Bernard W. Kearney, New York 



Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator 

John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee 

Benjamin Mandel, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



Page 

List of illustrations in 

Introduction 1 

Congress of American Women — How it started 3 

Women's International Democratic Federation 7 

Soviet Union in the forefront 12 

The real status of women in the Soviet Union 19 

WIDF activities between the first and second congresses 21 

In the Soviet orbit 29 

Anna Pauker, Stalin's hatchet woman 39 

Second congress of the WIDF 43 

Treason the keynote 48 

American WIDF delegates report 53 

The Congress of American Women, 1946-49 55 

Pressure politics 55 

Defense of Communist leaders 60 

"Founding" convention 63 

Muriel Draper 67 

Communistic hierarchy 76 

Communists and pro-Communists in the CAW 83 

Margaret Undjus Krumbein, leading exponent of the perty line 86 

International Women's Day 89 

The peace offensive 95 

The WIDF part in the World Peace Congress 96 

Behind a "suffrage" camouflage 99 

Susan B. Anthony II 100 

Nora Stanton Barney 102 

Cooperation with Communist fronts 105 

National Council of American-Soviet Friendship 105 

Other Communist fronts 105 

Attitude toward other women's organizations 109 

Conclusion 110 

Appendix ll.i 

Lenin-Zetkin conversations 111 

Officers of the Congress of American Women 11^ 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

1. Second Congress of the Women's International Democratic Federation, 

held in Budapest, December 1948 iv 

2. American delegates to First Congress of Women's International 

Democratic Federation, 1945 (2 pictures) , 6, 8 

3. Ringleaders of the Women's International Democratic Federation 10 

4. Nina Popova, Soviet Commissar of the Women's International Demo- 

cratic Federation, addressing the First Congress of the WIDF 14 

5. Members of the Executive Committee of the Women's International 

Democratic Federation 22 

6. Members of the Executive Committee of the Women's International 

Democratic Federation 28 

7. Anna Pauker, Stalin's hatchet woman 38 

8. Banner presented to the Soviet Union by the Union of French Women, 

affiliate of the Women's International Democratic Federation 49 

9. Congress of American Women delegation in behalf of Communist 

cases 61 

10. Muriel Draper, president, Congress of American Women 66 

11. Red Greek guerrilla fighters, delegates to Second Congress of the 

Women's International Democratic Federation 94 

12. Susan B. Anthony II 101 

13. Tea on International Women's Day, March 8, 1946, given by the 

National Council of American-Soviet Friendship in honor of Soviet 

women, at the Soviet Consulate in New York 104 

m 




IV 



Union Calendar No. 730 

81sT Congress ) HOUSE OF KEPEESENTATIVES j Report 

M Session j t No. 1953 



REPORT ON THE CONGRESS OF AMERTC.VN WOMEN 



April 26, 1950. — Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State 

of the Union and ordered to be printed 



Mr. WtX)D, from the Committee on Un-American Activities, submitted 

the following 



^t^ 



REPORT 

[Pursuant to H. Res. 5, 79th Cong., 1st sess.] 



REPORT ON THE CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 
Affiliate of the Women's International Democratic Federation 



INTRODUCTION 

The Congress of American Women is an afl&liate of the Women's 
International Democratic Federation, which was founded and sup- 
ported at all times by the international Communist movement. The 
purpose of these organizations is not to deal primarily with women's 
problems, as such, but rather to serve as a specialized arm of Soviet 
political warfare in the current "peace" campaign to disarm and 
demobilize the United States and democratic nations generally, in 
order to render them helpless in the face of the Communist drive for 
world conquest. While professedly American in name, the Congress 
of American Women has been anti-American and pro-Soviet since its 
inception. In fact, the Congress of American Women, as well as its 
parent body, the Women's International Democratic Federation, has 
consistently denounced and opposed all recognized non-Communist 
women's organizations both here and abroad. 

It would indeed be unfortunate if any significant body of American 
women were persuaded to join or lend themselves to the purposes of 
this organization simply because it has adopted so deceptive a name 
as the Congress of American Women. It is the purpose of this report 
to offset any such eventuality. 

The Congress of American Women is a part of a solar system of 
international Communist-front organizations which have been estab- 
lished in recent years, consisting of the Women's International Demo- 
cratic Federation, the World Federation of Democratic Youth (Ameri- 
can affiliates: the American Youth for Democracy, the Labor Youth 
League, and the American Youth for a Free World), the World Peace 
Congress (American affiliate: the Scientific and Cultural Conference 
for World Peace), the All-Slav Congress (American affiliate: the 
American Slav Congress), and the World Federation of Trade-Unions 
(American supporters including the left-wing unions within the Con- 
gress of Industrial Organizations). Wliile operating against the demo- 
cratic nations under close Soviet direction and control, these inter- 
national Communist-front organizations have not yet been the subject 
of any coordinated action by the various democracies under attack. 

The administrative and policy-making core of the Women's Inter- 
national Democratic Federation consists of leading women Commu- 
nists, beginning with Nina Popova, Soviet deputy and president of 
the Government-sponsored Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee, 
down to the Congress of American Women, led by Elizabeth Gurley 
Flynn and Margaret Cowl, representing the Communist Party, 
U. S. A. This core extends down to each individual chapter in 



2 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

various cities throughout the United States, and is supplemented by 
a number of wilHng dupes and sympathizers. 

In its international "peace" offensive, the Soviet propaganda 
machine seeks to utilize the World Federation of Democratic Women 
and its American affiliate, the Congress of American Women, to 
promulgate the following anti- American propaganda: 

1. That America is preparing to initiate a "new war." 

2. That the Atlantic Defense Pact is really "aggressive" in 
character. 

3. That the Soviet Union, with its huge standing army, expan- 
sionist program, aggressive "cold war," and active fifth column, 
is the only country which really desires to maintain world peace. 

4. Support of the Red Army in the event of war, in accordance 
with the declarations of leading Communists : Maurice Thorez of 
France, Palmiro Togliatti of Italy, Harry PoUitt of England, and 
Wifiiam Z. Foster of the United States. 

5. To utilize women's groups to "strike a blow at the rear" of 
the non-Soviet armies in the event of a conflict. 

6. To carry on propaganda to the effect that conditions in the 
United States are so bad that this country is not worth defending, 
and that on the other hand conditions in the Soviet Union are so 
vastly superior that it is the only country worth defending. 

7. To attack the Marshall plan despite the fact that housewives 
throughout the world are its chief beneficiaries. 

The Congress of American Women has received open cooperation 
and support from the Soviet Embassy in this country, while its 
parent body and foreign affiliates have received similar aid from 
Communist governments abroad. 



CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

HOW IT STARTED 

Proclaimed originally as the "first women's political-action organi- 
zation since the suffrage movement," the Congress of American 
Women is just another Communist hoax specifically designed to 
ensnare idealistically minded but politically gullible women. This 
member of the Communist solar system of front organizations did 
not stem from any demand emanating from such long-established 
women's groups as the American Association of University Women, 
American Legion Auxiliary, the National Comicil of Catholic Women, 
the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Federation 
of Women's Clubs, Hadassah, National Federation of Business and 
Professional Women's Clubs, the Women's National Democratic 
Club, the Women's National Republican Club, the National Council 
of Jewish Women, the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., the 
National League of Women Voters of the United States, the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, the National League of American 
Pen Women, or the Young Women's Christian Association. Instead, 
it traces its origin to a directive of the Soviet-dominated Women's 
International Democratic Federation Congress held in Paris in Novem- 
ber 1945, and it subscribes fully to the latter's aims. Its leading 
persormel consists chiefly of women active in the Communist Party 
of the United States or its front organizations and in various groups 
carrying on propaganda in behalf of the Soviet Union. 

The chief purpose of the Congress of American Women is to act as 
part of a world-wide pressure mechanism among women, in support 
of Soviet foreign and domestic policy. From its inception this group 
has displayed a marked an ti- American bias. Its real aims are dis- 
creetly hidden behind a smoke screen of such attractive idealistic 
bait as equal rights for women "in all aspects of political, economic, 
legal, cultural, and social life," the extension of educational and 
health benefits, child care, "defeat of the maneuvers of the Fascists," 
and unity for world peace. The Congress of American Women and 
its international parent body assume that these purposes have reached 
their fruition in the Soviet Union and that the United States is chiefly 
derelict along these lines. The memberships of both organizations 
have been exaggerated to tremendous proportions. 

Under no circumstances does the committee wish to leave the im- 
pression that it is critical toward any women's organization sincerely 
interested in social reform, in promoting world peace or honestly 
critical of our foreign policy. However, the organization with wliich 
we are dealing is definitely not of that character. 

The Congress of American Women was officially launched at the 
City Center Casino in New York City on March 8, 1946, at the cele- 
bration of International Women's Day, subsequent to a preparatory 
meeting held at the Essex House in the same city and subsequent to a 

3 



4 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

gathering in honor of International Women's Day held at the Soviet 
consulate in New York City, in which initiators of the Congress of 
American Women participated. The purpose of this rally was to hear 
reports from American delegates to the First Congress of the Women's 
International Democratic Federation at Paris, among them Henrietta 
Buckmaster, Mrs. Vivian Carter Mason, Dr. Gene Weltfish, and 
Muriel Draper. 

At that first meeting its propaganda keynote was sounded. Held 
out as symbolic of the leadership of this international front were 
Dolores Ibarruri, outstanding Spanish Communist, and Irene Joliot- 
Curie, wife of the French Communist physicist. Col. Bernard Bern- 
steiu, formerly with the American military government in Germany, 
assailed a group in Congress for their "attacks on Russia." Mrs. 
Muriel Draper criticized Winston Churchill's "anti-Soviet war- 
mongering and scored President Truman tor going along with it." 
At a press conference, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a member of the 
national board of the Communist Party, said, "W^e feel the urgency 
of organizing this anti-Fascist women's congress to keep the peace." ^ 

Clear proof of the non- American origin of the organization is to be 
found in a report by Thyra Edwards, recording secretary of the Con- 
gress of American Women, as follows: 

The unique feature of the Congress of American Women, which distinguishes it 
from existing women's organizations, is its international character and its inter- 
national conception. 

The congress was conceived in Paris last November, when 13 United States 
delegates to the first Women's International Democratic Federation pledged 
themselves to return home and organize American women to carry out the pro- 
gram outlined at Paris.^ 

Miss Edwards further states that, having heard the report of the 
Paris conference, the New York meeting, which represented no out- 
standing American women's organizations, approved it and author- 
ized commissions to undertake work in the three areas outlined at 
Paris: action for peace and democracy; childhood and youth; and the 
political, social, and economic status of women. 

Another meeting was held on May 25, 1946, at the Essex House in 
New York. This was the so-called first "working conference" of the 
CAW. Speakers mcluded "the militant Communist leader. Mother 
Bloor," and the organization's mternational military aspect was 
emphasized by the attendance of Lt. Vana Kraigher, a guerrilla fighter 
in Tito's army.^ A message was also received from Marie-Claude 
Vaillant-Couturier, general secretary of the Women's International 
Democratic Federation, who is a leader of the Communist Party of 
France. 

This meeting, which claimed 600 delegates, approved the proposed 
constitution, accepted the interim reports of the three commissions, 
established itself as a permanent organization to be known as the 
Congress of American Women, and elected the following officers : 

President: Dr. Gene Weltfish. 

Executive vice president: Muriel Draper. 

Treasurer: Helen Phillips. 

Secretary: Josephine Timms. 

Recording secretary: Thyra Edwards. 

1 Daily Worker, March 9, 1946, p. 12. 

2 Daily Worker, June 23, 1946, p. 11. 

3 Ibid. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 5 

Vice chairmen: Elinor Gimbel, Mrs. Fredric March, Charlotte 

Hawkins Brown, Mrs. Vivian Carter Alason, Mrs, Gifford 

Pinchot, Ruth Young, Susan B. Anthony II, Jeannette Turner, 

Dr. Beryl Parker. 

Chapters are claimed in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, 

Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, New York, and other cities. 

Affiliations may be made on a bloc or individual basis. The general 

membership fee is from $1 to $10: group affiliation, $10 to $50. 

On January 17, 1947, Gene Weltfish, Helen Phillips, Muriel Draper, 
Josephine Timms, Susan B. Anthony, and Elinor S. Gimbel signed a 
certificate of incorporation for the Congress of American Women. 
It is interesting to note that the commissioner of deeds who notarized 
the document was Bella V. Dodd, an attorney and former member of 
the national committee of the Communist Political Association. She 
has also been a member of the Congress of American Women. Thus a 
leading Communist was instrumental in drawing up the incorporation 
papers for the Congress of American Women. 



6 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




American Delegates to First Congress of Women's International Democratic 

Federation, 1945. 

Left to right: Vivian Carter Mason, Elizabeth Gm'ley Flynn, Communist. 

—Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1946, page 11. 



WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION 

One may well inquire how it happened that the initiative for this 
movement came from Paris, a city plagued with innumerable problems 
of postwar recovery. 

For some time the international Communist movement has utilized 
Paris as a directive center in a transparent maneuver to obviate the 
charge of "orders from Moscow." Thus it was Jacques Duclos, 
secretary of the Communist Party of France and former member of 
the executive committee of the Communist International, who issued 
from Paris the pronouncement which resulted in the ouster of Earl 
Browder as general secretary of the Communist Party of the United 
States and the reversal of the previous line of the party under Browder's 
leadership. It was Maurice Thorez, secretary-general of the Com- 
munist Party of France, who sounded the keynote for cooperation 
with the Red Army, in the event of a conflict, which was echoed by 
Communist leaders throughout the world, Paris is also the founding 
center and headquarters for the Communist-dominated World Federa- 
tion of Democratic Youth, the World Federation of Trade-Unions, 
and the World Peace Congress. 

Communists throughout the world place little or no reliance upon 
the United Nations, basing themselves chiefly upon these pressure 
organizations of their own which are closely interlocked. It is 
significant that the American Youth for a Free World, United States 
branch of the Communist-dominated World Federation of Demo- 
cratic Youth, has its offices at 144 Bleecker Street, New York City, 
which until recently has also been the address of the Congress of 
American Women, United States branch of the Women's International 
Democratic Federation. 

The constitution of the World Federation of Democratic Youth 
states that the organization shall "maintain the closest possible con- 
tact with the World Federation of Trade-Unions" ;* a statement 
issued by the executive committee of the World Federation of Demo- 
cratic Youth proposes that "with regard to the World Federation of 
Trade-Unions, and the Women's International Democratic Federa- 
tion, special joint activities are recommended * * *." ^ Ridicul- 
ing the United Nations for its slowness in organization, Louis Saillant, 
pro-Communist secretary of the World Federation of Trade-Unions, 
congratulated the Women's International Democratic Federation on 
its success in setting up a world organization. When the Congress of 
American Women approved a telegram to President Truman con- 
demning his "draft labor" speech, a copy was sent to the World 
Federation of Trade-Unions, from which the British Trade-Union 
Congress and the American CIO recently withdrew because of its 
Communist character.® Nina Popova, a Russian, the vice president 
and probably most important member of the WIDF, went to Prague 

* Subsection (g), section IV, Constitution of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. 
s Undated circular letter, American Youth for a Free World. 

• DaUy Worker, June 23, 1946, p. II. 



8 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




American Delegates to Firat Congress of Women's International JJemucratic 

Federation, 1945. 
Front row, left to right: Muriel Draper, Mrs. Gifford Pinchot, Gene Weltfish. 
Back row, left to right: Ann Bradford, Henrietta Buckmaster, Elizabeth Gurley 

Flynn, Thelma Dale. 

—Worker, March 10, 1946, page 12. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 9 

when the general council of the World Federation of Trade-Unions 
met there in 1947, and made a highly publicized speech during that 
conference — another example of the close tie connecting the three 
organizations.^ 

The establishment of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation is shrouded in mystery to which only the subterranean 
ramifications of the international Communist movement can supply 
the clue. 

The WIDF was organized at the so-called "International Women's 
Anti-Fascist Congress." This congress was initiated at a convention 
of the Communist-controlled Union des Femmes Frangaises, a purely 
national French women's organization. However, for some imex- 
plained reason their convention was well attended by sympathetic 
delegates from the Soviet Union, China, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, 
Britain, Yugoslavia, Spain, and Italy. After a motion to establish 
an initiative committee to set up the international Women's Congress 
was put forth by Eugenie Cotton, of France, delegates from these 
countries and from France selected themselves to constitute the 
International Initiative Committee. Mme. Cotton, a well-known 
fellow traveler who has been refused entrance to the United States, 
was appointed chairman of this committee. 

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn describes the obstacles which beset the 
organization as follows: 

The difficulties under which the initiatory committee worked were incredible. 
Without office supplies, with no list of organizations, with communication and 
transportation broken down throughout Europe, it was a herculean task.^ 

The public press carried no announcements of elections of delegates 
throughout the world. A preliminary meeting had been held in 
London in 1945, and, according to a U. S. S. R. publication, Soviet 
Woman, "The International Initiative Committee * * * [did] 
* * * a great deal to popularize its program and the program 
of the * * * International Congress among broad sections of 
women in many countries." ® 

By September 1945, when a plenary session of the International 
Initiative Committee was held in Paris, the program had been aug- 
mented by the support of additional Communist women's organiza- 
tions in Algiers, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Mexico, 
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Sweden, Switzerland, and the 
United States. 

In the United States the organization most active in behalf of the 
International Women's Congress was the National Council of Ameri- 
can-Soviet Friendship, which was cited as subversive and Com- 
munist by the Attorney General of the United States. Prior to the 
first congress of the WIDF, the Russian magazine, Soviet Woman, 
published excerpts from a statement made before the Soviet Women's 
Anti-Fascist Committee by Jessica Smith, editor of the Communist- 
front publication, Soviet Russia Today, and educational director of 
the Women's Committee of the National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship. Miss Smith said: 

When the program and aims of the International Women's Congress become 
widely known, American women may be counted on to play an important role in 
this organization. 

J Daily Worker, July 2, 1947, p. 2. 

8 Worker, January 20, 1946, p. 6, 7m. 

• Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1945 (November-December) pp. 3-4 



i 



10 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




Ringleaders of the Women's International Democratic Federation. 

Left to right: Gene Weltfish (U. S. A.), vice president, WIDF; Nina Fopova 
(U. S. S. R.), vice president, WIDF; Eugenie Cotton (France), president, WIDF; 
Dolores Ibarruri (Spain), vice president, WIDF. Pictured at first executive 
committee meeting of the WIDF, at Paris, June 27-July 1, 1946. 

—Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1946, page 2. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN H 

On behalf of the Women's Committee of the National Council of American- 
Soviet Friendship, which I have the honor to represent, I assure you that we shall 
do everything in our power to obtain and stimulate the widest support for the 
great aims of the congress.'" 

According to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Mrs. Elinor S. Gimbel, who 
is the vice chairman of the Women's Committee of the National 
Council of American-Soviet Friendship, was the chairman of the 
"temporary committee in New York" to organize the Paris conference. 
But no one has publicly disclosed who selected Mrs. Gimbel for this 
post. 

The Communist Party of the United States has been openly inter- 
ested in the WIDF since its inception and has taken ojB&cial cognizance 
of the organization. Upon her return to the United States, Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn reported to the National Committee of the Communist 
Party, U. S. A., on her "recent visit to Paris as a member of the Amer- 
ican delegation to the International Women's Congress." ** 

The WIDF was denounced as a Communist organization by most 
of the women members of the British Parliament, including Dr. Edith 
Summerskill, and this group refused to participate. 

In the face of admitted difficulties, the results claimed for the 4-day 
conference which began on November 23, 1945, are truly astounding — 
so astounding in fact that at various times Communist estimates found 
themselves completely at variance. Reports released through the 
New York Times on December 1, 1945, and May 26, 1946, claimed 
a total of 600 delegates, representing 81,000,000 women in 35 coun- 
tries. In her articles in Political Affairs for March 1947, and the 
Worker of March 9, 1947, EUzabeth Gurley Flynn claimed 900 dele- 
gates representing 81,000,000 women in 41 countries. The official 
report of the Congress of American Women dated February 20, 1947, 
claimed 44 countries, with a membership of 81,000,000 women. The 
Daily Worker of November 29, 1945, claimed 800 delegates, repre- 
senting 100,000,000 women in forty-odd countries. On December 
23, 1945, the Daily Worker claimed that the Paris conference repre- 
sented a total of 120,000,000 women. Writing in Glamour for March 
1946, Mr. David Preston went so far as to claim that WIDF aims 
were "identical with the aims of women all over the world." In other 
words, this newly organized group with admittedly meager resources 
operating in the face of numerous physical obstacles presents the 
fantastic claim to representing 1 out of every 10 to 13 of the billion 
women throughout the world. The official report of the Congress 
of the WIDF contains no break-down by countries to support these 
figures. Such well-known international women's organizations as 
the International Council of Women, established 59 years ago, the 
International Alliance for Women's Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, 
St. Joan's Social and Political Alliance, and the Equal Rights Inter- 
national did not participate and were completely ignored. The first 
of these included 900 outstanding women delegates from 31 countries. 
These figures must be further discounted in the light of the fact that 
the great bulk of the membership stems from Communist-dominated 
countries in which the government can arbitrarily juggle figures 
regarding the membership of officially sponsored organizations. 
Despite these tenuous and highly inflated figures, the Women's Inter- 

10 Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1945 (November-December), p. 6. 
» Daily Worker, February 15, 1946, p. 2. 

65891—50 2 



// 



12 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

national Democratic Federation succeeded in securing consultant 
status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. 
On issue after issue the WIDF, including the American delegates, 
alined itself against the United States and in favor of the Soviet 
position. Mme. FranQoise Leclerc, the Communist leader of the Union 
des Femmes Frangaises, outlined a program which declared that — 

peace will be constantly endangered as long as trusts and economic combines, 
which are prepared for war, have not been abolished.^^ 

This is strictly in line with Communist propaganda now being 
spread throughout the world, in which the United States is being 
identified with allegedly fascistic, warmongering monopolies and 
trusts. 

On November 30, 1945, the gathering held at the Palais de la 
Mutualite in Paris, demanded that the atomic bomb be uncondi- 
tionally submitted to the control of the United Nations. Mrs. Gifford 
Pinchot, representing the American delegation, declared that the 
United States and Britain were not justified in keeping the secret 
to themselves. "The so-called secret," she insisted, "must not be 
kept from our Russian ally." 

Indicative of the general attitude of the conference toward the 
American Government is the following comment by Miss Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn, Communist commissar of the American delegation: 

Only the American Embassy conspicuously refrained from holding a reception 
to welcome the delegations. They disapproved of our presence and had no 
interest in the purpose of the conference, which promised no commercial ad- 
vantages to the U. S. A. 13 

It should be noted in this connection that the Soviet, Bulgarian, and 
Yugoslav Embassies, the latter being at that time within the Soviet 
bloc, tendered lavish receptions to the delegates. 

One would imagine that the bitter antagonism toward all things 
American displayed by the delegation from the United States was the 
result of hardships suffered by them in contrast to the comparative 
well-being of the delegations from the totalitarian countries. For 
some curious, psychological reason, the opposite was the case. With 
apparent shame and mortification. Miss Flynn explained: "We were 
increasingly conscious of our warm clothes, well-filled suitcases and 
purses," and the fact that her group came from a "richer, safer, 
happier" land. 

They traveled expensively by air all the way. A number of sup- 
porters of the Congress of American Women are individuals of con- 
siderable means. Why these women did not feel called upon to extol 
the virtues of the land with such blessings and why they lost no 
opportunity to eulogize a land without them is something for a 
psychologist to fathom. 

SOVIET UNION IN THE FOREFRONT 

Observers at the first Congress of the Women's International Demo- 
cratic Federation, directing bod}^ of the Congress of American Women, 
were impressed by the overshadowing influence of the Soviet delega- 
tion. The New York Herald Tribune of December 9, 1945, declared: 

The Communists, it was very evident, are straining to direct this powerful 
feminine movement. * * * Jt was no less certain that the congress was a 

n New York Times, November 28, 1945, p. 30. 
" Worker, January 20, 1946, pp. 6, 7m. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 13 

great success for Russian prestige and influence. The Soviet delegation dominated 
the others as much by its size as by the quality of its individual members. 

The largest delegation, consisting of 40 members, came from the 
Soviet Union. According to the Daily Worker of December 22, 1945, 
"This delegation was the pride and joy of the whole convention." 
Particularly honored in this group was Claudia Kirsanova, former 
Soviet political commissar, of whom the Daily Worker declared that 
"she knew Lenin, had been in prison with Stalin, and is a veteran 
Bolshevik." 

Despite the fact that the official insignia of the Women's Interna- 
tional Democratic Federation and its American affiliate is the dove of 
peace holding an olive branch, members of the Soviet delegation 
appeared in full uniform with a generous display of medals. Among 
them were Major General Troitskaya and two colonels. Of course, 
they completely outranked militarily the lowly Sgt. Ann Bradford, 
WAC, who had spent 3 years overseas doing teletype communications 
for the American Army. It is obvious that this demonstration was 
consciously staged in order to emphasize by contrast the status of 
military women in democratic America with that of Soviet Russia. 
Miss Bradford, at one time, was a member of the then Communist- 
controlled Los Angeles Newspaper Guild Auxiliary. 

The Soviet delegation was given five places on the council of the 
Women's International Democratic Federation, with five alternates, 
as against four for the United States, with three alternates. 

The Soviet Union laid a thorough ground work for its dominant role 
in the Women's International Democratic Federation before most of 
the women in the world had any intimation that such a federation was 
projected. ^Members of the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee 
attended, as delegates, the conference of the Union des Femmes 
Frangaises, where preliminary plans for the WIDF were first publicly 
proposed. Delegates from the Soviet Union were members of the 
original International Initiative Committee which formulated and 
promoted the program for the First International Congress of Women. 

Before the first congress, the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Com- 
mittee, together with the Central Council of Trade Unions of the 
U. S. S. R., brought out an expensive, slick-paper magazine entitled 
"Soviet Woman," which was published in Russian, English, French, 
and German editions. Special emphasis was laid on the forthcoming 
congress. The lead article, written by Nina Popova, president of 
the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee, was entitled "An 
Epoch-Making Event"; it covered in detail the preliminary steps to 
the Congress. Although the Congress had yet to take place, Nina 
Popova confidently outlined the course that would be pursued and 
ventured to declare: 

The programmatical principles of the International Initiative Committee and 
the First International Congress of Women will become the firm foundation of an 
international democratic women's federation. •* 

This prediction proved tojbe accurate right down to the detail of the 
name of the new organization. 

The editor in chief of Soviet Woman is Zinaida Gagarina, a secretary 
and member of the executive committee of the WIDF. 

i< Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1945 (November-December), p. 4, 



y 



14 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




Nina Popova, Soviet Commissar of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation, Addressing the First Congress of the WIDF. 

— Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1946, page 12. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 15 

For the first issue of Soviet Woman several statements were col- 
lected which clearly demonstrate that the dominant role in the 
WIDF had already been assumed by the Soviet Union. Mme. 
Eugenie Cotton, chairman of the Initiative Committee for the first 
congress and scheduled to be president of the WIDF declared: 

We know in advance that the part played [at the International Women's 
Congress] by our Soviet friends will be one of the greatest importance and we 
shall be glad to be able to take advantage of the experiences gained by their 
great country. '^ 

Dolores Ibarruri, the Spanish Communist, who was also a member 
of the Initiative Committee, sent the following message to the editors 
of Soviet Woman acknowledging the leading role of the Soviet delega- 
tion: 

* * * I am certain that Soviet women, who took such an active part in the 
fight and contributed so much to the victory over Hitlerism, will bring their rich 
experience to the work of the Congress and will combine their efforts with 
the efforts of women of all countries. This will yield great results in the 
struggle * * *.'^ 

In sharp contrast to these tokens of deference to Soviet women was 
Nina Popova's complacent assumption of superiority: 

Many of the problems confronting women of other countries and the Inter- 
national Congress have already been solved in the U. S. S. R." 

Outstanding Soviet delegates were Nina Popova, president of the 
Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist League, leader of the Soviet trade- 
unions, and Larissa Alexandrowskaia, both Soviet deputies, who 
obviously (?ould not be present without the tacit approval of the 
Soviet Government. 

It is significant that the first article in the first issue of Soviet 
Woman late in 1945 was written about this new Communist project 
by Nina Popova prior to the Paris congress. It was the first public 
indication of her ensuing career as spokesman for the WIDF. Popova 
has led the WIDF from its earliest days, as executive vice president — 
the most strategically important position in the Federation. 

At the First International Women's Congress in Paris in 1945, 
where the WIDF was founded, Popova described the superior qualities 
of Soviet women: 

Nina Popova, president of the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee, told 
the Congress about the great services of Soviet women in the defense of their 
country's freedom and independence. She described the courageous fight waged 
by Soviet women patriots against the Nazi invaders * * *.'^ 

The Congress obediently echoed this eulogy of Soviet efforts: 

In the decision which it adopted on the first two questions considered, the 
Congress noted the efforts of all freedom-loving women in the fight against 
Hitlerism * * *. Particular emphasis was laid on the decisive role of the 
Red Army in the defeat of fascism and on the tremendous contribution made by 
the peoples of the Soviet Union to the cause of saving civilization * * *." 

The Soviet Union was pictured as a veritable paradise for women 
where all their problems had long been solved. A Miss Allen, of the 
British Labour Party, "discussed the inequality in pay received by 
women as compared with men in the majority of countries." It was 

" Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1945 (November-December), p. 6. 

i« Ibid. 

" Ibid., p. 5. 

'• Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1946 (January-February), p. 9. 

'•Ibid. 



16 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

stated flatly that "only in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslo- 
vakia, and Bulgaria do laws exist guaranteeing women equal pay 
for equal work," ^^ 

Another item on the congress' agenda concerned the status of women 
with regard to civil and property rights. 

All these and a multitude of other economic, juridical, and social problems, 
which rightly agitate women abroad, have long since been settled in the Soviet 
Union, as was abundantly demonstrated at the congress. The splendid achieve- 
ments of Soviet women aroused the profound interest and the hearty approval of 
all delegates.21 

During a discussion of child care and health at the congress, it was 
asserted that: 

The Soviet Union is the only nation in the world where care for children con- 
stitutes one of the most important aspects of governmental and public activities, 
and where the State devotes special attention to the needs of the mother.22 

In line with Soviet practice, the congress called for "extensive 
government sponsored measures" and "a network of institutions" to 
be set up for the care of children and mothers. 

Women Communist leaders from other countries joined in this 
torrent of praise for the U. S. S. R. Among these were Anna Pauker, 
Jeannette Vermeersch, Tsola Dragoicheva, Dolores Ibarruri, and 
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, all of whom are active leaders of the WIDF. 

Anna Pauker told the first congress: 

The Rumanian woman was particularly downtrodden by fascism. The Red 
Army liberated her and the entire Rumanian people from this oppression. ^^ 

The following excerpts are typical of the speeches made by dele- 
gates from the so-called People's Democracies: 

Mme. Wolynska, a colonel of the Polish Army, told the congress 
that "women played a significant part in the organization of the 
Polish Army formed in the Soviet Union. "^* 

Anka Berus, Minister of Finance of Croatia and deputy to the 
Constituent Assembly of Yugoslavia, asserted "the Red Army dis- 
pelled the myth of Nazi invincibility."^^ 

Other countries which were engaged in the war against the Axis 
Powers at no time during the course of the congress received more 
than a mere mention for their part in World War 11. The defeat of 
the Nazis was attributed by the congress solely to the prowess of 
the Red Army. Muriel Draper added her voice to that of these 
Communist spokesmen: 

We did not experience the moral and physical sufferings that were inflicted by 
the Nazis on our allies * * *^ What a stirring experience to meet and shake 
hands at this congress * * * with women who fought so splendidly during 
the years of war and political struggle. 

Particularly warm and full of sympathy is the mutual understanding between 
American and Soviet women. There is no force that can break this friendship.26 

After the congress Nina Popova wrote a pamphlet. The Inter- 
national Women's Federation, a Great Force, which was published 

»" Ibid. page. 10. 

2' Ibid. 

2» Ibid. 

2' Ibid. p. 17. 

2< Ibid. p. 15. 

»« Ibid. p. 16. 

!» Ibid. p. 13. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 17 

in 1946 by the publishing house of the All-Union Central Council of 
Trade Unions. In this book Popova frankly acknowledges the 
obsequious attitude of the delegates toward the Soviet group: 

We Soviet delegates felt like elder sisters * * * ^^e congress delegates 
treated the representatives of our great people with tenderness, admiration, and 
high esteem * * * Even far away from our borders, the greatness of our 
country, the heroism of its people, the fame of its army, and the wisdom of its 
leaders, accompanied us.^' 

Describing the meeting of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation, to which she was the leading American Communist 
delegate, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn made the following ecstatic comment 
on "the tremendous progress" of women in the Soviet Union, "the only 
Socialist state as yet in existence:" 

We should use this example of the country of socialism to demonstrate to 
American women that Communists actively champion the rights of women 
* * * which bourgeois democracies grant them only piecemeal after tremen- 
dous struggles .28 

Traveling on a tour for the Congress of American Women, Miss 
Flynn drew the following distinction between the United States and 
the Soviet Union: 

This country belongs by right to the people, as their country does actually 
belong to the people of the U. S. S. R.^s 

Again striking the keynote that pervades the literature and the 
pronouncements of both the Women's International Democratic 
Federation and its American affiliate. Miss Flynn boasts that "Soviet 
women have voted since 1917," while there is, she charges, "no equal 
democratic suffrage in the U. S. A." She does not say that Soviet 
women have the right— nay, the duty — to vote for one party and for 
one set of candidates only, nor that American women have enjoyed 
full suffrage since 1920. 

While there was not even a hint of official criticism of the Soviet 
Union, the Paris meeting condemned "present tendencies in world 
diplomacy," ^° the reference to the United States being obvious to all. 

In the light of the marked pro-Soviet bias of the Women's Interna- 
tional Democratic Federation, it is fully understandable that the 
quasi-official Anti-Fascist Committee of Soviet Women was most 
insistent in its demand that the United Nations Economic and Social 
Council grant the WIDF recognition.^^ 

A number of incidents occurred during the proceedings which 
originated the Women's International Democratic Federation which 
high light the operation of the Communist steam roller. When 
Mme. Sedoux, a member of the French delegation, arose to suggest 
at the Paris conference that the meeting should oppose all forms of 
totalitarianism, not just fascism, she and two other supporters were 
excluded from the meeting. After discovering that the arrangements 
board of the conference was stacked with Communists, they dis- 
associated themselves from the organization. 

2' Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1947, p. 57. 
S8 Political Affairs, March 1947, p. 219. 

29 Daily Worker, July 9, 1946. 

30 New York Times, November 28, 1945, p. 30. 

31 Information Bulletin, Women's International Democratic Federation, January 1947. 



18 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Mrs. Alice Hemming, delegate from the Women's Organization for 
a New World Order, handed Mme. Cotton a letter to be read to the 
assembly from her organization. After some objections were raised 
to its contents, it was finally reported that the letter was lost. 

Mrs. Jessie Street, Australian delegate, objected to the high- 
pressure tactics employed in the selection of candidates for the 
permanent executive committee. She recommended that the candi- 
dates' names be submitted for approval to the members of the various 
organizations throughout the world. The Communist clique crushed 
this democratic proposal with characteristic ruthlessness. 



THE REAL STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE SOVIET UNION 

In order to demonstrate that the supporters of the Women's 
International Democratic Federation and the Congress of American 
Women had no real interest in improving the status of women through- 
out the world and that their blind devotion to the Soviet Union was 
such that they would hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil 
about the conditions of women in that country regardless of the facts, 
we cite the testimony of weU known and well informed observers as 
to the status of Soviet women: 

EUGENE LYONS 

Russian women preserved some doubtful freedoms in vogue under 
the czars — especially the freedom to work as longshoremen, miners, 
sailors and in other trades elsewhere reserved for men only. * * * 

Since Russia is not a signatory to the Geneva convention which 
forbids women as combat troops, they are free to engage in that field 
of activity. 

When Hitler's government promulgated measures for enforcing 
large families, the Soviet press branded it as "debasement of women 
to the role of brood mares." It pointed out that Germany was breed- 
ing additional millions of soldiers for aggressive adventures. 

Today practically every one of those Nazi measures is law in 
Russia. * * * Large families receive state subsidies, the mothers 
of seven to nine children are awarded the title "Motherhood Glory"; 
superior breeders with 10 or more children are designated "Heroine 
Mothers." ^' 

ORIANA ATKINSON 

"Sure we have equality," one young woman said; "equal rights to 
go out and kill ourselves working hard all day and then the right to 
come home and do all the housework and washing and cooking and 
shopping for food in the evenings. Besides getting the kids to bed." ^^ 

LUDWELL DENNY 

Now, as then, the typical women of Russia are not the few who wear 
the finery of Paris or loot from central Europe, or the exquisite 
priestesses of Russian culture from the superb Bolshoi Ballet, or 
publicized professional women. Instead, they are the tens of millions 
who rise from childbirth to shovel snow, fell trees, work roads, sow, 
till, and harvest in the fields and pull their weight in industrial gangs. 
They are the mothers of Mother Russia — old at 30, as always silently, 
ploddingly, carrying a burden of the dark land they love.^* 

W. N. EWER 

Ewer contrasts the 275 rubles monthly wages of women who shovel 
snow from the streets with the 40,000 rubles a month which he says 
a popular writer, doctor or lawyer can make. "That is 130 times as 
much as an unskilled worker earns." ^^ 

« Eugene Lyons, Washington Daily News, December 25, 1945, p. 12. 
" Oriana Atkinson, Woman's Home Companion, November 1946, p. 144. 
M Ludwell Denny, Washington Daily News, April 28, 1947, p. 27. 

" Quoting W. N. Ewer, correspondent for the Daily Herald, official organ of the British Labor Party, 
PM, May 9, 1947, p. 8. 

19 



20 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

HAROLD DAVIS 

Communist Russia boasts that its women have equal rights with 
men, and they certainly have — particularly when it comes to heavy 
work, American correspondents reached Moscow 7 weeks ago, 
right after a heavy snowstorm. Thousands of persons were on the 
streets with shovels — and they were all women, old women, young 
women, and even children, * * * \Ye were told, for example, 
that 40 percent of all miners in Russia are women. They do the 
heavy work in factories and sometimes even carried heavy luggage 
in the hotels. * * * 

Of course, women have achieved fame in medicine and the arts in 
Russia. This is true in most countries; the percentage, with the 
exception of doctors, appeared no higher in Russia than in the United 
States, although much publicity has been given to their exploits.^^ 

FERDINAND KUHN, JR, 

Across the road two long lines of about 80 women apiece had con- 
verged upon a government food stall that was selling unrationed 
food. The lines moved so slowly that each of the women must have 
been waiting for more than an hour. 

The women shoved so hard to get at the window of the food stall 
that a policeman stationed there to keep order, was having trouble, 
I saw him push two women to the end of the line because they were 
too frantic to get to the window and were edging into other people's 
places. Soon he had to call for another policeman to help him keep 
the crowd in check. 

The cause of the commotion, as nearly as I could see, was a half 
loaf of bread, sliced down the middle, with a little packet of chopped 
meat inside. Most of the women stuffed their precious purchases 
into their shopping bags and hurried away. But there were other 
women, older women, with shawls around their skinny faces who 
couldn't wait. They started eating their loaves then and there. 

It would be wrong to generalize from this mstance that all Moscow 
women have to struggle for extra food or that all Moscow or all 
Russia is underfed. But women do not usually struggle for a half 
loaf of bread, as these women did, unless they or their families are 
hungry. 

The regular rations in Moscow are so small that everyone tries to 
supplement them with unrationed food — if there are enough rubles 
to pay for it, 

A girl in a Moscow oflEice, for example, is entitled under her ration 
to a pound of bread a day and to monthly purchases of 3^ pounds 
of starchy foods like macaroni, dried beans, and cooking cereals, 
2K pounds a month of meat and fish, less than a pound of fat a month, 
and a pound of sweets.'^ 

8' Harold Davis, Washington Times-Herald, May 2, 1947, p. 7, 
" Ferdinand Kuhn, Jr., Washington Post, May 14, 1947, p. 1, 



WIDF ACTIVITIES BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND 

CONGRESSES 

The bylaws of the Women's International Democratic Federation, 
drawn up at the first congress, provide that in the 3-year interval 
between full congresses of the federation the organization shall be 
directed by the council, meeting once a year. Between sessions of 
the council the executive committee meets twice a year, and acts as 
the actual guiding body of the federation, assisted by the permanently 
functioning secretariat and an auditing committee. 

The executive committee of the WIDF held its first meeting in 
Paris from June 27 to July 1, 1946. It was marked by the number 
of prominent women Communists dominating the proceedings. Among 
them were Tsola Dragoicheva, Alice Sportisse of Algeria, Anezka 
Hodinova-Spurna and Milada Horakova of Czechoslovakia, Camille 
Ravera of Italy, Jeannette Vermeersch and Marie-Claude Vaillant- 
Couturier of France, and Dolores Ibarruri of Spain. 

It has been the consistent practice for the Soviet representative to 
present the official line at international Communist front organizations. 
Thus V. V. Kuznetov, representing the Soviet trade-unions, was the 
main reporter at the World Federation of Trade Unions; Red Army 
Lt. Gen. Alexander Gundorov was the dominant figure of the All-Slav 
Congress and the American Slav Congress; and A. A. Fadeev, secre- 
tary-general of the secretariat of the Union of Soviet Writers, acted 
in an identical capacity at the World Peace Congress in Paris and the 
Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace in New York. 

Nina Popova of the Soviet Union, who represents the voice of 
authority of the WIDF, held the executive committee's "particular 
interest" as she gave an account of the Soviet Union's newest Five- 
Year Plan and its efforts to "consolidate international security through- 
out the world." She was greeted with "hearty applause." 

The first report heard by the executive committee was that of the 
secretariat, headed by the secretary-general of the federation. She is 
Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier, a member of the central committee 
of the Communist Party of France. 

The secretariat's report was endorsed by the executive committee 
with a resolution stressing the need for continued recruitment of 
members. This resolution declared that "fascism and reaction con- 
tinue to constitute a menace," and it "warned all women against the 
splitting maneuvers of the reactionaries." The resolution called for 
"concerted action with women's organizations not yet aflaliated to the 
federation." The executive committee "unanimously went on record 
in favor of collaboration with all international organizations of a 
democratic nature." Then the executive committee proceeded to 
condemn the International Alliance of Women Voters as a "bourgeois 
organization" carrying on activities of a "subversive nature," with 
leaders engaged in "antidemocratic and anti-Communist propaganda." 
Affiliated organizations of the International Alliance of Women Voters 

21 



22 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 







REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 23 

were advised to withdraw from the alliance and to "expose the 
reactionary policy of the alliance and its president" — a policy designed 
to expose and counteract the influence of the WIDF. In spite of its 
declared intention to "collaborate" with other women's organizations, 
the WIDF has consistently and bitterly attacked women's organiza- 
tions all over the world which are not prepared to affiliate with the 
WIDF. 

Referring to the various bona fide women's organizations in the 
United States, Gene Weltfish declared to the executive committee, in 
her report on the establishment of the Congress of American Women, 
that: 

* * * reactionary and fascist organizations in the United States trj' to 
slander the Congress of American Women and intimidate them by red baiting. 
Despite all this the congress has been able to interest wide sections of American 
women in its work. * * * at present the congress unites over 500,000 
women. ^* 

It is worth noting that although Mrs. Weltfish claimed 500,000 mem- 
bers for the Congress of American Women as early as 1946, in 1949 
the congress was calling for a supreme, all-out effort from its members 
in order to secure a mere 50,000 signatures to a petition to be presented 
to the United Nations. 

The preponderance of Communist influence evident at the first 
meeting of the WIDF's executive committee has been maintained 
through every subsequent meeting. It is significant that the second 
WIDF executive committee meeting was held in Moscow during the 
celebration of the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Revolution. 
Delegates to the meeting, numbering many government officials from 
the so-caUed "people's democracies," sent greetings to the Soviet 
women for the occasion. These messages, reprinted in the Soviet 
Woman, hailed the U. S. S. R. as the world's greatest "peace" force, 
praised the "example" set by the U. S. S. R. "to the whole world," 
and urged "cooperation" with it. 

The women of France, who are eager supporters of peace, will work for the close 
cooperation of our two great democratic nations. 

— Eugenie Cotton, 

President, WIDF. 

President, Union of French Women. 

On this twenty-ninth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution I 
convey my hearty greetings to the Soviet women who * * * showed them- 
selves to be * * * unyielding fighters for democracy and peace. 

— Dolores Ibarruri, 

Vice president, WIDF. 

My greetings to the Soviet women, who are tirelessly working for peace. 

—Gene Weltfish, 

Vice President, WIDF. 

President, Congress of American Women. 

We are happy to be in your great country and convey to you the heartfelt 
greetings of all Yugoslavian women on the occasion of the twenty-ninth anni- 
versary of the Great October Revolution. 

This significant anniversary of the establishment, under the leadership of the 
party of Lenin and Stalin, of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the homeland 
of free peoples, is indeed a holiday shared by the entire democratic world * * * 

The fruits of your Socialist revolution serve as the foundation for the progressive 
future of the whole world * * * 

«• Soviet Women, No. 4, 1946, p. 6. 



24 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Hail the October Revolution! * * * 

Long live the great strategist of the world-wide struggle for peace, Generalis- 
simo Stalin! * * * 

— Vida Tomsic, 
— Olga Milosevic, 

Members, Central Committee, 
Yugoslavian Anti-Fascist Women's Front. 

On this day of the glorious anniversary of the October Revolution the Czecho- 
slovak women tender to the women of the Soviet Union their sincere congratula- 
tions. * * * Thewomenof theU. S. S. R.are an exampleto all of us. * * * 

— Milada Horakova, 

President, Council of Women of Czechoslovakia. 
— Anezka Hodinova, 

Vice President, Czechoslovak Parliament. 
— Maria Trojanova, 

Secretary, National Front of Czechoslovak Women. 

On behalf of the women of Poland united in the Polish Women's League, we 
express to the Soviet women our sincere greetings and congratulations on the 
twenty-ninth anniversary of the October Revolution. This revolution * * * 
shows the working women throughout the world how the principle of true equality 
and genuine democracy can be carried out. 

— Eugenia Pragerowa, 

Vice Minister of Labour and 
Social Welfare, Lt. Col. 
— Isolda Kowalska, 

Deputy of the Krajowa Rada Naradowa. 

Secretary, Polish Women's League. 
— Zanna Kormanowa, 

Director, School Reform Department, 

Ministry of Education. 

My dear Russian sisters, * * *. xhe example of our glorious liberator, the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and our Russian sisters inspires us in our 
work. 

— T. A. Obbova, 

Secretary, Bulgarian Popular Women's Union. 

On behalf of the women of Rumania I convey to my Soviet sisters greetings 
^-id congratulations on this anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revo- 
lution * * *_ Following the example of Soviet women we pledge * * * 
to consolidate democracy and peace. 

— Anna Pauker, 

Honorary President, Union of Rumanian Women. 

On behalf of the women of the Mongolian People's Republic, I extend warm 
greetings to our dear sisters in the Soviet Union on the occasion of the twenty- 
ninth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. 

Soviet women * * * as a result of the greatest revolution in human his- 
tory * * * are active champions of lasting and stable peace among 
nations * * * 

— Yanzhima Suhe-bator, 

President, Council of Mongolian Working Women." 

The first session of the council of the WIDF was held in Communist- 
dominated Czechoslovakia. According to the account of the session 
given in the Soviet Woman, Prague turned out in enthusiastic 
crowds to welcome the Soviet delegation, which arrived by air a day 
or two ahead of the other members of the council. Whenever these 
delegates appeared on the streets they drew general attention and 
were "eagerly sought out." 

The Women's International Democratic Federation must be viewed 
as an instrument of Soviet political warfare with military objectives 
primarily in mind. The council session held between February 22 and 
26, 1947, demonstrated this feature. It was timed to occur simul- 

»• Soviet Woman. No. 5. 1946. pp. 5 ana b. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 25 

taneously with the celebration of the twenty-ninth anniversary of the 
Soviet Army. On this day, February 23, the Council suspended its 
work and all the delegates attended a meeting and memorial service for 
the Red Army soldiers who fell in Czech territory. The crowds, in- 
cluding many Czech children, gathered about a marble monument, 
and eulogies to the Red Army were delivered not only by Nina 
Popova of the Soviet Union but by Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier, 
a prominent French Communist, and by Elinor Gimbel of the United 
States. 

Two days after the council session closed, the delegates gathered in 
Lucerne Hall to speak to 5,000 Czechs gathered to honor the WIDF. 

A deafening roar of applause greeted Nina Popova, head of the Soviet delegation 
when she rose to speak. Everyone stood up. Shouts of "Long live the Soviet 
Union!" "Glory to Stalin!" "Long live the friendship of the Czechoslovak and 
Soviet peoples!" could be heard amidst the ovation.*" 

At this meeting Jeannette Vermeersch told the audience: 

As we bow before the monument to the Soviet Army here on Czech soil, the 
Council of the International Democratic Women's Federation also bows before 
the mothers of the Soviet Union.'" 

The chief topic of discussion before the council was the report of a 
commission sent by the WIDF to study women's organizations in 
Germany. The British and American authorities properly refused 
the commission permission to visit their zones. Although the commis- 
sion inspected only the Soviet sector of Germany it claimed to have 
proof that in the western occupation zones — 

the work of democratization and denazification is proceeding unsatisfactorily. 
Monopolistic concerns have been preserved, and in many cases their activities are 
directed by fascist elements. The land remains in the hands of the big landowners. 
Many war criminals are still at large. Democratic parties and organizations en- 
counter numerous obstacles in their activities.'*^ 

The WIDF Council closed its discussion of its commission's so-called 
"Study of women's organizations in Germany" by drafting a message, 
embodying the commission's attack on British, French, and American 
foreign policy, to the Council of Foreign Ministers. This was done 
at the suggestion of Elinor Gimbel of the United States. The Council 
requested "fulfillment of the Potsdam decisions." The note of Soviet 
glorification permeated the conference throughout, according to 
this issue of Soviet Woman: 

Throughout the session the Soviet delegation attracted general attention. The 
delegates took every occasion to express their deep gratitude to the Soviet people 
and the Soviet Army for their part ia winning victory over Hitler Germany. The 
delegates displayed a keen interest in the achievements of Soviet women and 
often commented on the difference in the position of women in the U, S. S. R. and 
abroad. Whereas in the capitalist countries, they pointed out, postwar conditions 
brought with them the danger of unemployment and new hardships for women, 
Soviet women were able to look to the future with confidence.*^ 

Democratic Stockholm provided a reception for the WIDF very 
different from the enthusiasm accorded — especially to the Russian 
delegation — by Red Prague. 

In spite of concerted protests from the Swedish press that "Stock- 
holm was providing a platform for 'Communist propaganda and for 
the popular ization of Russia,' " ** the Left-wing Swedish Women's 

" Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1947, p. 36. 

" Ibid. 

<» Ibid, p. 31. 

« Ibid. 

" Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1947, p. 43. 



26 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

League managed to secure the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament 
Hall) for the fourth meeting of the WIDF executive committee. But 
there were no holidays to celebrate Red Army anniversaries. When 
the deputy mayor of Stockholm received the executive committee in 
Stockholm's Golden Hall, a Soviet delegate noted, much to her 
chagrin, that — 

Amidst beautiful designs of mosaic and gilt were painted the coats of arms 
of many countries, but that of the Soviet Union was absent. Why? Who if not 
the Soviet Union, by her heroic struggle against the Fascist invasion, saved 
Sweden from the fate of the other Scandinavian countries? *^ 

This was a far cry from the marble monument erected to the Red 
Army in Prague. 

The "warmest and most cordial" reception for the delegates was 
organized by the Left-wing Swedish Women's League. The president 
of the league, Andrea Andreen, was sharply criticized by the Swedish 
press. At this meeting the audience "cordially welcomed" Nina 
Popova of the Soviet Union, who at the end of her speech "severely 
criticized the way certain Swedish newspapers had treated the execu- 
tive session." According to the Soviet Woman, "her observations on 
this score were punctuated by loud applause." *° Popova was followed 
on the platform by the usual procession of Communists. 

When Dolores Ibarruri, the vice president of the WIDF, appeared on the 
platform, the audience simply went wild with enthusiasm, * * * The audi- 
ence gave an enthusiastic welcome to Mitra Mitrovic, the woman partisan who 
fought in Tito's unit and is now Minister of Education in Yugoslavia.^^ 

None of the WIDF sessions has been complete without a speech 
from an American delegate. Reuha (Rheua) Pearce, an American 
delegate, who is president of the Chicago branch of the Congress of 
American Women and a supporter of the (Communist) Chicago Star 
said in her speech America was not to be thought of as a united whole. 
She declared a reactionary and imperialistic-minded 10 percent of the 
people claimed to represent the American people.*^ 

In a summary of the proceedings of the executive committee session 
at Stockholm, which appeared in the Soviet Woman for November- 
December 1947, a Russian delegate stated: 

The specific features of the present international situation — the increasingly 
sharp differentiation between the forces of reaction and the forces of democracy 
and the increasingly acute struggle between the two camps, imperialist and anti- 
imperialist — shaped the agenda of the fourth session of the Executive Commit- 
tee." 

In another article in the same issue of Soviet Woman, Nina 
Popova was even more specific: 

The struggle between these two opposite camps is becoming more and more 
evident. The first, headed by the U. S. A., is pursuing a policy that is directed 
toward strengthening imperialism, toward establishing the world domination of 
the American monopolies, toward the strangulation of democracy, and toward 
universal support for the reactionary and antidemocratic pro-Fascist regimes and 
movements. 

The anti-imperialistic and anti-Fascist forces constitute the other camp, the base 
of which is formed by the U. S. S. R. and the other countries of the new 
democracies * * * 

" Ibid. 
** Ibid. 
" Ibid. 
«• Ibid. 
" Ibid. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 27 

The imperialist and reactionary policy of the U. S. A. is encountering the firm 
resistance of the U. S. S. R., of the countries of the new democracy, who have 
thrown off Anglo-American imperialist tutelage * * * 

In this grave situation the WIDF has shown that it stands firmly in the camp 
of the active champions of democracy * * * ^ 

The United States was bitterly attacked by delegates to the execu- 
tive session. Keuha Pearce, a delegate from the Congress of American 
Women, joined the voices raised against her own country, ''exposing" 
the "suppression of democracy" in America and the "encouragement 
and activization of reactionary pro-Fascist organizations." She 
criticized "the reactionary character of the home and foreign policy 
pursued by the Truman government." 

"Democrats in the United States," she said, "realize how false is the path 
along which Truman is leading the country." ^^ 

As usual French Communist delegates took the lead in their tirades 
against the United States. Frangoise Leclerc told the delegates that 
the United States had promised to send grain to France if France 
changed its governmental policy and that as a consequence the economy 
of France was steadily deteriorating. 

"The polic}' was changed," said Leclerc, "in a direction that is fatal for the 
country * * *" ^^ 

Jeanette Vermeersch accused the United States of pursuing a foreign 
policy of "blackmail and starvation." 

"We are told," she said, "that bread can be had if France abandons her inde- 
pendence; we are told: 'you will eat if you have a government that suits us.' " ^ 

The WIDF Commission which was sent to Germany reported to 
the executive committee that United States and British officials 
had refused entry permits to the Commission, "no doubt because they 
were eager to conceal from world public opinion the true state of 
affairs in their zones." "The Commission's report * * * con- 
firmed * * * [this] * * * conclusion." ^* 

In preparation for the Second Congress of the World Federation of 
Democratic Women, the fifth session of the executive committee of 
the WIDF, a so-called world convention of anti-Fascist women, was 
convened in Rome in May 1948, to reaffirm the aim of their organiza- 
tion — to fight "American, British, and French imperialists and war- 
mongers." 

The "most important" item on the executive committee's agenda 
was "the part played by women in the struggle against the war- 
mongers." 

The report on this question, delivered by Eugenie Cotton, was an indictment 
of American imperialism.^^ 

The main speech, however, was delivered by Nina Popova, who 
informed the convention at Rome that the only country proving its 
love of peace and workmg for it was the Soviet Union, while other 
countries ignore the United Nations resolution against warmongering. 
By way of proving her point Miss Popova set forth the theory that 
American "imperialists" were — 

«» Ibid. p. 6. 

»' Ibid. p. 43. 

52 Ibid. 

" Ibid. 

" Ibid. 

55 Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1948, p. 45. 

65891-— 50 3 



28 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



3 s a 

> o o 

.^!- fl 
c3 " 83 

-.2 

S > 3 
CO D -u 

O O 
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1-5 bO^ 

a 

30> 




REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 29 

directing the Fascist detachments in Greece which are shooting the peaceful 
population; * * * bribing sheiks and emirs in Arab countries; * * * 
seizing foreign territory in Greenland and proclaiming it as their own and 
building military bases on it; * * * striving to place [in Latin America] 
representatives of the American stock exchange and the general staff in leading 
positions which enable them to direct the life of those countries.*^ 

Popova wound up by accusing Americans of organizing gangs of 
bandits in Pakistan. 

She then called upon the delegates to launch a "tremendous" 
campaign through all media of publicity to tell the women of the world 
that only the Soviet Union and its satellites are the true friends of 
peace. To implement these so-called "peace" activities, the women 
of the world are to join the WIDF, she continued. Many women have 
been prevented from joining the WIDF because the Catholic Church 
is "threatening them with the tortures of Hell" and "frightening them 
with the danger of the destruction of 'Christain civilization.' " Catho- 
lic women were to be instructed that they are the mere tools of reac- 
tionaries—still, the WIDF must carefully "respect the religious feel- 
ings." Popova offered no explanation of a method by which these 
diametrically opposed objectives may be accomplished simultane- 
ously." 

The executive committee adopted and published an "appeal" to 
the "Women of All Countries" confirming the WIDF's pro-Soviet 
stand as laid down by Popova: 

The imperialists are once again at work — overtly and covertly— preparing a 
new war. They are howling in a hundred and one different strains about its 
inevitability, artificially fanning a war psychosis, mustering all the forces of 
world reaction for new military adventures, trying to intimidate the peoples and 
to enslave them by using the threat of war as a means of blackmail. All the 
means of psychological pressure — the daily and periodical press, radio, the 
cinema — are being employed by the reactionaries to stir up public opinion and to 
slander the democratic countries. 

Who are they that are provoking a new war? * * * 

The American and British reactionaries are urged on by an insatiable thirst for 
new billions of dollars and insane aspirations for world domination. * * * 
They are the chief instigators of war. * * * 

Sisters! Do not believe the lies of the reactionaries! * * * 

The Soviet Union is the basic force engaged in the struggle for peace the world 
over. * * * 

Women of all countries! We appeal to you to intensify the struggle for peace, 
to repulse with vigour the instigators of a new war! ^^ 

IN THE SOVIET ORBIT 

Between the First and Second Congresses of the WIDF, the national 
affiliates of the organization worked diligently to promote its pro- 
Soviet stand, frequently calling upon the Soviet Women's Anti- 
Fascist Committee, as the leading affiliate of the WIDF, for support, 
guidance, and praise. Between the two congresses, delegations 
sponsored by the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee visited 
Albania, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Poland, Finland, and Italy, at the 
invitation of the women's organizations of those countries. Delega- 
tions from the Communist women's organizations of France, Italy, 
Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Finland, and Germany have visited the 
U. S. S. R. at the invitation of the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Com- 

M New York Herald Tribune, May 18, 1948. 

" Ibid. 

" Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1948, inside front cover. 



30 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

mittee. It is obvious that tlie fiction of a present menace of facscism 
is being maintained by Moscow as a propaganda weapon against the 
United States. 

YUGOSLAVIA 

In the early months of 1946, the Central Committee of the "Yugo- 
slav Anti-Fascist Women's Front" wrote to the Soviet Women's Anti- 
Fascist Committee: 

Your work among women can help us greatly.™ 

When speaking of the Yugoslav affiliate to the WIDF, the Soviet 
Union always, at least before the Stalin-Tito break, emphasized the 
military nature of this affiliate of an organization which talks of noth- 
ing but "peace." Olga Milochevitch and Mitra Mitrovitch, the 
most prominent members of the affiliate, were invariably described 
as former partisans in Tito's army. 

The Yugoslav Anti-Fascist Women's Front claimed a membership 
of 3,500,000 women — a claim which is understandable for the reason 
that the organization is under state control, and comprises all or most 
of the women's groups in Yugoslavia. The Second Congress of the 
Yugoslavian Anti-Fascist Women's Front, held in Belgrade in Janu- 
ary 1948, was addressed by Tito himself (then in good grace with 
the Comintern), who "stressed the fact that the Yugoslavian Anti- 
Fascist Women's Front is a most important part of the People's 
Front and one of its bulwarks." ^° This congress was attended by 
delegates from Albania, Bulgaria, Czechsolvakia, Hungary, and 
Poland — the "People's Democracies" — and from sympathetic groups 
in France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and Trieste. 

ALBANIA 

Foreign "fraternal delegations" to the Second Congress of Albanian 
Women included not only representatives of Albanian women living 
in Bulgaria, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, but also representatives of 
the women of the U. S. S. R., Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and 
Hungary. In no case could women from these iron-curtain countries 
attend without official Government approval. The official description 
of the meeting declared: 

The Soviet delegation was greeted by a storm of applause when it mounted the 
platform to present the Albanian women with an embroidered portrait of J. V. 
Stalin. 61 

After the congress the foreign delegation made a tour tlirough 
Albania, which was glowingly publicized as follows : 

Everywhere we saw ample proof of Albania's great affection for the Soviet 
Union. * * * Stalin's name is known to every Albanian, and is pronounced 
with affection and respect. The Albanian people regard the Soviet Union as 
their liberator from Fascist aggression.''^ 

!^ Guests of honor at the Congress were Gen. Enver Hoxlia, Com- 
munist?prime minister of Albania, and his deputy. Communist Gen. 
Koci Xoxe. Enver Hoxha is the husband of Mme. Nedjimie Hoxha, 

»9 Soviet Woman. No. 2, 1946, p. 46. 
«o Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1948, p. 60. 
•1 Soviet Woman, No. 5, 1946, pp. 55-56. 
M Ibid. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 31 

who is the president and one of the founders of the Albanian Women's 
League. Naturally, therefore — 

All delegates spoke of their support for the new people's government, and of 
their loyal adherence to the principles of the Democratic Front. ^* 

Nedjimie Hoxha sent a message to the Soviet Union on the thirty- 
first anniversary of the Russian revolution in behalf of the Albanian 
Women's Union : 

We all join in celebrating * * * for the October Revolution, which brought 
freedom and salvation to the Soviet people, inspired all mankind with the hope 
of liberation. * * * 

The Soviet Union today stands at the head of the democratic anti-imperialist 
camp * * *64 

The Albanian Anti-Fascist Women's Council publishes a magazine 
called "Woman of the New Albania," which has solicited "literature 
on your activities" from Soviet women's organizations.^^ 

BULGARIA 

According to a report made by Tsola Dragoicheva in 1946, the 
National League of Bulgarian Women claimed 250,000 members. ^^ 
A year later it was reported that the Bulgarian Women's Alliance, 
"the only women's political organization in Bulgaria," had 400,000 
members and 170,000 affiliated members. In her capacity as chair- 
man of the National Women's League of Bulgaria, the Communist 
"lady executioner," Tsola Dragoicheva, wrote to the Russian women 
on the thu'ty-first anniversary of the October revolution : 

Greeting you on this great holiday, we pledge to devote all our strength to 
the construction of socialism in our People's Republic of Bulgaria, to the struggle 
against any new imperialist aggression * * *_ Long live the cause of the 
great October revolution, the cause of Lenin — ^Stalin." 

The Bulgarian Popular Women's Union publishes a magazine called 
"Zhenata Dues" (Woman Today), extolling the "democratic" govern- 
ment of the "fatherland front." In addition, this journal, "meeting 
the wishes of its readers," publishes various reports on activities in 
the U. S. S. R. and many of its contributors are actual Soviet citizens, 
sending their material from Russia. One article deals in detail with 
the establishment of the Rumanian Women's Democratic Federation. 
The "Soviet Woman" praised "Zhenata Dnes" careful attention to 
the WIDF and its other national affiliates : 

Bulgarian women are taking an active part in the international democratic 
women's movement against the forces of reaction. The journal gives an exhaus- 
tive report of the International Women's Congress in Paris, describes the work 
of Dolores Ibarruri * * *.*8 

RUMANIA 

The First Congress of the Rumanian Women's Federation was held 
early in 1946. It met in the Parliament building. "Fraternal dele- 
gates from the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, 
and Holland occupied seats of honor on the platform." Speeches 

«3 Ibid, p. 56. 

«< Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1948, p. 7. 
65 Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1946, p. 46. 
«« Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1946, p. 3. 
«' Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1948, p. 6. 
88 Soviet Woman, No. 5, 1946, p. 58. 



32 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

made by delegates from Yugoslavia, Albania, and the U. S. S. R. were 
featm'ed. "The head of the Soviet delegation, Leontyeva, could not 
begin her speech because of the stormy applause that rocked the 
haU."«» 

At this First Congress much was made of the fact that Anna Pauker, 
Rumanian Communist leader, was seated among the guests of honor 
on the platform. At another conference, held in Bucharest between 
February 14 and 17, 1948, a "Union of Democratic Women" was 
formed, and Anna Pauker was elected honorary chairman of the 
organization/" 

HUNGARY 

In March 1946, women's organizations in Hungary held a congress 
to popularize decisions made at the first International Women's 
Congress. The most important member of the Democratic League of 
Hungarian Women is the general secretary, Magda Joboru, who is a 
member of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' (Com- 
munist) Party. On the thirty-first anniversary of the Russian 
Revolution, the Democratic League of Hungarian Women sent a 
message to the women of the Soviet Union: 

November 7, the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, is also 
a great day for Hungarian women. * * * Now that our country is on the road 
to Socialism, it must not be forgotten that this would have been impossible without 
the great October Socialist Revolution. * * * Long live Stalin, the great 
defender of peace. ""■ 

CZECHOSLOVAKIA 

There are two large women's organizations in Czechoslovakia. One, 
the Czechoslovak National Women's Front, draws its members from 
representatives of political parties in Czechoslovakia. Its chief tasks 
are political. This organization has a central body of 15 members, 
and publishes a monthly journal called "The Czechoslovak Woman." 
The presidium of the Czechoslovak National Women's Front belongs 
as a body to the largest women's organization, the Council of Czecho- 
slovak Women, which claims to unite 22 Czech women's organizations. 
The chief spokesmen in the WIDF for the CouncU of Czechoslovak 
Women are Milada Horakova, a leader of the Communist Party of 
Czechoslovakia, and Anezka Hodinova-Spurna, the outstanding 
representative at present. She is a Communist Party vice president 
of the Czech Parliament. On the thirty-first anniversary of the 
Soviet Revolution, Anezka Hodinova-Spurna sent a message to the 
Russian women: 

Our eyes are turned with hope to your country, to your patriotic people, these 
days. The Soviet Union is the powerful bulwark of peace. * * * « 

POLAND 

The Polish Women's League claims to unite all the women of 
Poland, "irrespective of their social status or political affiliations." 
But of course it "supports the Polish Government of National Unity." 
It has also "established contact" with "democratic organizations" in 

•» Soviet Woman, No. 3, 1946, p. 33. 
" Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1948, p. 60. 
" Soviet Woman, No. 6, No. 1948, p. 8. 
" Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1948, p. 6. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 33 

France, the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, 
Switzerland, and Sweden. In Communist jargon this means Com- 
munist organizations, of course. Controlling officers of the League 
of Polish Women include Izolda Kowalska, secretary-general of the 
league, who is a member of the Polish Workers' (Communist) Party; 
Stanislawa Garncarczyk, a vice president of the League of Polish 
Women, who is head of the women's section of the Communist- 
controlled Stronnictwo Ludowe Party; and Eugenia Pragerowa, a 
vice president of the league, who is Vice Minister of Labor and Social 
Welfare in the Communist Polish Government. Another prominent 
member of the league is Zhanna Kormanowa, who is the Director of 
School Reform in the Department of the Ministry of Education. 
The leader of the women's section of the Polish Workers' (Communist) 
Party is Edwarda Orlowska, who is a Polish representative on the 
Executive Committee of the WIDE. Eugenia Pragerowa and Izolda 
Kowalska also are members of the Executive Committee of the WIDE. 

Early in 1948 the Democratic League of Polish Women invited a 
delegation from the Soviet Union to visit the "women of the New 
Poland." The delegation was received "with great cordiality" by 
the Communist President of the Polish Republic, Boleslaw Beirut. 

Shortly after this visit, a Polish women's delegation was invited 
to the Soviet Union. A plenary meeting of the board of the League 
of Polish Women was held to receive the delegation's report. At 
this meeting a resolution was adopted which read: 

We learned that the most ardent wish of your people, of every Soviet citizen, 
is the strengthening of peace. * * * \Ye will spread the truth about the 
U. S. S. R., about its achievements and about Soviet women everywhere.™ 

The Central Board of the Democratic League of Polish Women, 
through the Communist Izolda Kowalska and Irena Sztachelska, 
members of the Executive Committee of the WIDE, sent a message 
to the U. S. S. R. on the Thirty-first anniversary of the Soviet 
revolution: 

The great ideas of the October Revolution serve as the guiding star for our 
complete victory too, and we shall march along the road of history shoulder to 
shoulder with you, our dear sisters.^* 

FRANCE 

The Union des Femmes Frangaises sent a delegation to visit the 
U. S. S. R. from April 24 to May 12, 1946. The delegation was 
headed by Eugenie Cotton, who afterwards wrote to the editor of 
Soviet Woman. 

At the close of our unforgettable visit to the U. S. S. R. the delegation wishes 
to convey its greetings to the Soviet women * * * everywhere we admired 
the heroic efforts of our Soviet sisters in the battle against the enemy * * * 
The members of our delegation are proud of the welcome accorded them, and 
through them to all the women of France. We wish to express to the other 
women of the U. S. S. R. our feelings of admiration, gratitude, and friendship.^* 

According to the Soviet Woman: 

The many statements made by the delegation in Moscow, Leningrad, and 
Minsk show that its trip was a tremendous event in the lives of the delegates. ''^ 

•« Soviet "Woman, No. 2. 1948, p. 60. 
'* Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1948, p. 7. 
» Soviet Woman, No. 3, 1946, p. 26. 
'« Ibid. 



34 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

FINLAND 

In 1946 the Democratic Women's League of Finland wrote to the 
Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee for information on pubHc 
education and mother and child welfare in the U. S. S. K.. 

SWITZERLAND 

Between the two congresses of the WIDF, women members of the 
Swiss (Communist) Labour Party affiliated with the WIDF and 
participated in Communist-inspired demonstrations against Franco 
in Spain and May Day celebrations." 

ITALY 

In 1946, the League of Italian Women wrote to the Soviet Woman 
that "following the International Women's Congress we in Italy 
spared no efforts to explain to our women the tasks and aims of the 
International Democratic Women's Federation." ''^ Since that time 
the Democratic Italian Women's Union has been a bulwark in support 
of the Soviet Union. In the spring of 1947, a delegation of six Soviet 
women spent a month in Italy at the invitation of the Union of Italian 
Women. The organization, which claims to be a "mass democratic 
organization" of "500,000 members," boasts of its support of the left- 
wing political parties of the so-called "Popular Bloc." 

In 1948, as the whole world awaited the outcome of the struggle 
between the Communists and the genumely democratic forces of 
Italy, which was to be resolved in the crucial election of April 18, when 
the Communist forces suffered overwhelming defeat at the polls, it 
was announced that — 

The Democratic Italian Women's Union is playing an important part in the 
election campaign now underway in Italy. The anti-Fascist women are well aware 
that the future progress of tneir country will depend on the victory of the demo- 
cratic camp in the polling on April 18 and the rebuff that the Italian people will 
give to the machinations of the Italian reactionaries and their American backers." 

Affiliates of the WIDF have consistently fought legitimate and 
responsible women's organizations in each country. The best-laiown 
women's organization in Italy is the right-wing Italian Women's 
Centre, which works in conjunction with many other women's groups 
throughout Italy, such as the women's section of the anti-Communist 
Christian Democratic Party, but does not support the Union of Italian 
Women. Even the rabidly left-wing Union of Italian Women is 
forced to admit, in a grudging understatement, that the Italian 
Women's Centre is "influential." Nevertheless, it assaUs the Italian 
Women's Centre as "reactionary," and attacks its various publications 
as "vehicles of antidemocratic propaganda." 

The magazine Soviet Woman praised the Union of Italian Women 
as a "true democratic organization * * * which stands at the 
head of the working women's struggle * * * [it] is a worthy 
member of the International Democratic Women's Federation." ^^ 

" Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1946, p. 7. 
'8 Ibid p. 6. 

'« Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1948, p. 27. 
» Soviet Woman, No. 3, 1947, p. 35. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 35 

Among the leaders of the Union of Itahan Women are Ada Gobetti, 
Camilla Ravera, and Maria Maddalena Rossi — all leaders of the 
Communist Party of Italy. 

The chairman of the Union of Italian Women, Maria Maddalena 
Rossi, writes that — 

The servitors of reaction are again attacking the Soviet Union, the political and 
social forces of democracy. They are employing the same means that were used 
by the Nazis and the Fascists. * * * The Italian Women's Union * * * 
is drawing broad strata of women into the struggle against the brazen enslavement 
of our country by the American imperialists and their satellites. * * * Qux 
strength, our weapon lies in that we tell the people the truth, the truth about the 
U. S. S. R. and the new democracies, the truth about the constant victories of 
socialism.'' 

GERMANY 

Ninety-eight and five tenths percent of the Soviet-zone membership 
of the Democratic Women's Union of Germany voted to affiliate with 
the WIDF. At meetings held in Brandenburg Province "the women 
spoke of the honest and unselfish policy of the Soviet Union and the 
generosity of Soviet women * * *." When Jeanne tte Ver- 
meersch, the French Communist, addressed a conference, she was 
given a "hearty reception." ^^ 

The German WIDF affiliate is completely controlled by Soviet 
sympathizers and is discouraged by American, British, and French 
occupation authorities. 

The Social-Democratic, Liberal, and Christian-Democratic Parties 
of Germany have actively opposed the Democratic Women's Union of 
Germany as subversive. Women have been expelled from the Social- 
Democratic and Liberal Parties because of membership in the WIDF. 
The Social-Democratic Party adopted a resolution which read: 

Membership in the Democratic Women's Union of Germany, and likewise par- 
ticipation in the congresses called by this union, are incompatible with member- 
ship in the Social- Democratic Party. ^ 

FAR EAST 

The Women's International Democratic Federation claims to 
have large forces in the Far East. According to their figures, over 
20,000,000 women of the "liberated" (Communist) areas of China 
belong to an organization called the General Women's Association. 
The hand of Russia is apparent in that only in the Communist areas 
of China and in Soviet-occupied northern Korea is there any significant 
support of the Soviet-dominated WIDF. The China organization is 
headed by a long-time Communist, Tsai Chang. Chief task of the 
General Women's Association is to render assistance to the so-called 
"liberation" — i. e., Communist — Army in its fight against the Kuo- 
mintang troops. 

When two Soviet writers, Alexander Gitovich and Boris Bursov, 
visited northern Korea, they reported back approvingly on their 
meeting with the Communist Pak Den Ai, who is president of the 
Women's Democratic Union of Northern Korea: 

Throughout her years of underground party work, there had not been a single 
May Day when Pak Den Ai was not in jail.'* 

» Soviet Woman, No. 6, 1^48, p. 8 
82 Soviet Woman, No. 4, 1948, p. £ 
«3 Ibid. 
M Soviet Woman, No. 3, 1948, p. 55. 



36 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Women's Democratic Union of Northern Korea claims 750,000 
members. It also claims, interestingly, one male member — the 
Russian commandant of one of the Genzan province districts, who 
was elected to full membership and to the presidium of a meeting he 
attended. 

Before the two Soviet writers left Korea, they were led by Pak Den 
Ai into a room where she showed them a portrait of Stalin, embroidered 
in silk. She gave the two a good example of the WIDF affiliate's 
fanatical devotion to the Soviet Union: 

This portrait was embroidered by five of our finest masters from Phyongyang, 
members of the Women's Democratic Union. It's to be sent as a gift to Stalin. 
The women put on their best clothes before they sat down to work. And the 
woman who embroidered the eyes first studied a portrait of Stalin for 2 diays and 
2 nights. I mean that literally. She did not sleep for 2 days, just sat looking at 
the eyes which, as she put it, see the whole world. The women worked for 18 
days and now the portrait is finished. In a few days a delegation leaving for 
Moscow will take it along and present it to Stalin.** 

INFORMATION BULLETIN 

The Women's International Democratic Federation, known also 
as the Federacion Democratica Internacional de Mujeres and the 
Federation Democratique Internationale des Femmes, publishes an 
Information Bulletin in at least four languages from its headquarters 
at 37 rue Jouvenet, Paris, which is sent to its affiliates throughout the 
world to keep them abreast of the current line. The bulletin reflects 
everywhere a pro-Soviet, pro-Communist, anti-American slant on the 
part of WIDF affiliates. 

The November 1947 issue of this magazine praised Soviet Foreign 
Minister Molotov for his advocacy of a German Government "elected 
by the German people," charging that United States Secretary of 
State Marshall had proposed a government representing "the leaders 
of the German war industry." Despite the fact that the Soviet Union 
has been looting the resources of the Eastern zone of Germany, the 
magazine declared that Mr. Molotov demanded only such reparations 
as would "aid to the development of current production" in Germany. 
It called attention to the activities of its German affiliates, the Demo- 
cratic Union of German Women and the 7,000 Women's Anti-Fascist 
Committees of Berlin. 

In the interest of furthering the cause of the Greek Communist 
guerrillas, the national sections of the federation were urged to "mo- 
bilize the greatest possible number of women, so as to impress upon 
the United Nations' Organization their indignation and their determi- 
nation to bring to an end American interference" in Greece. This 
plea was supported by the Pan-Hellenic Federation for Women, the 
Greek affiliate of the WIDF. 

The November 1947 bulletin also carried an announcement from its 
Egyptian adherents in the League of Egyptian Patriots expressing 
their gratification on learning that "the Brooklyn branch of the Con- 
gress of American Women would organize on September 29 a mass 
meeting" to take issue with American policy on the atomic bomb. 
"Your struggle for peace," they declared, "is our struggle." Here we 
have demonstrated the close coordination of this movement on a 
world-wide scale. 

8» Ibid. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 37 

On November 10 and 11, 1947, the Friends of Peace, created by the 
French Coordinating Committee of the WIDF, decided at a national 
conference to oppose "resolutely the American strangle hold on 
our country." 

In the Information Bulletin for December 1947, Eugenie Cotton, 
president of the WIDF, who was denied a visa by the United States 
Government because of her Communist associations, was most forth- 
right in her condemnation of the democracies and of any antagonism 
toward communism or the Soviet Union, declaring that feminine — 

mother love * * * rebels at the progressive forsaking of guaranties which 
the Allies have erected against a new war. 

She insisted that the federation "must oppose everything that 
divides men, anticommunism, antisovietism, which are the stamps not 
only of intolerance but of ingratitude." She made no strictures 
against slave-labor camps or the Soviet campaign of vilification against 
the United States, whose aid had saved the Soviet Union from 
Hitler's legions. Mme. Cotton's appeal was supplemented by another 
by Dolores Ibarruri, vice president of the WIDF, woman leader of the 
Spanish Communist Party. 

An unsigned editorial expressed a most cordial attitude toward the 
Communist governments. We quote in part from an article entitled 
"On the Threshold of the New Year": 

The new democracies, masters of their future, forcibly progress on the road to 
reconstruction and economic and social improvement. The U. S. S. R. recovering 
with amazing speed from the terrible consequences of the war is the strongest 
support of peace and of the security of all peoples.** 

Reporting on the activity of the French branch of the WIDF, the 
Information Bulletin declared: 

This ardent fight of the Communist representatives for the defense of trade- 
union freedom rang the alarm among the Republicans and Democrats in every 
country. 

The central committee of the Women's Democratic Union of 
Northern Korea went even further, stating that — 

The military defeat of Hitler Germanv and imperialist Japan by the Allied 
forces, at the head of which stood the Soviet Army, led to the end of the Second 
World War. 

8* Information Bulletin, December 1947, p. 2. 



38 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




•f, 



Anna Pauker, Stalin's hatchet woman. 



—Wide World Photo. 



ANNA PAUKER 

STALIN'S HATCHET WOMAN 

Anna Pauker, founder and member of the executive committee of 
the Women's InterDatiooal Democratic Federation, is a woman who 
has reached the pinnacle of power. In fact she is the most powerful 
woman Communist in the world. As the secretary of the Com- 
munist Party of Rumania, the first woman to hold the post of Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, she is the actual ruler and dictator of that country. 
She is the chief spokesman for the Kremlin in the Communist- 
dominated countries of Europe. Acting simultaneously as the hon- 
orary chairman of the WIDF affiliate, the Democratic Women's 
Union of Rumania, of which she was the founder, "Tovarish Anny," 
as she is familiarly called, is the outstanding personality in the inter- 
national movement of which the Congress of American Women is a 
part, one to whom its members point with greatest pride. The Daily 
Worker of December 14, 1947, has referred to her as "one of the most 
distinguished personalities of modern times." 

At the second congress of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation in December 1948, it was decided that in spite of Anna 
Pauker's absence her credentials "be considered as valid" just as if 
she had attended the congress, since she was recognized as "among 
the beloved founders and leaders of our federation." 

Wliat manner of woman is Anna Pauker? Anna Pauker is no 
patrician Muriel Draper. She climbed to power the hard way. 
She was born in Moldavia in 1893 in the humble home of Zvi Rabin- 
sohn, a shochet, i. e. a man who slaughters cattle in accordance with 
orthodox Jewish ritual. Most of her life was spent in the meaner 
areas of Bucharest. 

While she has avowed her concern about the poverty of her people 
and has declared "we want the people to be rich," her way of life dis- 
closes a marked eagerness to feather her own nest. Today she resides 
in three great mansions, moving about every night because her 
popularity is such that she fears assassins. She speeds about in a 
bullet-proof, chauff cured Zis-Pobeida — Soviet equivalent of a Packard. 
One of her homes belonged to Prince Brancoveanu, another to Nicolae 
Malaxa, wealthy industrialist and speculator, and a third belonged to 
Magda Lupescu, ex-King Carol's mistress and now his wife. One 
two-story, high-walled villa is in the fashionable Parcu Filipescu of 
Bucharest with a garden and needle showers. She also has a lakeside 
retreat at Snagov. 

Aunty Anna, as she sometimes is referred to, has shown a strong 
predilection for tailored suits and velvet gowns — mostly gray and 
black — averaging about $400 apiece and ordered from the most 
fashionable couturiers in the leading capitals of Europe. Communist 
agents and diplomats returning from the capitalistic west always 
remember to bring her nylons. She has also developed a penchant for 
pedigreed dogs. 

39 



40 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Reports published in the Swiss weekly, Weltwoche, in June 1949 
charge that she is out of favor with the Kremlin because "she deposited 
party funds in foreign countries, including Switzerland, and did not 
inform the financial bureau of the Cominform." 

According to Zvi Rabinsohn, his daughter was brought up "in the 
strictest Orthodox way" under the stern guidance of the Old Testa- 
ment. She attended the Jewish school on Anton Pan Street in 
Bucharest and later taught Hebrew at the Temply Coral Synagogue 
School. Since then Anna has repudiated her religious faith for com- 
munism. Finding religious conditions unbearable in Bulgaria under 
the rule of his daughter, the old man has sought a refuge in Palestine. 

In an authoritative study entitled "Jews Behind the Iron Curtain," 
published by the Jewish Labor Committee, the following description 
is given of the plight of her own people under Anna Pauker's dic- 
tatorship : 

In Rumania, the Jewish community is on the verge of extinction. During 
1948, Jewish communities and all Jewish social organizations throughout Rumania 
underwent a systematic "purge." The "purge" was conducted ruthlessly by 
Jewish Communists. 

In the summer of 1948, the forced liquidation of the Jewish school system took 
place. * * * 

In November 1948 Jewish communities were deprived of their right to admin- 
ister social-security institutions, homes for aged, as well as orphanages. * * * 
On November 5, 1948, the Union of Rumanian Jews was dissolved after 40 years 
of faithful activity. 

By the end of October 1948, the Rumanian police had raided the offices of the 
Jewish national funds, Keren Hayesod and Keren Kayemet. The editor of 
the Rumanian Zionist weekly Montvirea, Mr. Leon Itskor, the director of the 
Keren Hayesod, Mr. Shmuel Rosenhaupt, and others, were arrested. 

The Communist newspaper Unirea, which is the organ of the so-called Jewish 
Democratic Committee, declared on November 3, 1948, that Zionist institutions 
had been closed. * * * -pj^e political bureau of the Rumanian Communist 
Party * * * adopted a resolution. * * * This resolution reads: "Zion- 
ism is a politically nationalistic, reactionary movement of the Jewish bourgeoisie 
which aims to divert the Jews from the common struggle, side by side with its 
progressive forces, against capitalism and their own bourgeoisie." 

Before the war, there were 750,000 Jews in Rumania. Scarcely 400,000 of 
them survived. * * * At the end of 1946 * * * over 150,000 Jews 
were forced to apply for relief. As late as the fall of 1947, over 50,000 Rumanian 
Jews were still without livelihood. 

Acts of desecration of cemeteries and a considerable number of rowdy assaults 
on Jews have taken place. Refugees from Rumania * * * in 1947 and 
1948 were unanimous in declaring that increasing anti-Semitism had been one of 
the reasons impelling them to leave the country. 

Despite her poverty Anna Pauker managed to enter Bucharest 
University where she studied medicine. Later she continued her 
studies in Zurich, Switzerland, where she met and married Marcel 
Pauker, a Rumanian student of a prominent family, who later became 
an engineer. He and his wife visited the United States while he was 
an employee of the Soviet trading agency, the Amtorg. In 1936 he 
was executed in Russia as a so-called Trotskyite. The report persists 
that Anna gave evidence against him. At any rate his Uquidation 
did not minimize in the slightest degree her devotion to the Com- 
munist movement which she had joined in 1921. 

What makes this woman so ruthless — so utterly devoid of those 
gentler qualities of her sex? What has driven the iron into her soul? 

Anna Pauker joined Rumania's tiny illegal Communist Party in 
1921 when it had less than 100 members. She spent 15 years in 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AIMERICAN WOMEN 41 

underground activity and 5 years in prison. She was twice con- 
demned to death and once shot in the right leg while escaping. She 
still carries the bullet. 

In 1933, she helped to organize the Bucharest railway strike which 
ended in bloody fighting between the barricaded workers and Govern- 
ment troops. She was arrested, escaped and arrested again. Juliu 
Maniu, leader of the Peasant Party, helped her and publicly defended 
her. Third-degree methods could not break her down. She was 
sentenced to 10 years in jail of which she served 5. She conducted a 
hunger strike for 35 days. In 1940 when Rumania was "liberated" 
by the Red Army, she clapped the aged Maniu in prison with the 
heartless comment, "In his old age, Maniu has earned his rest." 
Maniu is now dying behind bars, branded as a Fascist. 

Pauker's ruthless purges have eliminated outstanding Rumanian 
leaders, some of them long and intimately associated with her. Among 
those arrested are Florica Bagdasar, Minister of Public Health; Gen. 
Michael Lascar, of Pauker's own Tudor Vladimirescu Red Army 
Division; Gen. Constantm lonescu, chief of the Rumanian general 
staff; Constantin Doncea, deputy mayor of Bucharest, colonel in the 
Red Army, member of the central committee of the Communist Party 
of Rumania and her coworker in the Bucharest railway strike of 1933. 
"Doncea fell into petty bourgeois habits," she coolly explained, "I 
advise all Communists not to sleep on their glory, and take heed from 
this lesson." 

Anna Pauker is no product of bohemian boudoirs. She has even 
had first-hand military experience. In 1940, the Soviet Government 
held her ui such high esteem that it exchanged a Rumanian nationalist 
politician taken prisoner by the Red Army in Bessarabia, for Anna 
Pauker. In Russia she organized Rumanian prisoners of war into the 
Red Army's Tudor Vladimirescu Division, named after a fierce nine- 
teenth century peasant fighter whose slogan was, "If a serpent crosses 
your path, hit it and kill it." Evidently this forceful slogan captured 
Anna's fancy. When Rumania was "liberated" by the Red Army, 
she returned to her native land with her regiment with the title of 
colonel. It was said of her that she was so tough that she bawled 
out generals and even Red Marshal Tolbukhin. 

Tovarish Anna has become Stalin's leading representative and 
spokesman in eastern Europe. It is reported that she was so highly 
regarded by the Soviet dictator that she was free to call him directly 
on the telephone. She resided for a number of years in Moscow, be- 
coming a Soviet citizen. 

She is reported to have long been an ex officio member of the Soviet 
Politbureau and top lieutenant to the late Andrei Zhdanov in the 
Cominform. She was one of the 17 signers of the pronouncement of 
the "dissolution" of the Communist International in 1943 in Moscow. 
She was one of the founders of the Cominform in September 1947, 
successor organization of the Communist International. She was a 
member of its executive committee. It is worthy of note that the 
headquarters of the latter organization was moved from Belgrade 
to Bucharest after Tito's defection. She it was who was chosen to 
castigate Tito's regime as "bureaucratic" and "terrorist" and her 
statement is featured in For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy 



42 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

for July 15, 1948, official Cominform organ. Here she attests her 
stanch devotion to the Russian Communist Party, as follows: 

The experience of nearly half a century of the Bolshevik Party brilliantly 
demonstrates the correctness of the Leninist-Stalinist doctrine about the party 

* * * This historical experience of the Bolshevik Party was the basis on which 
all the Communist Parties grew and developed as Leninist parties * * * xhe 
fact that one of the leaders of the Yugoslav Communist Party declared that 
Stalin's Short History of the CPSU (B) should not be studied in party schools 

* * * cannot be regarded as a chance occurrence. It is not at all accidental 
that such objections were raised in connection with the Short History of the 
CPSU (B) which is the clearest, most profound and militant account of the 
experience of the Soviet Communist Party. 

In the May 1, 1949, issue of For a Lasting Peace, for a People's 
Democracy, she contributed a special May Day article entitled 
"Soviet Union Heads Struggle for Peace." 

Keynoting the celebration of International Women's Day in 
Bucharest on May 8, 1949, Anna Pauker boldly called for fraterniza- 
tion with the Red Army. She declared: 

"The most bestial hatred of the imperialists is directed against the U. S. S. R. 
in the same way as the warmest thoughts, hopes, and love of the working people 
throughout the world are turned toward the U. S. S. R. * * * peoples 
throughout the world can clearly see the bright luminous face of Soviet proposals, 
the luminous faces of the Soviet people who are building a happy present and 
future * * * The Soviet Army was, is and will be a liberating army. On 
behalf of the Italian, French, and' British peoples their leaders state that with 
this Army their peoples will fraternize. 

Anna Pauker' followed in the wake of the Red Army as it entered 
Bucharest on August 30, 1944. Since King Michael enjoyed popular 
support at the time, she smothered him with tokens of friendship. 
At ber request he was awarded the diamond-and-ruby-studded Order 
of Victory. She had his picture artfully displayed beside Stalin's 
throughout the country and ordered that he be eulogized in aU Com- 
munist speeches. Meanwhile she was plotting his destruction. With 
900,000 Red Army troops occupying Rumania, she drew up a slate of 
a pro-Soviet stooge Cabinet which the King was forced to accept 
in a 20-minute ultimatum handed to him by Soviet Minister Andrei 
Vishinsky. Later, on her orders, an abdication document was thrust 
into Michael's hands and he was forced to leave the throne on pain 
of being tried as a spy in the pay of the United States. Thus she has 
the distinction of having double-crossed her father, her husband, her 
associates, her King, and her people. 

This is the individual who, in the eyes of Muriel Draper and the 
Congress of American Women, represents the crowning glory of Com- 
munist womanhood, the ideal which they are trying to achieve, the 
model they hold forth to attract the women of the United States. 



SECOND CONGRESS OF THE WIDF 

Joseph Starobin, a member of the Commmiist Party, U. S. A., and 
a columnist for the Daily Worker, in his column of November 16, 1948 
accused the United States press of ignoring important world news, as 
he reported meetings in Paris preliminary to the Second Congress of 
the WIDF, scheduled for Budapest in December 1948. He claimed 
that on October 27th, 50,000 women jammed a meeting called by the 
Communist-dominated Union des Femmes Frangaises. The major 
speech at this meeting was made by a leading member and repre- 
sentative of the French Communist Party, Jeannette Vermeersch, 
the wife of Maurice Thorez (the general secretary of the Communist 
Party of France). Miss Vermeersch has been an active leader of the 
WIDF since its initial meeting in 1945. 

A week later a delegation from the Union of Italian Women arrived 
in Paris to meet in preparation for the Second Congress of the WIDF. 

An ofRcial Soviet source, New Times, published by the Moscow 
newspaper Trud, reported on December 15, 1948 that at the time of 
the Second Congress of the WIDF, during its third year of existence, 
the WIDF was represented in 56 countries, as compared with 33 coun- 
tries claimed in 1945. Membership was placed at 80,000,000 women, 
whereas in 1945 the Daily Worker claimed the Federation had 
120,000,000 members. There is no explanation for the discrepancy 
between the alleged gain of 23 countries and the apparent loss of 
40,000,000 members. 

The Second Congress of the WIDF pointed up a notable departure 
from the first, insofar as the Soviet domination of the proceedings was 
even more crudely visible. Evidence of this is found in the fact that 
the WIDF originally proposed to hold the Second Congress in Belgrade. 
However, a few months after this announcement came the news of 
the Stalin-Tito break, and the meeting place of the Congress was 
immediately transferred to Budapest, without public explanation. 
There were other clear indications that the Russian delegation actually 
pulled the strings. In an article in the New Times of December 15, 
1948, M. Makarova, a Soviet delegate to the Congress, furnishes some 
details. She "came to Budapest some time earlier . . . with two 
more of the Soviet delegates, to participate in the work of a committee 
set up to prepare materials for the Congress discussion." 

The importance attached to the Congress by the Soviet regimes 
was brought out by the fact that the delegates included ministers of 
Soviet Republics and members of central and local Soviets. 

On every possible occasion the Soviet Union was eulogized and 
spotlighted. Makarova declared that on its arrival in Budapest "the 
welcome extended to the Soviet women" was "particularly heartfelt." 
She described how a "simple peasant woman" of Hungary, only a few 
years ago "illiterate and downtrodden," delivered herself of the 
following flowery remarks: 

It is with a feeling of great love and boundless gratitude that I address the 
heroic Soviet women who sent their sons to die for our freedom. Dear Soviet 

65891—50 4 48 



44 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

women, our guests today, accept our sincere respect and love for these heroic 
mothers. 

When delegates visited the various Hungarian factories under the 
auspices of the Communist government of Hungary, their speeches 
were often interrupted by enthusiastic cheers in honor of the Soviet 
Union and J. V. Stahn. 

The gathering received full official recognition from the Hungarian 
Communist government. Flags decked the streets of Budapest as on 
a national holiday, when the delegates arrived. The formal opening 
of the Congress tooK place in the Budapest House of Parliament, in 
the presence of Sakasits, President of the Republic, and all the mem- 
bers of the Hungarian Government. As the delegates came out of 
the parliament building they found Kossuth Square flooded with 
people in a parade ''lit oy the glare of hundreds of torches." More 
than a hundred thousand girls and women had marched to the square 
from all parts of the capital. The parade culminated in a mass meet- 
ing addressed by Nina Popova of Russia and Tsai Chang, a member of 
the Central Executive Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. 
The meeting was climaxed by the singing of the "Internationale," 
official anthem of the Communist movement throughout the world. 

A Soviet source declared that: 

The Second International Women's Congress was convened in a situation 
marked by an increasingly acute struggle between the camp of the dark forces of 
reaction headed by the United States and Britain which is seeking to unleash a 
new world war, and the camp of the democratic forces at whose head stands the 
Soviet Union, the camp of forces fighting for peace and progress.*' 

When the Swedish delegate Andrea Andreen rose at the Congress to 
express her alarm at a "certain mistrust between East and West, 
which may serve as a cause of war," and requested that the Federation 
institute a "certain change in propaganda methods" and proceed 
more "diplomatically" in order "not to frighten off nondemocratic 
women," the Congress rallied behind its Soviet whip, Nina Popova, 
who rejected what was termed "lady-like prattle." This was the only 
speech in any way critical of the Soviet Union. Miss Popova told 
Miss Andreen : 

The reactionaries of the U. S. A. use all possible means to give simple people the 
monstrous idea that there is danger of aggression on the part of the Soviet Union 
* * * [This is] degrading expansionist propaganda. The instigators of a 
new war must be exposed * * * -p^e warmongers must be surrounded by 
the hate and contempt of all people. We must see to it that the hundreds of 
millions of women, in whatever corner of the globe they may live, know that the 
aggressive circles in the United States and England are the most dangerous 
enemies of peace and security. 

Miss Andreen bowed humbly before this criticism and subsequently 
stated: 

I know very well that the most important guaranty for peace at present is the 
will for peace of the governments of the Eastern countries. 

Having corrected herself, Miss Andreen was rewarded at the closing 
of the Congress by election to the Executive Committee of the Fed- 
eration. 

Special welcomes were extended to delegates from the Soviet Union 
and "liberated" (Communist) China, "Republican" (Communist) 
Spain, and "Free" (Communist) Greece. It was said that Greek 

" Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1949, p. 60. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 45 

delegates to the Congress came straight "from the Hne of battle 
against Washington's Fascist hirelings." Mme. Cotton told of 
WIDF activities in behalf of the Communists of Spain and Greece. 
Major speeches were made by representatives from the Commmiist 
areas of China and Greece concerning the "heroic armed struggle their 
peoples are waging against the reactionary regimes supported by the 
American imperialists." 

After the formal opening of the second Congress on November 30, 
1948, in the Budapest Hall of Parliament, the WIDF started its 
regular sessions on December 1. 

The opening speech at the Congress was made by the president, 
Mme. Eugenie Cotton, who said: 

A sinister role has been played by the Government of the United States, which, 
in violation of all international agreements, is pursuing a policy of expansion and 
of fomenting war. But this policy comes into collision with the powerful will of 
that staunch champion of peace, the Soviet Union. 

The United States Government is waging a campaign of slander against the 
Soviet Union, whose prestige among the peoples of the whole world has risen still 
higher since the war. 

Ninety percent of the losses sustained by Hitler's forces were inflicted by the 
Soviet Army. * * * The Soviet Union brought liberation * * * The 
Soviet Union is the land where the great dream of Socialism that lies in the hearts 
of all men and women has come true.^^ 

At the first session, Marie Couette, who is a member of the Com- 
munist Party of France, handed down the proposed list of members 
of the Board (presidium) of the Congress. The delegates "acclaimed" 
these "symbolic" names: 

Eugenie Cotton (France) who has been refused a U. S. A. visa because of her 
pro-Communist activities; Nina Popova (U. S. S. R.), Soviet whip of the WIDF; 
Tsai Chang (China), a member of the Central Executive Committee of the 
Chinese Communist Party; Jeannette Vermeersch (France), wife of the general 
secretary of the Communist Party of France, Maurice Thorez, and member of 
the Central Committee of the Communist Party of France; Elizabeth Andics 
(Hungary) , in charge of educational work for the Communist Party in Hungary ; 
Anezka Hodinova-Spurna (Czechostovakia), Communist vice-president of the 
Czechoslovakian Parliament; Eugenia Pragierowa (Poland), Vice-Minister of 
Labour and Social Welfare in the Communist Polish Government; Maria Madda- 
lena Rossi (Italy), a Communist Party deputy in the Italian legislature; Muriel 
Draper (U. S. A.) ; Sarah Abraham (India) ; Thai Thi Lien (Viet-Nam) ; Allaouiche 
Baia (Algeria); Nora Wooster (Great Britain); Anna Nevlainen (Finland), who 
is reported to be a member of the Communist Party; Marguerita Ponce (Argen- 
tina) ; Chryssa Hadjivassiliu (Greece), a member of the Politburo of the Communist 
Party of Greece; Ju En Djun (Korea); and Mariam Firouz (Iran). 

The report of the credentials committee, given by Nexhmye Hoxha, 
wife of the Communist prime minister of Albania, Enver Hoxha, was 
then heard. The credentials committee proposed that a special 
honor be accorded to four members of the WIDF, by accepting them 
as delegates to the Congress even though none of them attended. 
Dr. Gene Weltfish, of the Congress of American Women, shared this 
special accolade with three women known throughout the world for 
their Communist activities — Dolores Ibarruri, secretary-general of 
the Communist Party of Spain ; Anna Pauker, secretary of the Central 
Committee of the Workers (Communist) Party of Rumania, notorious 
for the ruthless pm-ges she has conducted; and Tsola Dragoicheva, 

w Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1949, p. 3. 



46 REPORT ON (X)NGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

sometimes referred to as the "Bulgarian Lady Executioner," and 
"Communist Terrorist." The credentials committee reported: 

Considering that they are among the beloved founders and leaders of our 
Federation, the credentials committee proposed that their credentials be con- 
sidered valid just as if they had attended the Congress. 

The report on new affiliations to the WIDF was given by Marie" 
Claude Vaillant-Couturier, a member of the central committee of the 
Communist Party of France. 

After hearing the report on the activities of the Women's Inter- 
national Democratic Federation, the Congress adopted a resolution 
urging that the Federation intensify its activities among national 
affiliates and demanding that it — 

enlarges the collaboration with the international progressive organizations and 
organizes joint demonstrations with all those who fight effectively for the assuring 
of peace and against the danger of a new war. 

Since this resolution was adopted the WIDF and, in the United 
States, the Congress of American Women, have expanded their pro- 
gram of cooperation with the World Federation of Trade Unions, the 
World Federation of Democratic Youth, the Communist Party, the 
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, the World Peace 
Congress, and other Communist or Communist-front organizations. 
On the day this resolution was discussed, Kittie Hooldiam, represent- 
ing the World Federation of Democratic Youth, presented her organi- 
zation's greetings to the WIDF Congress. 

The report on "Women's Political and Economic Hights" was 
delivered by Helen M. Phillips of the CAW. In another section we 
have described the plight of women under communism. But Helen 
Phillips told the Congress: 

The constitutions of the new democracies acknowledge the basic human rights 
the equality of women, and this gives them a basis to work enthusiastically for the 
economic stabilization of their countries. 

Only the Soviet Union, the nation of victorious socialism, has reached the stage 
of complete equality in women's rights * * * 

Women in the capitalist countries are denied equal rights not only in the political 
respect but also in the sphere of marital and civil rights * * * 

In the people's democracies women's economic equality is assured by 
law * * * 

If there have been such striking changes in the people's democracies, then what 
can be said of the Soviet Union, where the complete economic equality of women 
really exists * * *? 

After Miss Phillips' report, the Congress of the WIDF adopted a 
formal resolution, declaring that: 

Following the example of the U. S. S. R. * * * equal rights for women 
have been proclaimed in the new democracies: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, 
Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia as well as the Popular Republic 
[Communist] of Mongolia, in those areas of China which have been liberated by 
the People's [Communist] Army and in North Korea. The democratic govern- 
ments of these countries established the indispensable conditions for putting these 
aims into practice. 

Zhanna Kormanowa, director of school reform in the department of 
the ministry of education of the Polish Communist government, pre- 
sented the report on children to the Congress. 

Ignoring the widespread prevalence of child labor in Communist 
countries, the regimentation and militarization of education and the 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 47 

heavy penalization of children for legal offenses, a resolution on the 
conditions of children and the protection of their rights was adopted 
by the Congress praising the educational opportunities in Kussia and 
its satellite "popular democracies": 

A great deal was accomplished * * * to improve the life of children in 
the U. S. S. R. and in the popular democracies; thanks to the attainment of power 
by governments representing the interests of the popular masses * * * all 
have taken measures which guarantee * * * a democratic education of the 
new generation. * * * 

On the other hand, the United States and England are branded 
as "reactionary governments" which have abandoned true democratic 
education in order to implant ideas of "imperialism" and "militarism," 
according to the Women's International Democratic Federation: 

The congress reports with special anxiety the offensive of reaction on the 
domain of child education and training * * *. Each day militarism stamps, 
to a greater extent, the system of child education and training. Schools are 
changed into a weapon in the hands of the imperialists for the preparation of 
obedient soldiers to be called in the future to conquer the world. 

"Wilfully oblivious of recent Soviet purges in the field of science, the 
Federation declared: "In the United States and England true science 
is driven out of the schools." 

The congress heard a report on the development of the "democratic 
women's movement"' in Asia and Africa. A member of the central 
executive committee of the Communist Party of China, Tsai Chang, 
was chosen to deliver this report. She told the delegates that: 

The imperialists are seeking to crush the people's liberation movement by 
force of arms but are encountering the ever-mounting resistance of the colonial 
peoples, including the women * * * [who] are aware that the imperialists 
are seeking to enslave the colonial countries, to seize their wealth and exploit their 
cheap labor. That is why the women of Asia and Africa are following with alarm 
the activities of the American imperialists who are setting up military bases in 
the East, encouraging Japanese imperialism, and preparing a new world 
shambles * * *. 

The position of women in the Soviet Union serves as an inspiring example to 
all colonial peoples * * * that is why women in all countries look with 
admiration and hope to the Soviet state which * * * jg the bulwark of free- 
dom and democracy. 

The resolution adopted by the congress following this report 
concurred in every particular with the statement of the Communist 
Tsai Chang. The congress also adopted a call to be issued for a 
"Conference of the Women of Asia." This "conference" had been 
previously arranged by the WIDF, and it was decided to continue with 
the plans in spite of the fact that no meeting place had been agreed 
upon. It was originally scheduled to meet in Calcutta, but the 
WIDF received a set-back when the Government of India refused to 
authorize such a conference. In great indignation the WIDF sent 
the following telegram: 

TELEGRAM TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 

In the name of more than 80,000,000 members from 56 countries, the Congress 
of the WIDF energetically protests against the refusal of the authorization to hold 
the Conference of the Women of Asia at Calcutta. We consider this gesture a 
sign of hostility toward the people's movement for peace, liberty, democracy. 

Eugenie Cotton, President. 



48 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

TREASON THE KEYNOTE 

"The congress heard Nina Popova, secretary of the Central Council 
of the Trade-Unions of the U. S. S. R., chairman of the Soviet Women's 
Anti-Fascist Committee, and head of the Soviet delegation, with 
rapt attention. Her speech was frequently interrupted by applause 
and stormy ovations in honor of the Soviet Union, the Soviet army, 
and the great leader of the working people, Joseph Stalin." ^^ 

Nina Popova launched a vicious attack upon the United States: 

We have gathered at our second international congress in a tense world situa- 
tion, at a time of fierce struggle between the forces of reaction and the forces of 
democracy * * * in order to unite * * * for the struggle against the 
warmongers * * * 

To be able to fight the warmongers successfully, the women of all countries 
must know who the enemies of peace are. They must know that the inspirers 
and organizers of aggression, the inspirers and organizers of another war, are the 
present rulers of the United States and Great Britain * * *_ 

The American imperialists are utilizing the Marshall plan as a means of en- 
slaving the peoples of western Europe, Latin America, and many other countries; 
they are robbing these countries of their sovereignty and are subordinating them 
to the military interest of the United States. Reactionary circles in the United 
States and Great Britain are hatching insane plans of conquest in an endeavor to 
establish the world domination of the Anglo-American bloc. 

The Soviet Union is the vanguard of the international camp that stands for 
peace and democracy. This explains why the spearhead of the aggressive policy 
of the fomenters of another war is directed primarily against the Soviet 
Union * * *. The foreign policy of the U. S. S. R. is guided by respect for 
the independence and sovereignty of all countries, big and small * * *.*" 

It has already been stated that only one speech made at the congress 
might in any way be construed as critical of the Soviet Union. Dele- 
gate after delegate rose to praise Russia and the Communist Party; 
each of them carefully made a point of attacking the United States 
in conformance with the line laid down by Popova. This was true 
also of the chief American delegate, Muriel Draper, who condemned 
the "reactionary offensive" and "efforts to introduce fascism" in the 
United States. 

Jeannette Vermeersch, wife of Maurice Thorez, general secretary of 
the Communist Party of France, who is a leader of the French Com- 
munist Party in her own right, told the convention: 

The plan of Anglo-American and French imperialism is * * * to make 
the people pay for the preparation of the next war, while the profits will go to 
the arms manufacturers * * * ^^ owe this criminal French policy to 
American imperialism because, without its power, the French people would have 
already put an end to French reaction * * * This interference takes the 
form of the Marshall plan, the so-called "European recovery program" * * * 
Above all, the Marshall plan means war. * * * The reactionaries are carry- 
ing through this policy in the name of "western civilization" against "the East," 
that is to say, against socialism and the Soviet Union * * * 

She repeated the pledge of outright treason originally voiced by her 
husband speaking for the French Communist Party which was con- 
firmed by Communist parties through the world. Miss Vermeersch 
spoke for the Union des Femmea FrauQaises, French affiliate of the 
WIDF: 

* * * the political committee of the French Communist Party has de- 
clared, "The people of France will never make war on the Soviet Union" * * * 
The Union of French Women, expressing the will of the majority of our country 
women, has replied on this flag which we want to present to the Soviet women's 

»« Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1949, p. 51. 
•• Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1949, pp. 16-17. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



49 




"TO OUR SOVIET SISTERS 



"FRENCH MOTHERS WILL NEVER GIVE THEIR SONS TO MAKE WAR AGAINST THE 

SOVIET UNION 

"UNION DES FEMMES FRAN5AISES" 

Banner presented to the Soviet Union by the Union of French Women, affiliate 
of the Women's International Democratic Women. 

—Soviet Woman, No. 3, 1949, page 42. 



50 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

delegation, "The mothers of France will never give their sons to fight against the 
Soviet Union." 

Fanny Edelman of Argentina voiced the same opinion: 

We, the women of Latin America, solemnly declare: "Our sons shall never 
serve American imperialism and shall never take part in a war against the great 
Soviet Union and the people's democracies." 

Each delegate from a non-Communist country who addressed the 
federation supported the Soviet Union by attacking not only the 
United States but her own government. Rosetta Longo Jazio, of the 
Union of Italian Women, said: 

The words of Wallace, "The Marshall plan has been drawn up to serve the 
interests of American businessmen and militarists," are confirmed by the present 
political situation in Italy. 

She went on to explain that "American imperialists" are using the 
Marshall plan to "transform Italy into a colony and make of her a 
war base. She claimed that the Italian Government acquiesces in 
this project because it is corrupt and represents not the people but 
big business interests. Nora Wooster of Great Britain claimed 
England was enslaved to the American dollar and was pursuing 
an "imperialist" policy against U. S. S. R. against the will of the 
people: 

At the end of the war, millions of people passionately hoped that our country 
would contihue to follow the path of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet 
Union and the new democracies. But, instead of this, they have seen their 
hopes * * * fading in face of an imperialist policy which has led to our 
country's enslavement to the American dollar, a policy leading to a new war 
* * *. They dread the establishment of United States bombing bases in 
Britain. 

Hrissa (Chryssa) Hadjivassiliou, a member of the Politburo of the 
Greek Communist Party and director of women's activities in the 
party, identified the United States with Hitler's Nazi Germany, 
and the government of her own country with the Quislings: 

When the resistance of a people becomes an obstacle to the realization of 
expansionist American plans for domination, then the Wall Street imperialists, 
assisted by local reactionaries, fall back on fascism * * * Anglo-American 
intervention in Greek internal affairs is no different from German occupation. 

She went on to say: 

The royalist Fascists and their American bosses are trying to drown in blood 
the Greek people's desire to be free and independent. With barbaric cruelty 
they slaughter Greek patriots, sparing neither women nor children. The People's 
Liberation Army [Communist] of Greece is showing, however, how powerful a 
force is the people's will to victory. 

However, the assistance rendered to Communist rebels by the 
so-called "people's democracies" bordering Greece was not criticized 
as "intervention in Greek internal affairs." 

Uma Rai Chaudhm-i of India joined the chorus in denouncing her 
government: 

The foreign policy of the Indian Government at UN was one of complete 
subservience to the imperialist powers against the Soviet Union. 

Tcho En, representing the Democratic Union of the Women of 
North Korea, "expressed her unbounded gratitude to the great 
Soviet Union and its leader, Generalissimo Stalin." 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 51 

Noo Young Choon, representing the Democratic Union of the 
Women of South Korea, "denounced the terrible effects of the occupa- 
tion of their country by American troops." 

We have no rights at all and are subjected to cruel exploitation. 

Hilde Mareiner-Nuremberger of Austria also expressed a sharply 
critical attitude toward her government and her gratitude toward 
the Soviet Union: 

The imperialists are using Austria as a political barrier against the new democ- 
racies, and are trying to sabotage Austria's fight for independence. Thanks 
to the presence of Soviet troops, we have not lost all our libertJ^ 

Edith Buchacca of the Democratic Federation of Cuban Women 
excoriated the "war plans of Washington," charging that the United 
States was making an "arsenal" of Latin America. 

Miriam Firouz of Iran said: 

Attracted by our large oil fields and by our proximity to the Soviet Union, 
American imperialism has forced itself upon us. At one with its English prede- 
cessor, it is trying to stifle all popular movement and wants to make Iran into 
a fortress against the U. S. S. R. 

Louise Dorneman of Germany insisted that the United States, 
Great Britain, and France are promoting the rebhth of nazism in 
Germany in order to make western Germany into "a military base 
for imperialist aggression." 

Marie Bernetti-Bernetic of Trieste "explained that, owing to the 
interference of the American imperialists, the peaceful construction 
of the Free Republic of Trieste has not been successful." 

The high light of the Congress came when the "WIDF Manifesto 
for the Defense of Peace" was adopted. M. Makarova, Soviet 
delegate to the congress, described it: 

"This document condemns the quest for world supremacy, the policy of aggres- 
sion, of fomenting a new world war, pursued by the rulers of the United States 
and Britain. * * * j^ galls upon the women of all lands to expose the war- 
mongers; * * * to demand the reduction of armaments and military 
expenditures, and the prohibition of the atomic bomb; to organize mass meetings 
and processions calling for a struggle * * * against fascism and aggression." ^^ 

When presenting this document to the Congress, Maria Maddalena 
Rossi emphasized the Soviet Union's alleged desire for "reduction of 
armaments" and "reduction of military expenditures," in its so-called 
quest for "peace." She bitterly criticized the United States, claiming 
that: 

The 1948-49 budget appropriations for military purposes in the United States 
are 11 times the allocations for 1940, and 43.4 percent above those for the previous 
year, comprising 15,000 million dollars or 36.1 percent of the whole national 
budget.^2 

The figures offered by Mme. Rossi are deliberately misleading. 
She failed to point out to the Congress that, although actual billions 
of dollars allotted for direct military expenditures in the United States 
amount to 1L9, whereas in the Soviet Union 10.2 billions of dollars 
are appropriated, in the United States this larger amount comprises 
only 5.3 percent of the national income, whereas in the Soviet Union 
the smaller amount comprises 15.1 percent of the national income. 

" New Times (published by the newspaper Trud, Moscow) December 15, 1948, pp. 19-23. 
» Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1949, p. 13. 



52 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

She also neglected to tell the Congress that for this amount the Soviet 
Union is enabled to maintain a military establishment manned by 
two and one-half times the personnel employed by the Department of 
National Defense in the United States. Because of the high standard 
of living in the United States, a military establishment much smaller 
than that maintained in the U. S. S. R. costs considerably more. 
Furthermore, A. G. Zverev, Finance Minister of the Soviet Union, 
recently told the Parliament in Moscow that the Soviet Union plans 
to spend nearly 20 percent more for military forces this year than last.^ 
The standing army of the Soviet Union is reliably estimated at 4,- 
050,000, with a reserve of at least 20,000,000 since Russia has universal 
military training. By comparison, the United States has a standing 
army of 1,655,000 without universal military training. Nor was the 
Congress informed that in the United States social and cultural 
expenses amount to $162 per capita, whereas in the Soviet Union only 
$74 per capita is spent. Nor was the Congress apprised of the fact 
that the United States has engaged in no act of aggression since 
World War II despite its possession of the atom bomb, whereas 
country after country has been forced into the Soviet orbit by means 
of Communist terroristic or military pressure. 

The adoption of the so-called "peace" manifesto was made the 
occasion of an uproarious demonstration in behalf of Russia and the 
Communist leaders of the world and marked the high point of the 
gathering. We quote from official Soviet sources: 

The adoption of the manifesto for the defense of peace was an unforgettable 
moment. * * * 

The delegates' enthusiasm mounted. * * * 

Mention of the Soviet Union, the stanch champion of peace and democracy 
against imperialism and the instigators of a new war, evoked a prolonged, stormy 
ovation. All the delegates rose to their feet, and the hall echoed with exclama- 
tions in many languages: 

"Long live the Soviet Union! Long live Stalin!" "Vive Stalin!" "Eilen 
Stalin!" 

And the hall responded with an echoing "Thorez! "Thorez! "Thorez!" 

The Soviet delegates sang the national anthem of the U. S. R. R. which was 
taken up by the entire hall: 

"Vive U. S. S. R.! Vive Stalin! Eilen Stalin!" * * * 
* * * the hall was shaken by a thunderous "Stalin! Stalin! Stalin!" More 
applause and again a mighty "Stalin! Stalin! Stalin!" repeated over and over 
again by hundreds of voices. 

The hall resounded with the strains of national anthems and hymns of struggle. 
The women of Spain sang; then the women of Greece, and the Italian women: 

"Eilen Pasionaria! Eilen Markos! Togliatti! Togliatti!" * * * 

Then more singing: Hungarian, Polish, Bulgarian, Chinese, American songs. 

The delegates rose to cheer the leaders of this struggle, men lieloved the world 
over, the best of mankind's sons — TogHatti, Dimitrov, Rakosi, Mao Tse-tung, 
Kim Ir Sen, Enver Hoxha. 

Another burst of applause, and a mighty surge of voices raised in a unanimous 
"Stalin! Stalin! Stalin!" Then the militant strains of the Internationale 
swept the hall." 

The WIDF chose to cheer as "mankind's best sons" Dolores 
Ibarruri, secretary general of the Communist Party of Spain, and 
chairman of the central committee and the Politburo; Markos 
Vafiades, then commander in chief of the guerrilla rel3el army of Greece 
and president and minister of war in the Communist Junta; Palmiro 
Togliatti, secretary general of the Communist Party of Italy; Georgi 

M Associated Press. March 10, 1949 (Baltimore Sun, March 11, 1949, p. 1). 
" Soviet Woman, No. 1, 1949, pp. 52-63; No. 2, 1949, p. 36. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN. 53 

Dimitrov, formerly secretary general of the Communist International, 
recently deceased prime minister of the Commmiist government of 
Bulgaria; Matyas Rakosi, secretary general of the Hungarian Com- 
munist Party; Mao Tse-tung, chaii'man of the central executive com- 
mittee of the Chinese Communist Party; and Enver Hoxha, Com- 
munist prime minister of Albania. 

For obvious reasons, the WIDF was praised after its second con- 
gress by the Moscow Soviet Home Service in a radio broadcast on 
December 31, 1948. 

However, the British Labor Party has recognized and labeled the 
Women's International Democratic Federation as a Communist or 
Communist-front organization, and has purged the Labor Party of 
WIDF members. According to an Associated Press dispatch from 
London on May 19, 1949: 

Britain's Labor Party ordered its entire membership of more than 5,000,000 
today to pujrge itself of any fellow traveling with Communists. * * * Today's 
ban on fellow traveling applies to rank-and-file party members as well as party 
officials and members of Parliament. Prime Minister Attlee and the Labor 
Party's executive committee blacklisted 14 Communist or Communist-front 
groups and told Laborites to shun those bodies. Members of the 14 organizations 
are banned from Labor Party membership. The list included * * * the 
Women's International Democratic Federation. 

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt headlined her column on December 14, 
1948, "Budapest Meeting of American (?) Women Amazes Me." She 
said: 

The American delegates painted an astonishing picture of life in the United 
States. Apparently these women find our country a place where the police are 
ordered by President Truman to track down people who differ with him politically. 
The French newspaper reporting this meeting wondered why this group of 25 
women, who believe the American Government is seeking imperialist domination 
of the world and presented a resolution accusing the United States of "pursuing 
an aggressive and cold war against the Soviet Union", did not decide to remain 
in the "free countries" behind the iron curtain. * * * 

Of course, in Europe this group is known to be completely Communist-con 
trolled. Otherwise, it could not be meeting in Budapest. * * * '* 

AMERICAN WIDF DELEGATES REPORT 

In an interview in the Worker, Dorothy Hayes, an American dele- 
gate to the congress, gave a preliminary report of its proceedings. 
She said that memorable delegates to the congress were Mme. Eugenie 
Cotton of France, the president of the WIDF (who has been refused a 
United States visa) ; Nina Popova of the Soviet Union; Marie-Claude 
Valliant-Couturier, widow of the French Communist editor of the 
French Communist paper "Humanite" who was reelected executive 
secretary of the Federation; the Chinese delegates from the "liberated" 
(Communist) areas and from the "People's Republic" (Communist) 
of Outer Mongolia; the Hungarian and Albanian women; a delegate 
from Iran who "told of conditions there as a result of United States oil 
interests taking over. They burned the date palms in Iran, the source 
of much of the people's sustenance." The Iranian delegate said, 
"America sends food to Iran, but the people can't afford to buy. And 
now, they're starving." Miss Hayes emphasized that "by everyone 
at the congress * * * regardless of their political aflUiations, the 
Soviet Union was looked upon as the leading force for world peace." ^* 

M "My Day," by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Daily News, December 14, 1948, p. 45. 
•« Worker, January 16, 1949, p. 5, magazine section. 



54 REPORT ON (X)NGRES6 OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Congress of American Women had a dinner in New York in 
honor of the returning delegates from the WIDF, to hear their reports. 
Nora Stanton Barney was applauded when she observed in criticizing 
the United States: 

Some of the people I spoke to, who were opposed to the [Hungarian] govern- 
ment, were non-Communists. So, you see they get better treatment than the 
Communists over here. © 

Haloise Moorehead, another delegate, said Hungary had provided 
her with her "first taste of human freedom." Muriel Draper reported 
not only on the congress but on her subsequent, and second, visit to 
the Soviet Union, where Moscow's citizens "laughed at the Voice of 
America." ^^ 

It was advertised in the Daily Worker that Pearl Lawes, an open 
Communist, and Betty Millard would report on the Budapest congress 
under the auspices of the Jefferson School Forums, sponsored by the 
Jefferson School of Social Science, which has been cited as an "adjunct 
of the Communist Party" by the Attorney General. Betty Millard 
is an instructor at the Jefferson School of Social Science and a member 
of the Congress of American Women. She was formerly an assistant 
editor of the New Masses, official Communist weeldy publication. 
In a pamphlet, Women Against Myth, published by International 
Publishers, official Communist publishing house, she saj^s: 

While the Soviet government has a conscious political philosophy and program 
designed to bring women into equality, ours does not; and it is here that we reach 
* * * the problem. For it is up to the progressive movement to supply 
that conscious leadership * * * j(; means * * * struggle together with 
such organizations as the Congress of American Women * * * as a way of 
arresting the drive of the monopolists toward reaction and war (pp. 22-23). 

The official Communist Party organ, the Worker, for August 8, 
1948, page 9, magazine section, approved this pamphlet for its "correct 
Marxian approach." 

" Daily Worker, February 2, 1949, p. 5. 



THE CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN, 1946-49 

During the intervening years, between the first and second con- 
gresses of the Women's International Democratic Federation, the 
Congress of American Women had so fully performed its appointed 
functions as the American affiliate of the WIDF as to receive the 
highest commendation from the Daily Worker, as the "only anti- 
Fascist women's organization in the United States." ^® 

PRESSURE POLITICS 

In her report to the international council of the WIDF meeting in 
Moscow on October 10, 1946, Mrs. Muriel Draper explained the type 
of pressure politics in which the Congress of American Women, as 
an affiliate of the WIDF, is engaged. In addition to demonstrations 
at the White House, delegations to Congress, Secretary of State 
Marshall, Secretary of War Patterson, and Secretary of the Navy 
Forrestal, the commissions of the Congress of American Women, 
she declared — 

have put the aims of the Women's International Democratic Federation and the 
Congress of American Women forward on every possible occasion in letters, cables, 
and telegrams to the men and women in Government, in the United Nations, 
in industry, in radio and press networks, and other influential organizations. 

Addressing a cablegram to the first w^orking conference of the Con- 
gress of American Women held at the Essex House in New York 
City on May 25, 1946, Mme. Vaillant-Couturier, French Communist, 
general secretary of the WIDF, indicated pointedly her hope that the 
conference will — 

act as a check to all reactionary forces who are trying, everywhere, ways of dividing 
and ways of preventing the democratic forces from strengthening their hand. 

Assembled delegates fully understood this Communist double talk 
for what it was intended to be — a rallying call for mass pressure tactics 
against the policies of the American Government and in favor of an 
appeasement policy toward the expansionist designs of the Soviet 
Union. 

Even before the CAW was established as a permanent organization 
at the working conference which received this cablegram, the CAW 
had anticipated the appeal by gathering 300 strong for a trip to Wash- 
ington, where they exhorted Members of Congress to defeat the 
Truman plan for a loan designed to save Greece and Turkey from 
communism. 

The CAW attacked President Truman's proposal as support of a 
"corrupt government" in "aggressive control" of the "democratic" 
Greek faction (to this day the CAW refers only to Communist Greek 
rebels as "democratic"), and "an undemocratic and unrepresentative" 
Turkish Government. 

«8 Daily Worker, December 27, 1948, p. 4. 

55 



56 REPORT OX COXGRESS OF .\MERia\X WOMEN 

Several orgaiii2^:ioii5 joined this attack under the aegis of the 
CAW. In addition to a number of local Brooklyn groups, representa- 
tives from the following Communist-front organizations appeared: 
American Committee for Greek Democracy. Anierican Labor Party. 
American Youth for Democracy. Committee for a Democratic Far 
Eastern PoHcy. National Negro Congress, and the Emma Lazarus 
Division. International Workers Order. 

At a Brooklyn CAW meeting on March 22. 1947. a motion was 
made and carried that the CAW write President Truman officially 
"condemning" his proposal. Another motion was carried that the 
CAW officially commend Henry Wallace for his position ia opposi- 
tion to the President. The CAW was uistructed to make every 
enort to have Wallace's speech on this question rebroadcast and 
reprinted. 

Mrs. Muriel Draper echoed this appeal in behah' of the Congress 
of American Women by demanding pressure upon the American 
delegates to the United Nations — 

to use their i)0"!*^eri :z :ie service of peace and not in stimulating impkerialistic 
rivsLlries which ri=i war; coiiLinued urging our Government to reject ^e policy 
of deiaj in connecrion with breaking relations with Franco Spain; immediate 
destmctJon of the war-making potential of Japan and Germany and the inter- 
ns:::- i" r^r^els which sjjawn aggression; international civilmi control of atomic 
energ7. 

These demands are fully in line with those of the Soviet press and 
Soviet UN delegates. In veiled form they are intended as an attack 
ur>on American foreisn pohcv and upon American delesrates to the 

UN. "[ " ' 

Attacking congressional efforts to prevent the diversion of Ameri- 
can relief material in Soviet-controlled areas for military and pohti- 
cal purposes. Pearl Ortenberg. chairman of the CAW Commission on 
Child Care and Education, insisted that "internationally L'NRRA 
should not be used to stem the tides of democracy.'' She was refer- 
ring, of course, to the dictatorial regimes in Yugoslavia. Rumania, 
Aibanifl, etc.. as the ••rides of democracy." 

The conference accused Secretary of Agriculture Anderson of 
"callous indifference to world famine needs, of consistently placing 
considerations of profits above human welfare, of conspiring for an 
economic scarcity, of selling out veterans, farmers, workers, of favoring 
Fascist-minded monopolies in the United States'' and demanded his 
removal. This accusation was leveled in the face of the fact that the 
United States has done more for the rehef of starving populations 
throughou: the world rhfln any country, including the Soviet L'nion, 
which will be remembered as having sent a highly advertised shipment 
of wheat to France on the eve of an election £md of diverting needed 
American wheat from Rumania. Contrary to the Soviet practice of 
looting areas under her direct or indirect control, the L'nited States has 
sought to raise the productivity of friendly nations throughout the 
world- No criticism of the Soviet Union was even whispered. 

The Commi^ion on Peace and Democracy sent a cable to Secretary 
of State Byrnes in Paris urging that no artificial obstacles be created 
to the realization of peace and security for our wartime aUi^, "par- 
tacolaily the Soviet L'nion." 

Since the Soviet Union fears military control of atomic energy, pro- 
tests were urged to Congressmen demanding the passage of the 
McMahon bill (S. 1717; for civilian control. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 57 

In a statement caustically critical of the United States Congress, the 
'^Commission on the Status of Women" reported to the May 25 con- 
ference of the Congress of American Women that "50 percent of the 
Congresswomen are assets to the nation. Less than 1 percent of 
Congressmen are assets to a democratic nation." ** 

The CAW has made the United States Congress one of its chief 
targets. It was persistently referred to as "do nothing" and "re- 
actionary." The Congress of American Women reported to the 
Prague executive conmiittee meeting of the WIDF in February 1947, 
in an attack intended for international pubhcation, that — 

certain reactionary forces in the United States are making every effort to gain 
control of the sources of our national life and well-being at the expense of the 
working men and women. * * * These forces are operating through monop- 
oly capital and international cartels, and by means of these members of the United 
States Congress whose interests are identified with these groups, and who are 
thereby largely responsible. * * * 

The CAW claimed that— 

these reactionary forces are aided in their action by the United States Chamber of 
Commerce, its subsidiary city chambers of commerce, and the National Associa- 
tion of Manufacturers. * * « 

In a sweeping condenmation upon the American press, the CAW 
stated this "reactionary propaganda" — 

is insidiously spread throughout the country by the tyranny of the press and the 
syndicated columnists, as well as by the widely heard radio commentators. * * * 

Quick to resent any attacks on the Communist Party, a motion 
carried at a Brooklyn meeting of the CAW on March 22, 1947, in- 
structed the executive board to send "immediately" a letter to Secre- 
tary of Labor Schwelienbach, and the chairman and members of the 
House Labor Committee, protesting his demand for outlawing the 
Communist Party. 

In April 1947, the Congress of American Women effected a neat 
coup. Unfortunately for the organization, the maneuver was exposed 
and defeated a few short weeks later, with a subsequent loss of prestige 
to the CAW. 

After hearing a sales talk from Ann Wharton, a CAW representa- 
tive, in which she insisted the CAW was nonpartisan and nonpoUtical, 
the Hunter College Student Self-Groverning Association voted to 
affiliate with the CAW. Hunter CoUege is a New York public 
women's college. When the seLf^oveming association announced to 
the campus that it had the "distinction" of acting as a spearhead to 
interest other women's colleges in the CAW, immediate protests arose. 
Students objected to the commitment of 6,000 undergraduate women 
to membership in a nonstudent, outside political organization. As a 
result, the student council rescinded the affihation and decided to hold 
an open forum on the question. Dr. George X. Schuster, president 
of Hunter College, said: 

The students involved were at first completely unaware of the true character of 

the^Congress of American Women. 

He went on to say he had not the slightest doubt that the student body 
would refuse to affihate with such an organization, since: 

The action of the student council indicates it now understands very clearly the 
nature of this organization.!"" 

•» Daily Worker, July 14, 1946, p. 11. 
■M New York World-Telegram, April 24-25, 1947. 



58 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

He added that he himself did not have "the sUghtest doubt" that "a 
direct affihation between the Congress of American Women and the 
Communist Party" exists. 

The Eastern Seaboard Conference held by the Congress of American 
Women was the occasion for excoriating President Truman's loyalty 
order; at the same time the congress went on record as fighting the 
Truman doctrine because it was "injurious to the cause of peace." 
Dr. Gene Weltfish, president of the CAW, told the assembled delegates 
it was time that — 

American women assume their political responsibilities before it is too late to 
alter the dangerous course our country is being steered into by the Truman 
doctrine.!"! 

Of course, this conference received a big play in the DaUy Worker.'"^ 
Despite the fact that the United States was footing the bill for the 
bulk of all aid received in Europe, the CAW accused the administra- 
tion of sponsoring a food program only for the "political strings 
attached." In behalf of the countries in the Soviet orbit, they urged 
"aid to the needy of Europe on a nondiscriminatory basis, without 
any attempt to interfere with their politics." A "mass trek" to 
Washington, sponsored by the CAW, was planned, to urge that all 
European aid be placed under the United Nations' sole control; 
although no objection was raised to the United States continuing to 
furnish the wherewithal, the CAW felt that other countries should 
have equal voice in its distribution, with the Soviet Union in a po- 
sition to exercise decisive veto power. 

The Information Bulletin of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation carried two laudatory articles on its American affiliate. 
One of them was a message from the "women of Egypt" saying they 
were glad the Brooklyn Chapter of the Congress of American Women 
carried on with them in the struggle against selfishly ambitious forces 
who wished to launch a war of imperialist expansion by using the 
atom bomb.^°^ 

The second article stated that "The dangers to world peace inherent 
in the policies of the United States Government present the most 
pressing problems the Congress of American Women is to be con- 
cerned with." Consequently, the congress had set up and was 
circulating a "peace poll" consisting of questions slanted to promote 
criticism of American foreign policy — never of Soviet policy. They 
asked : 

Do you approve of thejforeign policies of the government? 
Do you approve of the attitude of the United States in the UNO? 
Do you approve of the Government's policy regarding the atom bomb and 
atomic energy? i"* 

In January 1948, the committee on international affairs of the 
Congress of American Women got out a publication entitled "Around 
the World," containing reports from members of the CAW who had 
been abroad. Reports were returned which eulogized Marie-Claude 
Valliant-Couturier, a leader of the Communist Party of France; 
Russia was praised; German women- — ^in the Soviet zone- — were 
reported "grateful" to the WIDF; an invidious comparison was 
drawn between the United States attitude towai'd women and the 

101 New York Times, June 7, 1947, p. 11. 

102 Daily Worker, June 10, 1947, p. 8. 

103 Information Bulletin, Women's International Democratic Federation, November 1947, p. 5. 

•M Information Bulletin, Women's International Democratic Federation, December 1947, pp. 6 and 8. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AJXIERICAN WOMEN 59 

"enlightened" attitude in Communist Hungary. According to 
Around the World, everything was perfect in the Soviet sphere, with 
one tiny exception- — in Germany, life was hard, even in the Soviet 
zone. 

Jessie Brieger, reporting to the CAW on her native land, Hungary, 
enviously observed that the Hungarian Government supports the 
Hungarian so-called "Women's Democratic Federation." She said 
she found it "hard to explain" why the United States did not subsidize 
the Congress of American Women. 

Two members of the Union of Italian Women, affiliate of the 
WIDF, were singled out for praise by CAW correspondents. They 
were Camilla Ravera, a leader of the Communist Party of Italy, and 
the Communist Rita Montagnana, wife of Palmiro Togliatti, head of 
the Communist Party of Italy. 

Featured in this publication was an attack on Dutch, French, and 
Chinese anti-Communist forces, and the CAW claimed " * * * 
it is American loans, left-over guns, and American food that keep 
the Dutch, French, Chiang Kai-shek fighting." The CAW intended 
to do everythmg in its power to force the United States Congress to 
revise their far-eastern policy. Therefore, Around the World urged 
members of the CAW to attend a "National Conference on American 
Policy in the Far East" sponsored by the Committee for a Democratic 
Far-Eastern Policy, a Communist-front organization. The CAW's 
motive for promoting this conference in conjunction with other 
organizations was to "form a new policy to be presented to our State 
Department." 

Fearful of dividing the organization on political lines, the third 
meeting of the national executive board of the CAW decided that the 
organization would not endorse any particular candidate in the Presi- 
dential elections of 1948. However, permission was granted for any 
chapter of the CAW to act autonomously in support of Henry A. 
Wallace's candidacy. Permission for CAW chapters to go on record 
in favor of other party's candidates was not mentioned. 

Subsequently, the Congress of American Women and the American 
Youth for Democracy, also cited as a Communist-front organization, 
offered their services as baby sitters for New York women who wished 
to register to vote. This offer appeared in the Daily Worker, which 
was then actively supporting Wallace. 

On January 30, 1949, Joseph Stalin told an American newspaper 
reporter that he had "no objection" to meeting President Truman 
to consider a no-war agreement between the U. S. S. R. and the 
U. S. A. The Daily Worker rushed to feature this as a "peace bid" 
and accused the State Department of trying to kill a peace agreement. 
The State Department press officer remarked pointedly that the 
United States Government had received no official notice of any 
peace bid and was therefore unable to act. 

The next day Henry Wallace stated that in May 1948, "the admin- 
istration closed the door to peaceful discussion," when a similarly 
unofficial letter from Stalin to Wallace was published. 

On February 2, Secretary of State Dean Acheson discussed Stalin's 
statement at a press conference. Criticizing the unofficial character 
of the statement, he indicated that he believed a government's foreign 
policy should not be made in press interviews, when "there are many 

65891—50 5 



60 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

ways serious proposals could be made, through normal channels of 
communication." However, he said: 

The implication of the answer [Stalin's to the reporter] is that the President 
of the United States for the fourth time should travel half-way around the world 
to meet Marshal Stalin, and on this occasion, to do so for the purpose of talking 
with him about a matter so tenuous as to defy specific statement. 

Furthermore, the Secretary of State pointed out: 

The President of the United States, in his inaugural address, stated it was the 
position of this Government to give unfaltering support to the United Nations. 

* * * He did not say he was prepared to consider making that statement — 
he made it. 

Dean Acheson pointed out that signatories to the United Nations 
Charter were pledged not to make war, and in that light he could 
only find Stalin's statement "puzzling." 

At President Truman's press conference the next day, he told re- 
porters the matter had been completely and thoroughly answered by 
Secretary Acheson, who had consulted with him. 

On Sunday, February 6, the Worker, official Communist Party 
organ, ignored both the Secretary of State's and the President's 
concise statements. An editorial declared that "Stalin's invitation 

* * * only adds to the fury and hatred of the war makers" and 
it instructed readers to — 

wire, write to President Truman now urging him to accept Stalin's peace oflFer. 
Do the same with all Congressmen and Senators * * * Q^t up peace peti- 
tions. 

Ignoring the deceptive character of Stalin's maneuver, the Congress 
of American Women bypassed the Department of State, and the 
President's stated position, and "urged President Truman to meet 
with Premier Stalin for peace." Their statement was published in 
the Daily Worker on February 7, 1949, page 9. 

May 1 is an international mobilization day for Communists and 
their supporters. Parades are usually staged on this auspicious 
occasion with the Communist Party occupying a place of honor. The 
Congress of American Women marched in this parade in 1949. 

DEFENSE^OF COMMUNIST LEADERS 

An outstanding feature of CAW activity is its energetic defense of 
Communist leaders now under indictment or subjects of deportation 
proceedings because of their membership in an organization that 
teaches and advocates overthrow of the United States Government 
by force and violence. 

The Congress of American Women initiated "Women Fight Back 
Day" on October 25, 1948, when mass meetings were held all over 
the country under the joint auspices of the CAW and several other 
organizations, including such Communist fronts as the Civil Rights 
Congress and the Emma Lazarus Division of the Jewish People's 
Fraternal Order, an affiliate of the International Workers' Order. 
The purpose of the meetings was to protest what they termed "con- 
temptible witch-hunts" and "invasions of civil rights." 

Claiming the "shadow" of fascism is "across the land," they said 
"police brutality" is "on the increase" and "in academic circles it is 
dangerous to exercise the right to speak as a free citizen." The CAW 
said that a House labor subcommittee had launched "smear cam- 
paigns" against the unions. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



61 



Without exception, those the CAW Hsted as victims of "violations 
of civil liberties" have been defended in the Communist press as 
causes celebre. The so-called "Hollywood Ten" — 10 motion picture 
writers and directors who were held in contempt of Congress for 
refusing to answer questions put by a congressional committee, were 
subject to "one of the first attacks on American civil rights," accord- 
ing to the CAW. Although the CAW asserted the 10 were "standing 
on their constitutional rights," the United States courts have upheld 
the contempt citation in the "test case" of John Howard Lawson. 
These 10 men refused to affirm or deny membership in the Communist 
Party. 

Others defended at these rallies included members of a Communist- 
front organization known as the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Com- 
mittee, who have also been convicted of contempt of the United 
States Congress. 




Congress of American Women Delegation in Behalf of Communist Cases. 

Delegation sponsored by the CAW, which visited Judge Medina, sitting in the 
trial of the Communist leaders, to protest jury procedure and his "discriminatory" 
attitude. 

First row, left to right: Rose Thaler, chairman, Child Care Commission, CAW, 
Brooklyn; Helen Wortis, Child Care Commission, CAW; Helen PhiUips, treasurer, 
CAW (now vice president) ; Rose Weinstock, executive secretary, Hungarian 
Women's Association; Claudia Jones, secretary, National Women's Commission, 
Communist Party. 

Back row, left to right: Leah Nelson, Emma Lazarus Division, Jewish People's 
Fraternal Order, International Workers Order; Adele Adams, executive secretary. 
United Harlem Tenants and Consumers Organization; Gene Weltfish, president, 
CAW (now honorary president) ; Agnes Vukcevich, executive secretary, Women's 
Division, American Slav Congress, member, executive committee, CAW; Clara 
Bodian, New York State Women's Commission, Communist Party, member, 
executive committee, CAW. 

—Daily Worker, February 20, 1949, page 10. 



62 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Leon Josephson, who has recently completed a prison term after 
being convicted of contempt of Congress, was singled out for defense 
by the CAW. His wife, Ruth Josephson, was a guest of honor at 
one rally. 

In Denver, a grand jury which was investigating Communist Party 
activities cited for contempt Communist Party officials who appeared 
in answer to subpenas but refused to answer questions. The CAW 
claims their civil rights were violated. 

Gerhart Eisier, the agent of the Communist International who was 
the principal in the sensational illegal exit case' — the man who jumped 
his bail and escaped from United States authorities via the Polish 
steamship Batory — was represented by the CAW as having been 
persecuted by this country's officials for 4 years. 

The " persecuted victims" who were honored guests at these "Women 
Fight Back" gatherings included Claudia Jones, an alien Communist 
leader against whom the United States Government has instituted 
deportation proceedings, who was also a speaker for the CAW ("First 
attacks," said the CAW, "were against the foreign born."); Mrs. 
Hilde Eisier, wife of Gerhart Eisier, agent of the Communist Inter- 
national; and Mrs. Lil Green, Mrs. Helen Winters, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Hall, Mrs. Peggy Dennis, Mrs. Jack Stachel, Mrs. Mae Williamson, 
Mrs. Edna Winston, Mrs. Lillian Gates, Mrs. Gita Potash, and 
Mrs. Leona Thompson- — whose husbands are now on trial in a Federal 
court for conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United 
States by force and violence. These men- — all of whom are members 
of the National Committee of the Communist Party, U. S. A.- — are 
Gilbert Green, Illinois State Communist Party chairman; Carl 
Winter, Michigan State Communist Party chairman; Gus Hall, Ohio 
State Communist Party chairman; Eugene Dennis, general secretary. 
Communist Party, U. S. A.; Jack Stachel, education secretary. 
Communist Party, U. S. A. ; John Williamson, trade-union secretary, 
Communist Party, U. S. A.; Henry Winston, organizational secre- 
tary. Communist Party, U. S. A.; John Gates, editor of the Daily 
Worker; Irving Potash; and Robert Thompson, New York State 
Communist Party chairman. The CAW denounced their indictment, 
saying the United States Government's charge against them is 
"unfounded." 

The "Women Fight Back" rallies were publicized in the Daily 
Worker, which stated: 

The issues of these meetings are political issues. The Congress of American 
Women suggests that delegations be sent to all political candidates and leaders 
demanding their stand on civil rights, as expressed in these particular cases. ""^ 

In other words, the Congress of American Women was seeking 
to intimidate election candidates to force them to intervene in behalf 
of Communist leaders on trial. 

In February 1949, a few months after the wives of the indicted 
Communist leaders were honored by the organization, the Congress 
of American Women organized a delegation, which included Claudia 
Jones of the national women's commission of the Communist Party, 
who was featured as a "victim" at the "Women Fight Back" rally, and 
Clara Bodian of the New York State Communist Party women's 
commission. The delegation presented itself before Judge Harold 

"" Daily Worker, October 22, 1948, p. 10. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 63 

R. Medina, who is sitting in the trial of the members of the Commimist 
Party's National Committee, to protest the court's procedure in the 
trial, and to charge him with being "discriminatory." 

"FOUNDING" CONVENTION 

After 3 years of activity as a going concern officially launched in 
March 1946 the Congress of American Women suddenly decided to 
hold a "founding" convention in New York, May 6 to 8, 1949. 

This meeting was hailed by the Cominform, formerly known as the 
Communist International, in its official publication, "For a Lasting 
Peace, for a People's Democracy!," as follows: 

Consolidating Forces of Democracy, Against Imperialism 

The national convention of the American Women's Congress held in New York 
at the beginning of the month adopted the congress rules and a program in defense 
of peace and democratic rights embodying the main aims of the World Federation 
of Democratie Women to which the congress is affiliated. 

The convention pointed out that in view of the war danger fomented by the 
American monopolists, American women bore a special responsibility. It stressed 
the need to mobilize the broadest sections of women to fight for peace. The 
convention demanded that the atom bomb should be outlawed * * * and 
that the Atlantic Pact be annulled. '°* 

The Women's International Democratic Federation sent a "stirring 
greeting" to the convention. The WIDF's secretary -general, Marie- 
Claude Vaillant-Couturier, who was in the United States as a WIDF 
representative to the United Nations, attended the convention. 
This woman, who is a member of the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of France, "dramatically symbolized" to the CAW 
"the hour * * * f^j. getting in the fight." She stood before the 
convention "as one of the most revered and honored women leaders 
on five continents." According to the testimony given before a 
Senate Judiciary subcommittee by Ruth Fischer, the ex-Communist 
sister of prominent Communists Gerhart and Harms Eisler, the 
"highly dangerous" Mme. Vaillant-Couturier entered the United 
States for the purpose of "propaganda against the United States, 
and organization of cells * * * Communist cells in all of the 
48 States for affiliation with the Communist Party." ^"^ 

The CAW held its convention at the Yugoslav- American Home at 
405 West Forty-first Street, New York City. The Yugoslav-American 
Home is known as a regular rendezvous and meeting place for Com- 
munist-front organizations. Bogdan Raditsa, once head of Tito's 
information service in New York, testified before a Senate Judiciary 
subcommittee that the Yugoslav-American Home is a center of Com- 
munist activity among Slavs. 

This "founding" convention was described at length on June 19, 
1949, in the Worker, official organ of the Communist Party, U. S. A., 
in a story written by Claudia Jones, a member of the Congress of 
American Women, who is the secretary of the Women's Commission 
of the Communist Party. 

Listed in the Worker among organizations represented at the CAW 
convention were the American Association of University Women and 

i»8 For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy!, May 15, 1949, p. 1. 
'«' Washington Times-Herald, July 31, 1949, p. 1. 



64 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

the National League for Pen Women. In response to inquiries made 
by the Committee on Un-American Activities, the following communi- 
cations were received: 

The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. 

Headquarters: 814 National Press Building 

washington, d. c. 

June 21, 1949. 
Mr. Benjamin Mandel, 
Director of Research, 

Commitiee on Un-American Activities. 
Dear Mr. Mandel: Your letter referring to the magazine section of the 
"Worker" in which it is stated that the National League of American Pen Women 
was represented at the Constitutional Convention of the Congress of American 
Women held on May 6, 7, and 8, in New York City, has been received. 

You are advised that this statement made by the "Worker" is absolutely untrue. 
The National League of American Pen Women did not have a representative at 
this meeting. A member representing the League before another organization 
must be authorized to do so by the national board and have credentials signed by 
the national president. Such authorization was not issued. 

This is very embarrassing to the League and I hope something may be done to 
protect our good name. 

Thank you, so very much, for calling my attention to this misstatement of 
facts. 

Very truly yours, 

Margaret H. Sebree, 
National President, National League of American Pen Women. 



[Western Union] 

Seattle, Wash., June 21, 1949. 
Benjamin Mandel, 

House Un-American Activities Committee, 

House Of/ice Building: 

Regarding report of Congress of American Women in the Worker, June 19 
magazine section, page 2, no authorization was given anyone to represent American 
Association of University Women at that meeting. 

Kathryn McHale, General Director. 

No explanation has ever been presented of this outright falsification 
on the part of the Congress of Araerican Women. 

The chief topics of discussion at the CAW convention were the 
Atlantic Pact, the Paris "Peace" Conference, and the case of the 12 
indicted Communist leaders. 

Speaking as the president of the Congress of American Women, 
Dr. Gene Weltfish defined its stand on the case of the Communist 
leaders, who are on trial charged with advocating the overthrow of 
the United States Government by force and violence. 

There is terror on Foley Square, where 11 men are on trial before an arrogant 
judge for criticizing the economic system * * * j assure you this judge is 
arrogant. 

The CAW asserted the trial of the Communists is the "present 
phase" of the administration's "offensive against all political opposi- 
tion to war and profiteering." 

Elizabeth Moos, an active member of the Communist Party, and 
Mineola Ingersoll, the CAW representative to Paris, reported to the 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 65 

convention on the Paris "Peace" Conference, a Communist-inspired 
gathering denounced as such by the State Department. Miss 
Ingersoll told the CAW delegates that "72 nations, representing 
600,000,000 people, are for peace. And the threat of war comes from 
our Nation — America." 

The CAW convention "recognized" that "the source of war" 
stemmed "from the present foreign policy of the administration," and 
was "reflected in such designs for destruction as the Atlantic War 
Pact." 

Dr. Annette Rubinstein, whose candidacy for Congress on the 
American Labor Party ticket has received full Communist support, 
denounced the North Atlantic Pact as "the first definitive step for 
war." 

The convention "boldly challenged" the "barrage of war propa- 
ganda" they said was directed by the United States against the Soviet 
Union, and passed a resolution demanding that the Atlantic Pact be 
rejected. They also voted in favor of two other Soviet-inspired 
projects, again insisting that President Truman meet with Stalin "to 
establish an understanding for peace," and calling for "the outlawing 
of the atom bomb because its very existence creates suspicion and 
distrust of the United States among other nations." 

Flouting the authority of the American Government, and going over 
its head, the CAW prepared a "petition for peace and international 
unity" for presentation to the United Nations, as the organization's 
first public act under its new set-up. 

Speakers at the convention included Claudia Jones, of the Com- 
munist Party; Ada Jackson, head of the American Labor Party's 
women's division, who has consistently defended Communists under 
indictment and has appeared on public platforms with them; Charlotte 
Stern, also known as Charlotte Todes, a member of the CAW's ad- 
visory council now held for deportation as an alien Communist; 
Thelma Dale, a member of the New York State Committee of the 
Communist Party; and Agnes Vukcevich, executive secretary of the 
women's division of the American Slav Congress, a Communist front. 
Maude Russell, "a friend of the Chinese People's [Communist] Army," 
received the "enthusiastic assent" of the delegates to her proposal that 
a delegation of American women attend the "First All-China Confer- 
ence of the Union of Chinese Women," aflaliate of the WIDF, to be 
held in "Liberated" (Communist) China. 

The CAW reorganized its set-up to add a new Commission on 
Trade-Union Women, in response to the instructions handed down at 
the second congress of the WIDF for closer cooperation with the 
World Federation of Trade Unions. 

In the election of officers. Gene Weltfish was elevated to the title of 
honorary president, while Muriel Draper assumed the office of presi- 
dent of the Congress of American Women. The position of executive 
vice president, heretofore held by Mrs. Draper, fell to an open Com- 
munist, Pearl Lawes, who is an ofiicer of the New York State Com- 
munist Party. Other Communist Party members who are officers of 
the CAW include Thelma Dale, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and Clara 
Bodian. 



66 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




Muriel Draper, president, Congress of American Women. 

— CAW Souvenir Journal. 



MURIEL DRAPER 

FROM BOHEMIANISM TO COMMUNISM 

The newly elected president of the Congress of American Women is 
Muriel Draper, daughter of the distinguished Sanders family, of Haver- 
hill, Mass., who married into the even more socially and artistically 
prominent Draper family, of ]Sl ew York. Her husband, Paul Draper, 
was a singer well known throughout Europe; his grandfather was 
Charles Dana, founder and publisher of the Islew York Sun; his sister 
is the famous monologist, Ruth Draper. Before their divorce, Muriel 
and Paul Draper lived and entertained brilliantly in London; she sent 
their son, Paul Draper, Jr. (who is also now a well-known fellow 
traveler of the Communists), to expensive and fashionable schools in 
this country; today, according to the Washington Post of December 9, 
1948, she "pursues her furies on a comfortable income supplied by her 
dancing son, Paul Draper." While she damns American capitalism 
and all its works, the chief spokesman for the Congress of American 
Women has been an ardent protagonist of the Soviet Union for nearly 
two decades. 

Muriel Draper might be discounted as harmless were it not for the 
fact that the Communists have succeeded in exploiting for their own 
shrewdly calculated, conspiratorial purposes her standing in exclusive 
social circles. Her views on the most intricate questions of foreign 
policy have been featured to full advantage by the Communists in 
Moscow, Budapest, Paris, and New York, in their cold war against the 
United States. Meanwhile in their own inner circles the Communists 
view this woman with undisguised contempt and ridicule, while she 
paves the way for their rise to power. It is difficult to understand her 
furious outbursts against her own country and her enthusiastic admira- 
tion for the Soviet Union, with all its poverty, degradation, and 
tyranny. 

Muriel Draper is well known in artistic circles as a pianist, a lecturer 
of sorts, a dabbler in the field of poetry — a patron of the arts. Every- 
body who is anybody in the artistic world is to be found at her highly 
bohemian parties. The walls of her home are decorated with bizarre 
horse skulls. The New Yorker for January 7, 1939, carried a descrip- 
tion of her social activity, which included teas, dinners, suppers, 
impromptu concerts lasting from midnight to dawn. 

Her ideological somersaults have been startling. In her book, 
Music at Midnight, Muriel Draper set forth an attitude which 
exemplifies all that the Communists of the world profess to despise, 
an attitude that she now denounces in her every published word. 
Commenting on the fact that "music and ballet on the grand scale 
are no more," she scornfully blamed " abortive democratic principles," 
and "the socialization of the arts for the standardized benefit of the 
prolific 'brotherhood' of man." 

QT 



68 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

On one occasion in Florence in 1913 she made the following comment 
as she donned a "divine dress" and a turban which "took me 10 
minutes to wind around my head." She philosophized to her com- 
panion: "I suppose you are thinking of the poor devils who sweated 
to make them. Well, I don't care if they have. If they could wear 
them they wouldn't have to make them — there is a chemistry about 
things that is much more important than justice * * *." Never- 
theless, with characteristic inconsistency, she bemoaned "the lack of 
one great figure to dominate so many interrelated parts of the world 
as have been thrown pell-mell together." Was she yearning for some 
international fiihrer like Joseph Stalin to rule the world? 

Mrs. Mabel Dodge Luhan in one of her books explained that the 
defection of Muriel Draper's husband had embittered and hardened 
her, that — 

* * * Paul's attention turning to someone else so soon proved the turning 
point in her destiny. * * * After that she lived for the satisfactions of the 

fi fXf\ •!* *!» 'I- 

From then on, Mrs. Luhan says, Muriel Draper lived for personal 
triumphs to bolster her feeling of self-importance: 

The Drapers moved to London. Muriel had a transfiguration there. * * * 
They became rich and fashionable. * * * One heard fantastic tales of her 
triumphs in London. * * * g^e triumphed in London while the money 
lasted. * * * 

Then, when Muriel Draper had nearly achieved the pinnacle of her 
consuming desire for importance, fame, even adulation, her husband 
entered their London residence at teatime to confess that he had lost 
their last cent on a horse race. From that time on her faith in capital- 
ism suffered a heavy decline In her disillusionment and travail, she 
declared: 

I knew life could not stop for me; I had not had enough of it. How it would 
be lived was a matter of changing detail. The essential values were an imperish- 
able challenge which would not be denied. * * * jyjy earrings grew a little 
longer, head feathers a little higher, the champagne a shade colder in the July 
heat.ios 

The Drapers were forced to quit the whirl of elegant London society 
and return to the United States. Her telephone and gas were cut off 
and her unpaid servants left in a huff. According to Muriel Draper, 
the relative barrenness of life as a result of the dwindling family funds 
induced in Paul Draper, Jr., a pronounced stutter, a sort of unconscious 
revolt against the new way of life. 

A bored and disgruntled woman suddenly deprived of opportunities 
for the satisfactions of the ego, condemned to "the relative barrenness 
of life" in the United States — shorn of her position, her importance, 
and significantly, her audience, artistic cliques — she turned elsewhere 
for an outlet — to the pro-Soviet artistic circles in New York City. 

Since 1937, her name has been actively associated with the League of 
American Writers throughout its varied gyrations in accordance with 
the line of the Communist Party. Here the former intimate of such 
celebrities as Artur Rubinstein, Henry James, John Sargent, and 
Gertrude Stein, hobnobbed with such avowed Communists as Fred- 
erick V. Field, Sender Garlin, Earl Browder, Michael Gold, A. B. 
Magill, and others. Most recently she was a sponsor of a similar 

\<» Music at Midnight (Harper, 1929) p. 197. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 69 

group, the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, held 
in New York City on March 25, 26, and 27, 1949, which Secretary of 
State Dean Acheson referred to as a "sounding board for Communist 
propaganda" and which this committee in a lengthy report cited as a 
Communist front. 

During the Stalin-Hitler Pact, she was a sponsor and active partici- 
pant in a testimonial to Rockwell Kent, arranged by the United 
American Artists and publicized in the (Communist) New Masses for 
May 6 and 20, 1941. After Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, she 
sponsored the Artists' Front to Win the War, another Communist 
decoy organization. 

Muriel Draper has, since the close of World War II, become a tire- 
less and furious critic of the land of her birth. 

In December 1948, she was again in Europe, as chief United States 
delegate to the Women's International Democratic Federation meet- 
ing in Budapest. In her capacity as vice president of the federation, 
Mrs. Draper told the delegates that the Congress of American Women, 
United States affiliate of the federation, had been placed on a list of 
subversive organizations by the "notorious" Attorney General, Tom 
Clark. She said members of the organization were being "persecuted." 

Our members are losing their jobs, are being dragged before investigation com- 
mittees, threatened with imprisonment and deportation and in general subjected 
to intimidation. 

She claimed the United States Government was tapping the organ- 
ization's telephone wires and scrutinizing its mail. She continued: 

HostiHty to the Soviet Union is initiated by reactionary militarist elements in 
our Government with the help of the monopoly press, radio, film, and other 
propaganda. 

She described lynchings, beatings, and life imprisonment as — 
The form fascism is taking in its attempt to control America. 

Mrs. Draper was accorded a five-minute ovation by her pro-Soviet 
audience at the conclusion of her fiery blast against the United States. 

Writing in the March 1947 issue of Soviet Russia Today, after her 
return from a meeting of the executive committee of the Women's 
International Democratic Federation in Moscow, how the women of 
the United States were spared from the horrors and suffering of the 
war and the postwar period, she was moved by no spirit of gratitude 
or pride, but rather by a feeling of complete and abject inferiority 
toward her Communistic associates from the Soviet Union, its satellite 
states and the various front organizations in other countries. "We 
had believed," she said, "that we might bring a reservoir of strength 
and courage to the women who had lived day and night at the heart 
of this reality. It was they who, by their example^ gave us strength 
and courage in full measure to take back to the women of our own 
country" —courage in other words to fight against what Moscow 
describes as "A.merican imperialism and warmongers." 

On March 9, 1946, at a mass meeting launching the Congress of 
American Women, she began her career as spokesman for the Congress 
of American Women. According to the official Communist organ, 
the Daily Worker: 

Mrs. Draper attacked Churchill's anti-Soviet war-mongering and scored 
President Truman for going along with it. She declared that American women 
will not be dragged into an anti-Soviet policy * * * i°» 

»i" Daily Worker, March 9, 1946, p. 12. 



70 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Congress of American women delegated Muriel Draper and 
Dr. Gene VVeltfish to a meeting of the executive committee of the 
Women's International Democratic Federation held in Moscow on 
October 10, 1946, to which they presented a report, including resolu- 
tions condemning the "reactionary forces" in this country which, they 
charged, ar3 supported "by the tyranny of the press and the syn- 
dicates." They demanded American disarmament. They charged 
that Nazis are still permitted to liold key positions in the American 
zone in Germany. Going over the heads of the American delegates 
to the United Nations, they demanded "world recognition" of the 
problems of American Negroes and especially "those affecting Ameri- 
can Negro women." In no case were there any criticisms or demands 
directed toward the Soviet Government. 

The Congress of American Women sponsored a meeting on March 
26, 1947, at the Hotel Capitol in New York City for the purpose of 
denouncing the Truman Doctrine. They advertised in the Daily 
Worker that Muriel Draper would speak to those who "Don't Like 
United States Policy in Greece" and those who "Don't Like United 
States Dollars for Turkey." "° The next week found Mrs. Draper as 
a leader in the Congress of American Women's delegation to Wash- 
ington to fight this "war plan" to help Greece and Turkey.^^^ 

As chief of the American delegation to a Women's International 
Democratic Federation convention in Rome, Muriel Draper concurred 
in Nina Popova's statement that the only country in the world work- 
ing for peace was Russia. According to the following account in the 
New York Herald Tribune of May 18, 1948: 

Mrs. Draper said that the recent report of Russian submarines in Japanese 
waters was an '"invention" of the United States Navy, and that the American 
people are being given a dose of anti-Soviet propaganda worse than that against 
Germany's people before the Second World War. She spoke of conversions "to 
the camp of war and anti-Sovietism." 

At a dinner given by the Congress of American Women to hear 
reports of American delegates to the federation's convention, Mrs. 
Draper told members that citizens of Moscow "laughed at the Voice 
of America." Russians told her that they had never heard an 
American worker broadcasting, "We are happy * * *" lu 

In the April 1949 issue of Soviet Russia Today, she explained ap- 
provingly that the Russian people "do not believe our government 
understands the true will of the people." 

The bright flame of Muriel's hatred for the United States is sur- 
passed only by the blaze of her enthusiasm for the Soviet Union, despite 
the fact that as far back as 1929 she wrote in her book, "Music At 
Midnight" that a singing teacher talked to her for "40 minutes one 
evening in New York * * * on the subject of why Lenin had 
been 'the bloodiest tyrant and cut-throat ever known in history' " — 
a warning she has chosen to ignore. Since then she has rarely missed 
an opportunity to demonstrate publicly her devotion to Moscow, which 
she has visited repeatedly since 1934 and where she "spent five thrill- 
ing days" in October 1946, according to her own story in the March 
1947 issue of Soviet Russia Today. 

110 Daily Worker, March 24, 1947, p. 5. 

111 Daily Worker, March 30, 1947, p. 12. 
•12 Daily Worker, February 2, 1949, p. 5. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 71 

On her return from a meeting of the executive committee of the 
Women's International Democratic Federation held in Moscow in 
1946, Mrs, Draper was interviewed by the Daily Worker. "I was 
carried away by the atmosphere of it all." She admitted a young 
Russian approached her: "He beamed, spoke again too rapidly for 
me to understand." Nevertheless, she adds, "We were quite im- 
pressed." Mrs. Draper expressed her gratification at being in the 
Soviet Union and thanked the young man cordially for what she 
blithely assumed was a welcome to his country. The stranger cleared 
his throat and said very slowly, "What I originally intended to tell 
you * * * was that there was no smoldng allowed in this cafe." 
Nevertheless, Mrs. Draper remained deeply impressed. 

For the edification of her Russian audience, where prolific breeding 
is encouraged by government decree, Mrs. Draper added these pearls 
of wisdom: "Having a baby these days has become a political 
problem." ^'^ ' 

She was either unaware or she chose to disregard the fact that the 
Soviet government, like the Nazi government, granted huge subsidies 
for large families and awarded titles of Motherhood Glory and Heroine 
Mothers in order to furnish cannon fodder for its huge standing army. 

It is really remarkable how much factual information Muriel 
crowded into her "five thrilling days in Moscow," without even a 
conversational knowledge of the language, during her strictly con- 
ducted tour. She recites chapter and verse in Soviet Russia Today 
for March 1947: 

But it is the life of the men and women and children as it flowed around me 
in Moscow that made the 5 days spent there of such value. 

What can you know of it in 5 days? You can know what you see in the eyes 
of people, what you hear in their voices, what you feel when they grasp your 
hand. You feel the unique assurance of an inner-tested strength, of a somber 
pride in victory over an evil enemy, the certain confidence in the future. * * * 

Luxuriating in a style far beyond the reach of the average Soviet 
citizen, wined and dined by Soviet officialdom, Muriel was confident 
that the Russian people know their place, that they "are not deceived 
by promises of what they cannot get, nor do they romanticize what 
they know they cannot expect." 

In the same magazine for April 1949, she writes that she discovered 
"one fact above all others," about the Russian people. 

It is the fact of the wholeness of the individual in himself, and the identification 
of this self with government. Men and women and even children feel they are 
the government. They affirm it. * * * They love it. 

And then she adds the incontrovertible proof: 

Such things can be seen as well as felt. They show in the expression of a face, 
the tone of a voice, the sound of laughter, the look of an audience, the steps of a 
child. You feel them in just being with people. 

Mrs. Draper did not explain why under these circumstances there 
is a need for strict censorship, the one-party dictatorship, for the vast 
network of the Soviet secret police, for the numerous prison camps. 

Within the past 10 or 15 years, she has rarely missed an occasion 
to lend her name to a pro-Soviet round robin or gathering in behalf of 
the Soviet fatherland. In 1937 she signed a statement of greeting in 

"' Daily Worker, November 22, 1946, p. 9. 



72 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

honor of the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, printed 
in full in Soviet Russia Today for November of that year. In 1938 
when all the world was shocked by the Moscow trials, she signed a 
document urging that we "support the efforts of the Soviet Union to 
free itself from insidious internal dangers" — -a singular phenomenon 
indeed where "men and Avomen and even children feel they are the 
government." 

In Soviet Russia Today, for September 1939, appears a strident 
defense of the Soviet Union issued almost simultaneously with the 
announcement of the Stalin-Hitler pact. Appended to this proclama- 
tion, from which we quote in part, is the name of Muriel Draper: 

With the aim of turning anti-Fascist feehng against the Soviet Union they 
(reactionaries) have encouraged the fantastic falsehood that the U. S. S. _R. and 
the totahtarian states are basically alike. * * * Our object is to point out 
the real purpose behind all these attempts to bracket the Soviet Union with the 
Fascist states, and to make it clear that Soviet and Fascist policies are diamet- 
rically opposite. 

She was a participant in a round table conference arranged by the 
American Council on Soviet Relations, held on May 24-25, 1940, in 
the midst of the Stalin-Hitler Pact. Again on the occasion of the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, she sent greetings 
to the Soviet Union published in the Daily Worker of November 7, 
1942. Two years later, as chairman of the New York Committee of 
Women of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, 
she signed a call to a conference on Women of the U. S. A. and the 
U. S. S. R. in the Postwar World, which was held at the Hotel Com- 
modore in New York City on November 18, 1944. Incidentally, the 
National CouncU was cited as subversive by Attorney General 
Clark on December 4, 1947, and September 21, 1948. She retained 
this position until 1947 when she became executive secretary, during 
which year she was also a member of the advisory council of the 
magazine, Soviet Russia Today. In 1948 and 1949 letterheads show 
Muriel Draper as a member of the board of directors of the National 
Council of American-Soviet Friendship. In behalf of this organiza- 
tion she either spoke or signed public statements on May 20, October 
22, and March 9, 1948, and March 1, 1949. 

The Soviet Government has gone all out in its efforts to show its 
appreciation for Muriel's services, which are legion. 

When the Soviet consulate in New York City opened its doors to 
the Women's Committee of the National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship on International Women's Day, March 8, 1946, Muriel 
Draper presided at the meeting. Every official courtesy was extended 
to her when she visited the Soviet Union to attend the executive 
committee meeting of the Women's International Democratic Federa- 
tion in October of the same year, as she herself attests in Soviet 
Russia Today for March 1947: 

And what a plane. It was a two-motor Douglas machine owned by the Soviet 
Union * * * -^^e had only reached Paris the night before, but nevertheless 
had found places on what they all referred to as the Conference Plane, * * * 
she (Nina Popova, secretary of the AU-Union Central Council of Trade Unions) 
stood waiting with a group of friends to welcome us when the plane arrived at the 
Moscow Airport. * * * After the storm of welcome had subsided, we were 
rushed by motor car to the Naval Officers' Club in Moscow, which had been lent 
to us for the sessions of the executive committee. * * * At the entrance of 
the club building, a young Soviet sailor stood on guard and saluted us vigorously 
as we passed * * * . 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 73 

When Marshal Tito was still basking in the Kjemlin's favor, she 
was an honored guest at the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington, D. C, 
according to the Washington Star of November 20, 1947. On Novem- 
ber 7, 1948, the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, she was again 
a guest at the Soviet Embassy. She told reporters that she had made 
the trip from New York "especially to attend" the thirty-first anni- 
versary of the Russian Revolution. 

In her infatuation for the Soviet Union, Muriel Draper did not 
confine herself merely to admiration for the Communist regime in that 
country; she went far afield into every phase of foreign policy to aline 
herself undeviatingly with the current position of Moscow. 

At the Seventh World Congress of the Commimist International, 
held in Moscow in the summer of 1935, George Dimitroff, general 
secretary, called upon aU afiiliated Communist Parties to give the 
utmost support to the Spanish Communists in Spain's Civil War. 
A number of high-ranking Red Army officials were assigned to super- 
vise the military operations. In the United States, the Communists 
promoted numerous projects in aid of the Communist forces in Spain, 
in which Mm-iel Draper actively participated. The New Masses of 
March 16, 1937, page 26, shows her as a guest of honor of the American 
Friends of Spanish Democracy, Medical Bureau. She was a sponsor 
of an exposition to aid Spanish democracy, according to the Daily 
Worker of May 28, 1937, page 1. She was a sponsor of the North 
American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy as announced in the 
New Masses for September 28, 1937, page 28. 

She was an honored guest of the Women's Division to Aid the Chil- 
dren of Spanish Democracy, according to the Daily Worker of Febru- 
ary 15, 1938, page 7. A letterhead of the American Relief Ship for 
Spain, dated September 3, 1938, shows her as a sponsor. The military 
force organized by the Communists for service in Spain was known as 
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. A letterhead of the Friends of the 
Abraham Lincoln Brigade, dated September 22, 1938, carries Muriel 
Draper's name as a sponsor. She was a participant in a picket line 
around the Spanish Embassy which was organized by the Veterans of 
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, according to the Daily Worker of 
January 15, 1948, page 5. On December 4, 1947, and September 21, 
1948, the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was cited as sub- 
versive by Attorney General Tom C. Clark. In each case these 
activities were significantly publicized by the Communist press. The 
Daily Worker of February 7, 1939, page 8, announced her as a speaker 
for the Crown Heights Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. The 
same publication for February 23, 1939, page 2, mentioned that she 
was a speaker for the Greenwich Village Joint Committee to Aid 
Spanish Democracy. She was a sponsor of the North American Span- 
ish Aid Committee and the United American Spanish Aid Committee. 

In a memorandum appearing in the Congressional Record for 
September 24, 1942, Attorney General Francis Biddle characterized 
the American League for Peace and Democracy as an organization 
established "to create public sentiment on behalf of a foreign policy 
adopted to the interests of the Soviet Union." It is not surprising 
to find the name of Muriel Draper'attached to a statement sponsored 
by this organization, appearing in the New Masses for March 15, 1938, 
page 19. 



74 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy, cited as sub- 
versive by Attorney General Tom Clark, has been consistent in its 
active support of the Chinese Communists. Its letterhead shows 
Muriel Draper as a member of its board of directors, having sponsored 
the organization since 1946. 

A similar organization in behalf of the Greek Communist rebels 
is the American Council for Democratic Greece, which was cited 
as subversive by Attorney General Tom C. Clark on June 1, 1948, 
and September 21, 1948. Mrs. Draper was publicized as a speaker 
for this organization in the Daily Worker for February 21, 1949, page 9. 

She was also a sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural Conference 
for World Peace held at the Hotel Waldorf Astoria on March 25, 26, 
and 27, 1949, called to attack the North Atlantic Defense Pact, and 
attacked by Secretary of State Dean Acheson as "a sounding board 
for Communist propaganda." This conference was a forerunner of 
the World Congress for Peace called for a similar purpose by its 
Communist initiators and held in Paris on AprU 20, 21, 22, and 23, 
1949, with Muriel Draper as a sponsor. 

As a group dedicated to the destruction of the Government of the 
United States, the Communists frequently find themselves in the 
clutches of the law. Numerous front organizations, formed for the 
protection of such individuals, have received the support of Muriel 
Draper. 

The American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born has 
specialized in the defense of alien Communists like Gerhart Eisler. 
It was cited as subversive by Attorney General Tom C. Clark 
on June 1 and September 21, 1948, Airs. Draper sponsored its 
Fifth National Conference held in Atlantic City on March 29 and 30, 
1941, and another national conference held in Cleveland on October 
25 and 26, 1947. She has signed its statement against the deportation 
of Communists appearing in the Daily Worker for May 12, 1948, 
page 4. 

Attorney General Francis Biddle has referred to the International 
Labor Defense as the "legal arm of the Communist Party." Mrs. 
Draper was an active participant in a Hudson County, N. J., meeting 
of this organization publicized in the Daily Worker for May 7, 1938, 
page 2. 

Attorney General Biddle has characterized the National Com- 
mittee for People's Rights as "substantially equivalent to Inter- 
national Labor Defense." According to the 1938 letterhead of this 
organization, Muriel Draper w^as a member of this committee. 

Attorney General Tom C. Clark cited the National Federation 
for Constitutional Liberties as subversive on December 4, 1947, and 
September 21, 1948. Mrs. Draper has signed her name to a number 
of statements issued by this organization. 

Mrs. Draper has not hesitated to appear on the public platform with 
Gerhart Eisler, representative of the Communist International, as 
attested by the Daily Worker of October 20, 1948, page 7. She was 
a member of the committee for the reelection of Benjamin J. Davis, 
who ran on the Communist ticket for the position of New York City 
councilman (Daily Worker, September 25, 1945, p. 12). On March 
9, 1947, the Daily Worker included her name on this Communist pub- 
lication's "honor roll" of women. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 75 

The Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, also cited as subversive 
by Attorney General Tom Clark, has provided transportation and sup- 
port for such alien Communists as Gerhart Eisler. Its officers were 
cited for contempt of Congress on April 16, 1946. Nevertheless, 
letterheads of the Spanish Refugee Appeal of the Joint Anti-Fascist 
Refugee Committee from 1946 to 1949 show Muriel Draper as a 
national sponsor. 

Claudia Jones is a member of the national committee of the Com- 
munist Party, USA, and secretary of its women's commission. She 
is now the subject of deportation proceedings. According to the 
Daily Worker of February 26, 1948, page 10, Muriel Draper was a 
speaker in behalf of the Claudia Jones Defense Committee. 

When attorneys for the 11 Communist leaders now on trial in 
New York City launched an attack upon the jury system in con- 
nection with this case, an Emergency Conference on Rigging of 
Juries was formed, which joined in the attack. According to the 
Daily Worker of January 31, 1949, page 2, Muriel Draper was a 
sponsor. Later this set-up became known as the Provisional Com- 
mittee for a Democratic Jury System, of which she was a member 
(Daily Worker, February 6, 1949, p. 2). 

On May 8, 1948, the Provisional Committee for Democratic Rights 
held a meetmg at the Central Needle Trades High School in New York 
City directed against the Subversive Activity Control Act of 1948. 
A published Partial List of Sponsors shows Muriel Draper along with 
such well-known Communists as Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., Howard 
Fast, Ben Gold, Max Perlow, John Steuben, Doxey Wilkerson, Ruth 
Young, and others. 

Ella Reeve Bloor, now 87 years of age, was a former member of the 
national committee of the Communist Party, USA. On February 
24, 1938, Mrs. Draper introduced EUa Reeve Bloor, on a "pre-Inter- 
national Women's Day radio program" over WJZ as follows: 

Among the thousands of women all over the world * * * there is one in 
America who has fought many of the battles, survived the defeats and — most of 
all used the victories of this long campaign * * * gi^g jg Mother Bloor — and 
I feel the impulse to pause here until the applautee dies down — I have heard it rise 
so often in a devoted roar when she is presented to an audience— who has fought 
steadfastly through 50 of her 75 years * * * for the workers of 
America * * * "^ 

Mrs. Draper mentioned Mother Bloor's "recent trip" to the Soviet 
Union. Mrs. Draper also sponsored the Mother Bloor Celebration 
Committee in 1937 and another in 1947 on the occasion of the Com- 
munist leader's seventy-fifth and eighty-fifth birthdays. 

Among other Communist-front organizations which Muriel Draper 
has sponsored are the American Slav Congress, New Masses (a 
Communist magazine), its successor, Masses and Mainstream; 
People's Radio Foundation, Inc.; Progressive Committee to Rebuild 
the American Labor Party; Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. 
Recy Taylor; and others. In the 1948 campaign she was a member 
of the Wallace for President Committee and was photographed by 
Newsweek as part of a welcoming committee for the Red Dean of 
Canterbury, originally sponsored for a lecture tour by the National 
Council of American Soviet Friendship. 

"< Daily Worker, Feb. 25, 1938, p. 3. 
65891—50- 6 



COMMUNISTIC HIERARCHY 

Rarely does it happen that Communist-front organizations are 
formed with such unconcealed Communist leadership as is to be found 
from the top circles of the Women's International Democratic Feder- 
ation right down to the local chapters of the Congress of American 
Women. Where these leaders do not have an outright record as 
members of the Communist Party, they are to be found as sympa- 
thizers with the Soviet Union or associated with Communist-front 
organizations. In a word, none are to be found opposed to, or outside 
of, the Communist orbit. 

The following chart is tabulated from official Communist sources 
and shows the section of the Communist Party or Communist-front 
organization with which the individual is affiliated and his or her 
official post: 

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REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



83 



It can be safely assumed that the Soviet delegates were all members 
of the Communist Party, which rules that country. It should also 
be noted that countries represented from the Soviet-controlled areas 
included: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Ru- 
mania, and Yugoslavia. It is inconceivable that anyone opposed to 
the ruling Communist regimes in these countries would be sent as a 
delega,te to these conferences. 

COMMUNISTS AND PRO-COMMUNISTS IN THE CONGRESS OF 

AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Congress of American Women shows the same preference for 
Communists in posts of power as has been shown by its parent body, 
the Women's International Democratic Federation. A number of 
instances have already been cited from among the American officers 
and delegates of the WIDF. The following list traces this Red thread 
down to the local organizations and activities of the CAW: 



Congress of American 
Women: Name and position 



Communist Party or front connections 



Susan B. Anthony, vice 
president. 

Mrs. Zlatko Balokovic, mem- 
ber, advisory council. 



Sylvia Beitscher, leader of 
Washington, D. C, chap- 
ter. 

larriet Black, treasurer 



Ella Reeve Bloor, speaker. 
May 2.5. 1946. 

Clara Bodian, member, exec- 
utive committee. 



Dorothy Douglas, member, 
advisory council. 



Virginia W. Epstein, cochair- 
man, Committee on Inter- 
national Affairs. 

Claudia Jones, speaker at 
CAW convention. 



June Gordon, member, ad- 
visory council. 



See pp. 100 to 102. 

Supporter of the following Communist fronts: American Slav Congress; 
American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, Soviet Russia Today. On 
mailing list of Progressive Citizens of America as having supported 
Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, 
or the National Citizens Political Action Committee. 

Executive secretary of the Committee to Reinstate Helen Miller (1941), 
who was fired from the Labor Department because of her Communist 
activities; wife of Henry Beitscher, head of Washington CIO Council, 
who opposed President Truman's loyalty program. 

Delegate to Communist-controlled World Peace Congress at Paris; sup- 
porter of Communist-front International Workers Order. 

Former member, Central Executive Committee, Communist Party, U. S. A. 

Communist Party candidate for New York State Assembly in 1934; mem- 
ber. Women's Commission, Communist Party; protests jury procedure in 
Communist trial (Daily Worker, Feb. 16, 1949, p2); protests Government 
procedure in Communist trial, (Daily Worker, Feb. 20, 1949, p. 10); 
defends Robert Thompson, Communist (Daily Worker, Nov. 30, 1948); 
sponsors banquets for Mother Bloor, Communist; contributor to Daily 
Worker, official organ of Communist Paity; supporter of the following 
Communist-front organizations: American League Against War and 
Fascism; Civil Rights Congress; Fight; National Council of American- 
Soviet Friendship; the Working Woman. 

Sponsor of meeting to greet Soviet Constitution (Daily Worker, Nov. 30, 
1936, p. 5); sponsor of meeting in behalf of the Soviet Union (Daily 
Worker, Mar. 22, 1938, p. 2); signer of open letter for closer cooperation with 
the Soviet Union (Soviet Russia Today, September 1939, p. 25); signer 
of open letter to American liberals in behalf of Soviet Union (Daily 
Worker, Feb. 9, 1937, p. 2); author of book, Child Workers of America 
reviewed by Daily Worker, book advertised by Daily Worker and the 
Communist International (publication); supporter of following Com- 
munist fronts; American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign 
Born; American Council on Soviet Relations; American League Against. 
War and Fascism; League of Women Shoppers; National Council of 
American-Soviet Friendship; National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and 
Professions. 

Member of executive board. Committee of Women, of National Council of 
American-Soviet Friendship. 

Now subject of deportation proceedings as an alien Communist. Activities 
in Communist party include: Member, national committee. Communist 
Party; secretary National Women's Commission, Communist Party; 
identified with the youth movement for 15 years; member of the national 
committee of the Young Communist League; education director of the 
Young Communist League. Writer and member of editorial board of the 
Daily Worker, official organ of the Communist Party, and writer for 
Political Affairs, official organ of the Communist Party. 

Contributor to Daily Worker, official organ of the Communist Party;: 
national president of the Emma Lazarus Division, Jewish People's Fra-: 
ternal Order, affiliate of the International Workers Order, a Communist: 
front; International Workers Order representative. 



84 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



Congress of American 
Women: Name and position 



Communist Party or front connections 



Sidonie M. Qruenberg, mem- 
ber, advisory council. 



Gertrude Lane, member, ad- 
visory council, former vice 
president. 



Clara Savage Littledale. 
member, advisory council. 



Mary Jane Melish, presi- 
dent, Brooklyn chapter. 



Audley Moore, leader of 
CAW delegation to Wash- 
ington, D. C. 



Jean Muir, vice president. 



Estelle Massey Riddle Os- 
borne, member, executive 
committee. 

Mrs. Eugene V. Persoiuiet, 
representative, Newark, 
N.J. 

Mrs. Louise Pitner, presi- 
dent, Manhattan No. 1 
chapter. 

Eslanda Qoode Robeson, 
member, executive com- 
mittee. 



Rose V. Russell, member, 
advisory council. 



Lillian Rubin, speaker, De- 
troit chapter. 

Anna Center Schneiderman, 
member; vice president. 



Editor of book, More Favorite Stories, Old and New, recommended by the 
Worker (Dec. 19, 1948, p. 11m), oiBcial organ of the Communist Party: 
supporter of the following Communist front organizations: National 
Council of American-Soviet Friendship; People's Radio Foundation; 
Progressive Citizens of America; Win-the-Peace Conference. 

Member of delegation in 1940 against barring of the Communist Party 
from the New York State ballot; signer of a petition to President Roose- 
velt in behalf of Earl Browder (Communist) in 1942; eulogized in the 
Worker (Dec. 20, 1942, p. 6m), official organ of the Communist Party. 
Candidate for secretary-treasurer of AFL Hotel and Club Employees, 
Local 6, New York City, on Communist-supported slate (Dally Worker, 
Jan. 30, 1948, p. 10); credentials withheld by New York State American 
Federation of Labor as a Communist (New York Star, Aug. 4, 1948. p. 
17); supporter of following Communist fronts: Jefferson School of Social 
Science; National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Inc. 

Sponsor and member of Committee of Women, National Council of Ameri- 
can-Soviet Friendship, Inc., a Communist front organization. Sponsor 
of New Jersey branch, League of Women Shoppers, Communist front 
organization. 

Wife of Rev. William H. Melish, literary contributor to the Daily Worker, 
and New Masses— official Communist Party organs— and Soviet Russia 
Today, a Communist front publication. He is also vice chairman of 
the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, a Communist front 
organization. Mary Jane Melish has supported Simon W. Oerson. a 
Communist, and is a member of the Committee of Women of the National 
Council of American-Soviet Friendship. 

Conununist candidate for New York City councilman in 1943; alternate 
member, national committee. Communist Party, U. S. A.; member. 
Women's Commission, Communist Party, U. S. A.; Field organizer, 
Citizens Committee to Free Earl Browder (Commimist); campaign man- 
ager for Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., Communist candidate for New York 
City coimcilman in 1943; leader of several committees defending Claudia 
Jones, Communist; participated in picket line in behalf of Alexander 
Bittelman, Communist (Daily Worker, Feb. 3, 1948, p. 10); defended 
Robert Thompson, Communist (Daily Worker, Sept. 27, 1948, p. 7); 
member of delegation in behalf of indicted Communist leaders (Daily 
Worker, Jan. 19, 1949, p. 3); supporter of following Commimist front 
organizations: Civil Rights Congress; Harlem Legislative Conference; 
United May Day Committee; National Negro Congress; American Labor 
Party. 

Cited by a former California Commimist as having attended Communist 
study groups, loaned her car and home for party purposes, met with 
Communist leaders (committee hearings, executive, vol. 3, pp. 1387- 
1389). Supporter of following Communist front organizations: Progres- 
sive Citizens of America; Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign; Southern 
Conference for Human Welfare. 

Supporter of following Communist fronts: Civil Rights Congress; Ameri- 
can Labor Party; Council on African Affairs. 

Wife of Eugene V. Personnet, who supported the defense of Harry Bridge 
and the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, a Communis 
front organization. 

Member of delegation in behalf of Robert Thompson, Communist (Daily 
Worker, Dec. 15, 1948, p. 4); member of Harlem May Day Committee. 

Supports her husband Paul Robeson's statement against American Negro 
participation in any future war against Russia; listed on honor roll in 
Worker, Mar. 9, 1947; sends greetings to Soviet women Mar. 8, 1949; mem- 
ber of following Communist front organizations: Coimcil on African Af- 
fairs; National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. 

Signer of Communist Party nominating petition for councilman, city of 
New York, borough of Manhattan, 1945; refuses to affirm or deny Com- 
munist Party membership (New York Times, Oct. 2, 1948, p. 7); supporter 
of 9-point program for CIO presented by left-wing members; legislative 
representative of teachers union (United Public Workers) which has been 
cited by the Committee on Un-American Activities as having Communist 
leadership strongly entrenched; supporter of the following Communist 
fronts: American Youth for Democracy; American Labor Party; Civil 
Rights Congress; Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy; Joint 
Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee; National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship; National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions; Pro- 
gressive Citizens of America; School of Jewish Studies. 

Signer of statement demanding reinstatement of the Communist Party on 
the ballot in Michigan, 1940. 

Signer of statement supporting Francis Thompson, Communist (Daily 
Worker, Jan. 19, 1948, p. 5); supporter of following Communist fronts: 
American League for Peace and Democracy; Friends of the Chinese 
People; Progressive Citizens of America; Arts, Sciences, and Professions 
Council. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



85 



Congress of American 
Women; Name and position 



Communist Party or front connections 



Maude Slye, vice president. 



Faye Stephenson, member, 
advisory council. 



Charlotte Stern, member, ad- 
visory council; member, ex- 
ecutive committee. 



Rose Tillotson, representa- 
tive, Minneapolis. 



Mary Van Kleeck, member, 
executive committee. 



Ann I' Wharton, former field 
secretary. 



Betty Willett; member, exec- 
utive committee, executive 
secretary, Los Angeles 
chapter. 

Olga Zemaitis, recording sec- 
retary, Detroit chapter. 



Signer of petition in behalf of indicted Communist leaders; signer of state- 
ment against Broyles anti-Communist bill; sponsor of Cultural and Scien- 
tific Conference for World Peace in New York, Mar. 25-27, 1949; member 
of American sponsoring committee for the World Congress for Peace, a 
Communist-controlled gathering in Paris; supporter of the following Com- 
munist-front organizations: American Youth for Democracy; Committee 
for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy; Joint Ajiti-Fascist Refugee Com- 
mittee; National Council of American-Soviet Friendship; National Coun- 
cil of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions; sends greetings to Soviet women- 
Mar. 9, 1948. 

Signer of petition to free Earl Browder (Communist) (Daily Worker, May 
2, 1941, p. 2); listed on Worker honor roll (Worker, Mar. 9, 1947, p. 7m); 
supporter of following Communist fronts: American Committee for 
Protection of the Foreign Born; American Peace Mobilization. 

Also known as Charlotte Todes; held for deportation as an alien Commu- 
nist; defended by Ehzabeth Qurley Fljmn (Communist) (Daily Worker, 
April 23, 1948, p. 10); member, Executive Board, Joint Anti-Fascist 
Refugee Committee, a Communist front— sentenced to 3 months in jail 
and $500 fine for contempt of Congress; supporter of following Communist 
front organizations: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship; 
National Federation for Constitutional Liberties; Open Letter on Harry 
Bridges; Veterans Against Discrimination of Civil Rights Congress of 
New York. 

Conunnnist Party candidate for city council in St. Paul in 1942; member 
publicity and press committee. Communist Political Association, 1944; 
contributes money for defense of indicted Communist Party leaders 
(Daily Worker, Dee. 17, 1948, p. 10); member of Minnesota Defense 
Committee for Civil Rights for Communists (chairman). 

Cited before the Committee on Un-American Activities as a member of 
the professional unit of the Communist Party, U. S. A.; drafted legislation 
for the Communist Party, U. S. A., files Supreme Court brief in behalf 
of indicted Communist leaders (Daily Worker, Jan. 9, 1949, p. 3); speaker 
in behalf of indicted Communist leaders (Daily Worker, Oct. 13, 1948, 
p. 7); supports candidacy of Simon W. Gerson (Communist); signer of 
greetings to women of Soviet Union, Mar. 9, 1948 (Daily Worker, Mar. 
9, 1948, p. 5); speaker for United Office and Professional Workers of 
America, which has been cited as having Communist leadership strongly 
entrenched; member of the following Communist-front organizations: 
American Council for a Democratic Greece; American Friends of Spanish 
Democracy; American Labor Party; American Slav Congress; Civil 
Rights Congress; Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee; John Reed 
Club; Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy; National Council 
of American-Soviet Friendship; New Masses; National Council of the 
Arts, Sciences, and Professions; Soviet Russia Today; World Youth 
Festival (United States Committee). 

Member, Washington Committee for Democratic Action, which defended 
Communists; signer of telegram to President Roosevelt in defense oj 
Communist fur-worker defendants; field representative, Communistf 
controlled United Federal Workers; greets Soviet women, Mar. 8, 1942; 
member of original committee of Communist-front American Peace 
Mobilization. 

Registered Communist voter, Los Angeles County, November 1938. 



Wife of Peter Zemaitis, former organizer, Lithuanian unit. Communist 
Party, U. S. A., Detroit. 



MARGARET UNDJUS KRUMBEIN 

Alias Margaret Cowl 
LEADING EXPONENT OF THE PARTY LINE 

Margaret Kj-umbein, alias Margaret Cowl, was a delegate of the 
Congress of American Women to the meeting of the Women's Inter- 
national Democratic Federation held in Budapest in December 1948. 
She was the wife of Charles Krumbein, now deceased, former treasm^er 
of the Communist Party, U. S. A, and head of its powerful review board 
or disciplinary body. She has held high posts in the Communist 
Party, U. S. A, in her own right. As a member of its central committee, 
1936-39, head of its women's commission and national women's 
director, she reported on this activity at Communist Party conven- 
tions. She was also editor of the Working Woman, a Communist 
publication. Her views as published in the Worker of August 8, 
1948, are therefore highly authoritative. 

Under capitalism, she declares, women "are kept in a doubly 
economic position of servitude." Husbands insist "that the house- 
wife stay at home," and "not go out to fight back the ravages upon 
the home and family by monopoly capitalism." She inveighs against 
a system under which the husband "places upon the shoulders of the 
housewife the responsibility for the secm-ity of the marriage relation- 
ship which this monopoly capitalism is attempting to wreck in a 
thousand ways." The source of the "male superiority" doctrine, 
according to Mrs. ICrumbein, is "the ideology of the ruling class which 
today is decadent, immoral, ignoble, and dangerously drunk with 
ideas of world domination, fascism, and war." In other words, 
according to this Communist spokeswoman, society is torn by two 
gigantic schisms — the class struggle between the capitalists and the 
proletariat on the one hand, and the struggle between the sexes for 
superiority on the other — the solution of which will come only after 
capitalism is destroyed and communism is established. 

Mrs. Krumbein complains that "even in the Communist Party the 
voice of a man is heard demanding that the wife stay at home to 
administer to his needs." On June 17, 1948, for example, J. Gerard 
had the temerity to espouse the doctrine of "male superiority" in 
the Worker, official Communist organ. One would suppose that the 
party ranks were immune from such insidious influences, but Mrs. 
Krumbein complains that "ideas of male superiority are rampant 
in * * * the party." 

In the Party Organizer for February 1936 she stressed the impor- 
tance of International Woman's Day: 

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, and then forget about 
work among women until the following year, is not carrying out the suggestions 
of Comrade Dimitroff [at that time head of the Communist International]. 

With obvious reference to the United States, she quotes Lenm in 
the Communist of September 1940 to the effect that — 

86 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 87 

Bourgeois democracy is democracy of pompous phrases, solemn words, ex- 
uberant promises and the high-sounding slogans of freedom and equality. But in 
fact, it screens the subjection and inferiority of women * * * 

She describes how the Communist Party organized day nurseries in 
Brooklyn to enable housewdves to attend daytime classes on com- 
munism and to give them time to organize "Women for Wallace Com- 
mittees." In some cases party branches even provided baby sitters 
for their women comrades. 

On the other hand, she claims that only socialism as it exists in the 
Soviet Union "guarantees this freedom and happy family life for the 
masses of women." 

The views of Margaret Krumbein are reflected in those of her 
Communist associates in the WIDF. Jeannette Vermeersch, out- 
standing spokesman for the Women's International Democratic Fed- 
eration and the wife of Maurice Thorez, leader of the Communist 
Party of France, and a leading French Communist in her own right, 
in an article appearing in the Worker for July 11, 1948, charged that 
non-Communist coim tries "want to put across a conception of the 
family, based on the fear of God, on the fear of the father, fear of the 
devil, resignation before God, before the father, and above all before 
the capitalist masters." This is a good sample of the type of propa- 
ganda peddled by the Women's International Democratic Federation 
and its American affiliate. She leveled her unmitigated scorn toward 
those who believe "women's fimction is to make love, have children, 
do the cooking, the housework, and wait on her lord and master." 

Confronted as we are with the threat of Russia's relentless march 
toward world conquest, Communist women propagate treason in a 
covert yet persuasive language. Leading Communist Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn, a vice president of the Congress of American Women, 
in calling for a big turn-out of women for May Day in 1948 proposed 
the following slogans direpted primarily to the United States, not to 
the Soviet Union: 

Butter instead of guns! Schools versus atom bombs! Life, not death for our 
sons! Bread, not bullets! Build, not destroy the world! Cost of living goes up 
with the Marshall plan! We didn't raise our sons to atom bomb the globe! 

She calls upon women to answer the "loyalty" parade arranged by 
loyal American organizations. 

Miss Flynn's attitude toward the United States has matched the 
Communist Party line in all its gyrations. 

In February 1940, during the period of the Stalin-Hitler Pact, she 
wrote a pamphlet entitled "I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be a Soldier — 
for W^U Street" (Workers Library Pubhshers, Inc.). This booklet 
was timed to be ready for International Women's Day on March 8, 
and contained the following inflammatory pacifist passages: 

Who Wants To Be a Gold Star Mother? Do you want it to be your son? Or 
your husband? American women, the time to say NO is now. Before it is too 
late. Is there one among us who craves to be a "Gold Star Mother"? Can a 
gilded pin mend a broken heart? * * * 

Act now for peace; for staying out of war. Pass resolutions in your organiza- 
tions. Send them to your Senators and Congressmen * * *. Let us women 
take the right road; let us join with the workingmen and all others in organizing 
"The Yanks Are Not Coming Committees." * * * We must all be emphatic — 
tell President Roosevelt, tell Congress, tell the newspapers, tell everybody: 
Keep America Out of War and this time we mean it. 



S8 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Despite this assurance she suddenly became an ardent militarist 
when the party line changed. In her pamphlet, "Women in the 
War," published in November 1942, while Stalin was oiu* ally, she 
declared: 

We American women, like the Chinese, British, and Soviet women, will work 
till we drop and fight till we die to defend our beautiful country and our democratic 
liberties from brutish idealogy of the Nazis. We are not called upon to engage 
in actual military action. But in mortal crisis, as the heroic Soviet girl, Luidmila 
Pavilchenko, became a crack sniper * * * go will we take arms, if necessary, 
in the spirit of our Molly Pitcher and Harriet Tubman. 

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, 1947, when 
the Soviet Union was no longer our ally. Miss Flynn again exercised 
her talent for pamphleteering, this time under the title, "Woman's 
Place — In the Fight for a Better World," in which she insisted that 
America render itself defenseless in the face of Soviet aggression. 
She demanded that "All existing stock piles [of atomic bombs] in 
our country must be destroyed." No similar demand was made of 
the Soviet Union. She denounced the so-called American "Get 
Tough" policy of "atomic diplomacy" toward "our brave fighting 
ally, the Soviet Union." While still admitting that "Our country 
is beautiful," she bewailed its fate, claiming that "its vast resources 
and its people are exploited by a handful of greedy capitalists." 

It is easily understandable why Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a disci- 
plined member of the national board of the Communist Party, USA, 
should take the position described. It is difficult, however, to under- 
stand why a few weU-educated, non-Communist women should follow 
in her footsteps. 



INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 

International Women's Day, March 8, has long been an inter- 
national Commimist holiday. According to an article by Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn in Political Affairs for March 1947, the idea was first 
proposed in 1910 by Clara Zetkin, who was later the foremost woman 
in the Communist International. It was enthusiastically endorsed 
by Lenin and Alexandra Kollontay, who was later Soviet ambassador 
to Mexico and Sweden. Lenin's wife, Nadyezhda Krupskaya, in- 
variably "spoke at mass meetings, particularly on such important 
days as International Women's Day." ^^^ 

As early as 1932, the executive committee of the Communist Inter- 
national (E. C. C. I.) sent a directive to the central committee of the 
Communist Party, U. S. A., concerning tasks to be performed on Inter- 
national Women's Day, which was reprinted in part in the Party 
Organizer, an official publication of the central committee of the 
Communist Party, U. S. A.: 

"The Polit Secretariat of the E. C. C. I. makes the central committee responsible 
for the carrying through of the campaign on a large scale. March 8 must be 
observed in all capitalist countries as an international demonstration and fighting 
day. Its keynote is the struggle against the capitalist offensive and against the 
threatening war danger, especially the danger of intervention against the Soviet 
Union and against the Fascist reaction. 

"We lay stress on the tasks set down by the Eleve ith Plenum of the E. C. C. I. 
of 'utilization of the slightest signs of protest of the working class against the 
exploitation and Fascist reaction for work among women.' We emphasize that 
March 8th campaign is the task of the whole -party." 

The party organizer further states, in reference to International 
Women's Day: 

The tasks confronting the party in connection with I. W. D. campaign is to 
develop, broaden out and dramatize the struggles among the masses of 
women * * * for developing the campaign of I. W. D. 

In all activities the party must consciously direct the work * * * and 
make every effort to gain members for the party to better the composition of the 
party. We must throughout the campaign arouse the working women to the 
reality of imperialist war and the war of intervention against the Soviet Union 
and Soviet China; to counteract the dangerous pacifist and the patriotic influences 
among the working class women * * *_ [Italics supplied.] "* 

The Communist Party line on International Women's Day changed 
briefly between 1941 and 1945 — -just long enough to fight World War 
II, when the U. S. S. R. and the U. S. A. were alUed. Since 1945 the 
official line has returned to the stand taken in the Party Organizer in 
1932. By their endorsement of Maurice Thorez' appeal for support 
of the Red Army, WIDF leaders Jeannette Vermeersch, Anna Pauker, 
and others have demonstrated that fact. 

International Women's Day is a banner day for the Women's 
International Democratic Federation and the Congress of American 
Women. 

"» Lenin and Krupskaya, by C. Bobrovskaya; Workers Library Publishers, March 1940, p. 44, 
»• Party Organizer, February 1932, pp. 29-30. 

89 



90 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The Congress of American Women was officially launched on 
International Women's Day, March 8, 1946. Muriel Draper, a 
featured speaker, who had the day before presided over a meeting 
of the Women's Committee of the National Council of American- 
Soviet Friendship at the Russian Consulate in New York in com- 
memoration of International Women's Day, when greetings were 
sent to the women of the Soviet Union. 

Another speaker at the Russian consulate was Lillian Hellman, also 
active in the CAW. The message of greeting was accepted by Mrs. 
Mikhail Goussev, wife of the president of the Amtorg Trading Corp., 
which acts as the purchasing agent for the Soviet Government. 
Similar courtesies were extended to no other government by this 
women's group. 

In honor of International Women's Day, EHzabeth Gurley Flynn 
wrote that: 

Millions of women, under the banner of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation * * * ^j-g pledged to root out fascism. * * * -pj^g "Qqi 
Tough" policy with friendly nations, especially our brave fighting ally, the Soviet 
Union, is atomic diplomacy * * *_ j^q^ ^g salute the magnificient women 
of the Soviet Union, in the spirit of International Women's Day."^ 

Then she added: "I am writing this pamphlet * * * as a 
Communist." 

Writing in Political Affairs, an official Communist journal, Miss 
Flynn described large gatherings on International Women's Day in 
1947 and 1948, jointly sponsored by the Congress of American 
Women and the Women's Committee of the National Council of 
American-Soviet Friendship."* 

The Congress of American Women advertised in the Daily Worker 
in March 1947 that they would hold a meeting which would be of 
interest to those who "Don't like United States policy in Greece" 
and those who "Don't hke United States dollars for Turkey." A 
week later they sponsored a delegation of 300 women who boarded 
a train to Washington "to protest President Truman's plan to send 
military aid to the Fascist governments of Greece and Turkey." 
They paraded up Constitution Avenue to the White House carrying 
banners which read "What did Turkey do to win the war?"; "Peace; 
Churchill-Truman — A Century of Fear"; "Peace for Greece — No 
Arms but Eats." They visited the State Department and various 
Congressmen, demanding that relief to Greece be administered by 
the UN but not by the United States.^^^ 

International Women's Day in 1948 was observed by the Congress 
of American Women when they sponsored a large meeting at a New 
York hotel, where resolutions were passed "condemning the deporta- 
tion drive and the Government's attack on civil liberties, particularly 
as they affect American women." At that time the United States had 
instituted deportation proceedings against Claudia Jones, an alien 
Communist. However, she was free on bail and appeared at the 
meeting. "She was greeted with prolonged applause." Another 
avowed Communist present at this meeting was Mother Bloor, 

"7 "Women's Place in the Fight for a Better World" by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Century Publishers, 
March 1947, p. 6. 
H8 Political Affairs; March 1947, p. 217; March 1948, p. 262. 
119 Daily Worker, March 30, 1947, p. 12. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 91 

veteran Communist, who received a standing ovation when she was 
brought to the platform. The resolution calling for dismissal of 
deportation charges also referred to the case of Charlotte Stern, a 
member of the CAW Advisory Council. Mrs. Carol King, attorney 
in many Communist deportation cases, attacked the United States' 
action in the deportation cases as an attempt at terrorization in "an 
effort to interfere with the free thought of all persons in the United 
States." Mme. Frangoise Leclerc, Communist leader of the Union 
des Femmes Frangaises and an alternate member of the Executive 
Committee of the Women's International Democratic Federation, 
also spoke. The meeting passed another resolution attacking the 
Marshall plan and pledged support "to the women of other lands 
struggling for freedom." — that is, struggling for communism. Five 
hundred women were present at this meeting. ^^° 

On that same day Communist women all over the world were voicing 
identical criticisms of the United States. In Paris the Union des 
Femmes Frangaises, the Communist French women's organization, 
affiliate of the Women's International Democratic Federation, staged 
a shrieking protest directed primarily against the United States. Six 
thousand women paraded in celebration of International Women's 
Day, demanding rejection of the Marshall plan and interim aid.^^^ 

In Russia, International Women's Day is an officially recognized 
occasion for agitation among women. The official organ of the Infor- 
mation Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties (Cominform), 
"For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy!" devoted one of its six 
pages to descriptions of plans for the celebrations in various countries. 
Nina Popova, vice president and commissar of the WIDF and chair- 
man of the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Committee, outlined the 
year's activities as follows: 

This year all working women will celebrate International Women's Day, 
March 8, in conditions of intense struggle for peace and against imperialist aggres- 
sion. On this day, millions of women will express their firm determination to 
strengthen international solidarity, to unite more closely in the ranks of the demo- 
cratic camp headed by the land of socialism — the Soviet Union — * * *_ y/jg 
women of the Soviet Union, active builders of communism, are marching at the head 
of the powerful democratic movement of the women of the world.^^^ [Italics supplied.] 

This theme was to be repeated faithfully and monotonously by the 
Communists and then dupes in every country where International 
Women's Day was observed, including the United States. 

In Greece the Government took note of the commotion and advised 
Greek women: 

Some time ago the brigand radio devoted whole broadcasts to the women's 
movement, the Pan-Hellenic Women's Organization. This is worth noticing, for 
it shows a new turn in the Greek Communist Party * * *_ xhe old tactics of 
mass organizations for serving its purposes is again the order of the day * * * 
Greek public opinion still remembers how the Communist Party camouflaged 
itself behind mass organizations to conceal its real identity. But Greek women 
wiU not be fooled by this new Trojan horse of the Communist Party. '^s 

An editorial appearing in Pravda, a Moscow newspaper, said that 
the Soviet Union was inspiring women of the world to consolidate in 

120 Daily Worker, March 10, 1948, p. 5. 

121 New York Times, March 8, 1948, p. 3. 

122 For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy, March 1, 1949, p. 4. 

i2» Larissa, Second Army Corps broadcasting station, in Greek to Greece, March 7, 1949, 1:66 p. m., e. s. t. 
(radio broadcast). 



65891—50- 



92 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

"tense fighting against the aggressive policy of Anglo-United States 
imperialists" and that the WIDF was one of the most powerful 
forces in the struggle against the "warmongers." ^^^ 

In Hungary the women were assured of the backing of the "in- 
vincible" Soviet armies and were urged to evince willingness to fight 
against the "imperialist plotters" and their "bloodthirsty Fascist 

agents, * * * always following the glorious example of the 
women of the U. S. S. R." ^25 

Anna Pauker, WIDF leader, spoke in Rumania on International 
Women's Day, saying "* * * the warmest thoughts, hopes, and 
loves of the working people throughout the world are turned toward 
the U. S. S. R." and to the liberating Soviet Army, as women "unite 
themselves around the mighty U. S, S. R." ^^® 

In Czechoslovakia women were told that the ruling circles of the 
United States and Great Britain were following a policy of unleashing 
a new war, in which Czech women must support the "peace policy" 
of the Soviet Union even if it was necessary to fight for it, since they 
owed everything to the Soviet Union. ^^^ 

This attitude was not confined to the Soviet Union and its recog- 
nized satellites. Newspapers in the Soviet zone of Germany attacked 
the western occupation powers as "enemies of peace" who stayed in 
Germany to split and disrupt it as part of their warmongering program 
against Russia. International Women's Day celebrants were in- 
structed to follow the militant tradition of the now-deceased Com- 
munist leader, Clara Zetkin.^^^ 

The Progressive Federation of Women of the Netherlands demon- 
strated under the slogan "For Peace and Bread, Against the American 
Instigators of War," according to a statement issued by the central 
committee of the Netherlands Communist Party. ^^^ 

The French Communist, Jeannette Vermeersch, participated in 
demonstrations organized by the Union of French Women, and de- 
clared "it would not be advisable for the war mongers to rub up against 
the Soviet Union." ^^° 

In Korea, a speech by Mrs. Lee Kum Sun swelled the chorus. She 
praised the Soviet's efforts against the "war mongers" and praised 
the WIDF. She told of the grim living conditions suffered in the 
southern (U. S. -occupied) half of Korea while in the northern 
(Communist) half International Women's Day was being cele- 
brated in the "midst of brilliant democratic achievements," and she 
called for a drive to throw out the Americans and the United Nations 
Commission. '^^ 

In the United States, the Communist Party, the National Council 
of American-Soviet Friendship and the Congress of American Women 
operated in close harmony on the question of International Women's 
Day. The Communist Party, through the National Women's 
Commission, issued a special bulletin for International Women's 
Day, giving the history of the day, and carrying a section on the 

is< Moscow, Soviet Home Service, March 8, 1949, 12:01 a. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 

1" Budapest, Hungarian Home Service, March 7, 1949, 2:35 p. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 

128 Bucharest, Rumanian Home Service, March 8, 1949, 10:30 a. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 

127 Prague, Czechoslovak Home Service, in Czech, March 7, 1949, 1 p. m., e. s. t (radio broadcast). 

128 Berlin— U.S. 8. R.-controlled, in German to Germany, March 8, 1949, 2:05 a. m., e.s.t. (radiobroadcast). 
i2» Moscowr, Soviet Home Service, March 7, 1949, 12:45 a. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 

'30 Paris, in French to Indochina, March 7, 1949, 8:43 a. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 
"1 Phyongyang, in Korean to Korea, March 7, 1949, 5:20 a. m., e. s. t. (radio broadcast). 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 93 

Women's International Democratic Federation. Muriel Draper, 
Elinor S. Gimbel, Sidonie M. Gruenberg, Eslanda Goode Robeson, 
Rose Russell, Maude Slye, and Mary Van Kleeck, all members of the 
CAW, signed a statement of greetings to the women of the Soviet 
Union, issued by the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. 
The program of the CAW for International Women's Day in 1949 
was elaborate and extensive, and, furthermore, lasted for over a month. 
The main project of the day was a "peace petition"— to consist of 
50,000 signatures — which has since been presented to the United 
Nations. Among the speakers featured at CAW International 
Women's Day meetings were the following members of the Com- 
munist Party: Pearl Lawes, Margaret Krumbein, and Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn. These meetings were held all over the country and 
under the auspices of other front organizations as well as the CAW. 
The American Slav Congress and the International Workers Order 
cooperated actively. This program was supplemented by the Con- 
gress of American Women in a radio broadcast on Station WLIB in 
New York. 



94 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




Red Greek Guerilla Fighters. 

— Delegates to Second Congress of the Women's International Democratic 

Federation. 

Third from left is Rula Kukulu, member of the executive committee of the WIDF. 

— Soviet Woman, No. 2, 1949, page 14. 



THE PEACE OFFENSIVE 

Just as France was rendered helpless before the Nazis in 1940 by 
paralyzing pacifist propaganda, so the Russians hope to paralyze the 
democracies with their present "peace" offensive. 

The most ambitious project in this campaign was the so-called 
"World Peace Congress" held in Paris on April 20, 21, 22, and 23, 
1949, shortly after International Women's Day. This meeting was 
a sequel to the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace 
held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, which Secretary 
of State Dean Acheson called "a sounding board for Communist 
propaganda." The Women's International Democratic Federation, 
together with the International Liaison Committee of Intellectuals 
for Peace, issued the call for this congress. The Women's Interna- 
tional Democratic Federation's prominence in the Congress w^as pre- 
saged by its own Second Congress, which wound up its proceedings 
with a long "Peace" Manifesto. 

Eugenie Cotton, president of the WIDF, said: 

The Congress of Budapest was really carried on in the spirit of women's desire 
for peace. It ended with the writing of a Manifesto expressing this desire. 

Tow^ard this end it adopted a "militant" program. The organiza- 
tion declared it would follow the lead of the Soviet Union, "the only 
country truly working for peace," against the "vile actions" of the 
"imperialist warmongers." The Manifesto identified the "warmon- 
gers" as the United States and Great Britain: 

The real rulers of the United States and Great Britain, in military, industrial 
and financial circles, are preparing a new conflict * * *_ 

Despite the fact that the Soviet Union has a record of over 30 
vetoes of United Nations proposals seeking to establish a basis of 
international understanding, the WIDF Peace Manifesto claimed 
that the United States and Great Britain 

oppose, in the United Nations, every proposal of the Soviet Union * * * to 
consolidate the peace, reduce armaments, and outlaw the atomic bomb. 

Although the United States demanded and accepted no inch of 
territory following World War II ; although instead of reparations the 
United States laid a tremendous tax burden upon its own people in 
an effort to assist the whole of Europe to achieve economic stability, 
in contrast with the Soviet Union which is pauperizing its satellites, 
the WlDF "Peace" Manifesto declared that "American monopolists 
seek to dominate the world." 

With the aid of the Marshall plan, they (the United States) deprive nations of 
their sovereignty, turning the people into servants of the American warmakers. 
The women of the whole world must know that the Marshall plan is not a European 
aid program, but a plan of economic and political servitude for the people, and 
thus a step toward the preparation of a new war * * * The governments 
of these countries * * * grant military bases to American imperialists. The 
Marshall plan means the restoration of German imperialism; the Marshall plan 
means poverty, reaction and war * * * 

95 



96 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

The WIDF "peace" manifesto reiterated the stand taken by Maur- 
ice Thorez, leader of the Communist Party of France, who declared 
"The people of France will never make war on the Soviet Union.": 

Women! 

It is our task to prevent our husbands, sons and brothers from being dragged 
into a new war where they will become cannon fodder in the interest of adventurers 
and the owners of the atomic bomb. 

Overlooking the Soviet Union's interference in the affairs of all the 
so-called "People's Democracies"; in Greece, Korea, and China, and 
paving the way for Soviet aggression, this "peace" manifesto exhorted 
"Women of the United States, Great Britain, France, Holland!": 

You must remember that a country which oppresses another cannot live in 
freedom. Urge your governments to withdraw their troops from Greece, China, 
Viet-Nam, Indonesia, Malaya, Burma and South Korea, and halt all forms of 
interference in the domestic affairs of other nations. 

The "peace" manifesto called on the women of the Soviet Union 
to lead the women of the world: 

Women of the Soviet Union! 

Reinforce the strength of your motherland, stronghold of peace, remembering 
that the stronger your country grows, the more firm is the unity for peace. 

The "peace" manifesto also laid down a plan of action for organizing 
mass pressure on the democracies: 

Women throughout the world! 
Let all of us stand together to save the peace! 

Organize ma!?s rallies, demonstrations, petitions, exposing the criminal plans of 
the aggressors and proclaiming loudly our demand for peace. 

The Congress of American Women planned a program which was 
extended for a period of more than a month. Two main projects were 
the CAW's first radio broadcast — Women and Peace, and a Peace 
Petition. In May 1949, this Peace Petition was presented, over the 
heads of the official American delegation, to the United Nations as the 
first act of the reconstituted Congress of American Women. At a 
"founding" convention the CAW adopted a constitution which stated 
m its preamble that "81,000,000 women are pledged to peace today." 

WIDF PART IN THE WORLD PEACE CONGRESS 

The call to the World Peace Congress was signed by the followmg 
members of the Women's International Democratic Federation: 

Eliane Brault, France 

Eugenie Cotton, France 

Frangoise Leclercq, France (Communist) 

Nora Wooster, England 

Maria Maddalena Rossi, Italy (Communist) 

Ada Jackson, United States 

Gene Weltfish, United States 

Nina Popova, Soviet Union (Communist) 

Mimi Sverdrup Lunden, Norway 

Andrea Andi^een, Sweden 

Anezka Hodinova-Spurna, Czechoslovakia (Communist) 

Tsai Tchang, China (Communist) 
All of these women except Ada Jackson are members of the Executive 
Committee of the WIDF. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 97 

The WIDF helped to initiate this Congress as a follow-up of its 
own "peace" manifesto, and this action was approved by the Com- 
munist Information Bureau (Cominform) in its official organ, For a 
Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy, as follows: 

The aggressive plans of Anglo-American ruling circles expressing the interests 
of American finance and industrial magnates who are trying to hurl mankind into 
a new war, have aroused the indignation and opposition of millions of women 
throughout the world. 

Naturally, in these circumstances, the World Federation of Democratic Women 
centers its activity around the struggle for peace, drawing into this struggle 
millions of women who are not yet members of the Federation. '^^ 

The manifesto of the World Peace Congress played adroitly upon 
women's universal longing for peace in order to serve the interests of 
Soviet designs for aggression: 

The women, the mothers who bring hope to the world should know that we 
consider it our sacred duty to defend the lives of their children and the security 
of their homes. 

The call to the World Peace Congress evoked a prompt response 
from national affiliates of the WIDF, including the Union des Femmes 
Frangaises, the Soviet Women's Anti-Fascist Oommiittee, the National 
Union of Viet-Nam Women, the Women's League in Poland, the 
Union of Italian Women, the All-China Women's Congress, the Union 
of Belgian Women, the women of the People's (Communist) Republic 
in Mongolia, the Communist League of Austrian Democratic Women, 
the women of Ulan Bator, Outer Mongolian (Communist) Republic, 
the Democratic Women's League of Germany, the Bulgarian National 
Women's Union, the Pan-Hellenic Union of Women (of Communist 
Greece), and the Congress of American Women. The Union of 
French Women sent word that it was collecting signatures in peace 
notebooks; the fourth national congress of the Union of Italian 
Women addressed a letter to President Truman "repudiating the 
Atlantic Pact and denouncing the treachery of the Italian Government 
to its people"; the All-China Women's Congress pedged support to 
the World Peace Congress and "denomiced the North Atlantic Pact 
as a menace to all peace-living peoples"; the Union of Belgian Women 
said it was "preparing a peace petition which will be sent to UNO." "* 

Eugenie Cotton, Thai Thi Lien of Viet-Nam, and Tsola Dragoich- 
eva, it was declared, 

voiced the will of millions when they urged that all supporters of peace must unite 
in order to frustrate the crafty schemes of the Churchills.*" 

The Call to the World Congress for Peace issued by the American 
Sponsoring Committee included the following officials of the WIDF: 
Eugenie Cotton, Eugenia Pragierowa, Anezka Hodinova-Spurna. 
The CAW was represented among the sponsors by: 

Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Muriel Draper, Ada B. Jackson, 
Mary Van Kleeck, Rose Russell, Gene Weltfish, and Ella Winter. 
Other sponsors and delegates to the World Peace Congress included 
the following members and supporters of the WIDF: 

Elinor Gimbel, of the United States; Kitty Hookham, of Great 
Britain; Nym Wales, of the United States; Florica Mezincescu. 

"' For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy! March 1, 1949, p. 4. 
•33 For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy!, April 15, 1949, p. 3. 
"♦ For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy!, May 1, 1949, p. 2. 



98 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

of Rumania; Frau Stark- Wintersig, of Germany, Lii Tsui, of 

China; Wu Ching, of China, and MineoLa Ingersoll of the United 

States, who acted as the CAW representative to the World Peace 

Congress. 

Eugenie Cotton was "among the notables" on the platform at the 

World Peace Congress; she addressed the Congress in behalf of the 

WIDF. 

Ella Winter was listed among the officers of the World Peace 
Congress and at the close of the congress Gene Weltfish was elected 
to the permanent committee of the Fight for Peace. 

At the first World Peace Congress plans were laid to continue 
these Communist-controlled gatherings in various regional confer- 
ences, in connection with which|the importance of the participation 
of women was emphasized. 

According to a radio broadcast from Latin America on August 
18, 1949, the police of Rio de Janeiro discovered a Communist plot 
calling — 

for women and children to be strategically planted outside and around the so- 
called congresses of the Partisans of Peace, thus making it more difficult for the 
police to break up the meetings, while at the same time peace and order would 
be disrupted. 

This plan came to light when Rio de Janeiro police broke up a 
meeting of a Communist session known as the absolute tribunal, where 
they seized a manifesto giving instructions for steps to be taken at 
the outbreak of a revolutionary movement. This manifesto included 
a — 

scheme to establish feminine brigades, to be composed of well-trained women. 
The task assigned to these women would be to spearhead the assault. ''^ 

I3S ZYC9 Rio de Janeiro, in Portuguese to Brazil, August 18, 1949, 8:30 p. m., e. s. t. radio broadcast. 



BEHIND A "SUFFRAGE" CAMOUFLAGE 

The Congress of American Women has persistently tried, through 
varied approaches, to convince women who might not otherwise be 
drawn into its toils that the Congress of American Women can be 
identified with and is the successor to the nineteenth century Women's 
Rights Movement, which was so highly respected and influential in 
its da}'^ as to culminate in the nineteenth amendment to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, granting women suffrage. 

At the time of its organization the Congress of American Women 
was proclaimed a "mass political organization unmatched since the 
suffrage movement." The Daily People's W^orld, west coast organ 
of the Coinmunist Party, U. S. A., claimed "the Congress of American 
Women is carrying on in the best tradition of the noble and farseeing 
women who began the Women's Rights Movement." '^® 

An action letter instructed CAW members that — 

We have a splendid opportunity coming up, in International Women's Day on 
March 8, to take public action which will focus attention on CAW and help us 
build our organization. The origins of International Women's Day go back 
exactly 100 years in American histiory, to the first Women's Rights Convention 
at Seneca Falls, N. Y., in 1848, which raised the first demand for women's suffrage, 
finally won in 1929 (sic). * * * March 8 has been given a new signifi- 
cance by * * * the existence of the 81,000,000-strong Women's Interna- 
tional Demiocratic Federation, of which CAW is the American arm.'^^ 

A member of the CAW, Claudia Jones, who is also a leader in the 
Communist Party, U. S. A., pointed out that March 8, 1948, was the 
one hundredth anniversary not only of the Women's Suffrage Move- 
ment, but of "the great scientific and political movement called 
Marxism." She said that International Women's Day is "the anni- 
versary which, in a sense, compounds the significance of the other 
two anniversaries." ^^' 

The CAW also tries to give the impression that it is being unjustly 
maligned by reactionaries for its militancy and seeks to draw a parallel 
between such criticism and that directed against militant suffragists 
in the nineteenth century. 

In its official organ the CAW formulated the theory that — 

Those early women were attacked just as vociferously for advocating elementary 
rights which we all accept today, as women in 1949 are attacked * * * 139 

A CAW program presented on International Women's Day used as 
its keynote the theme that "we've been dangerous in this country for 
just 100 years — ever since we first organized in 1848, to wm the vote 
* * * " [Italics supplied.] 

The names of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, 
venerated as leaders of the nineteenth century Women's Rights 
Movement, are constantly exploited by the Congress of American 
Women. There is even an Elizabeth Cady S,. mton branch of the 

'38 Daily People's World, June 7, 1948, p. 3. 
137 CAW Action Letter No. 11, February 5, 1948, 
13S The Worker, March 7, 1948, p. 3. 
i3» CAW Souvenir Journal, 1949. 

99 



100 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

CAW in the Bronx. The CAW tries to extract every ounce of 
political capital from the fact that two descendants of these women 
are active in the CAW. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY TI 

Susan Anthony McAvoy, one of the original members of the CAW, 
a vice president of the organization and the first chairman of its 
Commission on the Status of Women, is a grandniece of the great 
suffrage leader. She loses no opportunity to exploit this relationship 
to the fullest, and always calls herself "Susan B. Anthony II." In 
the early days of the CAW, she wrote an article for the Daily Worker, 
official organ of the Communist Party, in which she tried to show that 
all women's organizations which have been active since the Women's 
Rights Movement have suppressed woman's natural talents through 
"reactionary propaganda" and have "succeeded in keeping women 
ineffectual politically." She claimed that women should not have 
been "diverted" from the labor movement. She declared that the 
Congress of American Women offered the first opportunity since the 
Woman's Rights Movement for a successful program of political action : 

For the first 72 years of American history, from 1776 until 1848, women had no 
vote and made no organized move to win it. During the next 72 years of our 
history, women organized, fought for the vote, and won it, in the longest legisla- 
tive battle in history. The 72-year struggle ended in the nineteenth amendment 
to the Constitution. 

After winning the suffrage in 1920, the American women's movement went into 
a decline. Instead of allying with their natural allies, the labor movement, 
women were diverted by reactionary propaganda and misguided women leaders 
into study groups, women's clubs, and other groups which succeeded in keeping 
women ineffectual politically. Until recently, "nice" women just didn't mingle 
much with party politics. * * * 'pj^g Congress of American Women [pledged 
it] would launch its own year-round political-action program, and bring pressure 
on political parties to institute year-round programs for women. ^^o 

A week later the CAW Bulletin reported that — 

A March-on- Washington Demonstration was decided upon for August 20, the 
twenty-sixth anniversary of the passing of the woman's suffrage amendment. 
Plans were made to lay a wreath on the statue of Susan B. Anthony. * * * 
The demonstration will be accompanied by suitable publicity effects. * * * '" 

Susan B. Anthony II is a sponsor of the Communist-front Com- 
mittee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy. She was a member of 
the Writers for Wallace Committee and was prominent at the Com- 
munist-supported Progressive Party convention in Philadelphia where 
Wallace was nominated as a Presidential candidate. She is the vice 
chairman of the Voice of Freedom Committee, which has been active 
in support and defense of pro-Communist radio commentators. She 
sponsored Mother Bloor's eighty-fifth birthday banquet. Mother 
Bloor is a former member of the Central Committee of the Com- 
munist Party, U. S. A., and a veteran Communist leader. Miss 
Anthony also appeared as a member of a delegation defending Robert 
Thompson, one of the Communist leaders on trial in New York 
charged with advocating the overthrow of the United States Govern- 
ment by force and violence. 

1" Daily Worker, July 14, 1946, p. 1. 
"> CAW BuUetin, July 28, 1946, p. 7. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



101 




Susan B. Anthony II 



—CAW Souvenir Journal. 



102 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

On April 26, 1941, during the Stalin-Hitler pact, she spoke at a 
luncheon of the Women's Committee of the Washington Peace 
Mobilization at the Rumanian Inn. She spoke against the United 
States furnishing convoys to Great Britain. She pleaded for support 
of the A.merican Peace Mobilization, a Communist front which shortly 
thereafter established a picket line around the White House. 

She has been a delegate from the Women's International Demo- 
cratic Federation to the United Nations. 

Miss Anthony appeared at a meeting of the Congress of American 
Women on March 8, 1948, at the Hotel Capitol in New York City, to 
speak in behalf of Communist deportation cases. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities is in possession of four 
affidavits which show that in 1937 and 1938 Susan B. Anthony deco- 
rated the walls of her apartment at 1742 P Street NW., Washington, 
D. C, with hammers and sickles. These affidavits are signed by the 
landlady, the house manager, and a neighbor. She was at that time 
employed by the National Youth Administration. Incidentally she 
is now the wife of Clifford T. McAvoy, who has a long record of defense 
of Communists and affiliation with their front organizations. 

NORA STANTON BARNEY 

When Nora Stanton Barney, a granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, joined the Congress of American Women, an announcement 
was arranged to coincide with an anniversary celebration of the 
woman's suffrage movement. According to the Daily Worker, official 
organ of the Communist Party: 

The granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton placed a large floral wreath on 
the grave of her famous grandmother for the Congress of American Women 

* * * at a centennial commemorative ceremony * * * Nora Stanton 
Barney * * * ^^g jug^, joined the Congress. * * * Present also at the 
services was the nephew of Frederick Douglass. * * * j^ -y^^ag Frederick 
Douglass who seconded Elizabeth Cady Stanton's first resolution in 1848 declar- 
ing it was the duty of all women to secure the franchise. Susan B. Anthony II, 
grandniece of Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

* * * [was] present at the ceremonies. * * * [a] message * * * 
[was] received from Alice Stone Blackwell, daughter of Lucy Stone * * * '" 

Four short months after joining the Congress of American Women, 
Nora Barney was selected as one of 35 delegates to represent the Con- 
gress at the Women's International Democratic Federation convention 
in Budapest. On her return to this country she was enthusiastic 
about the Communist regime in Hungary, claiming that non-Com- 
munists there have more freedom than Communists in this country. 
Nora Barney was featured on a CAW radio program on March 8, 1949, 
as Elizabeth Cady Stanton's granddaughter. The CAW has lost no 
opportunity to cash in on Nora Stanton Barney's famous name, and 
in less than a year she rose to prominence in the CAW. 

She has also supported the National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship, an organization which has been cited as subversive and 
Communist by Attorney General Tom Clark. She participated in 
the Communist-inspired Paul Robeson concert at Peekskill, N. Y. , 
on September 4, 1949. 

i« Daily Worker, July 20, 1948. 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 103 

On the strength of these two women's membership in the CAW, the 
organization alleges that — 

It is the CAW which today continues the struggle in the great traditions of 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. In the past, the fight for 
women's rights was part of the fight against slavery, and against economic exploi- 
tation, today it is also part of the fight for peace and security everywhere. CAW 
is in the front line of that 6ght."^ 

Actually it is clear that the dominant Communist group in the 
Congress of American Women has no interest in or devotion to Ameri- 
can democracy and that the suffrage issue is being raised to give 
respectability to the CAW and to serve as bait for the unwary. 

'" CAW Souvenir Journal, 1949. 



104 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 




Tea on International Women's Day, March 8, 1946, given by the National Council 
of American-Soviet Friendship in honor of Soviet women, at the Soviet Consulate 
in New York. 

Left to right: Mrs. Arthur Segal; Muriel Draper, chairman; Henrietta Buck- 
master; Mme. Mikhail Goussev, wife of the president of Amtorg, Soviet purchas- 
ing agency; Evelyn Stefansson; Lillian Hellman; Sidonie M. Gruenberg; Thelma 
Dale. 

—Daily Worker, March 9, 1946. 



COOPERATION WITH COMMUNIST FRONTS 

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF AMERICAN-SOVIET FRIENDSHIP 

A remarkably close kinship has been maintained between the 
Congress of American Women and the National Council of American- 
Soviet Friendship — which is so ardently pro-Soviet and so frantically 
anti-American that it has been repudiated by several of its most 
influential original sponsors, including Harold L. Ickes, Raymond 
Massey, Dr. Karl T. Compton, and others.'^ Attorney General 
Tom C. Clark cited the National Council of American-Soviet Friend- 
ship as subversive on June 1 and September 21, 1948. It has since 
its inception been the foremost apologist and defender of Soviet 
foreign and domestic pohcy and it retains close ties with the Soviet 
Embassy. 

The National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, which 
originally was the chief United States organization interested in the 
WIDF, was instrimiental in founding the Congress of American 
Women. The two organizations cooperate closely on projects con- 
cerning women, especially in connection with International Women's 
Day. Ehzabeth Gurley Flynn, writing in an official Communist 
organ, Political Affairs, comments favorably on the "broad gather- 
ings" planned by the two organizations in joint celebration of this 
Communist banner day.'*^ 

The following individuals have supported both the Congress of 
American Women and the National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship: Nora Stanton Barney, Clara Bodian, Zelma Corning 
Brandt, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Henrietta Buckmaster, Thelm^a 
Dale, Bella V, Dodd, Dorothy Douglas, Muriel Draper, Katherine 
Earnshaw, Mrs. R. Engelbourg, Virginia W. Epstein, Dr. Mildred 
Fairchild, Elinor S. Gimbel, Minnie Golden, Sidonie M. Gruenberg, 
LiUian HelLman, Ada B. Jackson, Gertrude Lane, Clara Savage 
Littledale, Mary Jane Melish, Eslanda Goode Robeson, Rose V. 
Russell, Maude Slye, Charlotte Stern, Amia Louise Strong, Josephine 
Timms, Jeanette Turner, Mary Van lOeeck, Anne Wharton, Ella 
Winter, Mrs. Stephen S. Wise, and Ruth Young. 

A Congress of American Women letterhead lists 40 officers; 16 of 
these, or 40 percent, are in one way or another affiliated with the 
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. Three officers of 
the Congress of American Women, Muriel Draper, Elinor Gimbel, 
and Dorothy Douglas, are officers in the National Council of American- 
Soviet Friendship. 

OTHER COMMUNIST FRONTS 

As a rule, Communist fronts collaborate closely in furthering mutual 
enterprises, which are oftentimes sponsored by an almost identical 
list of professional sponsors. This is a good acid test of a Communist 
front. 

1" New York World- Telegram, March 24, 1947. 

i« Political Affairs, March 1947, p. 217- March 1948, p. 262. 

105 



106 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

Organizations actually affiliated with the Congress of American 
Women include sections of such notorious Communist fronts as the 
Americiin Labor Party, the American Slav Congress, the Interna- 
tional Workers Order, and the National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship. A large section of the CAW membership is made up of 
groups from unions which have been found to have Communist 
leadership strongly entrenched. These include sections of the United 
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, CIO; the Ameri- 
can Communications Association, CIO; the United Public Workers, 
CIO (its local No. 555, the Teachers Union, which is affiliated with the 
CAW, was originally expelled from the American Federation of Labor 
because of Communist leanings); the Food, Tobacco, and Agricul- 
tural and Allied Workers, CIO (formerly the United Cannery, Agri- 
cultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America, CIO); the United 
Office and Professional Workers of America, CIO; the United Shoe 
Workers of America, CIO; the Joint Board of Fur Dressers and Dyers 
Union, CIO (of the International Fur and Leather Workers Union, 
CIO); the Painters Union, district council 9, AFL, which was then 
led by Louis Weinstock, an avowed Communist. 

The Congress of American Women has either supported or cooper- 
ated with the following recognized Communist-front organizations: 
National Federation for Constitutional Liberties (pamphlet recom- 
mended, February 20, 1947); People's Radio Foundation, Civil Rights 
Congress, American Youth for Democracy (New York World-Tele- 
gram, April 24, 1947, pp. 1, 4). The following organizations were 
represented in a Congress of American Women delegation to President 
Truman protesting against the loan to Greece and Turkey: American 
Committee for Greek Democracy, American Labor Party, American 
Youth for Democracy, Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern 
Policy, National Negro Congress, International Workers Order, to- 
gether with the following Communist-controlled unions of that period: 
Joint Board of the Furriers and Dyers LTnion, Greek Fur Workers 
Union, and the National Maritime Union (CAW release, March 25, 
1947). The latter union is now under control of anti-Communist 
leaders. 

The CAW has joined forces wath the National Citizens Political 
Action Committee and the Independent Citizens Committee of the 
Arts, Sciences, and Professions (Daily Worker, June 23, 1946, p. 11); 
Win-the-Peace Conference (CAW Bull., July 28, 1946); Jefferson 
School of Social Science (Daily Worker, March 10, 1946); and the 
National Lawyers Guild (CAW Bull., July 28, 1946). It has eagerly 
assisted campaigns for the election of such Communist-supported 
candidates as Eugene P. Connolly, for Congress; Charles Collins, for 
the New York State Senate; and Ada B. Jackson, for the New York 
State Assembly, and has urged the Federal Communications Com- 
mission to grant a license to the People's Radio Foundation, sponsored 
by leading Communists (CAW Bull., July 28, 1946). 

In conjunction with the American Russian Institute, a Communist- 
front organization, the Congress of American Women sponsored a 
meeting in Los Angeles in February 1948 for the purpose of hearing 
two Soviet women leaders, Evdokia I. Uralova, Minister of Education 
in Soviet Byelorussia and member of the Supreme Soviet of th§ 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



107 



U. S. S. R., and Elizabeth Popova, Soviet judge and vice chairman of 
the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women. "^ 

In December 1948 the Congress of American Women's delegation 
to the Second Congress of the Women's International Democratic 
Federation included a contingent from the American Slav Congress 
(Daily Worker, December 27, 1948, p. 4). The trial of the 12 Com- 
munist leaders who have been indicted for advocating the overthrow 
of the United States Government by force and violence brought forth 
another delegation organized by the Congress of American Women 
which included members of the United Harlem Tenants and Con- 
sumers Council; the Emma Lazarus Division of the Jewish People's 
Fraternal Order (International Workers Order), the American Slav 
Congress, the New York State Communist Party, and the Communist 
Party, U. S. A. 

The officers and those most prominently mentioned in connection 
with the Congress of American Women are affiliated w^ith a total of 
more than a hundred organizations and publications which have been 
cited as Communist or Communist-front organizations by official 
Government agencies, as foUows : 



Allied Labor News Service 

American Committee for Democracy 
and Intellectual Freedom 

American Committee for Protection of 
the Foreign Born 

American Committee for Yugoslav 
Relief 

American Committee to Save Refugees 

American Council for a Democratic 
Greece 

American Council on Soviet Relations 

American Friends of Spanish Democracy 

American Labor Party 

American League Against War and 
Fascism 

American League for Peace and Democ- 
racy 

American Peace Mobilization 

American Relief Ship for Spain 

American Russian Institute 

American Slav Congress 

American Youth Congress 

American Youth for Democracy 

Artists Front to Win the War 

Black and White 

Book Find Club 

California Labor School 

Chicago Star 

China Aid Council 

Citizens Committee on Academic Free- 
dom 

Citizens Committee to Free Earl 
Browder (Communist) 

Civil Rights Congress 

Committee for a Democratic Far 
Eastern Policy 

Committee for Support of Simon W. 
Gerson (Communist) 

Committee for the First Amendment 

Committee of One Thousand 

1" Daily People's World, Peb. 9, 1948, p. 3. 



Committee of Professional Groups for 

Browder and Foster (Communists) 
Conference on Constitutional Liberties 

in America 
Congress of American Revolutionary 

Writers 
Consumers Union 
Contemporary Theatre 
Council on African Affairs 
Cultural and Scientific Conference for 

World Peace 
Daily People's World 
Daily Worker 
Defense Committee for Claudia Jones 

(Communist) 
Federated Press 
Fight 

Friends of the Chinese People 
Friends of the Soviet Union 
George Washington Carver School 
Hollywood Anti-Nazi League 
Hollywood League for Democratic 

Action 
Independent Citizens Committee of the 

Arts, Sciences, and Professions 
International Labor Defense 
International Workers Order 
Jefferson School of Social Science 
John Reed Club 

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee 
League of American Writers 
League of Professional Groups for Foster 

and Ford (Communists) 
League of Women Shoppers 
L'Unita del Popolo 
Masses and Mainstream 
Medical Bureau and North American 

Committee to Aid Spanish Democ- 
racy 
Motion Picture Artists Committee 



108 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



National Council of American-Soviet 
Friendship, Inc. 

National Council of the Arts, Sciences, 
and Professions 

National Council of Croatian Women 

National Federation for Constitutional 
Liberties 

National Negro Congress 

Negro Labor Victory Committee 

New Currents 

New Masses 

New Pioneer 

New Theatre League 

North American Committee to Aid 
Spanish Democracy 

Open Letter for Closer Cooperation 
With the Soviet Union 

Open Letter on Harry Bridges 

Open Letter to American Liberals 

People's Institute of Applied Religion 

People's Radio Foundation 

Political Affairs 

Progressive Citizens of America 

The Protestant 

Readers Scope 

Schappes (Communist) Defense Com- 
mittee 

School for Democracy 

School of Jewish Studies 

Science and Society 

Southern Conference for Human Wel- 
fare 



Southern Negro Youth Congress 

Soviet Russia Today 

Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign 

United American Spanish Aid Com- 
mittee 

United Committee of South Slavic 
Americans 

United May Day Committee 

United Negro and Allied Veterans of 
America 

Veterans Against Discrimination 

Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln 
Brigade 

Washington Book Shop 

Washington CIO Committee to Re- 
instate Helen Miller 

Washington Committee for Aid to 
China 

Washington Committee for Democratic 
Action 

Washington Tom Mooney Committee 

Win-the-Peace Conference 

Woman Today 

Working Woman 

Workers Bookshops 

Workers Monthly 

World Peace Congress 

Young Communist League 

Young Progressive Citizens of America 



ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHER WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS 

The Congress of American Women has been characterized not 
only by its isolation and lack of support from the recognized and 
representative women's organizations of the country but also by the 
hostility of its own supporters and sympathizers, and by supporters 
of the Women's International Democratic Federation, to any sub- 
stantial efforts of other organizations to operate for the furtherance 
of the interests of women. 

On October 21, 1946, an International Assembly of Women was 
held at Kortright, N. Y., apparently arranged at the initiative of a 
group of v/ell-lvnown American non-Communist women. The Rus- 
sians were invited to send a delegation but gave no answer. Prelimi- 
nary meetings were held at the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Library, 
45 East Sixty-fifth Street, New York City, beginning on October 10, 
1947. Fifty-sLx nations were represented by 150 foreign delegates 
and 50 Americans. Following the traditional "boring from within" 
tactics, foreign Communist women delegates participated, as well as 
outstanding pro-Soviet Americans. Present, for example, was Tsola 
N. Dragoicheva, one of the Communist dictators of Bulgaria (who 
served simultaneously as a delegate to the American Slav Congress), 
and Mme. Madeleine Braun, French Communist deputy. Pro- 
Communist Mmc. Eugenie Cotton, of France, was refused a visa by 
the American Government. 

Among the Americans who participated was Mrs. Vera Micheles 
Dean, research director of the Foreign Policy Association, who arrived 
in this country from her native Russia in 1919. Her activities are 
described in Plain Talk for November 1946 as follows: 

Behind the perfect front afforded by the esteemed F. P. A., Mrs. Dean has 
been sending forth an unending stream of propaganda, intermingled with genuine 
information, that is calculated to strengthen the position of the Soviet Union in 
pursuing all its aims, regardless of their nature and their effect upon the interests 
of world peace and the United States. 

Mrs. Dean called upon the assembled women to "whittle away their 
conceptions of national sovereignty" and called upon them to pull 
themselves out of the "ancient grooves of nationalism." ^" 

Mrs. Edward C. Carter, wife of the director of Russian War Relief 
and sponsor of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, 
supported this doctrine, declaring that "we are not here to fight for 
our different national governments." 

Mme. Braun utilized the occasion to ridicule the idea that "direct 
orders from Moscow are fed to any Communist Party." She de- 
nounced also the "legend" that there is no personal liberty in a 
Communist state. 

Innocently enough, certain delegates proposed a central bureau to 
facilitate the interchange of international information among women. 
The pro-Co mmunist bloc, led by Mme. Braun, fought this proposal 

'" New York Times, Oct. 14, 1946, p. 26. 

109 



110 REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 

tooth and nail and demanded that the group use the facilities of the 
Women's International Democratic Federation. Forty representa- 
tives of 23 nations finally decided to establish such a service on a 
purely voluntary basis, without official organization approval. 

Mrs. Edward C. Carter, who "chaired" the steering committee, 
announced that there would be no continuing committee. The possi- 
bility of the International Assembly of Women maturing into a rival 
to the Communist-controlled Women's International Democratic 
Federation had been successfully blocked. 

From September 28 to October 1, 1947, there was a meeting in 
Paris of the World Union for Peace, which represented some of the 
outstanding women leaders of the world. Among them were: Mme. 
Auriol, honorary president, wife of the then president of France; 
Mme. Bidault, president, wife of the former Foreign Minister of 
France; the Duchess of Atholl; and Mme. Tsaldaris, of Greece. In a 
statement published in the WIDF Information Bulletin for November 
1947, Jeannette Vermeersch, member of the executive committee of 
the Women's International Democratic Federation and member of 
the Central Committee of the French Communist Partj^-, denounced 
this meeting as representing those who supported "a policy set by 
American reactionaries, enemies of democracy and peace." She de- 
clared that "by its program and its composition the 'World Union' is 
only a 'Western Union' serving Mr. Truman." 

Conclusion 

The activities of the Congress of American Women bring to the fore 
the dangerous potentialities of this aggressive, weU-organized group. 
They emphasize the vital need of a public education in women's clubs 
and similar organizations as to the nature of this organization. They 
raise anew the question of interference in our affairs by groups opera- 
ting under foreign direction and discipline, such as the Women's Inter- 
national Democratic Federation, the World Federation of Trade 
Unions, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and the World 
Peace Congress. It must be recognized that when under attack such 
organizations will invariably claim that such attacks are "persecu- 
tion," and attempt to becloud the real issues involved. Thus, when 
the Congress of American Women was cited by the Attorney General 
of the United States as a subversive. Communist organization, the 
Daily People's World, official west coast organ of the Communist 
Party, U. S. A., declared that Mr. Clark denounced the organization 
"for demanding the right to vote, equal pay, the right to own property 
and other rights." ^*^ 

The Congress of American Women is composed primarily of a hard 
core of Communist Party members and a circle of close sjrmpathizers, 
and although it numbers but a few thousand members all told, it has 
been highly articulate and energetic in its anti-American, pro-Soviet 
propaganda. Hence it is all the more necessary that American women 
be alerted to its true character and aims. 

1" Daily People's World, June 7, 1948, p. 3. 



APPENDIX 

The policy to be followed by the Communists in organizing catch-all 
movements among women in order to fm-tlier Communist designs 
has been clearly outlined by Lenin, the leading theoretician of the 
international Communist movement, in his conversations with Clara 
Zetkin, outstanding German Communist, as early as 1920. It is 
the line which is being followed to the letter in the Women's Inter- 
national Democratic Federation and its affiliate, the Congress of 
American Women. We quote Lenin's directives and the comments 
of Clara Zetkin: 

Lenin- — Zetkin Conversations ^*^ 

Need of a powerful international women's movement 

Lenin. We must create a powerful international women's movement, on a 
clear theoretical basis. (P. 3.) 

Lenin. But even with all that, we still have no international Communist 
women's movement, and that we must have. We must start at once to create it. 
Without that the work of our International and of its parties is not complete 
work, can never be complete. (P. 4.) 

Lenin. The thesis must clearly point out that real freedom for women is 
possible only through communism. (P. 14.) 

Special agencies needed 

Lenin. Nevertheless, we must not close our eyes to the fact that the party 
must have bodies, working groups, commissions, committees, bureaus, or whatever 
you like, whose particular duty it is to arouse the masses of women workers, to 
bring them into contact with the party, and to keep them under its influence. 
That, of course, involves systematic work among them. We must train those 
whom we arouse and \\'in, and equip them for the proletarian class struggle under 
the leadership of the Communist Party. We need appropriate bodies to carry 
on work amongst them, special methods of agitation, and forms of organization. 
That is not feminism; that is practical, revolutionary^ expediency. (P. 15.) 

Women and seizure of power 

Lenin. Must I again swear to you, or let you swear, that the struggles for our 
demands for women must be bound up with the object of seizing power, of estab- 
lishing the proletarian dictatorship? That is our alpha and omega at the present 
time. (P. 18.) 

Women in the class struggle 

Lenin. Soviet Russia puts our demands for women in a new light. Under 
the proletarian dictatorship those demands are not objects of struggle between 
the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. They are part of the structure of Communist 
society. That indicates to women in other countries the decisive importance of 
the winning of power by the proletariat. The difference must be sharply em- 
phasized, so as to get the women into the revolutionary class struggle of the 
proletariat. (P. 18.) 

Need of an international women's congress 

Zetkin. Your big nonparty women's conferences and congresses gave me the 
main idea. We are going to transfer that idea from the national to the inter- 
national plane. We must arrange a nonparty international women's congress. 
(P. 22.) 

i« Lenin on the Woman Question, by Clara Zetkin (International Publishers, Inc., 1934). 

Ill 



112 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



International mechanism 

Zetkin. The first thing was to form a committee of women comrades from 
various countries in constant and close contact with our national sections, to 
prepare, arrange, and call the congress. Whether that committee should begin 
to work at once officially and publicly was a question of expediency still to be 
considered. In any case, the first task of its members would be to get in touch 
with women leaders of women workers organized in trade unions, of the political 
working class women's movement of bourgeois women's organizations of every 
sort, including women doctors, teachers, journalists, etc., and to set up in the 
various countries a national nonparty arrangements committee. The inter- 
national committee was to be formed from members of the national committees, 
wliich would arrange and convene the international congress and decide its agenda, 
and time and place of meeting. (P. 23.) 

Zetkin. * * * the campaign would be of particular importance in appeal- 
ing to the largest possible masses of women, in inducing them to deal seriously 
witli the problems to be discussed and in directing their attention to communism 
and the parties of the Communist International. (P. 23.) 

Communist women the driving force 

Zetkin. Of course. Communist women must be not only the driving, but also 
the leading force in the preparatory work. They must be accorded energetic 
support by our sections. All this, of course, applies also to the work of the 
international committee, the work of the congress itself, and the utilizatiT'n of 
that work. Communist theses and resolutions on all items of the agenda must 
be submitted to the congress, unambiguous in principle and objectively and 
scientifically based on prevailing social conditions. These theses should be 
discussed and approved by the executive of the international. Communist 
slogans and Communist proposals must be tlie center of the work of the congress, 
of public attention. (P. 24.) 

Officers of the Congress of American Women 

Exhibit No. 1 

[Letterhead, April 15, 1946] 

Congress of American Women 

affiliated with women's international democratic federation 

Hotel Capitol: Eighth Avenue at Fiftv-first Street, New York 19, N. Y. Phone 

Circle 6-3700, Room 638 



continuing committee 



Chairman: Elinor S. Gimbel 
Vice-Chairman: Dr. Gene Weltfish * 
Secretary: Susan B. Anthony II 
Treasurer: Dr. Beryl Parker ' 

Mrs. Grace Allen Bangs 

Clara Bodian 

Ann Bradford ' 

Dorothy Dunbar Bromley 

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown * 

Henrietta Buckmaster ^ 

Thelma Dale ' 

Frances Damon 

Dr. Bella V. Dodd 

Muriel Draper ^ 

Katherine Earnshaw 

Thyra Edwards 

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn ' 



Dorothy Gottlieb 
Sidonie M. Gruenberg 
Mrs. Fredric March i 
Vivian Carter Mason ' 
Helen Phillips 
Mrs. Giflford Pinchot ' 
Anna Center Schneiderman 
Jeanette Stern Turner i 
Mary Van Kleeck 
Eleanor T. Vaughan ' 
Mrs. Stephen S. Wise 
Ruth Young 



• Attended the Women's International Congress at Paris, France, November 26-December 1, 1945 



report on congress of american women 113 

Exhibit No. 2 

[Letterhead, March 25, 1947] 
Brookltn Chapter of the Congress of American Women 

AFFILIATED WITH THE WOMEn's INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION 

NATIONAL OFFICERS 

Dr. Gene Weltfish, president 
Muriel Draper, executive vice-president 
Thyra Edwards, executive secretary 
Josephine Timms, recording secretary' 
Helen Phillips, treasurer 

BROOKLYN OFFICERS 

Chairman: Mrs. William H. Melish, 126 Pierrepont Street, Main 4-2912 

Executive secretary: Ann Wharton 

Vice president: Ida Bloomgarden 

Arrangements chairman: Rae Kandel 

Treasurer: Mrs. Walter Truslow 

Pubhcity: Terri Pollack 

CONTINUATIONS COMMITTEE 

Rose Engelbourg Rae Harris 

Deborah Flynn Helen Kogut 

Alice Oilman Mary Levy 

Rae Glauber Constance Rose 

Ida Halpern Yetta Rosenbhim 

Edith Hamerschlag Mary Tener 

(Partial list) 
Exhibit No. 3 

[Letterhead, February 25, 1949] 
Congress of American Women 

AFFILIATED WITH THE WOMEN's INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION (CON- 
SULTANT TO THE UNITED NATIONS) 

2 East Twenty-third Street, New York 10, N. Y.; phone: Gramercy 7-5919 

NATIONAL OFFICERS 

Dr. Gene Weltfish, president 

Muriel Draper, executive vice president 

Helen Phillips, treasurer 

Stella B. Allen, executive secretary 

Vice Presidents 

Susan B. Anthony Vivian Carter Mason 

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown Jean Muir 

Henrietta Buckmaster Anna Center Schneiderman 

Thelma Dale Jeanette Stern Turner 

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Eleanor T. Vaughan 

Elinor S. Gimbel Ruth Young 

Advisory Council 

Mrs. Zlatko Balokovic Clara Savage Littledale 

Prof. Dorothy Douglas Gertrude Lane 

Naomi Finkelstein Rose Russell 

June Gordon Faye Stephenson 

Sidonie Gruenberg Charlotte Stern 
Mary Van Kleek 



114 



REPORT ON CONGRESS OF AMERICAN WOMEN 



Chapter Presidents 



Chicago — Rheua Pearce 
Detroit — Edith Linderman 
North Stelton — Betty Cross 
Brooklyn — Mary Jane Melish 
Bronx — Lillian Mankoff 
Manhattan — Ann Wharton 



Manhattan No. 1 — Mrs. Louise Pitner 

Los Angeles — Ann Rosen 

Milwaukee — Ann Jones 

Western Pennsylvania — Genevieve Katz 

Cleveland — Joan Leib 

Seattle — Hazel Johnson 



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