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The depression in the United States predicted by a Soviet
group had not materialized and Foster and his aides, all
Msed for the revolutionary movement, were unable to
agree on what to do. It became obvious there would be
"o Party convention in 1946.
In January, 1946, the National Board decided to expel
Earl Browder from the Party'. The charges were that he
atlvanced and maintained Keynesian ideas, that he had
■-een politically passive, and had failed to attend local
■"("etings. His expulsion was approved by the National
Committee. The cruelty of such treatment for a past leader
tan be possible only in this strange movement, where there
ls no charity, no compassion, ancl, in the end, total elimina-
**°n of those who have served it.
^ate in 1945 bad come word from Moscow it was impor-
ta"t that America be organized into an international movement, ostensibly for peace. So during the next months I
■■elped organize the United States branch, called the
ingress of American Women.
Since it was supposedly a movement for peace, it at-
"9cted many women. It was really only a renewed offence to control American women, a matter of deep impor-
^nce to tbe Communist movement, for American women
**° 80 per cent of the family spending. In the upper brack-
*• they own a preponderance of capital stock and bonds.
P>oy are important in the making of political decisions.
*-'ke youth and minority groups, they are regarded as a
'eserve force of the revolution because they are more
easily moved by emotional appeals. So the Soviet cam-
•^iRn for peace was especially geared to gain the support
, Prom the clay of the Emergency Convention there had
^en efforts to bring every Party member into support of
,,le new leadership. From 1945 to 1947 several thousands
*ere expelled, individually, with the refinement of terror
]" the purge technique. Two main reasons were given for
'"Pulsion: One was guilty either of leftism or of rightism.
A stealthy campaign had begun against me. Twice they
^Icocted a charge of white chauvinism against me. These
'barges were too slim to be sustained, but they concocted
"JJjers. Bill Norman, the state secretary, called me to his
p"*Ce. I told him frankly that I wanted to get out of the
arty. He fixed his eyes on me and said, "Dodd, no one
*>ets out of the Party. You die or you are thrown out. But
1)0 one gets out."
The work of the 1946 elections was masterfully conned. The Republican Party had decided on a strong
^-Tlpaign against Vito Marcantonio, one of the ablest men
'1 Congn-ss, but also the recognized voice of the Commu-
's-s- There were others in Congress who served them
p-otivelv, but none so capable or so daring in the promo-
'0ri of Party objectives. I was put to work in the primary
'n<* election campaign in Marcantonio's district - the
pi-cr Tenth, from Ninetv-sixth Street to 106th Street,
?N from the East River to Fifth Avenue. It was one of
?e Worst slums in New York; the one oasis was the new
°Jising project on the East River.
d •*■ the registration campaign the teachers helped hun-
i^s to pass the literacy tests. Many hours were spent
"elPing these adults to qualify for the right to vote. We
factically doubled the registration figures. The election
."■•Paign was bitter. Among our opponents was Scottong-
f°> who interfered with our campaign workers; hatred
^"-"hed a high pitch,
Acrs Forum News, September, 1956
On election day I opened my headquarters at five in
the morning, served coffee and buns to my captains and
then proceeded to make assignments. While we were
drinking coffee we listened to the radio on my desk, and
heard that Scottoriggio, on his way to the polls, had been
assaulted by four men and was in a hospital with a fractured skull.
We won the election. Scottoriggio died of his injuries.
The district was thrown into uproar. All my captains were
called in for questioning, among them little Tony Lagana,
who was taken to the 104th Street station and held for
many hours. What happened there 1 do not know nor
whom he implicated, nor bow fast the information got to
those he implicated. They finally let him go. That night he
disappeared; several months later his body was found in
the East River.
I was interrogated at the district attorney's office. Asked
why I had become a Communist, I said with tbe practiced
intensity of long habit: "Because only Communists seemed
lo care about what was happening to people in 1932 and
1933." But I no longer bad the same deep conviction about
the Party's championship of the poor and dispossessed. I
know now that its activities were conceived in duplicity
and ended in betrayal.
The sessions of the December, 1946, National Committee were notable for their long-spun-out, fantastic justification of the line of "self-determination of the Negro in the
black belt." Only the intelligence and patience of Negro
leaders in America have made possible resistance to this
michievous theory, contrived by Stalin, and now unleashed
Briefly told, it is tbe theory that the Negroes in the
South form a nation, a subjugated nation with the desire
to become free, and that the Communists are to give them
all assistance. The Party proposed to develop the national
aspirations of the Negro people so that they would rise up
and establish themselves as a nation with the right to
secede from the United States. It was a theory not for tbe
benefit of the Negroes but to spur strife, ancl to use the
American Negro in the world Communist propaganda to
win over the colored people of the world. Ultimately, the
Communists proposed to use them as instruments in the
revolution to come in the United States.
During the latter months of 1947 my world was shifting
all about me. The certitude I had known so long in the
Communist Party was gone. I was ill in mind and often in
body, too. for I had a constant and terrible fear that every
effort was being made to destroy me. I bad watched the
pitiless and methodical destruction of others.
I turned to my law practice and sought to forget mv
fears bv immersing myself in work, but inwardly I was so
disturbed that my work suffered. I did not know how and
when the ax would fall. I knew my office was still under
constant surveillance ancl I had no way of stopping it.
Certain agents from Communist headquarters made a
practice of visiting me at regular intervals trying to get
me to take part in some meaningless activity. I knew well
that was not the reason they came.
The finances of the Party were never discussed at state
or national committee meetings. No financial reports were
given. Periodically we planned drives to raise money, usually by asking a day's or week's wages from workers. Of