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Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 1956
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 1956 - File 035. 1956-09. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 21, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/279/show/244.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1956-09). Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 1956 - File 035. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/279/show/244

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 1956 - File 035, 1956-09, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 21, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/279/show/244.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 1956
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date September 1956
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 5 1956; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States: This item is in the public domain in the United States and may be used freely in the United States. The item may not be in the public domain under the copyright laws of other countries.
Item Description
Title File 035
Transcript yea or nay. Pop Mindel's eyes got smaller, his lips more tightlv compressed. There was another interval of silence; then Trachtenberg said, "We hear you do not like Thompson." "Really, Comrade Trachtenberg, whether I like Thompson or not has nothing to do with the case," I said. Nevertheless I went on to explain my feeling about him: that he was a menace to tbe lives of American workers; that be endangered the safety of our members. The next question was unexpected. "Were you born a Catholic?" "Yes," I said. The three shrewd men knew I had been born a Catholic; they knew I had followed no religion for many years. Why the question? They did not continue the inquiry. Suddenly Trachtenberg asked why I was not active any longer in membership. 1 hedged. "I am still not quite well, Comrade Trachtenberg. And I have personal problems. Let me alone until I can find myself again." Then- was another long silence. "Shall I go?" I asked at last. "You will hear from us again," said Trachtenberg. I was dismissed, ancl walked out, still wondering about this strange interrogation that had no beginning and no end. ^V si vv plan against me developed in the following Weeks, a strategy of slurs, character defamation, harass- <nents. The Party decided to blacken my character publicly. The incident used as an excuse for my formal expulsion bom the Party was of no importance in itself. The way in which it was handled was symptomatic of Party methods. A Czechoslovakian woman lived in a small three-story building on Lexington Avenue, where she served as janitor bom 1941 to 1947. Her husband was permanently incapacitated and she was the sole support of the family. ■Vcting as janitor and working as a domestic, she managed t() keep her family together. In 1947 the owner of the building decided to sell it. The woman, afraid she would lose both her apartment and her job, made up her mind to buy it, and borrowed the "loiiey to do so. Thus she became technically a landlord; "er daily life remained the same. She became involved *ith her tenants and came to me for help. I agreed to '''present her. The court granted my plea. One thing was clear: Only technically could she have ''ecu called a landlord. But the Communist leaders heard With delight that Bella Dodd bad appeared as "attorney f°r a landlord." At last they had the excuse for getting me Politically. Of course they could have simply expelled ■"c, but they were looking for an excuse to expel me on °'iarges that would besmirch my character. They must add soinething unforgivable: A charge of anti-Negro, anti- Semitism, and anti-working class was thrown in for good Measure. On May 6 a round-faced youth leader of the Communist ''arty (ame to my house; handed me a copy of written °harges. When I said something about their falseness, •'iter I glanced through them, he gave me a sneering look il«d instructed me to appear for trial the next day at the '"eil section commission, a block from my house. I climbed the endless stairs to the drab, dirty room with 'ts smell of stale cigarets. A group was waiting for me; I *acts Forum News, September, 1956 saw it consisted of petty employees of the Party, those at the lowest rung of the bureaucracy. The three women among them had faces hard and full of hate — Party faces, I thought, humorless and rigid. They sat there like fates ready to pass on the destinies of human beings. One woman, the chairman, was Finnish. Another, a Puerto Rican, began shouting [in] English too hysterical to be understood. The pudgy-faced boy was there. Of the three men I recognized one as a waiter ancl tbe other as a piccolo player whom I had befriended. 1 ms was an odd kind of trial. The Commission had already made up its mind. I asked whether I could produce witnesses. The answer was "No," I asked if I might bring the woman involved in tbe case to let her state the story. The answer was "No." I asked if the Commission would come with me to her bouse and speak with her and the tenants. The answer was "No." Then I asked if I might bring a Communist lawyer. Tbe answer was "No." As simply as possible I tried to explain the facts. I realized I was talking to people who had been instructed, were hostile, and would continue so despite arguments or even proof. Tbe Finnish chairman said that I would be informed of the result. I was dismissed. My heart was heavy. The futility of my life overcame me. For twenty years I had worked with this Party. Now at the end I found myself with only a few shabby men and women, inconsequential Party functionaries, drained of all mercy, with no humanity in their eyes, with no good will. I thought of others who had been through this; of others still to go through this type of terror. I shivered at thought of harsh, dehumanized people like these, filled with only the emotion of hate. I sorrowed for those who would be taken down the long road whose end I saw, now, was a dead end. When I reached my own house and went in, I was tired ancl spent, as if I had returned from a long, nightmare journey. Of course I was certain more trouble was in store. This step had been preliminary. For this expulsion had not originated in the dirty rooms of the Harlem Commission, but from Party headquarters on Twelfth Street, and perhaps from more distant headquarters. I dreaded the coming publicity. On June 17, 1949, my telephone rang. "This is the Associated Press," said a voice. "We have received a statement from the Communist Party announcing your expulsion from membership. It says here that you are anti-Negro, anti-Puerto Rican, anti-Semitic, anti-labor, and the defender of a landlord. Have you any statement to make?" "No comment," was all I could manage to say. Tbe New York papers carried the story the following day and three days later the Daily Worker reprinted the long resolution of expulsion, signed by Robert Thompson. 1 braced myself for further attacks from the Partv, and they came soon in terms of economic threats. Some of my law practice came from trade-union and Party members, and here action was swift. The union Communists told me there would be no more referrals to me. Party members who were my clients came to my office, some with their new lawyers, to withdraw their pending cases. Reprisals came, too, in the form of telephone calls, letters, ancl telegrams of bate and vituperation, marry from Page 33
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