people I did not know. What made me feel desolate were
the reprisals from those I had considered friends. While I
was busy with Party work I sometimes thought proudly of
my hundreds of friends and how strong were tbe ties that
bound us. Now those bonds were ropes of sand. I had
failed to understand that the security I felt in the Party
was that of a group, and that affection in that strange
Communist world is never a personal emotion. You were
loved or hated on the basis of group acceptance, and emotions were stirred or dulled by propaganda made by powerful people at the top. If rejection by an individual can
cause the emotional destruction which our psychiatrists
indicate, it cannot, in some ways, compare with the devastation produced by a group rejection. This, as I learned, is
annihilating. I vain I told myself that this was a big world
ancl that there were many people other than Communists
in it. The world was a jungle in which I felt lost, hunted.
Before long my office was empty except for snoopers ancl
creditors. I gave up my home and moved into a dingy
room near my office. I would go to my office, sit and look
out at Bryant Park ancl the Public Library. I had spent
many hours in that library as student and teacher, hungry
for know ledge. Unfortunately I never really satisfied that
hunger — my reading in later years had been only Communist literature and technical material. There is no censorship of reading so close, so comprehensive, as that of
the Party. I had often seen leaders pull books from shelves
in homes and warn members to destroy them.
I had no desire to read now. The one book I did open
was the New Testament which, I had never stopped reading even in my clays of darkest Party delusion.
I still remember the misery and darkness of the first
Christmas alone. I stayed in my room all day. I remember
the New Year which followed, when I listened with utter
despair to the gayety and noise from Times Square and
the ringing bells of the churches. More than once I thought
of leaving New York and losing myself in a strange town.
But I did not go. Something stubborn in me told me I must
see it through.
It was a strange and painful year. The process of freeing
oneself emotionally from being a Communist is a thing no
outsider can understand. But I had begun the process of
"unbecoming" a Communist. I bad to learn to think. I bad
to learn to love. I had to drain that hate ancl frenzy from
my system. I bad to dislodge the self and the pride that
had made me arrogant.
vxe afternoon in March of that year an old acquaintance,
Wellington Roe, breezed into my office. He asked if I had
ever known Owen Lattimore. I said I had not. Had I ever
known him to be a Party member? Again, no. I had heard
of him vaguely, I said, as a British agent in the Far East.
A few weeks later he came again, with a man he introduced as Abe Fortas, Lattimore's attorney. The attorney
asked if I would give him an affidavit saying I had not
heard of Lattimore while I was a leader in the Communist
Party. So I signed an affidavit to that effect, ancl thought
that was the end of it.
I was naive to think so. A few days later I was served
with a subpoena by the Foreign Relations Committee of
the Senate. At the hearings I saw Lattimore for the first
time. At a table with Senator Tydings sat Senator Green of
Rhode Island, Senator McMahon of Connecticut, Senator
Lodge of Massachusetts, and Senator Hickenlooper of
Indiana. Back of them sat Senator McCarthy and Robert
Morris, whom I had known in 1939 ancl 1940 as one of the
attorneys for the Rapp-Coudert Committee which had
investigated New York City schools.
When Senator Hickenlooper began to throw questions at
me I reacted with the hostility of a Conununist, and gave
slick, superficial answers, for I did not want to be drawn
into what I regarded as a Democratic-Republican fight.
On facts on which I bad knowledge I told the truth. But
when it came to questions of opinion I still reacted emotionally as a Communist and answered as a Communist. I
had broken with the Party but was still conditioned by its
Something, however, happened to me at this hearing. I
was at last beginning to see how ignorant I had become,
how long since I had read anything except Partv literature.
I thought of our bookshelves stripped of books questioned
by the Party, how when a writer was expelled from the
Partv his books went too. I thought of the systematic rewriting of Soviet history, of the successive purges. Suddenly I wanted the truth. I found myself hitting at the
duplicity of the Communist Party.
IVIy appearance before the Tydings Committee renewed
my interest ill political events. I had at last spoken openly
and critically of the Communist Party. I could now breathe
again. I could read critically, and I lived again in the
world so long lost to me. I found I was again able to interpret events. Now I realized that, with tbe best motives
and a desire to serve the working people of my country, I>
and thousands like me, had been led to a betrayal of these
very people. I saw now that I had been poised on the side
of those who sought the destruction of my own country-
I thought of an answer Pop Mindcl, of the Party's Education Bureau, had once given me in reply to the question
whether the Party would oppose the entry of our boys into
the Army. I had asked this question at a time when the
Communists were conducting a violent campaign f°r
peace, ancl it seemed reasonable for me to draw pacifist
conclusions. Pop Mindcl sucked on his pipe and with *
knowing look in his eyes said:
"Well, if we keep our members from the Army, then
where will our boys learn to use weapons with which to
I realized the Soviets had utilized Spain as a preview of
the revolution to come. Now other peoples had become
expendable — the Koreans, North and South, the Chinese
soldiers, and thc American soldiers. 1 found myself praying. "Cod. help them all."
What now became clear to me was the collusion between these two forces: the Communists with their timetable for world control, and certain mercenary forces in the
tree world bent on making profit from blood. But I W*
alone with these thoughts.
The year dragged on. The few people I came in contact
with were as misplaced as myself. There were several, o°
of the Party like myself, struggling to find their way b:"
to reality. One was being psychoanalyzed. Several wer"
drinking themselves into numbed hopelessness. Sometime5
1 went to visit my family, my brothers and their children-
But from these visits I returned more desolate than ever.'
bad lost my family; there was no returning.
Early in the fall of 1950 I went to Washington to arg"e
an immigration appeal. I ran into an old friend, Christopher McGrath, the congressional representative of the
Twenty-seventh District, the old East Bronx area of my
Facts Foiuvi News, September, l**-