"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
The Alger Hiss Spy Case
During the late nineteen forties, a new anti-Communistic chase was in full holler, this being the one of the most active Cold War fronts at home. Many panic-stricken citizens feared that Communist spies were undermining the government and treacherously misdirecting foreign policy. The attorney general planned a list of ninety supposedly disloyal organizations, none of which was given the right to prove its loyalty to the United States. The Loyalty Review Board investigated more than three million employees that caused a nation wide security conscious. Later, individual states began ferreting out Communist spies in their area. Now, Americans cannot continue to enjoy traditional freedoms in the face of a ruthless international conspiracy known as the Soviet Communism. In 1949, eleven accused Communists were brought before a New York jury for abusing the Smith Act of 1940, which prohibited conspiring to teach the violent overthrow of the government. The eleven Communist leaders were convicted and sentenced to prison.
In 1950, Alger Hiss, formerly an employee of the Department of State, was convicted of perjury. Born in November 11, 1904, he grew up shabby-genteel in Baltimore, Maryland. Lean and boyishly handsome, Hiss was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and of Harvard Law School and was a law clerk to the Supreme Court Justice, Felix Frankfurter and later a clerk for Associate justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. In 1933, he worked for law firms in Boston and on Wall Street, joined Roosevelt¡¦s administration, and worked in several areas, including the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Nye Committee, the Justice Department, and, starting in 1936, the State Department. In the summer of 1944 he was a staff member at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, which created the blueprint for the organization that became the United Nations. By 1945, he was an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference as well as to Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill. Later that year, Hiss served as acting the temporary secretary general at the San Francisco assembly that created the United Nations. In 1947, John Foster Dulles, Chairman of the board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, asked Hiss to become that organization¡¦s president.
Hiss was more than a bright young bureaucrat. While working by day on Wall Street, he was active by night in the International Juridical Association, an alleged communist-front lawyers¡¦ organization. As early as 1942, the Federal Bureau of Investigations received warnings that Hiss was probably a Soviet agent. The stories became so persistent that late in 1946 officials at State quietly arranged for him to assume the largely ceremonial presidency of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1946 he was elected president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a position he had held until 1949.
In the same year, Whittaker Chambers reluctantly appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee. This House, ran by Nixon, regulated the ¡§loyalty¡¨ of Americans toward the United States. Chambers, a portly rumpled man with a melodramatic style, had been a communist self-professed courier for a Communist underground apparatus. He told the committee that among the members of a secret communist cell in Washington during the 1930¡¦s was Hiss. To a dwindling band of zealous believers, Hiss was one of the first victims of an anti-Communist hysteria. Yet, the weight of historical evidence indicated that Hiss was what he persistently denied ever being a member of the communist underground and a Soviet spy. The fact of this intriguing case was his profile that was seemed at odds with the conventional idea of a filthy traitor.
Hiss¡¦s accuser seemed to be his complete opposite. Whittaker Chambers was the product of a stormy and difficult marriage, and he grew up to be a loner. While at Columbia University, he showed literary talent but was forced to leave after writing a blasphemous play. He soon lost his job at the New York Public Library when he was accused of stealing books. Chambers joined the communist Party in 1925, later claiming he thought, ¡§Communism would save a dying world.¡¨[Smith, 245] He worked briefly for the Communist newspaper Daily Worker, and then the New Masses, a Communist literary monthly. In 1932 Chambers entered the Communist underground and began gathering information for his Soviet bosses. Finally, he deserted
View Full Essay
Anti-communism in the United States, McCarthyism, Alger Hiss, Hiss, House Un-American Activities Committee, Whittaker Chambers, Donald Hiss, Perjury: The HissChambers Case
More Free Essays Like This