Unearthed Letters Link ACLU Founders to Communist Party
Newly discovered declassified letters found in the Soviet Comintern archives seem to link early leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) with the Communist Party, the Daily Caller reports.
Noted author Paul Kengor reportedly unearthed letters, including one written on ACLU stationary, dated on May 23, 1931 and signed by ACLU founder Roger Baldwin that requests help from then-American Communist Party Chairman William Z. Foster in coordinating travel arrangements for ACLU Chairman Harry Ward’s travels to the Soviet Union. The letter suggests Ward’s trip would revolve around a search for “evidence from Soviet Russia” that would undermine America’s capitalist system:
Dear Bill [Foster],
Dr. Harry ward, chairman of this organization, is going to Russia in august to make a six or seven months’ study of a type which nobody has done. Dr. Ward is, as you perhaps know, the author of several books on the profit motive. He has demolished it theoretically. Now he wants to demolish it practically by evidence from Soviet Russia.
Could you give him any letters of introduction or suggestions of persons to see who can show him exactly how non-profit incentives work?
According to the DC, Foster was a “key figure” in the early years of the American communist movement who also belonged to the ACLU’s National Committee in the 1920s, according to FBI documents. In 1932, he wrote a book titled “Toward Soviet America” and testified under oath before Congress that he opposed American democracy.
In addition to personal correspondence between the ACLU and the American Communist Party, Kengor also found a flier advertising “Soviet Union Day,” a 1933 event featuring ACLU board member Corlis Lamont that promised to “answer lies and slanders of enemies of the Soviet Union.”
According to Kengor, the Communist Party sent all of its correspondence to Russia to be kept in the Comintern in Moscow.
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