The New York Times and American Communism
From the New York Times obituary for Walter Bernstein (no relation), a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, has this to say about his ties to the Communist Party, USA:
“I didn’t join the party until after the war,” Mr. Bernstein said, although the events of the ’30s, including the Depression, the Spanish Civil War and the rise of fascism in Europe, made the Communist cause attractive to him. “The Communists,” he said, “seemed like they were doing something.”….
Mr. Bernstein was considered untouchable both in Hollywood and in the fledgling television industry in New York once his name had appeared in “Red Channels,” an anti-Communist tract published in 1950 by the right-wing journal Counterattack.
“I was listed right after Lenny Bernstein,” Mr. Bernstein recalled. “There were about eight listings for me, and they were all true.” He had indeed written for the leftist New Masses, been a member of the Communist Party and supported Soviet relief, the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War and civil rights.
If I had read this without knowing Bernstein’s biography, I would have been led to believe that Bernstein joined the Communist Party in the 1930s because of despair over the Depression and concern about fascism. He was later punished for having once belonged to the Party, as well as his support for the leftists in Spain and for civil rights.
In fact, Bernstein was a member of the American Communist Party and remained so until 1956. In other words, he remained a member of the Soviet-controlled and overtly pro-Soviet CPUSA through Stalin’s pact with Hitler, through the antisemitic post-World War II purges, through the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe–through the p
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