The Pittsburgh Press (October 17, 1944)
The truth about the Commies –
Communists switched to Roosevelt after Hitler invaded Russia
Up to that time they sabotaged our war efforts and tried to keep America from arming
By Frederick Woltman, Scripps-Howard staff writer
EDITOR’S NOTE: American Communists, by utilizing their technique of infiltration, have burrowed into American unions, kidnapped the American Labor Party in New York, dominated the CIO Political Action Committee and made strong inroads into the New Deal administration. Today, these Communists stand as the greatest menace to American democracy.
The Scripps-Howard newspaper assigned Frederick Woltman, a staff writer, to ascertain and present the facts about the Communists in a series of articles of which this is the first.
But for Hitler’s invasion of Russia, President Roosevelt today would be without the support of the American Communists. Instead, these self-proclaimed superpatriots would be silenced and languishing behind prison bars and the stockades of internment camps.
Sidney Hillman’s CIO Political Action Committee would lack a substantial bloc of its noisiest tub-thumpers and many of its most diligent $1-for-Roosevelt collecting unions would be leaderless.
The Communists’ current strategy of moving in on the Democratic Party under the guise of a “political association” might never have been contrived.
Sabotaged defense efforts
Until the very night Hitler tore up his mutual non-aggression pact with Stalin and turned his armies westward, America’s Communist Party, including its trade-union and other satellites, was engaged in a sabotage drive against the national defense efforts.
For 21 months, from Aug. 23, 1939, to June 22, 1941, as their contribution to the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Communists resorted to every tactic known to world Communism to undermine America’s frantic, last-minute attempts to build a defense wall against the Nazi horde.
To them, the war was merely a “second imperialist struggle,” and President Roosevelt was a “warmonger” and “dictator.”
Earl Browder, major-domo of Communism’s American outlet, said on Sept. 8, 1940:
Roosevelt is leading the march, and scattering the wreck of even the limited democracy of the American Constitution along the way.
On Jan. 13, 1941, Browder & Co., now first-class passengers on the Roosevelt bandwagon, warned:
The destruction of the capitalist world is being carried out under the direction of Hitler and Churchill, of Mussolini and Pétain of France and the Mikado – and not of Roosevelt.
Daily Worker joined in
Through party pronouncements, the Daily Worker, the Communist-led unions and its various fronts, such as the American People’s Mobilization, the American Communists:
- Bitterly denounced Selective Service as “a spearhead of the attacks on our democracy;” popularized the anti-Allied slogan, “The Yanks Are Not Coming;” and, while America’s youth was enlisting to defend their country, gleefully chanted:
Remember when the AAA
Killed a million hogs a day?
Instead of hogs – it’s men today
Plow the fourth one under!
Plow under, plow under
Every fourth American boy!
Attacked the 1941 defense budget as “a Wall Street conspiracy against the American people.”
Fought Lend-Lease, the arming of merchant ships and the arms mass-production program, which they tried to frighten the American people into believing had maimed and killed “thousands of workers.”
They reached the apex of anti-defense propaganda in a picket line around the White House which ended on the day of Russia’s invasion.
The high point of physical sabotage came with a series of defense industry strikes, culminating in the North American Aviation walkout at Inglewood, California. This was called a few weeks before Germany started war on Russia, which resulted in an instantaneous flipflop among the American comrades.
When the Communists defied the government at Inglewood and the President had to send in troops to protect the patriotic workers, it became evident that the sands were running out for them.
Strike resembled ‘insurrection’
The Attorney General, now Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, called the North American Aviation affair “more nearly… an insurrection than a labor strike.”
The distinction between loyal labor leaders and those who are following the Communist Party line is easy to observe. Disloyal men who have wormed their way into the labor movement do not want settlements; they want strikes. That is the Communist Party line…
Yet another administration official, terming the Communist strike leadership “irresponsible and subversive,” had this to say:
This defiance is a challenge that goes to the roots of the entire democratic system – and the efforts of this democracy to preserve itself.
Made peace with Hillman
This was the voice of Sidney Hillman, then associate director general of the Office of Production Management. William Z. Foster, now vice president of the Communist Political Association, blasted back that the “Hillman line of policy” was leading down the path “toward the surrender of the trade unions outright to the greed and autocracy of the warmongers and profiteers.”
The Communists and Mr. Hillman have since made their peace.
They joined forces to capture the American Labor Party in New York State; and, more recently to put across the fourth-term program of his CIO-PAC.