MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1952
BELLA V. DODD, NEW YORK, N. Y., ACCOMPANIED BY HER ATTORNEY, GODFREY P.
Senator FERGUSON. Mrs. Dodd, will you rise
and raise your right hand to be sworn?
You do solemnly swear, in the matter now
pending before this sub-committee of the Judiciary Committee of the
United States Senate, that you will tell the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mrs. DODD. I do.
Senator FERGUSON. You may be seated.
State your full name and address.
Mrs. DODD. Bella V. Dodd. 100 West
Forty-second Street, New York City.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, how recently have you
been associated with the Communist Party?
Mrs. DODD. June 1949.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you mean you severed your
connection with the Communist Party at that time?
Mrs. DODD. They severed their connection
with me. I had previously tried to find my way out of the Communist
Party.. In 1949 they formally issued a resolution of expulsion.
Mr. MORRIS. What are you doing now, Dr.
Mrs. Donn. I practice law.
Mr. MORRIS. You practiced law at 100 West
Forty-second Street? Mrs. Donn. I do.
Mr. MORRIS. Is that your law office?
Mrs. DODD. That is.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, will you tell the
committee what positions you held while you were in the Communist
Party, starting at the highest position that you achieved within that
Mrs. DODD. I was a member of the National
Committee of the Communist Party from 1944 to 1948.
Mr. MORRIS. What other positions did you
hold, Mrs. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. I was a member of the New York
State committee from 1944 to 1948. I was legislative representative of
the New York State district of the Communist Party, and I was a member
of various committees, such as legislative, labor, education, women's
committees, youth committees.
Mr. MORRIS. Is it your testimony, Dr. Dodd,
that your specialty within the Communist Party included legislation,
labor, education, women's work, and youth organizations? Is that your
testimony, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. It is.
Mr. MORRIS. And, as such, you achieved a
position as a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party,
and prior to that you were a member of the State committee of the
Communist Party; is that right?
Mrs. DODD. Right.
Mr. MORRIS. When did you
associated with the Communist Party?
When I use the term "Communist Party," Dr.
Dodd, I mean the Communist organization, whether it was at the time
known as the Communist Political Association or the Communist Party.
Mrs. DODD. I actually was given a Communist
Party card in 1943, and was assigned to a branch, to work in a branch.
I had formerly, for a long period of time, been associated with the
Communist Party in its various activities and was known as a nonparty
Bolshevik. That is a person who was not a member of the party, but who
attended all of the meetings and who was given assignments.
Mr. MORRIS. While you held that relationship
to the Communist Party, Dr. Dodd, did the Communist Party repose
confidence in you? Mrs. DODD. Yes. I attended a good many meetings and
was in close connection with the party.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you render service to the
Communist Party during that period?
Mrs. DODD. I rendered many services to the
Communist Party. Senator FERGUSON. Even though you did not have a card?
Mrs. DODD. Even though I did not have a card.
Senator FERGUSON. Does card carrying require
you to pay dues ? Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Senator FERGUSON. Were you paying dues prior
to the time you obtained the card?
Mrs. DODD. I did not obtain dues, although I
begged contributions at various meetings and for various causes.
Senator FERGUSON. Could you give us the
percentage of members that, to your knowledge, may have been members of
the Communist Party without cards at that time?
Mrs. DODD. I don't have any knowledge of
that, of the count; but it is extensive.
Senator FERGUSON. It is extensive?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, will you give us the
circumstances leading up to your first association with the Communist
Mrs. DODD. My first association with the
Communist Party was back in 1932. I had returned from a trip to Europe.
I had been in the University of Berlin and had seen the rise of fascism
in Berlin, came back feeling that this must be destroyed, this must be
Mr. MORRIS. That was in 1932.
Were you a teacher at that time, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. I was a teacher at Hunter
College, an instructor in political science and economics.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you graduate from Hunter
Mrs. DODD. In 1925.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you hold any doctor's
Mrs. DODD. I hold a doctor of jurisprudence.
Mr. MORRIS. What countries did you visit
while you were in Europe in 1932?
Mrs. DODD. France, Italy, Czechoslovakia,
Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary.
Mr. MORRIS. Was fascism on the rise at that
time, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. It was.
Mr. MORRIS. And you
first-hand from your travels in Europe at that time; is that right?
Mrs. DODD. I saw a great deal of violence in
Berlin itself between the Fascists—the National Socialists, as they
were called at that time—and the Communists.
Mr. MORRIS. And you saw first-hand the evils
and horrors and excesses of Fascist rule in Germany and Italy; is that
Mrs. DODD. I did.
Mr. MORRIS. Did that influence your thinking
at that time?
Mrs. DODD. It did. It made me determined to
fight anything of that kind and to oppose extension to the United
Mr. MORRIS. You tell us that, then, is the
background to your having an association with the Communist Party; is
that right, Doctor? Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Will you tell us what that
actual association was?
Mrs. DODD. In 1932, I was approached by
someone by the name of Harriet Silverman, who identified herself as a
member of the Communist Party, who said that she and a number of others
were setting up an anti-Fascist-literature committee, and she asked
whether I would work on the committee for the purpose of raising money
for the underground fight in Germany against the rise of fascism, and
also for the writing of literature against fascism.
I said "Yes," and Harriet Silverman said to
me, "Well, would you like proof that this money is going to be raised
for the anti-Fascist work?" I said I would like some kind of proof. So
she asked whether I would like to meet Earl Browder. I answered in the
affirmative. She took me to Thirteenth Street, or Twelfth Street, and
she took me to Earl Browder with some other lady who was raising money
for the anti-Fascist movement.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you meet Earl Browder at
Thirteenth Street? Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. And that was the Communist Party
headquarters at that time; was it'?
Mrs. DODD. It was.
Mr. MORRIS.Will you please tell us what
Mrs. DODD. Harriet said, "Here are two
people who are going to raise money for the anti-Fascist movement." He
greeted us very cordially. I didn't say much and we talked about the
evils of fascism and we left.
Thereafter I helped to raise money for the
By that I mean that I ran certain parties,
certain social functions, and devised ways and means of getting a
financial contribution going. From 1932 to 1935 I did practically
nothing else but that as an extra-curricula work to my work in college.
Mr. MORRIS. Did something take place in 1935
that brought you closer to the Communist Party? Is that what you
indicate when you give the terminus of that date?
Mrs. DODD. Yes. In 1935, the Teachers' Union
was having a great deal of difficulty because of the so-called
Communist and anti-Communist factions within the union.
I n 1935, or the beginning of 1936, one part
of the union left the Teachers' Union. This group of 700 teachers was
led by Dr. Linville
and Dr. Lefkowitz. They left and formed what was
called the Teachers Guild, and the remaining 1,500 teachers who
remained within the Teachers' Union were the union.
Now, while they had 1,500 teachers, the
seasoned leaders of the union had, gone with the opposition, had gone
out of the union.
I might say that the union at that time was
affiliated with the A. F. of L.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you mean by "the seasoned
leaders," Dr. Linville and Dr. Lefkowitz ?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Are they the people who had
formed the union and had developed it up to that time?
Mrs. DODD. That is right. They were casting
about for new leaders, and I, in my own college, had been very active
in organizing the instructors and the tutors and the lower category of
teaching staff at the colleges.
Mr. MORRIS. Were you organizing them for the
Mrs. DODD. No, just organizing them for
themselves so that they might improve their tenure conditions, their
salary conditions, and so forth and so on.
Senator FEGUSON. Were you a teacher at this
Mrs. DODD. Yes; I was a teacher at this
And in organizing, helping to organize the
teachers in these city colleges for the improvement of their economic
conditions, I had been successful in having introduced and passed a
bill for tenure for the college teachers. They had never had tenure. It
was quite accidental that I had that bill passed. I just happened to
have some friend in Albany who agreed to introduce the bill, and the
bill was passed.
And it gave tenure to the college teachers
for the first time in the history of New York.
But because I had helped to pass that tenure
bill, the Teachers' Union representatives now cast an inquiring eye
toward me as to whether I might not be useful to them in the
legislative field. And I was asked to serve as their legislative
representative for a short period of time, until they could find other
But the short period of time grew into a
long period of time, and I remained as the legislative representative
Mr. MORRIS. Now, Dr. Dodd, during that
period, did you deal with Communist Party officials, and were you
connected with that work?
Mrs. DODD. I did.
Mr. MORRIS. Will you tell us what
relationship you bore to the Communist Party organization while you
were the legislative representative for the Teachers' Union?
Mrs. DODD. Well, I soon got to know the
majority of the people in the top leadership of the Teachers' Union
were Communists, or, at least, were influenced by the Communist
organization in the city.
Mr. MORRIS. Will you tell us precisely how
you knew that, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. Well, at that time–
This is now from 1936 to 1944; is that right, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. And the Teachers' Union in 1936
was made up of how many members?
Mrs. DODD. It began with about
Mr. MORRIS. What was your greatest
Mrs. DODD. We increased to about 11,000.
Mr. MORRIS. What was the year of the
MRS. DODD. 1938 and 1939.
Mr. MORRIS. In 1938 and 1939 the union was
then at its strongest. During that period, how did the Communist Party
function within the Teachers' Union ?
Mrs. DODD. Within the Teachers' Union you
had a caucus of the executive board, Communist members of the executive
board. At that time the caucus seemed to be necessary, because they
were fighting the Socialists, the Lovestoneites, and the other splinter
groups who were struggling to gain power over the union. But the
Communists were successful in taking control.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, how many members
ordinarily would there be of the executive board? Is that what they
called it in the Teachers' Union?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. How many members were there
during this period of time?
Mrs. DODD. The executive board was elected
by proportionate representation, and it varied between twenty-three and
And, unfortunately, at most of the times
two-thirds of those executive board members were members of the party.
Mr. MORRIS. How did you know that, Doctor?
Did these people caucus, for instance?
Mrs. DODD. Yes; we had caucuses from time to
time, and we also had a small steering committee.
Mr. MORRIS. When you say "we," do you mean
the Communist Party at that time?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you know, as a matter of
fact, that a Communist Party caucus would meet before executive board
Mrs. DODD. They always caucused
before these meetings.
MORRIS. Did you attend these caucus meetings?
Mrs. DODD. Whenever I was in the city, when
I wasn't in Albany or somewhere else.
Mr. MORRIS. And you attended and you knew it
was a Communist caucus, and everyone else knew it was a Communist
caucus; is that right, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Who would be present at such
meetings other than Communist teachers?
Mrs. DODD,. Generally only they would be
present. Once in a great while, where they had a controversy among
themselves and couldn't settle the problem, they would invite someone
from the county or district of the party to come in and straighten them
Mr. MORRIS. Of the Communist Party. So there
was no doubt at any time that that was strictly a Communist Party
operation operating within the executive board of the teachers' union?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. What political activity was
engaged in by the Communist Party through that instrumentality you just
described to us?
Mrs. DODD. The Communist Party was
interested in seeing to it that the union, which was an AFL union,
would carry out the line of the Communist Party on political questions.
Now, you couldn’t take all political questions
into the union because you had to present those questions then to the
membership, and the membership might revolt against having too many
But insofar as possible, they were going to
bring as many political questions into the union as they possibly could.
Mr. MORRIS. Would you give an
example of that?
Mrs. DODD. For instance, during the
years of collective security, when the official policy of the Communist
Party on foreign affairs was collective security, one of the things you
did was to have the executive board of the Teachers’ Union, that is,
the caucus for the steering committee of the Teachers’ Union, discuss
how collective security might be promoted through the teachers’ union
or through the other organizations which the teachers’ union as
affiliated with, for instance, with the Central Trades and Labor
Council, the State Federation of Labor, and, later on, with the
American labor Party, and various other community organizations.
Mr. MORRIS. Was the Teachers’
Union used by the party for recruiting purposes?
Mrs. DODD. It is the function of every
Communist group to recruit other members into the Communist Party.
Mr. MORRIS. Did the atmosphere within
the Teachers’ Union make it conducive for the Communist Party to
operate within that organization for recruiting purposes?
Mrs. DODD. I would say “Yes.”
Senator FERGUSON. Was there a party
line, as far as teachers were concerned?
Mrs. DODD. On educational questions, do
you mean, Senator Ferguson?
Senator FERGUSON. Yes.
Mrs. DODD. Well, only if the questions
were connected with the political questions that the Communist Party
was interested in. For instance, there was a Teachers’ Union
policy on the questions of war and fascism. I mean during the
period in which the Communist Party was antiwar, the Teachers’ Union
policy was antiwar; during the period when the party came into the full
support of the war, the Teachers’ Union shifted its policy, and became
Senator FERGUSON. In other words, the
steering committee, as I take your testimony, was used for the purpose
of steering the teachers along the line that communism desired ?
Mrs. DODD. On political questions,
Senator FERGUSON. On political
Mrs. DODD. I would say also on
certain educational questions.
You take, for instance, the whole
question of the theory of education, whether it should be progressive
education or whether it should be the more formal education. The
Communist Party as a whole adopted a line of being for the progressive
education. And that would be carried on through the steering committee
and into the union.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, you
mentioned that the greatest strength of the union was between 1938 and
1939. What happened at that time that caused your organization to lose
Mrs. DODD. Well, two things happened. The
Communist Party became very much enamoured of the idea of unity between
the AFL and the CIO, and they tried to push as many of their unions in
the Central Trades and Labor Council and in the State Federation of
Labor to calling conferences on the question of unity. They weren't
successful in getting any of these stable unions in it, these large
unions, to call the conferences.
Finally they convinced the Teachers' Union
to call a conference on unity between the AFL and CIO. We invited some
hundred unions and we did, I think, have 85. We felt that resulted in
our being expelled from the Central Trades and Labor Council.
Senator FERGUSON. When you say you had so
many present, do you mean the Communists, or the union ?
Mrs. DODD. The Communists convinced us that
we should call a conference on unity between the AFL and CIO. Since the
Communists controlled the union so closely—it was a matter of bad
judgment—the Teachers' Union did call that conference, and that
conference resulted in having the Teachers' Union ousted from the
Central Trades and Labor Council, which was the AFL.
Then, of course, the Central Trades and
Labor Council tried to get us out of the AFL generally. They made
trouble with our parent organization, the American Federation of
Teachers. We found ourselves in trouble with the American Federation of
Teachers at this time, with a great many attacks upon us and a good
deal of attacks upon us as Reds.
At the same time the New York State
Legislature adopted a resolution calling for the investigation of the
schools. That resolution was to investigate the finances of the
schools, but, in addition, to investigate the subversive activities of
the New York City school teachers.
That was popularly called the Rapp-Coudert
We couldn't withstand the two attacks—that
is, the A. F. of T. and the A. F. of L. and the Rapp-Coudert committee,
and the influence of the union declined considerably during that
In addition to that, the party at that time
was apologizing for the Nazi-Soviet pact—I mean, just not knowing how
to handle it—and that lost us a great many other people who had
supported the union formerly.
Mr. MORRIS. This question is asked now in
connection with legislation along these lines, Mr. Chairman.
Did you, as a matter of fact, find that the
investigation carried on by the New York State Legislature at that time
did weaken the Coinmunist force in the teaching field ?
Mrs. DODD. It most certainly did.
Senator FERGUSON. You have indicated here
that any real publicity of Communist activity in a union or in any
organization has a tendency, then, to weaken or destroy communism in
Mrs. DODD. I think any honest investigation
which brings the issues to the fore and lets all decent and honest
people, whether they are the teachers who are trapped in this
organization, or not, really look at the issues, will help to eliminate
that which is evil.
Senator FERGUSON. You think, then, that the
facts were such that there were many innocent teachers not realizing
what was being done
on the so-called backstage caucuses by the members
of the Communist Party that belonged to the union, getting their
instructions by calling in Communist members at the time to get
instructions; that this was not known to the mass—rank and file, let me
call them—of the teachers; is that correct?
Mrs. DODD. That is absolutely correct,
One of the real problems is that not only
the members of the union didn't know, but a large number of the
teachers who became Communists didn't really know what it was all
I, myself, so long as I functioned on the
trade-union level in the Teachers' Union, why, my heavens, I was one of
the staunchest of the Communists and would have called your committee a
committee to smash the schools. It wasn't until I entered the Communist
Party as a functionary in the Communist Party that I saw that it was a
full, true, cynical conspiracy and something which is so thoroughly
evil that I would like to spend the rest of my days to tell the
teachers who are entrapped in this thing how to get out.
Senator FERGUSON. In other words, until you
obtained the knowledge as to what actually was taking place as far as
the Communist Party was concerned, how they functioned to get control
of labor unions, whether it be teachers or others, or any organization,
you, as an advocate of labor, were so firm in your opinion as to the
justification of the needs of labor that you did not see the Communist
activity until you became directly connected with it; is that a fair
Mrs. DODD. That is correct.
Mr. MORRIS. You thought prior to that time
that you were taking part in honest trade-union activity; did you?
Mrs. DODD. I thought I was taking part in an
organization which was committed to the defense and the promotion of
the interests of the working class.
I didn't realize until I got in that this is
just nothing but a masquerade, that these things are just used to
capture many people and that actually they are not really interested in
these various questions.
Senator FERGUSON. In other words, the
question of the humanitarian cause becomes a front rather than a real
desire upon the part of these Communists; is that a correct statement?
Mrs. DODD. That is a correct statement.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, could you tell us how
you worked with some other organizations at the time to further
Communist activity; that is, while you were legislative representative
of the teachers' union and had such an intimate knowledge of Communist
Did the Communist Party use these teachers
for other purposes, or did they restrict their activity to the schools
Mrs. DODD. Teachers have always been a very
important part of the Communist apparatus. As a Teachers' Union member,
I was a delegate to the central trades and labor council and I was a
delegate to the State federation of labor. I was a delegate to the
central trades and labor council, and I was put in contact with
Communist members of other unions who were to operate with me on the
floor of the central trades and labor council. We would caucus. We
would decide what should be stressed, what shouldn't be stressed; what
we would approve of, what we wouldn't approve of; whom we would vote
for, and whom we wouldn't vote for. So that we attempted to carry out
the party line in the labor field.
We functioned on whatever levels the
Communist Party uses teachers for, to get dues, to get finances. They
are a stable group with an income and they are generous and
Secondly, they use them for personnel.
Teachers are well equipped, I mean they are trained thinkers and if you
can convince them that they should go out and fight for the cause, you
can get them to go out and become section organizers, district
Mr. MORRIS. Do you mean they give, up their
Mrs. DODD. Yes. In many cases they gave up
their teaching jobs. Or you can get them to go out and teach during the
summer, teach labor classes during the summer, teach Communist Party
classes during the summer, or during the evening.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, can you name any
particular teachers who did become functionaries of the Communist
Party? You say that it was a ready avenue.
Mrs. DODD. Isodore Begun became a member of
the national committee, the national advisory committee.
Mr. MORRIS. He was a school teacher, was he
not, Mrs. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. He was a school
Mr. MORRIS. Was he a member of the Communist
Mrs. DODD. Isodore Begun was a Teachers'
Union member for a while. He was a leader of the unemployed teachers'
movement. Then he became educational director for the New York district
of the Communist Party.
Then he became farm expert, or legislative
expert, both. Then there was Maurice Shappes.
Mr. MORRIS. Had he become a Communist Party
Mrs. DODD. He was organizing the
educational department of
the Communist Party, almost simultaneously with the other.
There was a man by the name of Green, who
went from City College to Texas as an organizer.
I can't think of all of them.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you make use of teachers to
infiltrate any political organizations?
Mrs. DODD. Yes. Teachers were, of course,
urged to partake of the political life around them. They joined the
American Labor Party in great numbers when the teachers' union was
affiliated with the American Labor Party.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, were you ever
connected with the American Labor Party officially?
Mrs. DODD. Yes, I was.
Mr. MORRIS. To your knowledge, was that
controlled by the Communists?
Mrs. Donn. It became controlled by the
Communists completely after 1942. Up to 1942, there had been a struggle
between the Social Democrats and the Communists for control of the
American Labor Party.
Mr. MORRIS. In 1942 what happened?
Mrs. DODD. I think the Communists captured
the last of the boroughs ; that is, Brooklyn.
Mr. MORRIS. How do you know that what you
tell us now, Doctor?
Mrs. DODD. I was chairman of the
committee to help
raise funds and supply personnel for that.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, will you get back to
this State legislative committee? That committee was in 1940-41, was it
Mrs. DODD. The Rapp-Coudert committee?
Mr. MORRIS. Yes.
Mrs. DODD. The resolution was adopted in
1939, the investigation began in 1940.
Mr. MoRRIs. Were you active in opposing that
Mrs. DODD. I opposed it with
everything I had in me.
Mr. MORRIS. How long did that opposition
Mrs. DODD. The opposition continued
throughout the 2 years, that is, throughout 1940-41, and it carried
into 1942, when Senator Coudert ran for–
Mr. MORRIS. Was it State
Mrs. DODD. No. The first time he ran for
Congress, wasn't it?
Mr. MORRIS. He ran for State
My recollection, Mr. Chairman, is that he
was running for State senator in 1942.
And you say you participated in that
Mrs. Donn. Yes, I did.
Mr. MORRIS. What was the purpose of that?
Mrs. DODD. The purpose of that was to see to
it that anyone who attempted to "smear" the schools, as I
thought––putting this in quotation marks—because I thought the
Rapp-Coudert committee was to destroy the public-school system, that
anyone who attempted to "smear" the school system should not be allowed
to go back into public office, and that everything should be done to
Mr. MORRIS. Actually, what was the real
reasoning behind that campaign?
Mrs. DODD. Well, after all, the fight of the
Rapp-Coudert committee was to expose Communist teachers. The Communist
Party just couldn't permit a person of that kind, who had taken such a
toll, to remain in public life.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you know whether the Soviet
Union actually intervened in this fight?
Mrs. DODD. I wouldn't know whether the
Soviet Union intervened. I had one little incident happen which might
be of interest to you. Mrs. MORRIS. What was that, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. One of the gentlemen in this
city, who represented some of the Russian business interests, made a
contribution to the campaign against Senator Coudert.
Mr. MORRIS. What was his name?
Mrs. DODD. Charles Recht.
Mr. MORRIS. Is he the attorney?
Mrs. DODD. He was the attorney for Amtorg. I
don't know whether he is now.
Mr. MORRIS. Did he say anything to you at
the time he made that contribution?
Mrs. DODD. He gave me some information about
the Coudert law firm, Coudert & Coudert law firm. He said they
represented many of the White Russians.
Mr. MORRIS. And he was giving you that
information for what purpose?
Mrs. DODD. He knew that I was going to use
it during the campaign.
Mr. MORRIS. Now, Dr. Dodd, were you in a
position to determine the strength of the Communist organization within
the teachers throughout the United States?
Mrs. DODD. Tentatively, yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you ever address a group of
teachers, a large group of teachers?
Mrs. DODD. Many times.
Mr. MORRIS. Did you ever address a large
group of Communist teachers?
Mrs. DODD. Yes. In the spring of 1944, after
I had been made a member of the National Committee of the Communist
Party, I was invited back to speak to the Communist teachers on a
Sunday afternoon at the Jefferson School.
Mr. MORRIS. What Communist teachers were
Mrs. DODD. Those are the teachers in and
around New York, the Greater New York teachers, that is, the members of
the Communist Party, or people who were close to the Communist Party.
Mr. MORRIS. Were they all Communist
Mrs. DODD. I would say a large number of
them were. I think the understanding was that meeting was to be a
recruiting meeting and people could bring with them whom they wanted to
recruit. Mr. MORRIS. How many people were present at that meeting? Mrs.
DODD. Close to 500.
Senator FERGUSON. Where is the Jefferson
Mrs. DODD. Sixteenth Street and Sixth
Mr. MORRIS. And they were all school
teachers, were they?
Mrs. DODD. It was intended to be a school
Mr. MORRIS. At least you would address them
as school teachers or potential school teachers?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, would you tell us what
other experience you have had within the teachers' union and within the
various teachers' groups within the United States?
Senator FERGUSON. Before we pass on to that,
I would like to cover the Jefferson School.
I would like to know whether or not you have
any knowledge as to what the Jefferson School was ?
Mrs. DODD. The Jefferson School is a school
based upon Marxist-Leninist philosophy. It was established as a result
of the people who lost their jobs during the Rapp-Coudert fight. There
are about 50 teachers and professors who lost their jobs as a result of
the fight. And I, with the Teachers' Union, helped to establish what
was called the School for Democracy, and these became the teachers in
the School for Democracy.
Mr. MORRIS. Was that a Communist project?
Mrs. DODD. No. That was a teachers' union
But shortly thereafter, the Communist Party
decided they wanted a broad Marxist Institute, and they also saw that
the School for Democracy was financing itself and they decided that
they might perhaps join the School for Democracy with the Workers
At that time they conducted a Communist
Party workers' education, Workers School. As a result of that, Mr.
Trachtenberg and Mr. David Goldway, and a few of the other people
formed a committee for the purpose of amalgamating these two
As a result of that, they purchased a
building on Sixteenth Street and established this Jefferson School,
which is, as I say, a Marxist institute.
Senator FERGUSON. So that was a Communist
school, was it?
Mrs. DODD. The idea was that it was to be a
Marxist-Leninist institution, but that does not mean that the people
who attended that were necessarily Communists. I mean it would mean
that it would appeal to people who were Communists and who wanted to
know more about communism, or to people who didn't know anything about
communism, but would like to learn.
Senator FERGUSON. But they were teaching the
philosophy of communism, were they not?
Mrs. DODD. They were.
Mr. MORRIS. Orthodox subjects, from the
Communist point of view, have been allowed to be taught?
Mrs. DODD. I don't think so, although they
had many things like a course on how to make a dress, for instance, or
a course in dancing, which might be too difficult to relate to the
Mr. MORRIS. It would have no particular
Senator FERGUSON. In other words, making a
dress could be capitalistic.
Mrs. DODD. I daresay that even Russian women
like to have nice-looking clothes.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, we would like to get
from you, strictly based on your own experience within the Communist
Party and within the Teachers' Union and other teachers' organizations
that you have associated with, an estimate of the number of teachers
who were Communist Party members throughout the United States.
First of all, what would you estimate as the
Communist strength in the area of New York City?
Mrs. DODD. Of course, it fluctuated from
year to year, and you will find that at the peak of the union you had
about a thousand teachers in the Communist movement.
Mr. MORRIS. As party members?
Mrs. DODD. As party members.
However, when the WPA projects were closed,
some of those dropped out. I would say that in the New York area there
would be about 600, 700, 750. I think at the peak, on a Nation-wide
basis, you never had more than, let's say, 1,500 teachers in the
Mr. MORRIS. Do you speak as of down to 1948,
or are you holding this to 1944?
Mrs. DODD. I am speaking of 1944, because I
have no knowledge after that.
Mr. MORRIS. After 1944 you became a higher
functionary of the Communist Party, did you not?
Mrs. DODD. That is true, and although I did
retain some relationtion [sic] with the New York City school apparatus,
I had no connection with the national situation.
Mr. MORRIS. You could, however, give an
estimate of whether or not the size of the Communist force in New York
had waxed or waned, could you not?
Mrs. DODD. I would say it went down during
the period of 1940-41, and then for a while, while the union remained
completely independent, it was very low. But it began rising again as
the union joined the CIO and began to be successful again.
However, I would say that these 750 to 1,000
is the peak that you would have even in the Greater New York area.
Mr. MORRIS. In that figure you included
public schools as well as private schools; is that right?
Mrs. DODD. Yes. That would be Communist
teachers on any level.
Mr. MORRIS. In other words, a teacher who
would be in a private college in New York City would be eligible for
membership (a) in the teachers' union and (b) in the Communist caucus
that operated the union; is that right, Dr. Dodd?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. Could you give us a rough
estimate—that is, speaking from the Communist point of view, now—of
what your strength on a college campus would have to be before you
could operate a successful operation on the campus?
Mrs. DODD. Well, one thing I think people in
America have to learn is that if you have one Communist on a campus, or
one Communist in an organization, that person is dedicated to building
a unit. And a unit consists of a minimum of three people.
Senator FERGUSON. Tell us just how they
function so that maybe we can advise the American people as to how they
function. Explain just how a Communist on a campus, both a student
and/or a teacher, would function.
Mrs. DODD. There are two ways of
functioning. One, a Communist who is an idealist tries to take the
party line into his various organizations, whatever clubs he belongs
to, whatever organizations he belongs to, and tries to find others who
are sympathetic with him, or he finds where the sore spots are on the
campus. If he finds that some people are being abused, discriminated
against, some people are unhappy, he fastens himself on to them and
pretty soon he's got them functioning with him. First they will
function not as party people, but just as a committee, or as a group.
Then later on, what you do is you say to people, "If we had a union we
might get higher wages." But then you point out that to really insure
high wages, you can't get it until the Socialist system has been
established, or until communism has been victorious.
In other words, you teach people that all
they can get are little crumbs here and there, but that ultimately they
will have to join the Communist movement in order to make the real
Senator FERGUSON. You said if there was one
on a campus, that that may grow into more. How did they function in
getting new members so that the new members might function as the one
that was established?
Mrs. DODD. You choose an issue which you
would bring up. Supposing you are a member of the faculty and you chose
the issue, let's say, of increasing wages, you got up and made a
definite proposal, to let the wages be increased by 10 percent. And
then you found out who spoke up with you, who seemed to be interested
in the program.
If you found two or three or four or five
people, then you attached yourself to those two or three or four or
five people, and you began to work on them day after day after day.
You socialized with them, you made it your
business to socialize with them. You made it your business to take them
And then you weeded out those who
possible and those who were possible.
Senator FERGUSON. What about
cells in schools or colleges?
Mrs. DODD. As soon as you had three people
who were committed with you, who felt that the Communist movement was a
good movement, that that was the only way to change it, you established
yourselves as a unit. That unit then became attached to the district or
the section or the city which had a Communist movement, and the
district organizer always was very sensitive to what was happening on
Senator FERGUSON. Suppose that you obtained
Mrs. DODD. Your units might be a minimum of
three, and they generally were from three to about seven or eight.
But I have seen units of as high as 25, in
the days when the Communist Party became lax. And then in the period
when the Communist Party abolished all cells and established what we
called street units--
Senator FERGUSON. Will you explain those?
Mrs. DODD. Those were the days when they
were emphasizing the importance of a democratic approach, and they
established great, big political clubs, and they used to try to
convince people that within a large political club you had nothing to
fear, nobody was going to know you. You weren't known by any name; you
were just known by a first name or nickname. You used a thing of that
Only one person knew you, your organizer. It
was to him that you paid your dues and reported on individual problems.
But that was only a very short period.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, I wonder if you would
tell us how Communist Party directives would be translated into
activity by these various teachers' fronts, teacher organizations?
Could you give us the precise medium by
which this Communist Party directive would be transferred ?
Mrs. DODD. One of the things you have to
understand, is that the Communist Party tried to give to their members
a certain degree of education along the Marxist-Leninist line and to
provide for them a certain amount of initiative on their own part. So
that the Communist Party said to you, "We must build the American
League Against War and Fascism." A little unit of three would take that
directive into whatever mass organizations there were on the campus. If
I were a member of the teachers in the English department, I would take
it to the teachers in the English department.
If I were a member of the political
sciences, I would take it there. Wherever there were meetings, you saw
that those meetings were covered with someone who brought the directive
You might see to it that one of the unit
members would be a writer, on one of the magazines or newspapers. You
always tried to get :someone on the newspapers or magazines of the
college so that the
columns of the newspapers might be open to you for
expressing your opinion.
Senator FERGUSON. What other projects were
there for which you might anticipate they would use the teachers? Did
they ever use them to pass resolutions
Mrs. DODD. The Teachers'
Unions were used a great deal to formulate public opinion in America.
The teachers were active in the parents' organizations; they were
active with the students; they were active in their own professional
cultural organizations, and in the American Federation of Teachers we
had our conventions.
So that anything the Communist Party wanted
to be popularized, they would see to it that it had a copy of a
resolution, which you then modified to met your own individual needs.
Some organizations could stand a strong
resolution, a total support of the thing; some organizations could only
go one step. At any rate,. the individual group modified that
resolution to suit its own needs.
But, at any rate, everyone was moving
forward on that particular subject. But whether it was collective
security, whether it was prowar, whether it was against war, whether it
was against the Dies committee, whether it was against some
congressional legislation, there resolutions would be introduced, and
simultaneously you would have a. large number of resolutions
popularized in the newspapers, delegations going to the various men in
public office, telephones, telegrams.
Senator FERGUSON. How did you function at
these so-called conventions where the larger group would meet?
Mrs. DODD. Well, the American Federation of
Teachers convention were held once a year. And what would happen is
that the Communist delegates going there would know in advance, they
would be told by their own section organizers, or their own district
leaders of the Communist Party, that they would meet so-and-so at the
The central district of the party here in
New York always met with a steering committee of that convention in
advance to there decide what was to be accomplished at that convention.
Then when we got to the conventions we would
meet with someone from the Communist Party at some hotel room. There
would be a representative of the various districts of the United
States, California, Michigan, the South, West, East. We would have
And we would get a line setting. That is,
there would be some discussion as to what the perspectives of this
convention were; how to accomplish it; whom to win over;. what caucuses
to build and what caucuses not to build.
For instance, in addition to the Communist
Party caucus, we would also have a "united front" caucus.
Senator FERGUSON. Will you explain the
united front as far as these caucuses were concerned?
Mrs. DODD. The "united front" was always an
alliance with someone who didn't go all the way with the group; those
who didn't believe with you in everything you believed in, but who
would go along. As I said once before, no one formed a "united front"
with the Communists, without being weakened, because Communists form a
united front when they are going to get strength anew and not when they
are going to get weakened.
Senator FERGUSON. In what cities have you
attended conventions and operated with Communists of those cities in
the school system?
Mrs. DODD. Philadelphia, New York, Buffalo,
Madison (Wis.), Cleveland, Cedar Rapids, Boston.
Senator FERGUSON. Have you ever been in
Mrs. DODD. Yes, I was in Detroit twice. We
had a convention in 1940 and 1941.
Senator FERGUSON. Did you find any
Communists there? Mrs. DODD. There were some.
Senator FERGUSON. That cooperated in these
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, I wonder, on the basis
of all your experience within these teachers' organizations and the
Communist Party and these various trips and conventions that you are
describing, what would you estimate the membership of the Communist
Party nationally to have been?
I think you gave us a figure before which
related only to New York. Is not that right?
Mrs. DODD. I would say that your teacher
membership on a Nation-wide basis is not too large. It is about 1,500
members. I don't think you ever had it much larger than that.
Mr. MORRIS. That is, strategically disposed?
Mrs. DODD. Distributed; yes.
Mr. MORRIS. Could you tell us some of the
colleges that you, to your own knowledge, that you knew from your own
knowledge, had units operating on the campus?
Mrs. DODD. All of the city colleges here in
New York, I mean the four city colleges; Columbia University, Long
Island University, New York University, Vassar College, Wellesley,
Smith, Harvard, MIT, University of Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern
University, University of California, the University of Minnesota,
That is about it.
Mr. MORRIS. In all of these cases, there
would be at least one member of the faculty who would be a member of
the Communist Party and he would have operating with him a certain
number of students; is that correct?
Mrs. DODD. It would be his duty to try to
get his group of students working with him.
Mr. MORRIS. But, as a matter of fact when,
you name all these schools, each one of these schools had a unit on the
campus; is that right?
Mrs. DODD. We had delegates to the
convention from those universities; yes.
Senator FERGUSON. They were Communists and
operated with you through the Communists; is that what you have in
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. And this organization, on any
issue that would come up, this whole organization would be brought to
play and be used to effect some particular Communist Party purposes?
Mrs. DODD. Of course.
Many of the things that the Communist Party
proposed were things which the teachers wanted, or, I mean, thought
they wanted; they were for.
They thought they were fighting for
something that was good and progressive.
Senator FERGUSON. You mentioned that you
think there were about 1,500 Communist teachers in the United States.
Now, we have thousands of teachers. What influence could 1,500 teachers
have among the many thousands?
Mrs. DODD. As a matter of fact, you have
over a million teachers in America, and, by and large, your schools are
not manned by Communists. The Communist influence is important only
where it is strategically placed, and no Communist is ever satisfied
with remaining in a position of inferiority. He seeks a strategic
If you had Communists in these schools of
education, that is a very strategic position because not only are they
affecting the philosophy of education but they are also teaching other
teachers, who, in turn, are teaching the pupils.
If you have one Communist teacher in the
school of education, and he teaches, let's say, 300 teachers, who then
go out all over the United States, that is a strategic position.
Senator FERGUSON. You were talking, then,
about 1,500 actual Communists, were you?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Senator FERGUSON. Can you tell us where you
first were contacted, in your opinion, in our educational system about
Mrs. DODD. Well, it is very difficult. I
guess that the schools are subject to the same influences as all the
other conditions in life. I was a freshman at college when my English
teacher, for instance, gave me Anna Louise Strong's book, I Changed
Worlds. I thought it was a very exciting, very interesting book.
In addition to that, we had a discussion in
that class on the whole question of the new Soviet experiment, and
while she didn't say that she was for it, she left all the
implications, and thereafter a number of us became attached to her and
discussed these problems with her.
I am sure that she wasn't a member of the
Communist Party, but she was sympathetic.
Senator FERGUSON. When you were a teacher
and really a Communist, what did you do to the students and the other
Mrs. DODD. God help me for what I did. I was
not a member of the Communist Party, but there was no doubt in my mind–
Senator FERGUSON. But you had a
philosophy and you served the cause.
Mrs. DODD. There is no doubt in my mind that
I did a great deal of harm.
Senator FERGUSON. And how did you function
among the students?
Mrs. DODD. I was their faculty adviser on
many problems. I worked with individual students. I was particularly
keen about my students. I was very sympathetic, and I was very popular
among my students.
Senator FERGUSON. Do you think you may have
convinced some of them to become Communists ?
Mrs. DODD. I have no doubt that I did.
Senator FERGUSON. Was that one of your
purposes in life as a teacher?
Mrs. DODD. No. That is not true. My purpose
at that time—I thought my purpose was to create an open mind, to create
a clear thinking people—people who would throw aside all preconceived
prejudices, all preconceived thoughts. My thought was to
how to think.
Well, I've discovered since then that the
mind which is so open is often the mind which gets filled with the
first evil wind that comes by ; that what you have to do is to see
truth and the truth will help you to ward off these evil influences.
Senator FERGUSON. Then in those days you
were an idealist as well as a Communist.
Mrs. DODD. I was an idealist who was
permeated with the philosophy of communism.
Senator FERGUSON. How did you think that a
person should have an open mind and receive the very biased and
narrowest of lines in which to think? How did you reconcile that?
Mrs. DODD. Because I didn't know what
communism was. I swallowed the hook, line, and sinker. I thought they
were antifascists. I thought they were for the working class. I thought
they were for the underdog, and I was for the underdog.
You don't see the entirety of communism
until you have had to wrestle with it. Communism shows itself at
different levels to you at different times.
Senator FERGUSON. Then you are of the
opinion that the Communists use these ideals, these humanitarian
causes, the evils that are among men, for their own purpose rather than
just curing the particular evil; is that right?
Mrs. DODD. That is absolutely right. And I
discovered it to be so when I became the legislative representative of
the Communist Party.
When I went into the apparatus at Twelfth
Street as a legislative representative, I thought that my job was to
fight for good housing, milk, problems, the question of schools, and so
on. I found that within the Communist Party there wasn't even a file on
any of these social problems; that there wasn't any cumulative wisdom
on the thing; that almost any program which you would pluck from the
air which was popular at the moment was the thing you supported; that
they weren't interested in carrying through on any of these problems;
that these problems were important only as long as there was a group of
dissatisfied people to whom this issue was important.
But as soon as that died down, then they
were no longer interested in that issue.
Mr. MORRIS. That is literal testimony, is
it, Dr. Dodd, that there wasn't literally a file on these sociological
Mrs. DODD. The answer is "No." There wasn't
a file, there were some old pamphlets thrown in one corner, and I then
proceeded to try to create files on this question.
But then I discovered they were not
interested in this particular thing. I tried for about 4 months to get
the national committee to establish a committee on housing. I couldn't
get it. I tried to get them to establish a committee on health for the
study of the promotion of health legislation. I couldn't get it. They
weren't too interested in that.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, I wonder if
you could tell us how the Communist Party imparted instructions to the
teachers with respect to, how they should try to turn a child's mind in
the desired direction?' Can you give us any first-hand experiences
along that line?
Mrs. DODD. I am afraid I don't have that.
Mr. MORRIS. You don't have that?
Mrs. DODD. No. I didn't function on the
educational policies committee, which is an important committee of the
union. But I don't have that.
Mr. MORRIS. There was a separate subdivision
that would take care of a particular program like that, was there?
Now, Dr. Dodd, in connection with your
activity in the New York schools, did various high schools and
elementary schools send representations to any of these caucus
Mrs. DODD. Well, in the early days, from
1936 to about 1938, about twice a year, both in the beginning of the
school term and at the end, we would have a meeting of a fraction, what
was called a fraction, a representative from each one of these units,
and perhaps one or two thrown in from a district.
Mr. MORRIS. So you would have a
representative from many units? Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. How many people would constitute
Mrs. DODD. Anywhere between 3 and 10.
Mr. MORRIS. So you had various
representatives of these units—the units being dispersed throughout the
city—meeting in the fraction?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. How many people would attend
such a fraction meeting?
Mrs. DODD. You would get anywhere between 60
and 100 people attending. These meetings used to be called Lowell
Club—I was really quite startled first when I attended—the Lowell Club.
And what would happen was that at the
beginning of the year you would have a program laid down for the party.
They would discuss what the party hoped to accomplish in the schools
that year. They would discuss the union. And that is one of the reasons
why I was called in. But that was only one of the things they
discussed. They discussed largely what the party was going to
accomplish as far as the schools were concerned. The fractions were
abolished in 1948. As far as I know, they never again were
Mr. MORRIS. Why was that?
Mrs. DODD. I think because of the danger to
the individuals, the question of getting to be known, and the question
of people permeating it and exposing party members.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, could you tell us
something about an organization called the Committee for Democracy and
Intellectual Freedom ?
Mrs. DODD. That is a committee that
functioned on the Columbia University campus.
Mr. MORRIS. Can you tell us what you know
about it ?
Mrs. DODD. Well, it functioned during the
period of the Rapp-Coudert committee, because I know they wrote a very
fine report from the point of view of attacking the Rapp-Coudert
They were a committee which especially used
the academic freedom as a nub around which to oppose many different
activities or institutions, or people that were around. For instance,
one of the committees that would attack a teacher or a professor who
was supposedly a Fascist was the Committee for Intellectual Freedom and
Mr. MORRIS. In other words, they would take
a case of Fascist activity, or alleged Fascist activity, and build it
up; is that right? Mrs. DODD. This is right.
Then they would also take any infringement,
so-called, of academic freedom on the campuses. That would be their
special regard; the question of textbooks, the question of material
which was being used.
As far as I know, there was a young man by
the name of Moses Finkelstein, who was a secretary of the committee.
Prof. Franz Boaz, the noted anthropologist, was the acting chairman. Of
course, in that committee, like all other committees which had some
Communist influence upon it, the chairman was largely a person who was
illustrious, famous, and who sometimes didn't know what was going on.
Mr. MORRIS. On this case, does Dr. Boaz
answer that description?
Mrs. DODD. I think he does. He was a
proliberal anthropologist and made a great contribution to American
learning and wanted to do the right thing. I think he was approached to
serve on this committee, but I don't think he knew what was going on
half the time.
Mr. MORRIS. Was Finkelstein a Communist?
Mrs. DODD. I never saw his card. I think he
Senator FERGUSON. Did you ever deal with him
Mrs. DODD. Yes ; I did.
Mr. MORRIS. You dealt with him as a
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Senator FERGUSON. Along this line of freedom
of thought and so forth, "academic freedom," as you call it, there is
not any doubt that everyone desires that; is that not so ?
That is a wish of the people.
Mr. SCHMIDT. Senator, doesn't that very much
depend on the definition given?
Senator FERGUSON. I am going to point out
whether that idea– Mrs. DODD. I think that the history of this country
would say that we are all interested in freedom of thought. But what
goes by the name of academic freedom very frequently is not freedom of
Senator FERGUSON. Tell me what the Communist
thinks is "academic freedom."
Mrs. DODD. The Communists will use
academic freedom as a cloak or as a shield to protect themselves in the
spread of any idea which they are determined to spread. I think that
academic freedom has to be the right for the professor or the teacher
to make a search for the truth; but, by heavens, he must then find the
truth and label the truth, and let the student and other teachers know
what the truth is.
You can't just ask for academic freedom in
general and under that shield just promote anything that you want. That
is not academic freedom.
Senator FERGUSON. Then you think that the
idea of the Communists is to carry out the party line under the name of
academic freedom; do you?
Mrs. DODD. Yes; to promote any idea which
they think is important to them at the time.
Senator FERGUSON. And rather than the whole
Mrs. DODD. I have never known the Communists
to go and fight for academic freedom for people whom they didn't agree
with, and I think that is the test of it.
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Chairman, then may I get
back to a point that the witness just passed over here ?
Senator FERGUSON. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. You say that very often an
organization is headed by a man who is technically not a member of the
Communist Party but somebody who can be used as afront for that
organization. Who was the president of the Teachers' Union while you
were most active in connection with that organization ?
Mrs. DODD. Mr. Charles Hendley.
Mr. MORRIS. To your knowledge, was Charles
Hendley a member of the Communist Party while he was president of the
Mrs. DODD. He was not.
Mr. MORRIS. You know as a matter of fact
that he was not?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. At least during the period that
you were closely identified with him?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. How did the Communist Party
exercise its control over Charles Hendley ?
Mrs. DODD. Well, Mr. Hendley was a person
with very definite views on the whole question of schools and
Socialists. He was a known Socialist. And he was a teacher during this
period in George Washington High School, and he didn't give too much of
his time to it.
But we had placed in there, in his office,
as a secretary, a young lady who made sure that he saw the right
reports and didn't see the wrong reports.
In other words, when he came into the office
at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, after teaching all day, he couldn't then
be presented with a well-balanced diet of everything that had come in.
The young lady, his secretary, would push certain letters under his
nose and he would sign certain letters, and there were others she
didn't want him to see. They would be hidden. She distorted it.
Senator FERGUSON. Did you see to it, or did
somebody see to it, that secretaries or aides were Communists?
Mrs. DODD. That is one very prominent method
whereby the Communist Party controls an organization; that is, to place
a secretary at the disposal of a man who is not too alert on this
question. And that person then either passes out copies of letters or
information, reports, to the party, or helps to control the person whom
she is supposed to be serving.
Mr. MORRIS. In the particular case of
Hendley, did Hendley subsequently become a Communist?
Mrs. DODD. I heard that he became a
Communist. I don't know. I know that he is connected with the Daily
Mr. MORRIS. Is he now connected with the
Daily Worker? Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Senator FERGUSON. Have you ever known anyone
that was connected with the Daily Worker that was not a Communist?
Mrs. DODD. No; not as an owner of the Daily
Worker. He would not be in a position to not be a Communist.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, we began to talk about
a particular case about Hendley and his particular secretary, and then
I think we discussed the thing generally.
As a matter of fact, who was the secretary
of Hendley at that time?
Mrs. DODD. A Miss Dorothy Wallace.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you know how the Communist
Party exercised control over Dorothy Wallace?
Mrs. DODD. Well, I went into the union in
1935, and I didn't learn until perhaps in the forties, in the early
forties, that Dorothy Wallace was the sister of the vice president of
the union, who was the liaison between the Communist Party and the
Mr. MORRIS. How was that?
Mrs. DODD. She happened to have blonde hair
and he happened to be dark. They just didn't look alike until you
learned about it.
And I now know that three or four of the
Communist teachers knew :about it, the top echelon. But I didn't
discover it until we had some problem.
Mr. MORRIS. You say she was the sister of
the top liaison man between the Communist Party and the teachers ?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. And who is he?
Mrs. DODD. Dale Zysman.
Mr. MORRIS. So the Wallace girl, the
secretary at the time, was Dale Zysman's sister?
Mrs. DODD. Sister.
Mr. MORRIS. And that fact was not known by
Mrs. DODD. It was not known to me, was not
known by HendIey.
Mr. MORRIS. And at that time did you have an
intimate position with the Teachers' Union and even with the Communist
part of it?
Mrs. DODD. I did. When I discovered it and
raised a good deal of Cain about it, they just said "Well"—they didn't
want people to know about it.
Mr. MORRIS. This will be the final question
of the afternoon, Mr. Chairman, I think.
I wonder if you could tell us, Dr.
we don't want to get into any of the names of the individuals and the
teachers in the schools at this point—but could you tell us the
individuals in the Communist Party who would translate and who would
direct Communist Party directives down into the teachers' group? Who
were the leaders of the Communist Party who would carry the Communist
Party directives and orders down to the teachers?
Mrs. DODD. Well, from the top level, within
the union, you had a steering committee within the executive board.
Then, in the different counties, the county leader, the county
organizer of the party, also knew who the teachers were in his county,
and he would have meetings with them and would have discussions with
Mr. MORRIS. Who were they ? Will you name
some of those people?
Mrs. DODD. The county leaders--
Senator FERGUSON. You are talking about all
over the United States now; are you?
Mrs. DODD. All over the United States; yes.
Senator FERGUSON. So that, for instance, in
Detroit the teachers would know who the Communist leader of that
district was, would they?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Senator FERGUSON. And they would get
party-line instructions from him?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Senator FERGUSON. And be able to take it to
the union meetings, and so forth, and function on down into the school,
or into any organization where a teacher happened to go; is that the
method of operation ?
Mrs. DODD. That is correct.
Mr. MORRIS. Dr. Dodd, who was the highest
Communist Party official that participated in the party's control of
teachers? Would anyone on the level of J. Peters have anything to do
with teachers? Would he have anything to do with teachers ?
Mrs. DODD. Yes. I never knew him as J.
Peters. I knew him as Steve Miller.
At the time I didn't know he was an
important person. He was attached to the New York county apparatus of
the Communist Party, and he functioned with the teachers and with other
people on a county level.
The highest person who ever functioned with
us, of course, would be Earl Browder, or, at present, I guess, Bill
Foster. But the highest Person who ever attended a fraction meeting of
the Communists was Roy Hudson, who went with us to the Madison, Wis.,
convention and met constantly with the delegates there.
Mr. MORRIS. In connection with this man
Alfred Brooks, Alfred Brooks came out, as I recall, in the Rapp-Coudert
hearings as having some connection with the Comintern, did he not, Dr.
Mrs. Donn. I think so. I mean I didn't know
it of my own knowledge; but when he admitted that he was Bosse, which
was another: name that was–
Mr. MORRIS. That is A. G. Bosse,
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. And at that time A. G. Bosse was
somebody that had written for the Imprecorr, was he not?
Mrs. DODD. That is right.
Mr. MORRIS. And at that time he. was a
teacher in the public schools, was he not?
Mrs. DODD. He was.
Mr. MORRIS. What happened after that was
that he was exposed?
Mrs. DODD. The evidence that the
Rapp-Coudert committee had against him was so overwhelming that, in
order not to have him testify as to some of the more lurid tales at
that time, he was advised to resign from the school system.
Mr. MORRIS. Did he resign ?
Mrs. DODD. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. What did he do subsequent to
that, do you know?
Mrs. DODD. He went to . Mexico. He
was teaching, I
think, in Mexico somewhere.
Senator FERGUSON. From what you relate today
as to your activities with the Communist Party, it would indicate that
you were quite a power in the Communist Party back in those days; is
Mrs. DODD. I served the party well.
Senator FERGUSON. You served them well?
Mrs. DODD. Yes—to my detriment.
Senator FERGUSON. Did they during those days
recognize your service and give you more power and authority ?
Mrs. DODD. One of the things the Communist
Party always does is to flatter people who have the will to activity,
and they give him or her greater platforms and more opportunity for
Senator FERGUSON. When did they come to the
conclusion that you couldn't serve them longer?
Mrs. DODD. It was a growing realization.
After I had joined the party apparatus officially, after I had become
an employee of the Communist Party on the inside, almost from the very
beginning I recognized that something was wrong, that this wasn't the
thing which I had dreamed about, worked for, and which I believed in.
That was in 1944.
Senator FERGUSON. How long were you on their
Mrs. DODD. I was on their payroll from the
time that I entered in 1944 until the spring of 1946. I at that time
asked to be released from work, and the reason for it was that I,
within myself, had the growing conviction that there was something
This was the time after the Duclos letter
and the convention of 1945, and I began to recognize that this party
was not serving the interests of the United States. So, I asked to be
released, and they wouldn't release me.
As a matter of fact, Bill Norman, who was
the secretary of the party, said to me: "There is money accumulated;
why don't you take it ?"
I was in desperate need of money, but I told
Senator FERGUSON. What was your highest
salary with the Communist Party?
Mrs. DODD. $50 a week.
Senator FERGUSON. Then it would appear, from
the service that you were rendering, that money is not the objective of
Mrs. DODD. It differs with different people.
If it wasn't a Communist like myself—there are those who believed the
Communist thing was the right thing and, therefore, money didn't
matter. You worked 28 hours a day if there were 28 hours, because you
thought you were doing the right thing.
It is this desire to do the right thing that
has entangled more people in the Communist movement—this desire to
serve mankind, this desire to help make a better world. Those are the
slogans which they preach, and it is only after you are in it up to
your neck that you discover that this isn't what it is.
I know that many of my former associates
will not believe me, Senator Ferguson; but, if I could only tell them
the things which I really saw on the inside, I think perhaps some of
them might be disillusioned more rapidly than I was.
Senator FERGUSON. We will recess until 10
o'clock tomorrow morning.
Will the witness return at that time?
Mr. SCHMIDT. On behalf of my client,
Senator, I want to compliment this committee for the intelligent and
judicial manner of conducting this session.
(Thereupon, at 4 p. m., the hearing was
recessed to reconvene at 10 a. in. Tuesday, September 9, 1952.)
for testimony of
September 9, 1952.
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