Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Communist Party in U.S. Aided Soviet Union, Researchers Claim Two Books Say Americans Spied for Soviets before, during Ww II

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Communist Party in U.S. Aided Soviet Union, Researchers Claim Two Books Say Americans Spied for Soviets before, during Ww II

Article excerpt

After dusting off thousands of files in Moscow, American researchers say they now have proof that the Communist Party of the United States did the bidding of Soviet spymasters before and during World War II.

Among their discoveries, the historians said Monday, was a previously unknown network of American Communists, answering to Soviet officials, that was assigned, among other projects, to penetrate the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. But the researchers said they found no reference to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the two Americans executed as spies in 1953 for stealing U.S. atomic secrets.

The researchers, Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, said the new data from former Soviet files should force extensive revision of the era's history and cause anguish to scholars who have long contended that the Communist Party of the United States had no spying role.

"What historians think about American communism in the 1930s is the premise for how they write about anti-communism in the Cold War era," said Haynes, a Library of Congress historian and an expert on archives.

The material, about 150 million documents from 1919 to 1943, was originally in central files of the Soviet Communist Party, Haynes said. The documents were meticulously kept and indexed in ways that make forgeries a virtual impossibility, he said.

Klehr, Haynes and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, a Russian historian and archivist, co-wrote "The Secret World of American Communism," one of two new books published by Yale University and presented at a news conference.

The second book, "Stalin's Letters to Molotov," discloses what its editors said was important new material on the Soviet dictator. …

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