CHAPTER 18 What Happened to Them?
John and Elizabeth Fisher James Miller Robinson Dr. Arna E. Rides The Wheeler Family The Field Family

IN November 1949, the foreign community in Prague was titillated by news that John Fisher, an Australian generally regarded as a Communist, and his wife Elizabeth had been expelled by the Communist authorities on three-days notice. No one could find out why.

From a variety of sources, including Fisher himself, whom I met in London in the summer of 1950, I pieced together the story of Fisher's victimization by what he himself described as a "small mixed bag of Australian political neurotics." It provides a picture of the type of men to be found in the leadership of "Western" (including Australian) Communist Parties, and of the intrigue, back-stabbing and petty jealousy that goes on among them -- a picture of an idealist ensnarled in the web of the Communist Party and the Police State.

John Fisher is the son of Andrew Fisher, leader of the Australian Labor Party and Prime Minister for many years. He grew up with a feeling that the Labor Party lacked crusading zeal and fire. His sympathies soon turned to the Communist Party, but he did not join.

When he was twenty-five years old, in 1935-1936, Fisher went to Moscow for a year as a newspaper correspondent. His admiration for Russian Communism apparently unshaken by the Stalin-Hitler pact, he asked the Australian government to send him to Moscow for "good will work" in 1940. Nothing came of this. But in September 1942, when the battle of Stalingrad was on, Fisher and his wife Elizabeth, a high-speed typist, arrived in Moscow. He worked for the Australian radio and BBC, then for the new Australian Legation, and cultivated the friendship of Communist political exiles from Czechoslovakia.

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