It was won in the papers.
I leaked out the papers I leaked out the testimony. I had Hiss convicted before he ever got to the grand jury Go back and read the chapter on the Hiss case in Six Crises and you'll see how it was done. It wasn't done waiting for the goddamn courts or the attorney general or the FBI. According to Anthony Summers: . The one substantive piece of information indicating typewriter forgery features the OSS and its chief, William Donovan. In late , when the Hiss defense and the FBI began hunting for the Woodstock typewriter, a man named Horace Schmahl joined the defense team as an investigator.
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After his stint for the Hiss side, Schmahl defected to the prosecution team. In , when the Hiss trials started, Field and his German wife were still living in Switzerland. By Field was broke, having been fired from the U. Wishing to avoid returning to the United States and possibly having to testify before Congress, Field traveled to Prague , hoping to be hired as a lecturer at the Charles University. Field was accused of having organized an anti-Communist resistance network in Eastern Europe for the OSS during the war and later for the new CIA  and was held for five years in solitary confinement.
While being "rehabilitated" after the torture had ceased, Field referred four times to Hiss as a Soviet agent, for example: "Around the summer of Alger Hiss tried to induce me to do service for the Soviets.
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I was indiscreet enough to tell him he had come too late. Massing repeated this story at Hiss's second trial when she testified that at a party at Noel Field's house in she had obliquely joked with Hiss about recruiting Noel Field. He then formally wrote to the Communist Party's Central Committee in Moscow stating for the record that the tortures he had undergone in captivity had made him "confess more and more lies as truth". Hiss's defenders argue that Field's implications of Hiss may well have been among those lies.
In public Field continued to maintain Hiss was innocent and, in , wrote Hiss a letter calling Hede Massing's dinner party story "the false testimony of a perjured witness" and an "outrageous lie". In , the CIA and the NSA for the first time made public the existence of the World War II Venona project , which, beginning in , had decrypted or partially decrypted thousands of telegrams sent from to to the primary Soviet foreign intelligence agency—for most of that period, the NKVD —by its U.
In , Allen Weinstein , in the second edition of his book Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case , calls the Venona evidence "persuasive but not conclusive". Parts of the American government had conclusive evidence of his guilt, but they never told. Hiss's lawyer, John Lowenthal argued:.
Government more than a half-century ago, seems exceptionally solid, based on the evidence now available; message is only one piece of that evidence, yet a compelling one. Lowenthal argued that had Alger Hiss really been a spy, the GRU would not have mentioned his real name  in a coded transmission, since this was contrary to their usual practice. Appearing before the Venona cables were made public, this at first appeared to be independent corroboration of the codename, but it was later revealed that Gordievsky's source for the ALES identity was an article by journalist Thomas Powell, who had seen National Security Agency documents on Venona years before their release.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in , Alger Hiss petitioned General Dmitry Antonovich Volkogonov , who had become President Yeltsin's military advisor and the overseer of all the Soviet intelligence archives, to request the release of any Soviet files on the Hiss case.
Both former President Nixon and the director of his presidential library, John H. Taylor , wrote similar letters, though their full contents are not yet publicly available. Russian archivists responded by reviewing their files, and in late reported back that they had found no evidence Hiss ever engaged in espionage for the Soviet Union nor that he was a member of the Communist Party.
However, Volkogonov subsequently stated he spent only two days on the search and had mainly relied on the word of KGB archivists. Referring to Hiss's lawyer, he added, "John Lowenthal pushed me to say things of which I was not fully convinced. In , retired Russian intelligence official General Julius Kobyakov disclosed that it was he who had actually searched the files for Volkogonov. Kobyakov stated that Hiss did not have a relationship with SVR predecessor organizations,  although Hiss was accused of being with the GRU , a military intelligence organization separate from SVR predecessors.
In , Svetlana Chervonnaya , a Russian researcher who had been studying Soviet archives since the early s, argued that based on documents she reviewed, Hiss was not implicated in spying. Kennedy School of Government , stated that he did not "trust a word [Kobyakov] says",  At the same conference, historian Ronald Radosh reported that while researching the papers of Marshal Voroshilov in Moscow, he and Mary Habeck had encountered two GRU Soviet military intelligence files referring to Alger Hiss as "our agent".
Some documentation brought back by Vassiliev also refers to Hiss by his actual name, leaving no room, in the authors' opinion, for doubt about his guilt. Calling this the "massive weight of accumulated evidence", Haynes and Klehr conclude, "to serious students of history continued claims for Hiss's innocence are akin to a terminal case of ideological blindness. Other historians, such as D.
Guttenplan , Jeff Kisseloff, and Amy Knight , however, assert that Spies ' conclusions were not borne out by the evidence and accused its authors of engaging in "shoddy" research. According to Guttenplan, Vassiliev could never explain how he managed, despite being required to leave his files and notebooks in a safe at the KGB press office at the end of each day, to smuggle out the notebooks with his extensive transcriptions of documents. Guttenplan also suggested, moreover, that Vassiliev might have omitted relevant facts and selectively replaced cover names with his own notion of the real names of various persons.
Historian Jeff Kisseloff questions Haynes and Klehr's conclusion that Vassiliev's notes support Hede Massing's story about talking to Hiss at a party in about recruiting their mutual friend and host Noel Field into the Communist underground. According to Kisseloff, "all that the files Vassiliev saw really indicate is that she was telling yet another version of her story in the s. Haynes and Klehr never consider that, as an agent in Washington, D.
According to Soviet sources, however, "Doctor" was a middle-aged Bessarabian Jew who was educated in Vienna. Other historians [ not in citation given ] felt that Haynes and Klehr's information was suspect because their publisher, Crown a division of Random House , obtained temporary and limited access to KGB files through a payment of money amount unspecified to a pension fund for retired KGB agents, of whom Vassiliev was one, as was KGB archivist Volkogonov. In , Vassiliev sued John Lowenthal for libel in a British court of law for publishing a journal article questioning his conclusions.
Vassiliev lost the case before a jury and was further reprimanded by The Times for trying to exert a "chilling effect" on scholarship by resorting to the law courts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Alleged Soviet agent and American diplomat. Baltimore , Maryland , U. New York , New York , U. Priscilla Hiss m. Isabel Johnson m. History of the American Left. Active organizations. Defunct organizations. Related topics. August 3, New York Times. Archived from the original on December 11, Retrieved November 13, The New York Times.
Retrieved August 29, See also : " New York: Basic Books. Kutler August 6, But : "Most historians have conceded the argument to Weinstein. They have done so, however, not because the evidence against Hiss is clear and definitive, but because the evidence box—filled as it is with a morass of circumstantial detail—leaves them the easy option of finding him guilty of some form of espionage activity during his murky relationship with Chambers.
American Scholar. Accessed: Weinstein pp. A Tissue Of Lies: Nixon vs. New York: McGraw Hill. New York Review of Books. Retrieved January 26, Edward Oxford University Press. Retrieved June 13, Senate website. See John C. Wallace New York: W. Norton pp. September Retrieved November 23, December 10, December 18, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case.
New York. Preliminary report on wartime taxation and price control". August 20, Alger Hiss, the true story. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
In the Catbird Seat. Maryland Historic Society. Recollections of a Life. Wagner Labor Archives. Retrieved June 4, Harbutt recounts that at Dumbarton Oaks, "The consternation aroused by this Soviet demand Stettinius recalled that it burst upon the British and Americans 'like a bombshell' is a telling illustration of the State Department's lack of imagination and foresight in this area. See Fraser J.
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Instead, Roosevelt, aiming at getting domestic public opinion to support American internationalism and the establishment of the United Nations, chose to publicize the deceptively optimistic "Declaration on Liberated Europe," which pledged the three allies to establishing free elections and democratic governments, in accordance with the principles of the Atlantic Charter in the nations they had liberated.