Communist infiltration of Hollywood motion-picture industry : hearing before the Committee on Un-American activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-second Congress, first session (1951)

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2336 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY lodges, in political registration with non-Communists for the purpose of influencing? Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Jackson, I am sure that you are correct. I was referring to anti-Communists, not non-Communists. That is, the whole Calverton group were anti-Communists. These were people, as I hope will come out later, who compared me in review of my novel, who compared me with Eugene Lyons and said I am with Eugene Lyons and Max Eastman and all these people. These were not non- Communists. I knew Max Eastman, I never met Eugene Lyons, but you could not persuade Max Eastman about communism. Mr. Jackson. I do not ask that in the spirit of contention. I accept your distinction between anti- and non-Communists. Mr. Blankfort. My first novel, by the way, which was published in 1937 and which was written long before 1937, before I left for Hollywood, was given a very cold treatment in the Communist Party press. My second novel was criticized for treating Fascists as human beings even though wrong—that was the theme of my second novel—that Fascists were human beings, even though what they stood for was wrong. My third novel was savagely denounced as anti-Communist in the New Masses and the Daily Worker. In 1939 or 1940 I wrote a commemorative article in a magazine about V. F. Calverton, whose name was a curse word among Com- munists and the Communist circle. Mr. Tavenner. Let me have the dates of the criticism of the Com- munist Dress of your productions? Mr. Blankfort. 1937, 1939, 1942. I wrote this article in 1939. Mr. Tavenner. That was all after you had left New York and had gone to Hollywood ? Mr. Blaxkfort. But. if I may say so, relevant to the statement that I had told Mr. Budenz that I was being sent to Hollywood to do ob ,; ously Communist Party machinations. Mr. Berkeley, who is present, reminded me this morning that he had b~en instructed to recruit me into the Communist Party, and he tried for 2 years. This would have been—I think he referred to my first appearance in 1937 or 1938, when I first met Mr. Berkeley. Now, if I had been this person that Mr. Budenz describes, the record, my record, subsequent to that I think is relevant. During those years, Mr. Budenz saw and talked to thousands of people. Communists and non-Communists and anti-Communists, and I thmk we would all agree that events and incidents over a 20-year period tend to become confused and jumbled in one's mind. No human memory is so infallible. Mr. Budenz is clearly in error. I repeat, I had no such conversation with him, to the best of my recollection, I never saw him after he became a Communist Party member, and, as I answered your question before, I am not nor have I been a member of the Communist Party. T r»m finished commenting on Mr. Budenz. M>\ Tavenner. You have indicated that your subsequent action was inconsistent with your having been a member of the Communist Party prior to your leaving New York for Hollywood, and certainly inconsistent with your alleged statement to Mr. Budenz of your pur-