0184_Whittaker Chambers_1948 witness in the case of Alger Hiss (a Soviet Espionage Agent)

Donna Jack
February 25, 2017

The following blog piece is about a man who was a witness in 1948.  This witness testified that one of the better-known, better-loved and respected men in our country, who was working high in our government, was a Soviet espionage agent.  The man he witnessed about, was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations, and was instrumental in China becoming Communist.  He was the first Secretary General of the UN.

How did “this man” become a witness against the Soviet espionage agent?

“This man” is Whittaker Chambers.  He was born 1901, into an educated, middle-class, New York family.  He was a gentle man who never wanted to hurt anyone.

As he was growing up, he witnessed the collapse of his own family.  In 1920-1921 there was a depression, and it seemed to him that the economy of the United States was about to crumble.

When he went to college at Columbia shortly after WWI, he entered as a conservative in his lifestyles and his politics.  At that time he was also having a religious experience.   When he first left Columbia, he was no longer conservative, and had no religion.  He later returned to Columbia for a while, and when he finally left Columbia in 1925, he did so to join the Communist party.

By the time he joined the Communist party, he had already searched and studied thoroughly.  He had previously written an atheist play that caught the eye of the Communist party.  When he joined the Communists, he was convinced that he was leaving the losing side to join the winners.  He was convinced that American Capitalism was going to fail.  He believed the only hope for a good society to emerge was offered by the Communist party.  He could find no other philosophy that offered what he believed the Communist party had to offer.

Communism appeared to be the only hope for the collapsing world

— Because of his strong faith that Communism was the only hope for our country, and for the world

— And because of his high intelligence, hard work and loyalty

He was chosen by Moscow, to move into the 3rd International (Marx had set up the 1st International).  This international Soviet Communist party was headquartered in Moscow.  All other Communist parties were under the International Soviet Party in Moscow.

Whittaker Chambers was promoted to be a courier for the Soviets, to relay information from the USA to people who would send it to Moscow.  He worked to speed up the approaching victory of world Communism.

After becoming a top Soviet espionage agent, placed over the many soviet agents who had been put into high U.S. government positions, he and his wife became close friend with Alger Hiss and his wife.  Hiss was a Soviet espionage agent.

Second thoughts

Communists are atheists.  That’s just one of the first requirements necessary to become a Communist.  There must be no belief in God, but belief that man is his own god.

One day as Whittaker Chambers looked at the ear of his little child, a thought went through his mind that the ear was intricately designed.  That logically would lead to the fact of a creator.  The thought that the ear didn’t happen by chance, had to be suppressed – but the thought didn’t really go away.

Then he heard the scream.  He said that every Communist eventually hears the scream.  It is the scream of those tortured and killed by the Communists.

The purges of Stalin were too much for him.  He could not justify all the murders.

Whittaker Chambers began to see that it was all a lie

Whittaker Chambers had come to realize that the Communist “solution” was a process that repeatedly used mass-slaughter, and slavery — it would not lead to a dictatorship that would do or produce good.

Though at first he saw Communism as the utopian answer to the shortcomings of the United States — and was promoted from the Communist Party USA to become a Soviet International espionage agent — he eventually realized the inhumanity of the entire system.  Whenever fellow spies disappeared, or committed suicide, etc., he and everybody else in the party knew they had been murdered by the party.  The entire structure was built on fear of discovery, and death.  Nobody escaped with their lives — at least almost nobody.

Never a vengeful thought

Through all this, Whittaker Chambers never wanted to hurt anyone, not even those who wanted to kill him after he defected from Communism.  He continued to remain loyal in his heart, to his friends.

At first, after his defection, he was being tracked down to be murdered — later Communists and Communist sympathizers sought to destroy him and his family’s livelihood and reputations.

Through all the persecution, Mr. Chambers did not make snap judgments, or condemn other humans.  He remained a truly kind and forgiving man.

In his autobiography Witness, he spends a lot of time trying to communicate why people become Communists, why they defect, and why some stay faithful to Communism.  In his autobiography, much can be learned about the motivations and beliefs of Communists.  He explains it all with compassion, loyalty and respect.

Whittaker Chambers’ life is in stark contrast with today’s scene
filled with judgment and hatred

Whittaker Chambers’ life is in stark contrast to what we are observing today across this nation.  In fact, in his own time, his life was in stark contrast to many people.

No matter what the political or religious background of people today,  sadly people  often make snap judgments against others based on hearsay, or “evidence” that is not evidence at all.

Whittaker Chambers is a model worth following.  With all the first-hand knowledge he had about people, he never wanted to hurt one person.

Whittaker Chambers had to speak up

As Whittaker Chambers witnessed the damage being done by Alger Hiss, he realized that he had to speak up.  It was torturous for him to think of speaking up, but he realized his silence was making him an accomplice in the crimes of treason against our country.

Even at the brink of revealing Alger Hiss by name as a Soviet espionage agent, Whittaker Chambers almost backed down, because he didn’t want to hurt his friend Alger Hiss.  Circumstances ended up giving Whittaker Chambers no choice.

In the early 1950s (a few years after the close of the Chambers/Hiss trials),
Joseph McCarthy had received from different sources,
documents stating numbers of Communists spies in U.S. government positions,
— these people were giving U.S. secret information to the Soviets.

At that time the names of the guilty parties were classified, and withheld from the public.

Whittaker Chambers was able to reveal many agents by name, because he knew them personally.

But Joseph McCarthy didn’t have the luxury of  names.  He just had documents with numbers of Communist infiltrators.  The American press, news outlets, and groups called him a liar, and said he totally fabricated the accusations.

The Venona Cables – decryption of espionage cables made public in 1995

M Stanton Evans’ book Blacklisted by History, published in 2007, shares evidence that was not available in the 1940s — the Venona cables.  The decrypted cables, released in 1995,  proved the accuracy of the accusations of Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, Joseph McCarthy, and others.

About the same time decrypted Venona cables were made public, Soviet archives were being opened in countries that had been freed from the Soviets.  There was a flood of information verifying the great infiltration of Soviets into our government and other parts of our country.

It is now known that there were in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, a lot of Communists, including espionage agents, both active and inactive, working into high political positions in our country…and there still are Communists in high positions in our government.

But where?

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