Communist front

A Communist front organization is an organization alleged to be a front organization under the effective control of a Communist party, the Communist International or other Communist organizations.[1] Lenin originated the idea in his manifesto of 1902, "What Is to Be Done?". Since the party was illegal in Russia, he proposed to reach the masses through "a large number of other organizations intended for wide membership and, which, therefore, can be as loose and as public as possible,"[2] Generally called "mass organizations" by the Communists themselves[3], these groups were prevalent from the 1920s through the 1950s, with their use accelerating during the Popular Front period of the 1930s. The term has also been used to refer to organizations not originally Communist-controlled which after a time became so, such as the American Student Union. The term was especially used by anti-communists during the cold war.



As Service (2007) shows, the Comintern, under the leadership of Grigory Zinoviev in the Kremlin, established fronts in many countries in the 1920s and after.[4] To coordinate their activities the Comintern set up various international umbrella organizations (linking groups across national borders), such as the Young Communist International (youth), Profintern (trade unions)[5], Krestintern (peasants), International Red Aid (humanitarian aid), Sportintern (organized sports), etc. In Europe, front organizations were especially influential in Italy[6] and France, which in 1933 became the base for Communist front organizer Willi Münzenberg.[7] These organizations were dissolved the late 1930s or early 1940s.

According to Kennedy (1957), after the war, especially as the Cold War took effect around 1947, the Kremlin set up new international coordination bodies including the World Federation of Democratic Youth, International Union of Students, World Federation of Trade Unions, Women's International Democratic Federation and the World Peace Council. Kennedy says the, "Communist 'front' system included such international organizations as the WFTU, WFDY, IUS, WIDF and WPC, besides a host of lesser bodies bringing journalists, lawyers, scientists, doctors and others into the widespread net."[8]

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was established in 1945 to unite trade union confederations across the world; it was based in Prague. While it had non-Communist unions it was largely dominated by the Soviets. In 1949 the British, American and other non-Communist unions broke away to form the rival International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The labor movement in Europe became so polarized between the Communists unions and the and Social Democratic and Christian labor unions, and front operations could no longer hide the sponsorship and they became less important.[9]

With the end of the Cold War in 1989, and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, funding and support systems collapsed and many front organizations shut down or were exposed. For example, post-Communist Moscow newspapers reported the World Peace Council, based in Helsinki, Finland, had received policy guidance and 90% of its funding from Moscow.[10]


The Pan-Pacific Trade Union Secretariat (PPTUS) was set up in 1927 by the Profintern (the Comintern's trade union arm) with the mission of promoting Communist trade unions in China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and other nations in the western Pacific.[11] Trapeznik (2009) says the PPTUS was a "Communist-front organization" and "engaged in overt and covert political agitation in addition to a number of clandestine activities." [12]

There were numerous Communist front organizations in Asia, many oriented to students and youth.[13]

In Japan in the labor union movement of the 1920s, according to one historian, "The Hyogikai never called itself a communist front but in effect, this was what it was." He points out it was repressed by the government "along with other communist front groups."[14] In the 1950s, Scalapino argues, "The primary Communist-front organization was the Japan Peace Committee." It was founded in 1949.[15]

Latin America

Poppino argued that the effectiveness of Communist propaganda in Latin America "depends largely on the existence of a wide range of interlocking front groups that supplement and draw upon the Communist-led mass organizations."[16]

When nations turned toward the Soviet Union, they typically joined in numerous international front organizations, as Nicaragua did under the Sandinistas in 1983.[17]

West Germany

West Germany (and West Berlin) were centers of East-West conflict during the Cold War, and numerous Communist fronts were established. For example the Society for German-Soviet Friendship (GfDSF) had 13,000 members in West Germany, but it was banned in 1953 by some Länder as a Communist front.[18] The Democratic Cultural League of Germany started off as a series of genuinely pluralistic bodies, but in 1950–51 came under the control of Communists. By 1952 the U.S. Embassy counted 54 'infiltrated organizations', which started independently, as well as 155 'front organizations', which had been Communist inspired from their start.[19]

The Association of the Victims of the Nazi Regime was set up to rally West Germans under the antifascist banner, but had to be dissolved when Moscow discovered it had been infiltrated by "Zionist agents".[20]


Davidson argues that in Australia with the onset of the Great Depression, "Support for Communist front organizations increased."[21] Examples include the Movement Against War and Fascism and the Australian Writers' League.

British intelligence infiltrated several Communist fronts in Australia, looking for organized efforts to block Britain's Cold War policies.[22]

United States

During the cold war the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) investigated and listed a number of suspected organizations. In 1955, SSIS published a list of what it described as the 82 most active and typical sponsors of communist fronts in the United States; some of those named had literally dozens of affiliations with groups that had either been cited as Communist fronts or had been labelled "subversive" by either the subcommittee or the House Committee on Un-American Activities.[23]

Schrecker says that anti-Communist leaders believed that the Party used front groups to attract "fellow travelers," who were "unsuspecting liberals and well-meaning dupes drawn into the Communist orbit without realizing that the party was using them for its own purposes." Schrecker says that on the contrary, "most of these people knowingly collaborated with the party, believing it to be the most effective ally they could find."[24] Theodore Draper asks, "To what extent was it possible, at least in the nineteen-twenties, to belong to a Communist front without being a Communist sympathizer?" His answer is that, "Only the most naive could have belonged to a front for any considerable length of time without realizing its political coloration. The top leaders of the early fronts were not merely Communists; they were top-ranking Communists."[25]

American Peace Mobilization

After the Stalin-Hitler Pact was signed in 1939, the Communists established the American Peace Mobilization, a front group as an advocate of peace which opposed Lend Lease aid to Britain and picketed the White House.[26] It rapidly switched positions after the German invasion in June 1941 and transmogrified itself into a patriotic organization supporting the war, American Peoples Mobilization.[27]

New Theatre League

Mally shows how Soviet cultural values were transmitted to the United States by front organizations and how important Russian models were in shaping cultural activities in the 1930s. The American Workers' Theatre League (often called the "New Theatre League") was a conduit for new Russian ideas incorporating political positions on stage. The League became less militant by the mid-1930s, bringing it into conflict with both the Comintern in Moscow and the Communist Party USA, but its advocacy of Soviet aesthetic ideas had a lasting impact on American theater.[28]


Radosh and Radosh explore the Communist Party's influence in Hollywood during the 1930s-1950s to stress the CPUSA policy of secret membership and control of front organizations that fostered an allegiance to Soviet communism in Hollywood. They argue that the Party had at its peak about 300 members, and thousands of sympathizers who were active in numerous front groups controlled by the Party.[29]

Attorney General list of alleged Communist fronts, 1948

Starting in 1939, Attorney General Biddle began compiling a list of Fascist and Communist front organizations. It was called "Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations" (AGLOSO), but was not at first made public.[30] Political pressures from Congress forced President Harry S. Truman to act.[31] Truman's Attorney General Tom C. Clark expanded the list, which was officially authorized by presidential Executive Order 9835 in 1947 and was administered by the new Loyalty Review Board. The Board became part of the Civil Service Commission.[32] The list was used by federal agencies to screen appointments during the Truman Administration. The program investigated over 3 million government employees, of whom 300 were dismissed as security risks. Adverse decisions could be appealed to the Loyalty Review Board, a government agency set up by President Truman.[33][34]

The Loyalty Review Board publicized the previously secret Attorney General's list in March 1948 as a "List of Communist classified organizations." The list gave the name and date founded, and (for active groups) the headquarters, and chief officers.[35]

  • World Federation
  • Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians, CIO, Chairman: L.A. Berne, Deputy Chairmen: Marcel E. Scherer; 1928
  • International Workers Order, 80 Fifth Avenue, New York; Chairman: W. Weiner, Attorney J. Brodsky; 1930
  • International Jurist Association, 1931
  • Methodist Federation for Social Service, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York; Bishop F.J. McConnell
  • American League Against War and Fascism, 1933; became the American League for Peace and Democracy, 1937
  • Friends of the Soviet Union
  • International Labor Defense, 112 East Nineteenth Street, New York; Chairman: Vito Marcantonio, J. Brodsky
  • Young Communist League, USA (YCL-USA) , 464 Sixth Avenue, New York; Carl Ross, Celeste Srack, Angelo Herndon.
  • American Youth Congress, 55 West Forty-second Street, New York (organized from the Young Communist League ), chairmen: W. Hinckley, Joseph P. Lash; 1934
  • League of American Writers, 1935
  • American Labor Party, 1936
  • National Negro Congress*, 35 East Twelfth Street, New York; Chairman: A.P. Randolph, J.W. Ford, A. Herndon, J.P. Davis; 1936
  • National Lawyers Guild, 31 Union Square, New York; 1937
  • International Coordinating Committee for Aid to Republican Spain
  • North American Committee to Aid Spanish Dmeocracy
  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade, George Washington Battalion and other affiliates, 1937-38;
  • American Congress for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom, 1939
  • International Red Aid
  • International Federation for Constitutional Liberties
  • American Peace Mobilization, 1940; became the American People's Mobilization
  • Washington Bookshop
  • National Federation for Constitutional Liberties
  • Washington Committee for Democratic Action
  • Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee
  • National Council for American-Soviet Friendship[36]
  • American Committee for Yugoslav Relief
  • American Relief for Greek Democracy
  • Russian War Relief
  • American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, 100 Fifth Ave., New York; Chairman: Rev. Hermann F. Reissig, Charles Right, Carol White King.[37]
  • Civil Rights Congress and its affiliated organizations including: Civil Rights Congress for Texas, Veterans Against Discriminations of Civil Rights Congress of New York
  • International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers
  • Labor Research Association Inc.
  • Labor Youth League
  • International Workers Organization, its subdivisions, subsidiaries and affiliates
  • Council on African Affairs;
  • Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy
  • California Labor School Inc., 321 Dvisadero Street, San Francisco, California
  • American Peace Crusade
  • National Negro Labor Council
  • United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America
  • Congress of American-Soviet Friendship
  • Washington Committee for Aid to China
  • United China Relief
  • American-Russian Institute
  • Communist Political Association
  • Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  • League of Women Shoppers, 220 Fifth Avenue, New York; E. Preston (Mrs. R.N. Baldwin), M. Forsyth

Attorney General's list issued in 1955

Attorney General's consolidated list November 1, 1955, includes also wartime German, Japanese, and Italian influenced organizations as well as white nationalist groups:[38]

  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  • Abraham Lincoln School, Chicago, 111.
  • Action Committee To Free Spain Now
  • Alabama People's Educational Association (See Communist Political Association.)
  • American Association for Reconstruction in Yugoslavia, Inc.
  • American Branch of the Federation of Greek Maritime Unions
  • American Christian Nationalist Party
  • American Committee for European Workers' Relief (See Socialist Workers Party.)
  • American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
  • American Committee for Spanish Freedom
  • American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidjan, Inc.
  • American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, Inc.
  • American Committee to Survey Labor Conditions in Europe
  • American Council for a Democratic Greece, formerly known as the Greek American Council; Greek American Committee for National Unity
  • American Council on Soviet Relations
  • American Croatian Congress
  • American Jewish Labor Council
  • American League Against War and Fascism
  • American League for Peace and Democracy
  • American Lithuanian Workers Literary Association (Also known as Amerikos Lietuviu Darbininku Literatures Draugija.)
  • American National Labor Party
  • American National Socialist League
  • American National Socialist Party
  • American Nationalist Party
  • American Patriots, Inc.
  • American Peace Crusade
  • American Peace Mobilization
  • American Poles for Peace
  • American Polish Labor Council
  • American Polish League
  • American Rescue Ship Mission (A project of the United American Spanish Aid Committee.)
  • American-Russian Fraternal Society
  • American Russian Institute, New York (Also known as the American Russian Institute for Cultural Relations with the Soviet Union.)
  • American Russian Institute, Philadelphia
  • American Russian Institute of San Francisco
  • American Russian Institute of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • American Slav Congress
  • American Women for Peace
  • American Youth Congress
  • American Youth for Democracy
  • Armenian Progressive League of America
  • Associated Klans of America
  • Association of Georgia Klans
  • Association of German Nationals (Reichsdeutsche Vereinigung)
  • Association of Lithuanian Workers (Also known as Lietuviu Darbininku Susivienijimas.)
  • Ausland-Organization der NSDAP, Overseas Branch of Nazi Party
  • Baltimore Forum
  • Benjamin Davis Freedom Committee
  • Black Dragon Society
  • Boston School for Marxist Studies, Boston, Mass.
  • Bridges-Robertson-Schmidt Defense Committee
  • Bulgarian American People's League of the United States of America
  • California Emergency Defense Committee
  • California Labor School, Inc., 321 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Carpatho-Russian People's Society
  • Central Council of American Women of Croatian Descent (Also known as Central
  • Council of American Croatian Women, National Council of Croatian Women)
  • Central Japanese Association (Beikoku Chuo Nipponjin Kai)
  • Central Japanese Association of Southern California
  • Central Organization of the German-American National Alliance (Deutsche-Amerikanische Einheitsfront)
  • Cervantes Fraternal Society
  • China Welfare Appeal, Inc.
  • Chopin Cultural Center
  • Citizens Committee for Harry Bridges
  • Citizens Committee of the Upper West Side (New York City)
  • Citizens Committee to Free Earl Browder
  • Citizens Emergency Defense Conference
  • Citizens Protective League
  • Civil Liberties Sponsoring Committee of Pittsburgh
  • Civil Rights Congress and its affiliated organizations, including:
  • Civil Rights Congress for Texas
  • Veterans Against Discrimination of Civil Rights Congress of New York
  • Civil Rights Congress for Texas (See Civil Rights Congress.)
  • Columbians
  • Comite Coordinador Pro Republica Espanola
  • Comite Pro Derechos Civiles (See Puerto Rican Comite Pro Libertades Civiles.)
  • Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy
  • Committee for Constitutional and Political Freedom
  • Committee for Nationalist Action
  • Committee for Peace and Brotherhood Festival in Philadelphia
  • Committee for the Defense of the Pittsburgh Six
  • Committee for the Negro in the Arts
  • Committee for the Protection of the Bill of Rights
  • Committee for World Youth Friendship and Cultural Exchange
  • Committee To Abolish Discrimination in Maryland (See Congress Against
  • Discrimination; Maryland Congress Against Discrimination; Provisional
  • Committee To Abolish Discrimination in the State of Maryland.)
  • Committee To Aid the Fighting South
  • Committee To Defend Marie Richardson
  • Committee To Defend the Rights and Freedom of Pittsburgh's Political Prisoners
  • Committee To Uphold the Bill of Rights
  • Commonwealth College, Mena, Ark.
  • Communist Party, United States of America, its subdivisions, subsidiaries, and affiliates
  • Communist Political Association, its subdivisions, subsidiaries, and affiliates, including:
  • Alabama People's Educational Association
  • Florida Press and Educational League
  • Oklahoma League for Political Education
  • People's Educational and Press Association of Texas
  • Virginia League for People's Education
  • Congress Against Discrimination (See Committee To Abolish Discrimination in Maryland.)
  • Congress of American Revolutionary Writers
  • Congress of American Women
  • Congress of the Unemployed
  • Connecticut Committee "To Aid Victims of the Smith Act
  • Connecticut State Youth Conference
  • Council for Jobs, Relief, and Housing
  • Council for Pan-American Democracy
  • Council of Greek Americans
  • Council on African Affairs
  • Croatian Benevolent Fraternity
  • Dai Nippon Butoku
  • Daily Worker Press Club
  • Daniels Defense Committee
  • Dante Alighieri Society (between 1935 and 1940)
  • Dennis Defense Committee
  • Detroit Youth Assembly
  • East Bay Peace Committee
  • Elsinore Progressive League
  • Emergency Conference To Save Spanish Refugees (founding body of the North
  • Ameiican Spanish Aid Committee)
  • Everybody's Committee To Outlaw War
  • Families of the Baltimore Smith Act Victims
  • Families of the Smith Act Victims
  • Federation of Italian War Veterans in the U. S. A., Inc. (Associazione Nazionale
  • Combattenti Italiani, Federazione degli Stati Uniti d'Americu)
  • Plnnish-American Mutual Aid Society
  • Florida Press and Education League (See Communist Political Association ) Frederick Douglass Educational Center
  • Freedom Stage, Inc.
  • Friends of the New Germany (Freunde des Neuen Deutschlands)
  • Friends of the Soviet Union
  • Garibaldi American Fraternal Society
  • George Washington Carver School, New York City
  • German-American Bund (Ameiikadeutscher Volksbund) German-American Republican League
  • German-American Vocational League (Deutsche-Ameiikanische Berufsgemeinschaft)
  • Guardian Club
  • Harlem Trade Union Council
  • Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee
  • Heimusha Kai, also known as Nokubei Heieki Gimusha Kai, Zaibel Nihonjin. Heiyaku Gimusha Kai, and Zaibei Heimusha Kai (Japanese Residing' in America Military Conscripts Association)
  • Hellenic-American Brotherhood
  • Hinode Kai (Imperial Japanese Reservists)
  • Hinomaru Kai (Rising Sun Flag Society—a group of Japanese war veterans) Hokubei Zaigo Shoke Dan (North American Reserve Ofhcers Association)
  • Hollywood Writers Mobilization for Defense
  • Hungarian-American Council for Democracy
  • Hungarian Brotherhood
  • Idaho Pension Union
  • Independent Party (Seattle, Wash.). (See Independent People's Party)
  • Independent People's Party. (See Independent Partv.)
  • Independent Sociahst League
  • Industrial Workers of the World
  • International Labor Defense
  • International Workers Order, its subdivisions, subsidiaries and affiliates
  • Japanese Association of America
  • Japanese Overseas Central Society (Kaigai Dobo Chuo Kai)
  • Japanese Overseas Convention, Tokyo, Japan, 1940
  • Japanese Protective Association (recruiting organization)
  • Jefferson School of Social Science, New York City
  • Jewish Culture Society
  • Jewish People's Committee
  • Jewish People's Fraternal Order
  • Jikyoku linkai (The Committee for the Crisis)
  • Johnson-Forest Group. (See Johnsonitcs.)
  • Johnsonites (See Johnson-Forest Group.)
  • Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee
  • Joint Council of Progressive Itahan-Americans, Inc.
  • Joseph Weydemeyer School of Social Science, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Kibei Seinen Kai (Association of United States Citizens of who Japanese Ancestry have returned to America after studving in Japan) Knights of the White Camellia
  • Ku Kiux Klan
  • Kyffhaeuser, also known as Kyffhaeuser League (Kyffhaeuser Bund) Kyffhaeuser
  • Fellowship (Kyffhaeuser Kameradschaft)
  • Kyffhaeuser War Relief (Kyffhaeuser Kriegshilfswerk)
  • Labor Council for Negro Rights
  • Labor Research Association, Inc.
  • Labor Youth League
  • League for Common Sense
  • League of American Writers
  • Lictor Society (Itahan Black Shirts)
  • Macedonian-American People's League
  • Mario Morgantini Circle
  • Maritime Labor Committee to Defend Al Lannon
  • Maryland Congress Against Discrimination (See Committee to Abolish Discrimination in Maryland.)
  • Massachusetts Committee for the Bill of Rights
  • Massachusetts Minute Women for Peace (not connected with the Minute Women of the U. S. A., Inc.)
  • Maurice Braverman Defense Committee.
  • Michigan Civil Rights Federation
  • Michigan Council for Peace
  • Michigan School of Social Science
  • Nanka Teikoku Gunyudan (Imperial Military Friends Group or Southern California War Veterans)
  • National Association of Mexican Americans (Also known as Association Nacional Mexico- Americana.)
  • National Blue Star Mothers of America (Not to be confused with the Blue Star
  • Mothers of America organized in February 1942.)
  • National Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners
  • National Committee to Win Amnesty for Smith Act Victims
  • National Committee to Win the Peace
  • National Conference on American Policy in China and the Far East (a Conference called by the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy.)
  • National Council of Americans of Croatian Descent
  • National Council of American-Soviet Friendship
  • National Federation for Constitutional Liberties
  • National Labor Conference for Peace
  • National Negro Congress
  • National Negro Labor Council
  • Nationalist Action League
  • Nationalist Part}^ of Puerto Rico
  • Nature Friends of America (since 1935)
  • Negro Labor Victory Committee
  • New Committee for Publications
  • Nichibei Kogyo Kaisha (The Great Fujii Theatre)
  • North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy
  • North American Spanish Aid Committee
  • North Philadelphia Forum
  • Northwest Japanese Association
  • Ohio School of Social Sciences
  • Oklahoma Committee to Defend Polical Prisoners
  • Oklahoma League for Political Education. (See Communist Political Association.)
  • Original Southern Klans, Incorporated
  • Pacific Northwest Labor School, Seattle, Washington
  • Palo Alto Peace Club
  • Partido del Pueblo of Panama (operating in the Canal Zone)
  • Peace Information Center
  • Peace Movement of Ethiopia
  • People's Drama, Inc.
  • People's Educational and Press Association of Texas. (See Communist Political Association.)
  • People's Educational Association. (Incorporated under name Los Angeles Educational Association, Inc., also known as People's Educational Center, People's University, People's School.)
  • People's Institute of Applied Religion
  • Peoples Programs (Seattle, Wash,)
  • People's Radio Foundation, Inc.
  • People's Rights Party
  • Philadelphia Labor Committee for Negro Rights
  • Philadelphia School of Social Science and Art
  • Photo League (New York City)
  • Pittsburgh Arts Club
  • Political Prisoners Welfare Committee
  • Polonia Society of the IWO
  • Progressive German-Americans (also known as Progressive German-Americans of Chicago)
  • Proletarian Party of America
  • Protestant War Veterans of the United States, Inc.
  • Provisional Committee of Citizens for Peace, Southwest Area
  • Provisional Committee on Latin American Affairs
  • Provisional Committee to Abolish Discrimination in the State of Maryland. (See Committee to Abolish Discrimination in Maryland.)
  • Puerto Rican Comite Pro Libertades Civiles (CLC) . (See Comite Pro Derechos Civilies.)
  • Puertorriquenos Unidos (Puerto Ricans United)
  • Quad City Committee for Peace
  • Queensbridge Tenants League
  • Revolutionary Workers League
  • Romanian-American Fraternal Society
  • Russian American Society, Inc.
  • Sakura Kai (Patriotic Society, or Cherry Association—composed of veterans of Russo-Japanese War)
  • Samuel Adams School, Boston, Mass.
  • Santa Barbara Peace Forum
  • Schappes Defense Committee
  • Schneiderman-Darcy Defense Committee
  • School of Jewish Studies, New York City
  • Seattle Labor School, Seattle, Wash.
  • Serbian-American Franternal Society
  • Serbian Vidovdan Council
  • Shinto Temples. (Limited to State Shinto abolished in 1945.)
  • Silver Shirt Legion of America
  • Slavic Council of Southern California
  • Slovak Workers Society
  • Slovenian-American National Council
  • Socialist Workers Party, including American Committee for European Workers' Relief
  • Socialist Youth League. (See Workers Party.)
  • Sokoku Kai (Fatherland Society)
  • Southern Negro Youth Congress
  • Suiko Sha (Reserve Officers Association, Los Angeles)
  • Svracuse Women for Peace
  • Tom Paine School of Social Science, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Tom Paine School of Westchester, N. Y.
  • Trade Union Committee for Peace. (See Trade Unionists for Peace.)
  • Trade Unionists for Peace. (See Trade Union Committee for Peace.)
  • Tri-State Negro Trade Union Council
  • Ukrainian-American Fraternal Union
  • Union of American Croatians
  • Union of New York Veterans
  • United American Spanish Aid Committee
  • United Committee of Jewish Societies and Landsmanschaft Federations (also known as Coordination Committee of Jewish Landsmanschaften and Fraternal Organizations)
  • United Committee of South Slavic Americans
  • United Defense Council of Southern California 1
  • United Harlem Tenants and Consumers Organization
  • United May Day Committee
  • United Negro and Allied Veterans of America
  • Veterans Against Discrimination of Civil Rights Congress of New \ork. (See Civil Rights Congress.)
  • Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  • Virginia League for People's Education. (See Communist Political Association.)
  • Voice of Freedom Committee
  • Walt Whitman School of Social Science, Newark, N. J.
  • Washington Bookshop Association
  • Washington Committee for Democratic Action
  • Washington Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
  • Washington Commonwealth Federation
  • Washington Pension Union
  • Wisconsin Conference on Social Legislation
  • Workers Alliance (since April 1936)
  • Workers Party, including Socialist Youth League
  • Yiddisher Kultur Farband
  • Young Communist League
  • Yugoslav-American Cooperative Home, Inc.
  • Yugoslav Seamen's Club, Inc.

Alleged CPUSA front organizations, circa 1980

By late Cold War, Richard Felix Staar alleged that Soviet intelligence has infiltrated many peace movements in the West, most importantly, the World Peace Council.[39] In addition to WPC, important communist front organizations included its affiliate the U.S. Peace Council, the World Federation of Trade Unions, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and the International Union of Students.[40] Staar asserted that somewhat less important front organizations included: Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization, Christian Peace Conference, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, International Federation of Resistance Movements, International Institute for Peace, International Organization of Journalists, Women's International Democratic Federation and World Federation of Scientific Workers.[41] Numerous peace conferences, congresses and festivals have been staged with support of those organizations.[42]

See also


  • Federal Register 13, 20 March 1948: Attorney General's List of Communist classified organizations.

Further reading

  • Chafee, Jr., Zechariah. "The Registration of 'Communist-Front' Organizations in the Mundt-Nixon Bill," Harvard Law ReviewVol. 63, No. 8 (Jun., 1950), pp. 1382-1390 in JSTOR
  • Draper, Theodore. American Communism and Soviet Russia (2003)
  • Heale, M. J. American anticommunism: combating the enemy within, 1830-1970 (1990)
  • Klehr, Harvey. The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade Basic Books, 1984.
  • Klehr, Harvey and John Earl Haynes. The American Communist Movement: Storming Heaven Itself (Twayne, 1992).
  • Klehr, Harvey, Kyrill M. Anderson, and John Earl Haynes. The Soviet World of American Communism (Yale University Press, 1998)
  • McMeekin, Sean. The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Münzenberg, Moscow's Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West, 1917-1940 (Yale University Press, 2004)
  • Ottanelli, Fraser M., The Communist Party of the United States: From the Depression to World War II (Rutgers University Press, 1991)
  • Rosswurm, Steve. "Records of the Subversion Activities Control Board, 1950-1972," Journal of American History, March 1991, Vol. 77 Issue 4, pp 1447-1448
  • Schrecker, Ellen. Many Are the Crimes (1999)
  • Schrecker, Ellen. Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History With Documents (2001)
  • Service, Robert. Comrades!: a history of world communism (2007)
  • Sherman, John W. A Communist Front at Mid-Century: The American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, 1933-1959 (2001)

External links and further reading


  1. ^ Sheila Suess Kennedy, Free Expression in America: A Documentary History (Greenwood Press, 1999) pp. 111-122.
  2. ^ Quoted in Theodore Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia (2003) p 172
  3. ^ Donald Hindley, The Communist Party of Indonesia 1951-1963 (1966) p. 56
  4. ^ Robert Service, Comrades!: a history of world communism (2007)
  5. ^ Ian Birchall, "Profintern: Die Rote Gewerkschaftsinternationale 1920–1937," Historical Materialism, 2009, Vol. 17 Issue 4, pp 164-176, review (in English) of a German language study by Reiner Tosstorff.
  6. ^ Joan Urban, Moscow and the Italian Communist Party: from Togliatti to Berlinguer (1986) p. 157
  7. ^ Julian Jackson, The Popular Front in France (1990) p. x
  8. ^ Malcolm Kennedy, History of Communism in East Asia (Praeger Publishers, 1957) p 126
  9. ^ Anthony Carew, "The Schism within the World Federation of Trade Unions: Government and Trade-Union Diplomacy," International Review of Social History, Dec 1984, Vol. 29 Issue 3, pp 297-335
  10. ^ Jan S. Adams, A Foreign Policy in Transition: Moscow's Retreat from Central America and the Caribbean, 1985-1992 (Duke University Press, 1992) pp 69-70
  11. ^ Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism (1996) p 42
  12. ^ Alexander Trapeznik, "'Agents of Moscow' at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Comintern and the Communist Party of New Zealand," Journal of Cold War Studies Volume 11, Number 1, Winter 2009 pp. 124-49 quote on p 144
  13. ^ For listings of front organizations in East Asia see Malcolm Kennedy, History of Communism in East Asia (Praeger Publishers, 1957) pp 118, 127-8, 130, 277, 334, 355, 361-7, 374, 415, 421, 424, 429, 439, 444, 457-8, 470, 482
  14. ^ Stephen S. Large, Organized Workers and Socialist Politics in Interwar Japan (2010) p. 85
  15. ^ Robert A. Scalapino, The Japanese Communist Movement 1920-1967 (1967) p 117
  16. ^ Rollie E. Poppino, International communism in Latin America: a history of the movement, 1917-1963 (Free Press, 1966) p 133
  17. ^ Jan S. Adams, A Foreign Policy in Transition: Moscow's Retreat from Central America and the Caribbean, 1985-1992 (1992) p 109
  18. ^ Patrick Major, The Death of the KPD: Communism and Anti-Communism in West Germany, 1945-1956 (Oxford University Press, 1997) p. 215
  19. ^ Major, The Death of the KPD: Communism and Anti-Communism in West Germany, 1945-1956 pp 217–18
  20. ^ Vojtech Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years (Oxford U.P., 1998) p. 162
  21. ^ Alastair Davidson, The Communist Party of Australia: a short history (1969) p. 46
  22. ^ Richard C. S. Trahair, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations. (Greenwood Press, 2004) p 22
  24. ^ Ellen Schrecker, The age of McCarthyism: a brief history with documents (2002) p 8
  25. ^ Theodore Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia (2003) p. 185
  26. ^ Robert Vaughn, Only victims: a study of show business blacklisting (2004) p 311
  27. ^ "American People's Mobilization Collected Records, 1940-1941". Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Swarthmore College. last updated on June 16, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  28. ^ Lynn Mally, "Inside a Communist Front: A Post-Cold War Analysis of the New Theatre League," American Communist History, June 2007, Vol. 6 Issue 1, pp 65-95
  29. ^ Ronald Radosh and Allis Radosh, Red Star over Hollywood: The Film Colony's Long Romance with the Left (2005)
  30. ^ Robert Justin Goldstein, "Prelude to McCarthyism," Prologue, Fall 2006, Vol. 38 Issue 3, pp 22-33
  31. ^ Francis H. Thompson, The Frustration of Politics: Truman, Congress, and the Loyalty Issue, 1945-1953 (1979)
  32. ^ Henry L. Shattuck, "The Loyalty Review Board Of The U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1947-1953," Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, 1966, Vol. 78, pp 63-80
  33. ^ Robert J. Donovan, Conflict and crisis: the presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948 (1996) p 295
  34. ^ Tim McNeese, The Cold War and Postwar America 1946-1963 (2010) p 63
  35. ^ Federal Register 13, 20 March 1948: Attorney General's List of Communist classified organizations.
  36. ^ See Tamiment archives
  37. ^ John W. Sherman, A Communist Front at Mid-Century: The American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, 1933–1959 (Praeger, 2001)
  39. ^ Richard Felix Staar, Foreign policies of the Soviet Union, Hoover Press, 1991, ISBN 0817991026, p.79, p.84
  40. ^ Richard Felix Staar, Foreign policies of the Soviet Union, Hoover Press, 1991, ISBN 0817991026, p.84
  41. ^ Richard Felix Staar, Foreign policies of the Soviet Union, Hoover Press, 1991, ISBN 0817991026, p.80-81
  42. ^ Richard Felix Staar, Foreign policies of the Soviet Union, Hoover Press, 1991, ISBN 0817991026, p.85

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