DECEMBER 19, 1953
NEW YORK, Friday—I am sure that many people have read with as much regret as I did of the death of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Her novels have brought so many people pleasure that it is a real sorrow to us to think that nothing more will come from her pen to delight us in the future.
The field of literature has sustained several losses lately in the deaths of Dylan Thomas and Eugene O'Neill. All of them lived long enough, however, to leave behind some books which will remain a constant heritage to the English-speaking world.
I read with great interest a headline in the paper which said "Roosevelt Called Boss of Browder." For a minute it startled me and I wondered what this new accusation against my husband was going to be. Then I read the first paragraph which said that an ex-Communist, John Lautner, had testified that he had been told by a woman party leader (I suppose that means a Communist Party leader) that Earl Browder, as head of the Communist Party in the United States, I presume, took orders from President Roosevelt and his Cabinet during World War II.
Of course it is more than likely that the Communist Party after Russia came into the war had orders from Russia to cooperate in whatever the President or the Cabinet agreed on as policy, since Russia's survival depended on her allies in World War II. But to suggest that orders were given directly from the President or the Cabinet, or even from the Army, to the Communist Party is quite ridiculous.
We seem to have forgotten that Russia collaborated with the Germans and then in an historic about-face became our ally when Germany invaded the Russian territory. During the rest of the war Russia was the ally of the free world. In France those who worked underground against the Germans were joined by the Communists. The Communists in every free country joined with those who were defending their freedom against the Germans and Italians who were the Fascists of that day.
The defense of Stalingrad was a brilliant and courageous defense and probably the turning point of the war. Had Stalingrad fallen, it might have been difficult to defeat the Germans.
We cannot afford to forget these facts of history in the past for if we do, perfectly obvious things that happened may be twisted and turned to do harm to innocent people. Without question the President never gave "orders" to Browder, but without question, too, Browder undoubtedly followed orders laid down by the President and by our government during World War II.
It was certainly a disservice to our country to try to cast a suspicion on the loyalty of President Truman and I think it is an equal disservice to our country to drag up dead men who cannot speak for themselves and insinuate things you would be likely to believe if you did not remember what the facts and the situations of the years gone by actually were.