Footnote On A Cause Célèbre
To the Editor:
The article in your March issue by Irving Kristol, “‘Civil Liberties,’ 1952—A Study in Confusion,” makes reference to a Mrs. Shura Lewis, whose talk in a Washington high school about Utopian aspects of the Soviet Union aroused some controversy and caused Professor Commager to cite the attacks on Mrs. Lewis as an example of anti-Communist hysteria. Professor Commager is also quoted as saying that Mrs. Lewis “said nothing that any normal person could find objectionable.”
There is no need to discuss whether or not the furor over Mrs. Lewis’s speech imperils civil liberties in America. Mr. Kristol has handled this matter well. I merely want to cite a statement from a report recently published by the Committee on Un-American Activities entitled “The Shameful Years: Thirty Years of Soviet Espionage in the United States.” On page 18, there is a reference to Mrs. Lewis that reads as follows:
Mrs. (Hermann H.) Habicht, since her arrival in the United States, has been an ardent apologist for the Soviet Union and has persistently curried favor with Soviet representatives. . . . Mrs. Habicht also has been closely associated with Shura Lewis, a Russian national in this country through her marriage to an American citizen.
Mrs. Lewis is known to have been in contact with Mr. and Mrs. Vassili Zubilin, both of whom have been identified to the committee as agents of the NKVD. In fact, investigation has disclosed that at the time of the contact Vassili Zubilin was directing NKVD operations in the United States.
Mrs. Lewis also received considerable publicity at a later date when she addressed a high school group in Washington, D.C. and extolled the merits of Soviet Russia as compared to the United States.
New York City