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Chapter 30: The Second Trial - Introduction

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Manage episode 318056688 series 2943846
Indhold leveret af John W. Berresford. Alt podcastindhold inklusive episoder, grafik og podcastbeskrivelser uploades og leveres direkte af John W. Berresford eller deres podcastplatformspartner. Hvis du mener, at nogen bruger dit ophavsretligt beskyttede værk uden din tilladelse, kan du følge processen beskrevet her https://da.player.fm/legal.

Hede Hassing, a key witness in the 2nd trial

The second trial: new Judge (an elderly Republican), a new jury (seven women!), a new lawyer for Hiss (Boston’s distinguished, quiet Claude Cross), a new strategy by each side, and a lot more witnesses. The next three Podcasts bring you three witnesses who did not testify at the first trial, but did at the second. One journalist wrote that the minor characters in this Case contained the raw material for a shelf of unwritten novels. You’ve already met Julian Wadleigh. Now meet Hede Massing, a Viennese actress, thrice married and twice divorced, and secret Communist operative (like her first two husbands) in four countries. She testifies that she saw Alger Hiss (and even had a memorable chat with him) in Washington’s Soviet underground in the mid-1930s. The FBI document expert Feehan gave expert corroboration for Chamber’s accusations. If you believe Massing, she gives Chambers eyewitness corroboration. But she may have been weakened by Claude Cross’s cross-examination, which left her “visibly flustered.”(Alistair Cooke wrote at 292.) FURTHER RESEARCH: Massing’s autobiography, “This Deception,” published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce in New York in 1951, is available on Amazon and eBay. She describes her encounter with Hiss at pages 173-75. Massing led a life of adventure, and paid the price. Much of her secret life was incredibly boring, establishing new identities in place after place and then waiting weeks or months for a real assignment. Her earlier testimony to The Grand Jury also makes clear the painful psychological struggles facing ex-Communist spies in the West. There is the obvious guilt about having betrayed your country to serve another country that turned out to be worse than you dreamed possible. There is also damage done to others. Massing told The Grand Jury how she recruited a State Department economist to spy for the Soviet Union. In 1948, the economist had just skipped over to the other side of The Iron Curtain and spent the rest of his life there. Massing, in front of The Grand Jury, suddenly broke down crying and asked for a glass of water and a recess. Later, she explained that she felt personally responsible for the economist’s ruined life. (I think she was being too hard on herself. What he did was his responsibility.) She also begged the U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep her identity and testimony secret, for two reasons. First, she and her husband had found jobs but had not disclosed their past crimes, and she was terrified that they would be exposed and become unemployable. Second — and this is something several former Soviet operatives corroborated — she said that when you have lived for years under false names, sleeping by day and working by night, moving from country to country and city to city at the KGB’s whim, “it takes all your gumption and guts to try to live an average life as I am trying to do.” (Grand Jury Transcript at 3697-98.). Being a secret agent, in reality, is not like the James Bond movies. Questions: Judge Kaufman excluded Massing’s testimony at the first trial. Judge Goddard allowed it at the second. Was one Judge clearly right and the other clearly wrong? Do you think Massing helped The Prosecution on the whole, or was she too damaged on cross-examination? Does the sudden flight of the State Department economist lend credibility to her story? As you hear more about how the second trial differed from the first, ask yourself what caused the different verdict at the latter. There are many possible explanations. The Cold War had gotten substantially colder by the second trial. Hiss chose a new lawyer, whom few would say was the equal of Lloyd Paul Stryker. Prosecutor Murphy was trying the case for a second time and did much better than at the first. There were the three new witnesses (and more testimony allowed by the repeat witnesses). The Judge was a Republican appointee. There were more women on the second jury. Take your pick.
  continue reading

38 episoder

Artwork
iconDel
 
Manage episode 318056688 series 2943846
Indhold leveret af John W. Berresford. Alt podcastindhold inklusive episoder, grafik og podcastbeskrivelser uploades og leveres direkte af John W. Berresford eller deres podcastplatformspartner. Hvis du mener, at nogen bruger dit ophavsretligt beskyttede værk uden din tilladelse, kan du følge processen beskrevet her https://da.player.fm/legal.

Hede Hassing, a key witness in the 2nd trial

The second trial: new Judge (an elderly Republican), a new jury (seven women!), a new lawyer for Hiss (Boston’s distinguished, quiet Claude Cross), a new strategy by each side, and a lot more witnesses. The next three Podcasts bring you three witnesses who did not testify at the first trial, but did at the second. One journalist wrote that the minor characters in this Case contained the raw material for a shelf of unwritten novels. You’ve already met Julian Wadleigh. Now meet Hede Massing, a Viennese actress, thrice married and twice divorced, and secret Communist operative (like her first two husbands) in four countries. She testifies that she saw Alger Hiss (and even had a memorable chat with him) in Washington’s Soviet underground in the mid-1930s. The FBI document expert Feehan gave expert corroboration for Chamber’s accusations. If you believe Massing, she gives Chambers eyewitness corroboration. But she may have been weakened by Claude Cross’s cross-examination, which left her “visibly flustered.”(Alistair Cooke wrote at 292.) FURTHER RESEARCH: Massing’s autobiography, “This Deception,” published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce in New York in 1951, is available on Amazon and eBay. She describes her encounter with Hiss at pages 173-75. Massing led a life of adventure, and paid the price. Much of her secret life was incredibly boring, establishing new identities in place after place and then waiting weeks or months for a real assignment. Her earlier testimony to The Grand Jury also makes clear the painful psychological struggles facing ex-Communist spies in the West. There is the obvious guilt about having betrayed your country to serve another country that turned out to be worse than you dreamed possible. There is also damage done to others. Massing told The Grand Jury how she recruited a State Department economist to spy for the Soviet Union. In 1948, the economist had just skipped over to the other side of The Iron Curtain and spent the rest of his life there. Massing, in front of The Grand Jury, suddenly broke down crying and asked for a glass of water and a recess. Later, she explained that she felt personally responsible for the economist’s ruined life. (I think she was being too hard on herself. What he did was his responsibility.) She also begged the U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep her identity and testimony secret, for two reasons. First, she and her husband had found jobs but had not disclosed their past crimes, and she was terrified that they would be exposed and become unemployable. Second — and this is something several former Soviet operatives corroborated — she said that when you have lived for years under false names, sleeping by day and working by night, moving from country to country and city to city at the KGB’s whim, “it takes all your gumption and guts to try to live an average life as I am trying to do.” (Grand Jury Transcript at 3697-98.). Being a secret agent, in reality, is not like the James Bond movies. Questions: Judge Kaufman excluded Massing’s testimony at the first trial. Judge Goddard allowed it at the second. Was one Judge clearly right and the other clearly wrong? Do you think Massing helped The Prosecution on the whole, or was she too damaged on cross-examination? Does the sudden flight of the State Department economist lend credibility to her story? As you hear more about how the second trial differed from the first, ask yourself what caused the different verdict at the latter. There are many possible explanations. The Cold War had gotten substantially colder by the second trial. Hiss chose a new lawyer, whom few would say was the equal of Lloyd Paul Stryker. Prosecutor Murphy was trying the case for a second time and did much better than at the first. There were the three new witnesses (and more testimony allowed by the repeat witnesses). The Judge was a Republican appointee. There were more women on the second jury. Take your pick.
  continue reading

38 episoder

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