Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

of the things that he told us came true later on. There was one fellow that he said was working for a big company. He said that it wasn't fair to tell us who. But he said, “He'll be picked up. He's part of the case.” By god, they arrested him less than a year later. He was working for General Electric. He was a fellow who reproduced some of the papers that Hiss brought home.


It's amazing because here this man appears, to me anyway, to have perhaps changed your view.


Not very much. But I did believe what Chambers said at that time. He summarized, “You know what the trouble with this case is? We're cast wrong. I look like a slob so I should be the villain. Hiss, this handsome man who knew all of the society people, is the born hero. But he's the villain in this story and I'm the hero. It's wrong casting. If it was the other way around, nobody would pay any attention to this story; but because I look like a villain and he looks like a hero, all of you people think I must be the liar and he must be the one that's telling the truth. It's just because he did look that way that he was so valuable to the other side.”

He said, “What I must make clear is that he never did anything really that hurt the United States. He was merely building up the apparatus. The papers that he stole were absolutely worthless. The famous pumpkin papers were nothing. They were used to establish the method by which later on they

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help