Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

and the Fascists and the Spanish were caught in between.

Well, the funny part of that is, first of all, it was exciting experience and then Del Vayo and Negrin gave me those messages to take back to President Roosevelt.

Q:

Did you see Helen Thompson when you came back?

Cerf:

I certainly did. But we began fighting about communism and it began to get rather bitter because she was getting, it seemed to me, more and more leftist and I was getting more and more concerned about my involvement. I think the end came when I discovered that she was being used to win me over to the Communist cause because, after all, I was a young publisher. Furthermore, the United States Government had arranged an exhibition of books in Madrid, and I thought that this was a disgrace. This was definitely coming out on Franco's side. I refused to send Random House books to this exhibition. I was the only publisher that did. It was the United States Government that was arranging this exhibition and I thought it was shameful. I then discovered that I was a hero in the Communist newspaper and then I was terrified. I didn't want to be a high hero, and I was certainly anti-Communist. I was proRepublican Spain. When the Communists made me a hero; I was absolutely outraged and blamed it, possibly unfairly, on Helen Thompson. I discovered that a lot of the men that she had introduced me to were desperately trying to get me lined up on their side. It would have been to their great advantage



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