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Session:         Page of 592

Q:

It was not destroyed, apparently, by the Nazi-Soviet Pact, because, you know, in a lot of the histories, the intellectuals left in droves at that time.

Foner:

Some stayed. Remember, some of the far left people stayed, in the theater, in the movies, John Howard Lawson, you know, The Hollywood Ten, they went through the Pact in that period. As a matter of fact, later on, I'm at the department store union, and the department store union at Locals 1250 and 5 are under heavy attack. This is the McCarthy period. It's still going on, Local 65, with its tentacles always looking to take in, absorb, and later on, 1250 and 5 and Local 2, agree to become part of 65.

Q:

Let's get our chronology straight. When exactly does that happen? Can you try to pinpoint it?

Foner:

Maybe '50, '51, '52.

Q:

65 is also outside of the CIO?

Foner:

65 is outside, yes. It's outside, but functioning. It's the bastion for the left. This is a period when there are young people are working in the shops, and they live in New York City, and the building is like a home. The building's got a consumers service, you know, where you can buy and shop. It's got everything in there. It's got classes, it's got all kinds of things going on.

Q:

Stop for one second. During this period, you went to work -- we should pinpoint it later on -- '46 or '47, and were there other things? I mean, that department store local must have had tremendous resources to put on a play like --

Foner:

It didn't have resources.

Q:

How did you do it?

Foner:

We did it. Remember, you had a headquarters, so you rehearsed. You had a lot of people volunteering. We signed contracts with the director, 250 dollars. They rehearsed for like four months, first to cast the show, then to rehearse the show, I mean, to do the show. I remember one of the things that struck me, 65 was very, very jealous all the time of anything that was not 65. It was like not made in America, they were very critical of. They reviewed “Thursdays ‘Til Nine,” and Irving Baldinger, the editor, reviewed it under a different name. I didn't know at the time. Whereas everybody was excited about the show, 65 gave it sort of a standoffish kind of review because they weren't doing it.



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