“A blot upon liberty”: McCarthyism, Dr Barsky and the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee

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Deery, Phillip (2009) “A blot upon liberty”: McCarthyism, Dr Barsky and the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. American Communist History, 8 (2). pp. 167-196. ISSN 1474-3892


The aim of this paper is to use the assault on the JAFRC, and Barsky’s individual story within that, to illuminate the mechanisms of political repression during the early Cold War. The JAFRC was the first to be subpoenaed by HUAC, the first to challenge its legitimacy, and the first to set the pattern for Cold War inquisitions. In 1950, after three years of unsuccessful legal appeals, the Committee’s entire Executive Board was jailed. Barsky received the most severe sentence. It was the biggest single incarceration of political prisoners in America during the early Cold War. Upon release, Barsky lost his right to practise medicine. By early 1955, the JAFRC had dissolved: like Barsky’s career, it had been crippled by McCarthyism.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15464
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14743890903335948
Subjects Historical > SEO Classification > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > RFCD Classification > 430000 History and Archaeology
Keywords JAFRC, repression, cold war
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