Sunday, November 18, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, July 07, 2018
July 7, 1935: Moscow orders first Communists to Hawaii
By Andrew Walden @ 12:02 AM :: 22752 Views :: Democratic Party, Hawaii History, Labor

by Andrew Walden (Orig. published 3-8-09)

When the USSR collapsed in 1991, long-secret archives of the Communist International were thrown open to western researchers for the first time.  Many previously unknown details of communist history have been revealed--including the 1935 Comintern orders directing Communists to begin work in Hawaii.  These were uncovered by veteran researcher Herbert Romerstein in Moscow. 

The transcription is below, the pdf of the original as recovered is HERE (p 35-36).

Many of the names of the Comintern’s "Anglo-American Secretariat" members meeting about Hawaii on February 17, 1935 are aliases of British, Russian, and other European communists. Some are unidentifiable. But one, “Sherman”, was much closer to Hawaii and in a position to begin carrying out the Comintern dictates contained in this document.

Romerstein, author of The Venona Secrets, describes “Sherman” as: “William Schneiderman, who, in the 1930s, was an agent of the Soviet foreign spy agency NKVD, code-named “Nat” (Venona transcripts), with an alias of “Sherman.” He was later made head of the Communist Party of California, where he would come into contact with individuals as significant as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the chief scientist at the Manhattan Project. (Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, The Venona Secrets, Washington, DC: Regnery, 2000, pp. 258-68.)

The Comintern's February, 1935 discussion was followed by a July 7, 1935 “Letter to the CPUSA on Hawaii.”  That led to quick action on the part of American communists.  Bob Krauss, in his book, “Johnny Wilson, First Hawaiian Democrat” (p 170) writes:

On the Honolulu docks, a tough little German-Hawaiian from Kalihi, Maxie Weisbarth, spoke for seamen as business agent for the Sailor’s Union of the Pacific. A six-page, free-swinging, semi-weekly newspaper called the Voice of Labor began publication on November 4, 1935.

One week before this date, a rawboned young seaman named Jack Hall landed in Honolulu from the Mariposa to begin a career as a union organizer that would make him the most powerful labor leader in Hawaii. He eked out a living on less that $20 a week working for Weisbarth distributing pamphlets….

Communist infiltration of labor unions apparently did not worry Johnny (Wilson), although Hall’s friends said Hall read nothing but Communist literature. Johnny said later, “I knew as far back as 1936 that there were Communists here in Hawaii….”

It was 3 ½ months from issuance of the Comintern’s “Letter to the CPUSA on Hawaii” to the arrival of Jack Hall in Honolulu.  Koji Aiyoshi, who would go on to assist Mao Zedong as a spy in China during WW2, describes in his memoir “From Kona to Yenan” (p27), the beginnings of his recruitment to communism (without acknowledging it as such) in 1936 Honolulu.

Also of interest, the 1951 Congressional testimony of former ILWU Communist Jack Kawano, describing the earliest communist arrivals in Hawaii. All arrived in late 1935 and early 1936 shortly after the Comintern orders were given.

Hall would eventually lead the ILWU which was controlled by the Communist Party and which would in turn control the Democratic Party. Ariyoshi would edit the ILWU’s communist-line Honolulu Record from 1948-58. Both Hall and Ariyoshi would be among the 1953 “Honolulu Seven” Smith Act defendants.  In 1948 Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis would arrive from Chicago and become a Honolulu Record columnist under Ariyoshi.  Davis would from 1970-79 become a mentor to the young Barack Obama.

In 1954 the Democrats took control of the Territorial Legislature. Between the 1950 beginning of the Korean War and 1959 Statehood, most Hawaii Communists would leave the Party, but not necessarily leave behind Stalinist organizational methods or socialist economic ideas.

As Hawaii’s first elected Democrat State Governor Jack Burns would point out later:

“Every guy in the ILWU was at one time or another a member of the Communist Party of America.  This is where they got their organizational information and how to organize, and how to bring groups together and how to create cells and how to make movements that are undetected by the bosses and everything else…I know what they were about.  I said this was the only way they are going to organize.”

The document is transcribed below. Embedded links have been inserted to provide more information about organizations and individuals named in the document. Sections in [brackets] are not visible on the original and a presumed text has been inserted when possible based on context and spacing.

See pdf of original document (pp 35-36).

*****  

XXX
K/2.
CONFIDENTIAL.
No.6.

MEETING OF BUREAU, ANGLO-AMERICAN SECRETARIAT,
February 17, 1935.
Present: McIlhone (chair), Mehring, Flake, Naumann, Brown, Sherman, Levine, Bergmann, Massie, Gray, Porter, Andrews, Brigadier, Riley, Ahnstrom, Billett, Mingulin.

QUESTIONS DISCUSSED:
1. Hawaiian question.
Reporter: Flake.
Speakers: Shermann, Nehring, Mingulin, Naumann.
DECISIONS:
1. To discuss the question with the American and Japanese comrades. To draw up a document which analysis the situation and the revolutionary tasks in Hawaii.
Responsible: Commissor composed of comrades Flake, Mingulin, Porter, Sherman, representative of Eastern Secretariat.
Responsible for Commission: Com. Sherman.
Signed,
(Illegible)

  *   *   *   *   * 

July 7, 1935
LETTER TO THE CPUSA ON HAWAII

The growing discontent of the masses of the population in the Hawaiian Islands with the regime of colonial oppression and the exploitation of American imperialism with its policy of militarization of the Hawaiian Islands makes it essential for the CP USA to give every possible assistance to the development of the mass revolutionary movement in Hawaii, so that the foundations will be laid for the formation off a Communist party as the leader of the emancipation movement in Hawaii. Due to the altogether insufficient information at present available, it is not possible at present to completely formulate all of the tasks of the revolutionary movement, which further investigation and discussion of this question should be conducted by the American Party. 

The political slogans of the Hawaiian revolutionary movement should be based on the developing of the agrarian, anti-imperialist revolution, the struggle against the yoke of American imperialism, and the bourgeois landlord system, and for a workers’ and farmers’ republic. Although the slogans of the national liberation struggle cannot be exactly predetermined and will have to grow out of the creation and development of the national liberation movement itself, it is the first and foremost task of the American party to assist this process and raise the slogan of “Right of Self-determination of the Peoples of Hawaii, up to the Point of Separation”, to demand the withdrawal of the US armed forces, and to expose the policy of the militarization of Hawaii as part of the war plans of American imperialism. 

The CP USA should discuss with the Hawaiian comrades what are the basic tasks of the agrarian anti-imperialist revolution, especially the solution of the land question, which, according to the material available, presents itself as the task of destroying the semi-feudal remnants, the confiscation of the big plantations which predominate in Hawaii (and are mainly owned by foreign imperialists), and the division of the land among the people.

In addition to the main political slogans of the national liberation struggle, the Hawaiian revolutionary movement should consider raising the following immediate partial demands, the struggle for which should receive the full support of the CP USA:

1) Full democratic rights for the people -- against the terror; freedom of speech, press, assembly, and the right to organize and strike; full electoral rights [for] the disenfranchised masses and the American soldiers and sailors.
2) Equal rights for all [nationalities and an end to] discrimination against the coloured people (Hawaiian, [Japanese], Filipino, etc.)
3) Eight hour day for industrial and agricultural workers
4) Abolition of the con.. .. ..labour.
5) Establishment of a .. .. ..ay for
.... the coloured .. .. ..
6) [Une]mployment and .. .. ..
7) Cancellation of [the debts of small farmers] and sharecroppers.
8) Reduction or can[-cellation of re-]nt for small farmers and share-croppers.
The CP USA should [make a prior]ity of establishing a central newspaper (by [combining] the central organs publish by various groups, or making one [of the existing newspapers into the] central organ),

[balance of document was not retrieved]  

  *   *    *   *   * 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Copenull

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT