Thank-You Senator McCarthy


Yes, I don’t think many people feel ready to thank Senator McCarthy and HUAC (The House Committee for Un-American Activities) but I do owe him a debt. Had he not made sure that all American civil servants (among many others) had to explain themselves and prove they were not communists, I would not have the document that has set me on this path.

In 1954, a few weeks before I was born, my father was required to answer a series of questions sent to him by the International Organisations Employees-Loyalty Board. He was an American citizen, an army veteran, an international civil servant with the WHO (World Health Organisation) in Geneva, but his first wife, Alice Glasner, had been a member of the Communist Party. In 1950s America, this was a dangerous alliance, so he had to justify himself. In his answers, he explains why the marriage ended and details his efforts to persuade Alice away from Communism.

He charts her early involvement with the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, her year volunteering in Spain during the Civil War, her work with the International Workers Order in New York and her desire to return to Czechoslovakia after the war to help build the new communist state. What he could not know then was that she would spend much of the later part of her life in prison. I don’t know many more facts, but I want to find out about this principled and determined woman and also about the life and experiences of my father in the fifty three years before I was born.

There is a whole story here, one that spans the key conflicts of the first half of the twentieth century.I am about to start learning Czech and researching into the lives of Alice and Erwin, hoping that by charting my progress in this blog, I might contact people who know about the world they inhabited and learn more than I can by myself.

12 thoughts on “Thank-You Senator McCarthy

    1. Thank-you. Really interesting, will read and follow up. Have several other links between her and Helena Petrankova, who seems like a very interesting woman too.


      1. Not sure if you have RGASPI access, but I’m looking at things there now and could prob. find the letter if you want.


  1. My name is Josef Lorski. I’m the son of Dora Kleinova (later Lorska). I knew Alice, as a child, when I had lived in Prag, and then when I had used to spend holidays in Czechoslovakia (I live since 1956 in Warsaw, Poland). I have some Alice’s photos from Spain and Prag and of course really good memories… Unfortunatelyl, my English is bad, but I hope, you would understand, what I’m writing.


    1. It is wonderful to hear from you. I have wanted to contact someone who actually knew Alice. I have read a lot about your mother. I would love to see photographs of Alice, I have only ever seen one. I am learning Czech, so happy for you to contact me in Czech. I can get help translating it. I would like to give you my personal email but don’t want to put it on here publicly. If you can access Instagram I can do it through that as I have a private account.


  2. My name is Jozef Lorski, I’m a son od Dora Kleinova (later Lorska). I knew Alice, as I was a child in Prag, and then, when I had used to spend my holidays un Czechoslovakia (I live since 1956 in Warsaw, Poland). I hava also some Alice’s photos from Spain and Prag and first and foremost good memories… Unfortunately, my English is bad, but I hope, you would understand what I write.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s