To the Editor:
If Dalton Trumbo had been a supporter of Adolf Hitler instead of Josef Stalin, few would now be wasting effort celebrating his life, talents, or martyrdom (“Trumbo” review, Daily Variety, Sept. 3).
The “dark period” of American history, as Charles Isherwood calls it, was actually when talented people were taken in by Soviet propaganda, while Stalin enslaved, starved, tortured, murdered, and truly martyred millions. It continues today.
Those who are taken in, however, don’t even know that they are serving the lies of a foreign power that doesn’t even exist anymore. Trumbo’s “principles” were to dissimulate and to evade honestly and publicly stating his attachment to one of the greatest tyrants of the 20th century. As totalitarian darkness spread across Eastern Europe and China, the true courage was that of people willing to confront and stop it.
The notion that a mindless anti-Communist “hysteria” was consuming the United States was a fiction of the Soviets and their supporters. That included those who simply did not believe, or did not want to admit, that Franklin Roosevelt had overlooked, indeed dismissed, evidence of massive Soviet espionage in the United States government — or influence in Hollywood.
Since Soviet archives and former Soviet officials now confirm the sensational revelations and even worse fears of the time, the truth can no longer be denied. The living colleagues of Trumbo, and their credulous supporters, however, continue a kind of rearguard action, perhaps hoping for a revival of Stalinism.