American Student Union

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The American Student Union (ASU) was formed in 1934 with the merging of several national US student organizations and related groups. Among the delegates to this convention were people who were either then young Communists or would be shortly thereafter, including Milton Cohen, Celeste Strack, James Wechsler, and ####.

The names of the delegates to this convention were obtained from the "List of Delegates" found in the files of the Army's G-2, Military Intelligence Division, Record Group 165, Entry 65, MID Correspondence 1917-41, Doc. series 10110-2665/86, Box 2849 at NARA 2, College Park, Md. Caveat: Just because a person's name appeared on this list does not mean or prove that they were then members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), their frotns or would be in the future. Many of the names were very common, and since there were almost no CP front organizational affiliations attached to them, it would be unfair to characterize them as such unless there was other definitive information linking them to the Party.

It is known that many of the people at this founding convention were not members of the CPUSA nor would they be in the future as there were some very divergent views among the participants because of the often competing "socialists" and "Communist" organizations present there.

American Student Union Conference 1935/1936

The Military Intelligence Division,, Office of Chief of Staff, during the teens, 1920's, 1930's and early 1940's, were tasked with keeping track of all kinds of radical groups and organizations that could cause labor trouble and interfere with the small defense industry and supporting industries such as mining, power, transportation, etc. The MID accumulated many documents, both from their own investigative operatives, as well as from other governmental investigative agencies (FBI) and private research groups. They kept tabs on extremists from the Communist Party and its various formats and factions, the International Workers of the World (IWW), "Wobblies, the Socialist Party and its various factions, the German-American Bund and other pro-Germany/pro-Hitler organizations, SLID (presumably the Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID), and the NSL, probably the National Student League (NSL) etc.

Among the documents the MID obtained on the ASU and other national student groups that eventually merged with them in 1935-36, were the following:

  • Secret Report, March 4, 1936, 1-1, 10110-2665/86 (Exhibit 1) summarized a student convention held at Columbus, Ohio by the ASU in conjunction with other student groups including SLID. This one page report will be reproduced here in the future.
  • Secret, "Draft Platform for the American Student Union", 1-1, 10110-2665/86, (Exhibit 2), March 4, 1936, eventually to be reproduced here (4-1/2 legal sized pages of text).
  • Secret, List of delegates to the convention, in long form, (Exhibit 3), undated, 1-1, 10110-2665/86. To be reproduced en toto but it is 8 legal pages long so data entry for it will take some time.

The List is formatted as follows: "Delegate - ASU TABLE (Name of delegate); School (they are from); Organization (they are members of or represent).

[KW: Some of these names will immediately be recognizable as either then present or future members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) while others will possibly be the same as political leaders of various political parties and orientations in the future. Common names are extremely hard to identify unless KW has evidence that they are the same person in the KW database. Just because a name appears on this ASU does not mean that they were communists/sympathizers at that time or in the future.]

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who shows up in both HCUA and SISS hearings including the 90 volume "Scope of Soviet Activity in the United States"

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References