John J. Abt Esq. stated in his autobiography that he had been a secret Communist Party USA member and a participant in Harold Ware’s underground group. Identified as assisting Soviet espionage by Elizabeth Bentley, in a deciphered KGB cable (Venona), and in the KGB documents cited in Weinstein and Vassiliev’s Haunted Wood.
This group acted as an adjunct of the NKVD of the Soviets. The principal function of the group was to obtain information desired by the NKVD particularly with regard to individuals.
Chambers stated that frequently he turned over to Peters sizable sums which he had collected from the Ware group. Chambers has identified John Abt, formerly with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, later with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and with the LaFollette Senate Civil Liberties Committee as having been a member of this group. In 1952 Abt was representing the Communist Party USA as co-counsel with Vito Marcantonio before the Subversive Control Board.
Following the death of Harold Ware in an automobile accident, John Abt married Ware's widow, Jessica Smith, who at one time was a secretary in the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D. C. Later, when she became editor of Soviet Russia Today, she was one of the few persons ever to register as a Soviet agent.
Other members who comprised this group were Lee Pressman, formerly with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, and later general counsel of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Henry Collins, at one time a member of the Forestry Service of the Department of Agriculture, Nathan Perlow, an economist, and when known to Chambers was connected with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D. C., Charles Kramer, who was also employed by the La Follette committee while Chambers was in contact with him and Alger Hiss, who worked with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the State Department, the United Nations Organization, and finally was president of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace.
Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner
On April 28, 1966 John Abt, New York was a sponsor of the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner. The dinner was held on the occasion of Herbert Aptheker's 50th birthday, the publication of his 20th book, and the 2nd anniversary of the American Institute for Marxist Studies. It was held in the Sutton Ballroom, The New York Hilton, Avenue of the Americas, 53rd to 54th Street, New York City. Most speakers, organizers and sponsors were known members or supporters of the Communist Party USA.
American-Korean Friendship and Information Center
On Feb. 27, 1971, John Abt Attorney, New York was listed as an initiating sponsor of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center. The Center, a front for the Communist Party USA, was established to promote the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and Vietnam.
Communist Party member
On February 8 and 9, 1975, the Second National Conference in Solidarity with Chile was held at Concordia Teachers College in the Chicago suburb of River Forest. Known Communist Party USA members sponsoring the event included John Abt. He has served on the CPUSA general counsel and has been a member of the CPUSA Political Committee since the 1950s.
We Will Make Peace Prevail!
On March 28, 1982 the New World Review organized a gala luncheon "We Will Make Peace Prevail! Disarmament Over Confrontation, Life Over Death", at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Roosevelt, New York City. Virtually all participants were identified as Communist Party USA.
John Abt was listed on the Committee of Sponsors.
- Dinner Program for the Herbert Aptheke Dinner, April 28, 1966
- Full-page advert in unknown newspaper, Feb. 27, 1971
- Hearings before the Subcommittee to investigate the administration of the Internal Security Act, U.S. Senate, 94th congress part 2 July, 1975 (page 182
- The War Called Peace: Glossary, published 1982
- We Will Make Peace Prevail! event brochure