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"It was probably through Spanish relief efforts that I met Dr. Thomas Addis ... a distinguished medical scientist who became a friend. Addis asked me ... to contribute through him to the Spanish cause. He made it clear that this money, unlike that which went to the relief organizations, would go straight to the fighting effort and that it would go through Communist channels. I did so contribute ... I did not then regard the Communists as dangerous, and some of their declared objectives seemed to me desirable.

"In time, these contributions came to an end. I went to a big Spanish relief party the night before Pearl Harbor, and the next day, as we heard the news of the outbreak of war, I decided that I had had about enough of the Spanish cause, and that there were other and more pressing crises in the world . . .

"It was in the summer of 1939 in Pasadena that I first met my wife. She was married to Dr. Harrison, who was ... on the California Institute of Technology staff. I learned of her earlier marriage to Joe Dallet and of his death fighting in Spain. He had been a Communist Party official, and for a year or two during their brief marriage my wife was a Communist Party member. When I met her, I found in her ... a certain disappointment and contempt that the Communist Party was not in fact what she had once thought it was.

"By the time we moved to Los Alamos in early 1943, both as the result of my changed views and of the great pressure of war work, my participation in left-wing organizations and my association with left-wing circles had ceased, and were never to be re-established."

The story of Oppenheimer's prewar Communist associations was known to the Government, in its essentials and most of its details (as now stated by the AEC), when Oppenheimer was appointed to head the Los Alamos atomic laboratory in early 1943. There is no question of pro-Communist sympathy on the part of Lieut. General Leslie Groves, who appointed him and who last week reaffirmed his belief in Oppenheimer's loyalty.

For an understanding of Oppenheimer and his time, the significant point is not that he sided with the Communist faction of the Spanish Loyalists, but that this was the first political position he ever took.

Throughout most of the Western world in the 1930s, the main body of intellectuals were for Communism as the antithesis of fascism. With the confidence of self-made Goths who had cut themselves off from the politics of civilization, they developed an emotional commitment to a political system that called itself scientific. In Germany, as it happened, thousands of the best-educated men, contemptuous of politics in the early 1920s, committed themselves to fascism. The process was the same. What mattered was not which bad side they chose, but that the self-made Goths were so politically ignorant and so powerful inside the gates of civilization.

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