Soci e partner

Provincia di Ravenna

Comune di Ravenna

Fondazione del Monte

Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna

Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

La Scuola di Francoforte in esilio: storia di un’inchiesta sull’antisemitismo nella classe operaia americana

di Catherine Collomp
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 31 (2009), p. 121


In March 1945, the Institute for Social Research of Columbia University delivered a study on “Anti-Semitism among American Labor” which it had conducted as a sociological inquiry between July and December 19441. As is well known, this Institute was composed of refugee scholars from the Frankfurt School of Sociology forced to exile with the advent of the Nazi régime. The Marxist orientation of its members and the Jewish origin of nearly all of them made them outright opponents to the régime. The president of Columbia University in New York City welcomed the independently funded Institute to transfer its operation there in 1934. Max Horkheimer, its director, was surrounded by a group of German scholars, among whom Theodor Adorno was his closest collaborator2. Released in March 1945, the study on Anti-Semitism in the American working class was paradoxical in a number of ways. The unabashed expression of anti-Jewish sentiment by American workers which it exposed is surprising if one considers that, with the full patriotic support of its millions of soldiers and home-front workers, the United States was still at war for an ultimate victory over Nazi Germany and its systematic destruction of European Jewry. Surprising also when one thinks that the massive immigration of people of Jewish origin to the United States had long been ended by the quota system. Jewish immigrants by the mid 1940’s not only seemed fully integrated in the American working class, when they were still part of it, but their off-springs, the second generation, were now reaching out of it.

The circumstances of production of this study and the interpretations that can be given to it are other points of interest. Produced under Horkheimer’ s and Adorno’s authority, the report on Anti-Semitism among American Labor is imbedded in these scholars’ theoretical and more empirical work on mass culture phenomena in modern societies. The study so far has been mentioned by historians and philosophers examining the work of the Frankfurt School in the United States. Martin Jay and Rolf Wiggershaus in particular have clearly situated it in the genealogy of its productions3. But it has not come to the attention of labor historians looking at American workers during World War II and its aftermath, nor to that of historians of Jewish culture in the United States. Several questions are thus necessary to situate this report more precisely in the context of American history of the 1940’s. By whom and why was this investigation commissioned ? What value can we ascribe to its results on anti-Semitic feelings among American workers ? Why was it never published? If one agrees with Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s aphorisms that anti-Semitism tells more about the people who profess it than about those it seeks to describe4, one may also ponder on the particular situation of these highly educated exiled Jewish German scholars, investigating the problem of Anti-Semitism in the American working class at the time when the full-scale massacres of the Holocaust were disclosed. Did it operate as a mirror of their divergent class positions, also reflecting shadows of the horrors of the time?

Circumstances of production

Historically, anti-Semitism, has not been a structural paradigm shaping US working class culture as it was in the old world, especially in the Russian Empire. Unlike the white/black opposition which has had a stronger impact on social relations in the United States than the class structure itself 5, the Jews/Gentiles difference did not produce any long-lasting or meaningful source of division within the American working class. For example, Samuel Gompers, the founder and long time president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), was of Jewish origin, and it was not his identity, but rather his autocratic manner and conservative political beliefs, that may have caused oppositions. By the 1930’s and 1940’s, the “Jewish Labor Movement”, mostly representing the needle trades, was at the vanguard of the US labor movement. The two most important unions in this movement, the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) were among the founding organizations of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the modern federation that, since 1936, organized American industrial workers. And since 1940, the ILGWU, having re-affiliated itself to the AFL, the two pillars of the Jewish labor movement were anchored in each of the two federations. Why then a study of anti-Semitism in the American working class ?6

The study was commissioned by the New York-based Jewish Labor Committee (JLC). This organization, was founded in 1934 to combat Nazism and fascism by providing a united front of labor and secular Jewish organizations fighting for the defense of democracy on behalf of workers and Jews in Europe and America. It brought together the membership of the major unions of the Jewish labor movement (ILGWU and ACWA) and the branches of the wide socialist Jewish mutual help associations organized under the aegis of the Workmen’s Circle. The JLC offered relief and support to European victims of Nazi repression (Jewish or not) and actively combated anti-Semitism in the US. The JLC leaders - Baruch Charney Vladeck, Adolph Held, David Dubinsky, Joseph Schlossberg, Nathan Chanin7 -- were themselves first generation Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. Most of them had found refuge in the United States after the 1905 revolution and the political persecution exerted upon them for their political activism. In the Russian revolutionary movement, they had specifically fought as Bundists8 in the Zone of Settlement for the defense of secular Jewish culture in its Yiddish expression and for the universal ideal of socialism. In the 1930’s, in Poland or in the diaspora, their particular ethnic, cultural, and political origin made them doubly sensitive to the rise of Nazism. In the United States, JLC founder Baruch Charney Vladeck very clearly and presciently expressed that attacks against labor and attacks against Jews were twin facets of Nazi ideology. At the 1934 AFL convention where he presented the JLC’ s mission he declared:

“Jews have been a true barometer for the labor movement. Whenever and wherever a government begins to persecute the Jews, it inevitably follows with persecuting the workers […] The first blast against the Jews is only the fore-runner of a dark storm against labor” 9.

Vladeck’s words were conceived to alert American labor that workers as well as Jews were targeted by Nazi persecution. Conversely in their defense of Jewish workers, as Jews and as workers, the Bundists differed from the main Jewish organizations in the United States which mostly represented the middle class. On the other hand, they also differed from all European socialist and social-democratic parties and labor movements for whom the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination was secondary to the ultimate goal of a socialist revolution. In that sense the Bundist analysis of Nazism, perceiving that anti-Semitism was as destructive as attacks against labor, was more clear-sighted than that of other socialist doctrines10.

During World War II the JLC’ s most notorious achievement was the rescue of several hundreds of European, Jewish and non Jewish socialists and labor leaders who were in immediate danger of arrest by the Gestapo when France was invaded from June 1940, and by the GPU in Soviet-invaded Lithuania where many Polish Bundists had found refuge 11. In the following years of the war, the JLC was active in providing funds, clothes, medicines and all forms of relief that could somehow alleviate the plight of the persecuted Jewish populations in Europe or help their survival. In 1945, the JLC was the first organization in the United States to expose the atrocity of the Jewish genocide by a photographic exhibition held in New York in April 1945 on “Martyrs and Heroes of the Ghettoes”, a part of which was dedicated to the Warsaw insurrection. According to most prominent German refugee, Professor Albert Einstein, who inaugurated it, “The main purpose of this exhibition is enlightenment, education!. We must be able to face the horrible reality in order to more effectively build a better future”12.

A similar educational goal was at the origin of the JLC’ s commission for a study of anti-Semitism in the American working class. The desire to prevent any resurgence of such atrocities as happened during World War II motivated the JLC leaders to obtain a detailed picture of the situation in the United States. In the 1930’s the JLC had made it one of its missions to fight anti-Jewish discrimination in employment and to sensitize labor organizations (AFL and CIO) against anti-Semitic propaganda in their ranks. Anti-Semitism in the US certainly was never as virulent and widespread as in Europe. But expressions of it, which in the 1920’s had mostly come from elite sections of US society (Henry Ford in the Dearborn Independent, or the universities’ quota systems to restrict the number of Jewish students) had flared in the late 1930’s with the ranting of radio-priest Father Coughlin broadcasting his sermons to millions of catholic working class audiences. His preaching mainstreamed the worst anti-Semitic clichés directly borrowed from the forged document Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or from Nazi leader Josef Goebbels’ diatribes. In addition, although not numerous in membership, a few organizations openly advocated Nazi ideology in the United States such as the Silver Shirts or the German American Bund13. More consistently, anti-Semitism was also apparent in the absolute refusal of the US Congress to relax the tight immigration rules that prevented the admission of many refugees to the United States14.

The US participation in the war itself had not necessarily softened existing anti-Semitic beliefs or pro-Nazi proclivities for those who harbored them. The belated knowledge about the horror of the final solution - only officially known in the US by December 1942 and only very slowly penetrating national consciousness - had not eradicated anti-Semitic sentiments. One of the results of the study on “Anti-Semitism Among American Labor” was precisely to underline the fact that some people believed that the war was waged by non-Jews for the sake of Jews. Incredulity as to the numbers of victims of Nazi concentration camps accrued to the belief that they were falsely inflated15. In this context of false rumors, the JLC’ s decision to commission a scientific study to evaluate the degree of anti-Semitism in the American working class was motivated by the fear that unemployment, likely to happen, as many believed, when war contracts would be ended and with the return of the 12 million soldiers, would create additional tensions in labor ranks. Leo Lowenthal, one of the scholars participating to the study, asserted this ominous fear when he presented its conclusions to the JLC leaders on March 10, 1945. He made it clear that anti-Semitism could be fueled within the ranks of American labor by exterior manipulators:

« You will agree with me when I say that severe onslaughts on our democratic way of life may be expected when the war is over, and that we may anticipate the first strategically planned attacks even at an earlier date. We do not know whether the use of anti-Semitism will be the weapon of this offensive. But we know and you know that the main purpose of this anti-democratic offensive will be the attack on labor » 16.

Although it had not been the Frankfurt School sociologists’ predominant object of study in the early 1930’s, by the end of the decade, the study of anti-Semitism had become a central theme in their work. In the United States, these scholars had continued to develop their theoretical work writing essays that under Horkheimer’s intellectual leadership became known as “Critical Theory”. Much has been written on this notion which rejected any closed philosophical system and aimed at dialectically integrating philosophy and the social sciences, even in their empirical forms of exploration: sociology, psychoanalysis, economics, history of ideas and culture. Grounded in Marxism, this multiple perspective aimed at understanding the nature of man and society in the modern capitalist world, but it was more interested in culture and knowledge as a product of this world than in orthodox Marxist economic relations and modes of production. In its practical applications, this vision ascertained the moral and political role of the social sciences for a social order more governed by the rule of reason than by emotions or interests17. Until 1940, from New York City, these scholars continued publishing in German in the Zeitschrift fur Sozialforschung printed in Paris. “Critical Theory” was initially a form of intellectual resistance to Nazism, formulated from abroad in a manner of federating research carried by the disseminated scholars some of whom were in the United States, others in Geneva, Paris or London18. The works produced in this context, thus remained aloof of the American academic and social world. When the possibility of publishing in France was foreclosed by the German invasion of that country, the exiled scholars published their work in English transforming the title of their journal into Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, and also to some extent their relationship to research and politics in the United States. By the end of 1938, after the Anschlüss, the “Cristal night” pogroms, and certainly from the beginning of the war, the scholars became chiefly involved in explaining the essence of National Socialism. If anti-Semitism was not central in Franz Neumann’s study of Nazi power and structure19, for Adorno and Horkheimer, it now came to replace class as a global form of oppression. “ It often seems to me”, Adorno wrote to Horkheimer in 1940, that everything that we used to see from the point of view of the proletariat has been concentrated today with frightful force upon the Jews […] The Jews are now at the opposite pole to the concentration of power” . According to him, in Marxist analysis, Jewish people were to be considered as the proletariat of the world, their exclusion and oppression as the “real focal point of injustice” 20. In the introduction to their 1944 Dialektik der Aufklärung (Dialectics of Enlightenment), Adorno and Horkheimer underlined this larger perspective by claiming that their goal was “nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering into a truly human condition, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism” 21. Among the essays to analyze this proposition, one was devoted to anti-Semitism, “Elements of Anti-Semitism, Limits of Enlightenment”22. The analysis of anti-Semitism became central in the sociologists’ involvement in the study of the role of prejudice in the emergence of totalitarian societies as well as in the formation of the phenomenon of mass culture as it prevailed in the United States. In addition to their philosophical exploration, Horkheimer and Adorno had launched a « Research Project on Anti-Semitism », whose program was published in the spring 1941 issue of Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, and were seeking ways to finance the necessary empirical work to sustain it. In response to this program, in 1943 they first obtained a several year contract from the American Jewish Committee. This major Jewish institution was willing to support the Institute’s large project on Anti-Semitism. With its sponsorship the Institute’s collective work eventually led to the five volume publication of Studies in Prejudice which appeared in the late 1940’s early 50’s23.The second contract they obtained was that granted by the Jewish Labor Committee in March 1944 for the study of “Anti-Semitism Among American Labor”. The latter project, the object of this paper, is therefore imbedded in a strongly formulated theoretical context as well as in other empirical studies on the same or related subjects. Both projects, although unequal in scope, bear the psycho-sociological approach that the Critical Theorists were now adopting in application of their general hypotheses on the role of prejudice in the formation of totalitarian societies. With these projects they linked reflections on the sources of Nazi totalitarianism with considerations on mass culture societies such as the United States.

In Germany the sociologists had already abandoned the classic interpretation of Marxism which ascribes to the proletariat the role of political and cultural transformation of society. They questioned the emancipating role attributed to the working class as a universal class and did not entirely adhere to the centrality of labor as the essence of man’s desire and ability for social change. Their interest in psychoanalysis distanced them from a vision of society preordained by economic factors. In 1930 already, Horkheimer had presciently concluded that the German working class was an ambivalent mass that could easily be swayed and would oppose less resistance to a conservative ideology and power structure, were it to develop, than its political discourse affirmed 24. But the question of anti-Semitism was not then central to this analysis. Martin Jay explains this point with the fact that in Germany, the scholars had benefited from the objective situation created by the Weimar Republic where most existing barriers to professions and services had been removed, and never having personally experienced anti-Semitism, they did not perceive or they downplayed its impact which, however, soon blaringly came to the forefront of German politics25. This attitude was largely shared by most leaders of the German political left who, unlike Bundists, did not sufficiently take into account the expressions of anti-Semitism in their idealistic belief that prejudices were to be swept away in the larger class struggle.

In one of their introductory remarks to the volumes of the American study in 1945, the sociologists indeed noted that “European labor, prior to Hitler’s conquest in Germany, obviously was more immune to anti-Semitic prejudice than American labor today. And yet totalitarianism succeeded in obviating or reducing the resistance of European workers. Will American workers, so much more easily swayed by racial prejudice, prove a stronger bulwark against totalitarianism ?”, they asked26.

This focal question led to the detailed investigation carried through the second half of 1944. The study was conducted by four of the Institute’s scholars. Friedrich Pollock, directed it, he worked collectively with Leo Lowenthal, Paul Massing and A.R.L. Gurland with the help of several research assistants at the Institute27. Each part of the report was written by one of the four collaborators 28. The AFL, the CIO, as well as numerous labor unions affiliated to them or independent contributed largely to the “success of the study”, as reported by the authors. The latter also thanked the JLC president Adolph Held, Charles Zimmerman, head of the Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism, and other JLC officers who helped them get the project underway and financed it29. They also acknowledged the support of many community leaders, educators, writers, men and women in government service, industry and social work30. The investigation was initially planned as a sample study to be followed by more extensive research. The project concerning American labor however did not go further as such, and was never published in spite of several attempts to do so until 1953.

Method and Results of the study

Its major conclusions, spelled out in the introduction to the study, emphasized the idea that “totalitarian stereotypes mold the thinking of large sections of Americans”. “Anti-Jewish prejudice pervades the overwhelming majority of the persons interviewed”. “To a large extent American workers do accept anti-Semitism”. “What counts”, the authors maintained, “is not exactly open and active hostility to Jews, these [agitators] can be spotted and neutralized; the threat, rather, is the prejudice itself”. The “texture of prejudice” is what the investigators explored, tracing its various expressions, degrees of intensity and possible explanations. They exposed a palpable sense of danger and that prejudice could easily be manipulated within and without the working class to serve fascistic political purposes. Although the sociologists carefully maintained that this was not a statistical survey, which would require more extensive investigations, they revealed from it qualitative trends and tendencies based on quantified data31.


The study analyzed the results of 566 interviews of workers sampled to represent the American working class as a whole, allowing regional, industrial, trade, and skill differences. The sampling of age, gender, race, religious and ethnic backgrounds, however, was more random as interviewers were given a certain leeway to obtain responses from the “average worker” rather than from the more obviously extreme ones. The study focused on the industrial working class especially in the major sectors of the defense industry to which many “new workers“ had recently migrated. It focused on specific industrial regions. The East Coast in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia areas, Pittsburgh with its steel industry, Detroit where the automobile industry had been turned to defense production, as well as the West Coast in Los Angeles and San Francisco, were the five areas of investigation. The sample revealed a higher percentage of unionized workers (divided between 23.8% AFL and 38.5% CIO) than non-union ones. A few white collar employees, small tradesmen and professionals were part of the sample32.

The technique of investigation was elaborated in agreement with trade-union leaders whose contacts were obtained thanks to the JLC. The idea was that of “participant observation”. Instead of dealing questionnaires to selected respondents, or organizing opinion polls, less formal interviews were to be obtained by fellow-workers who had been trained to guide conversation on a given pattern so as to “elucidate the nature, the intensity and extent of anti-Semitic feeling” among their respondents. 270 voluntary investigators had thus been trained, from the ranks of the workers themselves, to produce these “screened interviews”33. According to the sociologists, “the purpose is a conversation in which the interviewee is not to know that he is being interviewed, in which he does not fear that what he says may be used against him”. But the conversation was “steered along definite previously established lines”. The guided conversation contained 7 basic questions elicited to obtain information about the interviewee, but also to learn if any propaganda had taken place in the workplace or in his/her community34.

1) Do Jewish people act and feel differently from others ? What do people say about them ?

2) Can you tell a Jew from a non Jew ?

3) Do you mind working with Jews on the job ? Why ? Have you ever worked with any ? a) How about working with Negroes ? (of course this question cannot be asked a negro worker).

4) Did you know any Jews before you started in your first job ? At school ? Or in your hometown ? What were they like ?

5) What do you feel about what the Nazis did to the Jews in Germany ?

6) Are there people in this country who would like to see feelings against the Jews grow ? What groups ? Why do they want it ?

7) Do people think the Jews are doing their share in the war effort ? What do you think ?

From this material, the degree of anti-Semitism was classified in 8 categories ranging from (a) extreme hostility to (h) non discriminatory, friendly attitude excluding any critique. Obviously the response to question 5 was a pivot to understand the intensity of prejudice. The analysis of responses produced the following clusters of attitudes (total 100)35.

a) Extreme hostility, aiming at physical extermination of Jews, 10.6% of respondents

b) Extreme hostility aiming at elimination of articulate Jewish life (mass deportation, etc..), 10.2%

c) Active hostility to Jews violently expressed but indicative of inconsistent attitude, 3.7%

d) Strong hostility to Jews aiming at segregation, restrictions and consistent discrimination, 6.2%

e) Emotional resentment of Jews with moderate to medium hostility, but undecided as to action to be taken, 19.1%

f) Rejection of discrimination combined with emotional dislike for Jews, 19.3 %

g) Friendly attitude with rational critique of "Jewish" traits, 10.8 %

h) Non-discriminatory, friendly attitude excluding any critique, 20.1%.

Combined in major groups these percentages add up to :

I) Actively hostile to Jews (a, b, c, d) = 30,7%

II) Antagonistic to Jews but undecided as to conclusions (e ) 19,1%

Total I+II = 49,8%

III) Opposed to anti-Semitism ,

But with emotional dislike for Jews (f) 19.3%

Friendly to Jews (g, h) 30.9%

Total III : 50.2%

Lumped differently these results also meant that 30,7% of the sampled population were strongly prejudiced, at the other extreme 30,9% were friendly to Jews. The hesitations of the medium third harboring no positive feelings for Jews but undecided as to what position to take led the investigators to believe that half the population could be swayed towards anti-Semitic action. In all five regions, more or less the same proportions appeared of anti-Semitic, prejudiced, undecided and non anti-Semitic respondents. Interviewers did not either uncover substantial differences between unionized and non-unionized, catholic or protestant workers or between AFL and CIO members. The only clear-cut difference which appeared was one between men and women, the former showing a higher percentage of prejudiced persons, and the latter being more frequently friendly to Jews 36.

The functions of the mask”

A very high degree of extremely aggressive verbal violence and feeling was recorded in the interviews. Attacks ranged from age-old clichés about Jews -- gregariousness, money-grabbing, monopolizing commerce, “they are all in business”, “do not work with their hands, “they own all the money, … are trying to destroy the country” --, to forms of totalitarian execration: “they will Jew each other”; “Jews got exactly what was coming to them”; “Hitler did the right thing, he did not do enough, he should have exterminated them all, they are a menace to society”; “Damn good job, we should have let them finish it, and the Poles too”. Even the more moderate types did not mince their words : ‘What happened in Germany was terrible, but about Hollywood, there’s a few dozen I would like to see liquidated”. Another respondent disapproved of such “wholesale persecution, But they DO need restraint”, he maintained. Obviously, the sociologists’ initial concern was justified by their findings, the American working class harbored conscious, stereotypical and destructive prejudice against Jews. And persecution in Europe had not weakened anti-Semitism, it was more likely to have aggravated it37.

While literally recording and reporting the answers given to the (hidden) questions, in their analysis, the sociologists were aware of the fluidity of attitudes within the categories made out from these remarks and often noted the ambivalence of their respondents. The value attributed to these answers had to be interpreted if one were to understand what being anti-Semitic meant for these workers. As they explained in the introduction, -“ anti-Semitism in recent as well as in olden times, emerged when people who suffered failed to discover the real cause of their suffering. It emerged when organized groups succeeded in manipulating vague protest against prevailing conditions and in diverting it towards an imaginary culprit made responsible for any and every evil”38. Interpretation was all the more necessary as from a surface view of American society in wartime, they said, “no obvious reasons for the evident increase of anti-Semitism among the masses of workers can be detected. The nation’s economy is geared to full employment, organized labor is heard in the decision on economic policy, war restrictions and sacrifices cannot be said to have led to a general deterioration of the workers’ living standards” 39. Certainly, although war production, as we shall see below, created much tension on the shop floor, in comparison with earlier times in the United States and with European war-torn countries, American workers “had never had it so good”40.

A catalogue of possible explanations to their discontent was thus elaborated. Well versed in the enumeration of the Judeo-phobic paradigm 41, the scholars tried to circumscribe its specific nature as expressed then by the American working class. One element of this American specificity was the relatively lesser degree of anti-Semitism among white-collar than blue-collar workers. The more educated, the less anti-Semite, the German sociologists pointed out. They recognized there a difference with Europe where “white-collar workers, a good barometer for political weather […], were among the first to support fascist movements”. The more liberal attitude of the American middle class, the sociologists remarked, was a ”promising sign for democracy”42. Another observation bore on the absence of anti-capitalist opposition in these workers’ anti-Semitic remarks. This did not prevent acrimonious expressions of prejudice against “Jewish power behind the control of business”, or against Jewish store-owners and “the sweat-shop boss who could get the best of you”. But the investigators noted the vague and ritual character of these accusations without precise reference to actual Jewish employers, and not clearly anti-capitalist43.


Another American specificity was the racial divide between whites and blacks which reverberated upon the workers’ attitudes towards Jews. The proportion of respondents affirming that they would not work alongside Jews (29.3%) was comparable to that of persons saying they would not work alongside blacks (30.3%). But in many cases the balance fell in favor of black workers, because, as one interviewee suggested, “after all, it is not the Negro’s fault that he is black, while the Jew is a white man, he don’t have to be that way”! 44. Explanations of anti-black racism were obvious in the discrimination pattern of race-relations. Urban congestion in industrial districts, added to the black segregation into restricted zones, multiplied the overall housing shortage created by the influx of new workers to industrial centers. Although never expressly mentioned by the interviewees, violent race riots did take place during the war, in Detroit especially, where many new black and white workers had migrated from the South. “Detroit is Dynamite, it can either blow up Hitler of Blow up the U.S.”, announced a banner headline in Life Magazine in 1942. Indeed one of the worst race riots of the XXth century flared up there in June 1943. It engulfed whites, blacks, and the police, in a three-day rampage of destruction during which blacks looted white-owned stores and whites swept through the black areas45. Similar tension appeared in Harlem, Mobile and Brownsville (Texas), Los Angeles and Chicago. These riots were generally triggered by the housing shortage affecting whites as well as blacks. In Detroit alone, for instance, the workforce had more than doubled during the war, increasing from 400.000 to 867.000 workers46. But conflicts were also motivated on the shop-floor by the application of Roosevelt’s 1941 executive order banning segregation in the defense industries. In Detroit and other cities, white workers protesting the integration of blacks in previously segregated departments sometimes led to strikes 47. For the German sociologists anti-Jewish hatred was a way of dealing with the more fundamental race-relations problem. “Anti-Semitism takes a load off the workers’ shoulders”, they explained48. Hostile reactions against blacks being contained by workplace and union discipline for wartime production, the deflection of racial hostility towards Jews was one translation of the economic and psychological tensions. It fed on the old stereotypes .“While the Negro worker is a concrete competitor, the Jew in business is an abstract threat religiously believed in”.

A much higher degree of tolerance was expressed by black workers than whites. For instance, 65.9% of the interviewed black workers definitely condemned Nazi terror, while only 53.1% of the whites did so. And blacks less frequently objected to working with Jews (12%) than whites did (29.3%). When they did express grievances against Jews, black workers emphasized examples specific to the ghettoes (apartments and grocery stores, in Harlem, or other city ghettos, owned or run by Jewish landlords). The explosive aspect of the situation, as the investigators pointed out, was that fascist activists might exploit the black residents’ social frustration and susceptibility to insurgency, exacerbating anti-Semitic feelings against Jews as agents of white domination49.

Another potent source of hostile feeling was linked to the assumption that Jews were not living up to the patriotic duties of the war : 40% of respondents held such views50 . More than a quarter (27%) charged Jews of dodging the draft by seeking “soft jobs” in war industries, the army, or government agencies. “The Jew in the army does not appear as a GI, nor as a commissioned officer”. He is assigned to jobs more related to his training, thus becoming an interpreter, a quartermaster, or an accountant. So the old stereotype of the Jew as a non-worker reappeared as a non-fighter. Such resentment indicted the Jews for their intellectual capabilities. Paul Massing stated that in war-time anti-Semitism had become a “staple commodity”. “Today, the Jew is now much more than a repulsive individual, he is a war-monger”, and the war is a “Jewish war”. “Millions of American boys have to fight in this Jewish war”, one of the interviewees maintained, “and while they fight and die, the Jew is dodging the draft, sitting on soft jobs, running the black market, his eyes already on the huge profits that can be made from the sale of war surplus goods, blood money” 51.

Union leaders

A special part of the investigation was devoted to open discussion with union leaders52. Their responses in general brought out articulate and more nuanced attitudes than those of rank and file workers. Some suggested that the relational problems affecting Jews may have had more to do with exogenous factors than ones pertaining to the working class itself. In other words it would be linked to class antagonism (the Jew as middleman, as banker and business man). Others pointedly remarked that mentioning anti-Semitism reified a feeling otherwise more uncertain in a way that to some extent provoked the prejudice. “Don’t exaggerate” the meaning of these verbal outbursts remarked a CIO leader. “You might hear me say that the only good catholic is a dead catholic if I want to deal with these Polish peasants who have been told by their blockhead catholic priests that the Jews are the devil’s breed” 53. The editor of a Yiddish working class paper also stressed the fact that minor conflicts take on fantastic dimensions because they are not real. Others found the investigation dangerous in itself: “We don’t want to stir up any trouble”. This was especially the case of communist-led unions. However, the interviewers found a nearly explosive situation in their ranks: ”The members of these unions are less communist than fascist-minded”. Authoritatively silencing the workers’ expression, they felt, did not solve the problem, “the air is saturated with anti-Semitism”, the investigators affirmed 54.

Beyond words and stereotypes,

With the privilege of hindsight, one might be tempted to agree with the union leaders that the questionnaire on anti-Semitism tended to reify into verbal attacks a sentiment that was more volatile than really anti-Semitic. One may wonder whether the questions pointing out to “the Jew” were not likely to isolate that ethnicity among others and give rise to anti-Jewish responses. Or didn’t the German sociologists, and their JLC sponsors, project in these questions fears and anxieties that were more specifically related to the European events than to the American context ? Their worst fears were not confirmed. No “severe onslaught” occurred against the Jewish community in the United States after the war 55. The fear against such attacks, in addition, pales in comparison with the government ordered internment of the whole population of Japanese origin, forcefully relocated in concentration camps through the duration of the war 56.

The German sociologists were not alone in exposing a high degree of anti-Semitism in the American nation. Several opinion polls carried during the war through a larger sample of the American population revealed approximately the same proportions of anti-Semitic sentiments across the nation and across class as the study among American workers had shown. Between 5 to 10% of the population in 1944 expressed “rabidly anti-Semitic feelings”. More than a third and sometimes half of the respondents replied “Yes” to the question “Do you think Jews have too much power in the United States ?” The Judeo-phobic sentiment had increased, rather than declined during the war. From 43% in April 1940 it reached 56 % of the sample in May 1944 , 58% in June 194557.

The expression of anti-Semitism was even more paradoxical when advocated by workers producing arms to combat it in a war against the Third Reich achieving its goal of the complete destruction of European Jewry. One may suggest that the tension of war time production in the defense industries (the most investigated by the study), creating high levels of frustration and anger, was irrationally transposed into anti-Semitism when the question was posed. The demands of the War Labor Board, which imposed a wage freeze through the duration of the war and the No Strike pledge which the labor unions had agreed to in their patriotic commitment, certainly created much pent up feeling in the workplace. In spite of the No Strike pledge, 4,956 strikes were recorded in 1944. These wild-cat strikes erupted as signs of anger against day to day indignities, hectic time and production standards, bad treatment by foremen, arbitrary wage classifications, job assignments, disciplinary actions, poor standards of health, safety and comfort. And, out of the workplace, came the shortage of housing fueled by segregation58.Verbal violence, therefore, was a form of life, relieving the frustration of displacement, hard work, inequality, danger, in a labor force transformed by the demands of war production.


The explosion which the Frankfurt sociologists had foreshadowed did take place in the immediate aftermath of the war. But not in the way they had imagined. A huge strike wave occurred in the 1945-46 winter affecting all key industries. By January 1946, 750,000 steelworkers were on strike, along with 200,000 electrical workers, 150,000 packing-house workers, and the 200,000 automobile workers at General Motors who stopped work for 113 days. All of them were striking to catch up on wages, after the wartime freeze, and the end of overtime which had somehow compensated it. Pent up during the war, the desire to assert the power of these recent CIO unions was suddenly released. The workers and their unions, demanded full employment and pay increases as well as a more democratic control of the workplace. The huge confrontation that took place was a class-based, labor-management struggle, both offensive and defensive. It corresponded to the sociologists’ prediction, who had seen dynamite in the workers’ minds, in as much as it revealed the workers’ anger, frustration and determination to fight for a more equitable post-war world. But anti-Semitism had no place in this conflict. Neither did it have any direct place in the succeeding years of the economic boom triggered by the GI Bill and the Marshall Plan59.


What value did the German Sociologists finally ascribe to their study “Anti-Semitism among American Labor”? On the one hand, the report pointed out to the reality of anti-Semitic feeling in the American working class during the war, especially in the context of the defense industries. Registering the full gamut of Judeo-phobic prejudice in its classic and contemporary forms of expression, the formulation of that feeling exposed tangible intolerance of Jews in a way that went beyond the usual pattern of American nativism. The specific irrationality of anti-Jewish sentiment was its very nature. It revealed the absence of ideological restraint on the part of many workers who vented their feelings against Jewish co-workers, but also Jewish landlords, grocers, and what they thought was the Jewish business world. It significantly showed that the war against Nazi Germany did not invalidate anti-Semitism in America.

On the other hand, because of the very irrationality of anti-Jewish prejudice, the sociologists sought to explain what it stood for. “It is a perverted revolutionary concept”, Leo Lowenthal proposed in Marxist phraseology, “an unconscious form of social critique”. Preceding Jean Paul Sartre, who in 1954 also described anti-Semitism as a “bourgeois representation of the class struggle” 60, with these words Lowenthal reflected the Critical Theorists’ continuing disillusion about the working class’ s redemptive quality. The horror of Nazi crimes against the Jewish people did not lead American workers to stand aloof of base prejudices, at least verbally so.

Fundamentally, the shift which had occurred in the German sociologists’ “Critical Theory” is perceptible in this report, or rather in its non-publication. Although willing to educate workers as to the dangers of anti-Semitism, the JLC too was cautious about publishing its findings which would have offended the American working class who, after all, had either gloriously fought in the battles or patriotically responded to the war effort. And as time went on, delays in publication made its meaning less and less relevant61. But more significantly, while they had investigated the problem of anti-Semitism in the framework of class analysis (“ a perverted revolutionary concept”), the sociologists now had turned to a more general, cultural, psychological and anthropological approach in their object of study and results. In the course of the “Research Project on Anti-Semitism” (of which the study on American Labor was one step) and with the aggravating factor of the full revelation of Nazi atrocities, as Rolf Wiggershaus has underlined, Horkheimer and Adorno, “turned away from the theory of the absent revolution to the theory of absent civilization”62. Abandoning the focus on the (American) working class, whose lack of class-consciousness they deplored, they interpreted expressions of anti-Semitism as a ritual behavioral component of totalitarian societies. The sociologists’ field of investigation was now enlarged to the role of prejudice in the formation of mass psychology. By the end of the 1940’s, the multi-volume series Studies in Prejudice confirmed and prolonged, what had been initiated in the 1944 report on the American working class. With different methods of classification, it aimed at revealing the psychological structure of the “authoritarian personality” susceptible to anti-Semitism and fascism. When these volumes appeared, however, in 1949, fascism and Nazism had been subdued in Europe, the Jew was no longer the pariah of the world, let alone among American labor. With the advent of the Cold war, it was now the “Communist”, alleged or real, who had become the prototype of the execrated figure in American politics and consensus culture. The report on “Anti-Semitism among American Labor” therefore had introduced the paradigmatic dimension of prejudice in American mentalities, whatever its object, to which the anti-communist context gave a new validity.

1 “Anti-Semitism among American Labor”, Report on a Research Project Conducted by the Institute of Social Research of Columbia University, 4 volumes, 1400 typed pages, 1944-45. These pages have remained in the archives of the Jewish Labor Committee, Holocaust Era Records of the Jewish Labor Committee (hereafter JLC Records), microfilm reels 161-164, Robert Wagner Labor Archive Center, New York University, New York. The Horkheimer Archives in Frankfurt am Main also hold a copy of the report. “Anti-Semitism among American Labor” shall hereafter be cited as ASAL, followed by volume, reel and page numbers.

2 Theodor Adorno only reached the United States in 1938. Other close collaborators were Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm (until 1939), Felix Weil, Franz Neumann, Friedrich Pollock, Leo Lowenthal, A.R. Gurland, Paul Massing (the latter was the only non-Jew of the Institute’s close circle).

3 Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination; A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950, Heineman, London, 1973, see esp. Ch 7 ; Martin Jay, Permanent Exiles, Essays on the Intellectual Migration from Germany to America, Columbia University Press, 1985, esp. p. 90-99 ; Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School, Its History, Theories and Political Significance, MIT Press, 1994, p. 367-368.

4This idea is expressed in several ways in  « Elements of Anti-Semitism  »: « In the image of the Jew which the racial nationalists hold up before the world they express their own essence » ; «  Paranoiacs perceive the outside world only in so far as it corresponds to their blind purposes » ; « the psychoanalytic theory of pathic projection », Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Philosophical Fragments, ed. by Gunzelin Schmid Noerr, Stanford, Stanford U.P., 2002 p. 137-172, esp. p. 137, 157, 158 .

5 On the question of “whiteness see David Roediger, Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, New York, 1991, see, the forum by Eric Arnesen, “ Whiteness and the Historian’s Imagination”, International Labor and Working Class History, n°60, fall 2001, and the symposium in Journal of American Ethnic History, Summer 2004.

6 Melech Epstein, Jewish Labor in the U.S.A., 1914-1952, New York, Trade Union Sponsoring Committee, 1953. On the ACWA : Steven Fraser, Labor Will Rule,Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American labor, New York, MacMillan, 1991; on the IGWU : Robert D Parmet, The Master of Seventh Avenue, David Dubinsky and the American Labor Movement, New York, NY University Press, 2005. The ILGWU and ACWA membership together represented some 500,000 members. By the 1940’s, Jewish workers were no longer a majority in this sector.

7 B.C.Vladeck, founder and first president of the JLC. After his untimely death in 1938, Vladeck was succeeded at the JLC Presidency by Adolph Held ; David Dubinsky, ILGWU president and JLC treasurer, Joseph Schlossberg, ACWA secretary-treasurer, Nathan Chanin Education director of the Workmen’s Circle and founding member of the Jewish Socialist Verband.

8 The Bund (General Jewish Workers’ Union of Russia and Poland) was both a general workers’ union and a socialist party.

9 B.C. Vladeck announcing the JLC missions at the American Federation of Labor 1934 Convention, AFL, Proceedings of the 1934 Convention, p.443-445.

10 On Vladeck and the JLC see Gail Malmgreen, “ Labor and the Holocaust. The Jewish Labor Committee and the Anti-Nazi Struggle ”, Labor’s Heritage, vol. 3, n. 4, October 1991, pp. 20-35 : Jack Jacobs, “ A Friend in Need : The Jewish Labor Committee and Refugees from the German Speaking Lands, 1933-1945 ”, Yivo Annual, 23, 1996, pp. 391-417 ; Catherine Collomp, « The Jewish Labor Committee, American Labor, and European Socialists, 1934-41 » , International Labor and Working Class History, Fall 2005, p.112-133.

11 On the whole by 1942, the JLC claimed having rescued some 800 European socialist and labor refugees, see Collomp, «The Jewish Labor Committee, American Labor, and European Socialists, 1934-41».

12 Message from Pr. Albert Einstein at the opening of the Exhibition dedicated to the “Martyrs and Heroes of the Ghettos”, April 19,1945, in Arieh Lebowitz and Gail Malgreen, eds. Robert F.Wagner Labor Archives, Papers of the Jewish Labor Committee, New York University, New York, Garland, 1993, p. 323.

13 Donald Strong, Organized Anti-Semitism in America, The Rise of Group Prejudice during the decade 1930-40, (1941), Greenwood Press reprint, 1979 ; Sander Diamond, Nazi Propaganda in the United States, Ithaca, Cornell U.P., 1974; Alan Brinkley, Voices of Protest, Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression, New York, Random, 1983, p.269-283; Jeffrey S.Gurock, ed. Anti-Semitism in America, Routledge, 1998, vol 6 of American Jewish History.

14 Several historians have strongly indicted the US Congress, the Roosevelt administration and American civil society at large for failing to rescue the endangered European Jewish population. Anthony Morse, Why Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy, NY 1967 ; Henry Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-45, New Brunswick, 1970; Saul Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy Toward Jewish Refugees, 1938-1945, Detroit, 1973 ; David Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941, (1968), New York, Pantheon Books, 1985; Id., The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945, (1984), New York, New Press, 1998. Richard Breitman and Alan M. Kraut, American Refugee Policy, 1933-1945, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1987.

15 The study was done in the summer and fall of 1944 that is before the US army actually reached the death camps in January 1945. Knowledge about the number of victims was still conjectural.

16 Leo Lowenthal, JLC Records, Reel 20, Box 9 Folder 13 p. 14.; ASAL, vol I; Reel 161, “Introduction”, p.11.

17 On the history of the concept of « Critical Theory » see Laurent Jeanpierre, « Invention et réinventions transatalantiques de la « Critical Theory », L’Homme,187-188, Juil-Dec 2008, p 247-270; Jay, Dialectical Imagination, p. 41-85; Wiggershaus Frankfurt School, ch.I and II; Paul Laurent Assoun, L’Ecole de Francfort, Paris, PUF, 1987. Anson Rabinbach, In the Shadow of Catastrophe, German Intellectuals between Apocalypse and Enlightenment, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997.

18 Jeanpierre, “Invention et reinventions”.

19 Franz Neumann, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism (1942), New York, 1944.

20 Wiggershaus, Frankfurt School, p. 275-276.

21Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialektik der Aufklärung, published by Querido, Amsterdam 1947, was first circulated by the Institute in 1944 in a limited typescript edition; we use here Gunzelin Schmid Noerr’ edition, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Philosophical Fragments, transl. by Edmund Jephcott, Stanford University Press, 2002.

22 Dialectic of Enlightenment, p. 137-172. Rabinbach claims that “Elements of Anti-Semitism” can be attributed to Adorno in collaboration with Lowenthal, In the Shadow of Catastrophe, p. 167.

23 Studies in Prejudice includes : Leo Lowenthal and Norbert Guterman, Prophets of Deceit, A Study of the Techniques of the American Agitator, New York, 1949 ; Paul Massing, Rehearsal for Destruction, New York, Harper and Brothers, 1949 ; Theodor Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel Levinson, et al. The Authoritarian Personality, New York, Harper and Row, 1950; Nathan Ackerman and Maria Jahoda, Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder, A Psycho-Analytic Interpretation, New York, Harper, 1950.

24 Jay, Dialectical Imagination, p. 5-55, 116-118; Id., Permanent Exiles, p. 19- 32

25 In the words of Friedrich Pollock, the Institute’s associate director for many years, born from a class of integrated Jewish professionals or businessmen, these scholars had not experienced anti-Semitism. “All of us” he maintained, “up to the last years before Hitler, had no feeling of insecurity originating from our ethnic descent”, Martin Jay, Permanent Exiles, p. 81.

26ASAL, vol. 1, R. 161, p.13.

27Leo Lowenthal (1901-1993) sociology of literature; Paul Massing (1902-1979) specialist of the history of socialism ; Friedrich Pollock (1894-1970), an economist, and Horkheimer’s assistant at the head of the Institute ; A. R.L. Gurland  ( 1904- ?), political science.

28 Parts I and II of the study, “Incidence of Anti-Semitism among workers” and “The American worker looks at the Jew”, were prepared by Gurland; Parts III, “War, Facism and Propaganda”, and VI, “Lessons of Study”, by Massing; Part IV, “Image of Prejudice”, by Lowenthal; and V “Opinions and Reactions of Union Officers” by Pollock, ASAL, “Preface”, vol I, R. 161, p. 4.

29 The Institute and the JLC evenly shared the overall cost of $ 22,463. Frederick Pollock to Adolph Held, January 8 1946, Held to Pollock, May 7, 1946, JLC R.20, B9F13.

30 ASAL,vol. I, R.161, p. 4.

31 ASAL, vol. 1, R.161, p.177; Lowenthal, JLC Records, R20, B9 F13 p. 24.

32 Out of 566 interviewees, 68% were manual blue-collar workers, 6% foremen, 9 % white collar employees, 6.7% sale and tradesmen and 8% professionals. The industries surveyed, included iron and, steel, machine building, motor vehicles and aircraft, oil, chemical and rubber, shipbuilding, electrical machinery, public utilities, building, lumber and wood work, textile, clothing, business services. The majority of the interwiewees worked in defense industries, they were more affected than others by wartime change with a substantial influx of new workers ASAL, R.161, Vol. I, « Scope of Study », p. 30-68.

33 A description of the methodology appears in ASAL, vol. IV, R. 164, p.1254—1322. See also Lowenthal, in JLC Records, R20, B9 F13 p.13.

34 ASAL, vol. IV, Reel 164, p. 1254- 1263, « Methodology ».

35 ASAL, vol. I, R.161, p. 173-174.

36 ASAL, vol. I, R.161, p.179, 181, 184: « Extreme hostility to Jews»: men 12.9%, women 4.1 % ; «friendly to Jews»: men 18.1%, women, 20.1%.

37 ASAL, vol. .I, « Introducing some Neighbors », R.161, p. 69-158.

38 Ibid. R. 161, “Introduction”. p. 8.

39 Ibid. R.161 , «Texture of Prejudice», p. 12.

40 Robert Zieger, The CIO, 1935-1955, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1995,p. 141; Nelson Lichtenstein, Labor’s war at Home, The CIO in World War II, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982, p.110.

41 Leo Lowenthal in particular, who among the Institute’s collaborators was the closest to Judaïsm, explored the persistence of traditional « images of prejudice » in the economic, mental, emotional and body appearance of the Jew as a «parasite », «not a worker», « living by fraud », « not to be trusted, », « idolatry for education », « dirty », etc.. ASAL , vol. III, R.163, p. 909-1051. Lowenthal‘s section has finally been published in his False Prophets, Studies on Authoritarianism, New Brunswick, Transaction Books, 1987, p. 193-253 

42 28% of white collar employees as opposed to 62% blue collar workers stating that « Jews were not doing their share of the war effort », ASAL, vol. III, R.163, p. 772-776.

43 Ibid. vol. II, R.162, p. 232- 336.

44 ASAL, vol. II, R.162, p. 516.

45 34 people were killed in the riot, 25 of them black, 675 were injured and 1893 arrested before federal troops intervened, Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis, Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit, Princeton U.P., 1996, p. 29 

46Zieger, CIO, p. 149.

47 On black/white tension among industrial workers during and after the war see : Gunnar Myrdal, American Dilemma, New York, Harper and Brothers,1944; Harvard Sitkoff, “Racial Militance, and Inter-Racial violence in the Second World War”, Journal of American History 58, Dec 1971,p.661-681, p. 29; Sugrue, Origins of Urban Crisis; Robert O. Self, American Babylon, Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland, Princeton University Press, 2003; Kenneth Durr, Behind the Backlash, White Working Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2003. See also, Lichtenstein, Labor’s War at Home, p. 125. Roosevelt’s Fair Employment Practice Committee banning segregation in the defense industries had responded to black labor leader A.Phlip Randolph’ s threat of a massive march of black workers on Washington if they were not integrated in the defense industries. Blacks, also promoting their own interest in the war against the Nazi ideology of supremacy of the Aryan “race”, felt their lot connected to that of Jews in the fight for racial justice.

48ASAL, vol II, R. 162, « The Jew and the Negro », p. 477-551, esp. p. 510.

49 Ibid.,p.. 551. Dominic J.Capeci, « Black –Jewish Relations in Wartime Detroit : the Marsh, Loving, Wolf Surveys and the Race Riot of 1943 » in Gurock, American Jewish History, vol. VI, p.711-733. Capeci points out that Anti-Semitic, anti-democratic propaganda entered the black community via black nationalists, white Nazi sympathizers and Klan members.

50 ASAL, vol. III, R. 163, p. 620-704.

51 Ibid. 675-689. The Jew as war-monger was one of the themes developed by the isolationist America First Committee which opposed US entry in the war. Making Jews responsible for the war, was also one of Josef Goebbels’ leitmotivs, see Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germay and the Jews, The Years of Extermination, New York, Harper, 2007, p.16-24.

52 ASAL, vol. IV, R.164, « Opinions and Reactions of Union Officers », p. 1066-1252. Some 230 of them were interviewed, but the conversations were not « screened ». On the contrary the questions were openly asked to enlist the leaders‘ participation for suggesting methods of counteraction.

53 Ibid., p. 1145.

54 Ibid,. p. 1155.

55 Ronald H. Bayor indicates that a few isolated acts of vandalism against synagogues or Jewish-owned stores were perpetrated in neighborhoods where Charles Coughlin’s Christian Front operated, « Klans, Couglinites and Aryan Nations : Patterns of American Anti-Semitism in the XXth Century », in Gurock, American Jewish History, vol. 6, p. 579-594.

56 In February 1942, President Roosevelt’s executive order 9066, ordered all persons of Japanese birth or descent (some 120,000 persons) to be removed from the Pacific Coast. Their property confiscated, they were interned in makeshift barracks under the military custody of the War Relocation Authority. See for instance Greg Robinson, By Order of the President, : FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans, Harvard University Press, 2001.

57 Leonard Dinnerstein, « Anti-Semitism Exposed and Attacked, 1945-1950 » in Gurock, American Jewish History, vol. 6, p. 563-578. See also, Samuel H. Flowerman and Marie Jahoda, « Polls on Anti-Semitism », Commentary, 1, April 1946, p. 83. It is on knowledge of such public opinion polls that Philip Roth based his fiction, The Plot against America, London, Jonathan Cape, 2004, in which the author imagines that anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler candidate, Charles Lindbergh, had won the 1940 presidential elections in the US.

58 Zieger, CIO, p. 150-156; Lichtenstein, Labor’s War at Home, ch.9 and 10.

59 Zieger, 212-227 ; Lichtenstein,p. 203-232; Donna Kesselman, “Le syndicat des travailleurs de l’automobile et l’Etat Américain”, unpubished Ph.D.thesis, Université Paris VIII, 1996.

60 ASAL, vol. III, R.163, p. 909. According to Jean Paul Sartre, however, anti-Semitism emanated from the lower middle classes rather than the blue-collar working class « l’Anti-sémitisme c’est le snobisme du pauvre”. “Une representation mythique et bourgeoise de la lutte des classes » Paris (1954), Folio Gallimard, 2001, p. 30 , 181.

61 By 1952, the JLC was approached again by the sociologists who offered to publish a shortened version by Paul Lazarsfeld. But Paul Massing refused this short version which distorted its findings, E. Muravchik, Dec 3 1952 to Adolph Held, Charles Zimmerman and Jacob Pat, JLC Records, R. 182, F.26; Jay, Dialectical Imagination, p. 225-226.

62 Wiggershaus, p. 310, 338.