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Matt Cvetic: A Forgotten American Hero?
The history of the Communist Party of America is a sordid one. During the Great Depression they were a progressive voice trying to establish trade unions and hoping to create a future which stood for equality for all. But the ideals that communism stood for and what happened in reality were two different things. The party soon swung toward Stalinism and became a cesspool of espionage within American borders. By this time too many intellectuals and common folk hoping for a better tomorrow had been caught in the red snare.
The FBI was concerned about the growing sphere of Soviet influence so they began to monitor communism within America very closely. What they needed to infiltrate this organization was a bolshevik of their own. Enter Matt Cvetic: A patriotic American, a Christian, the hard-working son of immigrant parents; he would become the new rising star within the party but, what the reds wouldn't know is that he was really an FBI agent.
Cvetic came to the attention of the FBI because he had desperately wanted to join the army during the Second World War but was deemed 4F because he was too short. They approached him and asked that he serve his country in a different way. Despite the fact that it would mean alienating his friends and family, and constantly arguing for the Soviet cause (which he abhorred), he was eager to help out. He soon became a friend and confidant to those spreading the Marxist-Stalinist cause in the U.S.
He now found that his life was constantly in danger as his new friends would test his loyalties and convictions. His family ridiculed his new political dillusions and he couldn't risk telling them the truth. The only person he confided in was his priest who was naturally bound to silence because of the seal of the confessional.
The nightmare ended during the In House Senate Committee on UnAmerican Activities: He gladly named names. Cvetic could finally come out of the Stalinist closet and go back to being a true American. And true American he became! Next stop Hollywood. His story led to a series in the Saturday Evening Post, which led to a radio show, which led to a feature length film.
Unfortunately fame and fortune didn't last long for Cvetic. The strains of not being able to tell his own family for all of those years led to divorce. He died a broken (and now forgotten) man in 1962.
You can listen to the radio show here:
- Old Time Radio Fan :: Series :: I Was A Communist For The FBI
I Was A Communist For The FBI episodes for listening and download
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