Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Amerasia Affair, China, and Postwar Anti-Communist Fervor, The

Through thousands of government  documents, The Amerasia Affair, China and Postwar Anti-Communist Fervor illustrates the perceptions of  espionage and uncovers the inner workings of the postwar anti-Communism movement. This collection provides unique documentation for scholars of political, radical and social history, government and politics, Asian studies and more.

An intuitive platform makes it all cross-searchable by subject or collection.

Date Range: 1945-1973
Content: 14,164 pages
Source Library: Federal Bureau of Investigation Library

In 1945, Kenneth Wells, an analyst with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), noticed that an article in Far East-focused magazine Amerasia was almost identical to a 1944 report he had written on Thailand. OSS agents broke into Amerasia’s New York offices, where they found hundreds of classified documents from the Department of State, the Navy and the OSS.

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A subsequent FBI investigation suggested editor Philip Jaffe had probably obtained  the documents from State Department employee Emanuel Larsen and Naval Intelligence Officer Andrew Roth. In carrying out its probe, the FBI illegally broke into offices and homes, installing bugs and wiretaps. But no evidence indicated documents had been forwarded to a foreign power.

Unlike Alger Hiss or the Rosenberg cases, the Amerasia Affair did not lead to epic courtroom confrontation, imprisonment or execution. Nevertheless, as the first public drama charging that respectable American citizens had spied for the Communists, it contributed to the creation of McCarthyism in American life.

Documents include:

  • Transcripts of the wiretaps
  • FBI surveillance and informant reports
  • Transcripts of discussion Jaffe and others had with their lawyers on the progress of the case
  • FBI memos regarding newspaper articles accusing the government of whitewashing the case
  • Lists of classified documents in Amerasia's possession
  • Congressional testimony
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