Fifty Photographs: selections from SCUA collections

The Communist specter in McCarthy-era Springfield, Mass.

by Sidney Lipshires, ca.1950

As the repression of the McCarthy era intensified, a handful of Americans held out in resistance. This 1950 image of Joseph Starobin, foreign editor of the Daily Worker, spoke from a makeshift platform in Springfield, using a microphone powered by a car battery. Starobin went into exile in 1951. In the audience was Sid Liphsires, a war veteran and then Secretary of the Communist Party of western Massachusetts.

Like Starobin, Lipshires was forced to relocate to escape political pressure during the early 1950s, althugh he remained in the U.S. He eventually broke with the Party in 1957 over its failure to renounce Stalinism.