Gareth Jones

[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]



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Paul Scheffer

(1883 -1963)

Correspondence to Walter Winchell [a leading US radio news commentator, who championed the right wing 5th Columnist book ‘Sabotage!’ by précising it for Reader’s Digest in Oct 1942 – The book damned Scheffer as a Nazi and was written by Albert Kahn, later discovered to be a KGB agent], from Dorothy Thompson [an American anti-Nazi newspaper correspondent who was banned from the Third Right in the mid thirties.]

These letters were sourced from


Dorothy Thompson

New York City 

April 30 1944

 Dear Walter: 

I am not engaged in the defence of Paul Scheffer, whom the authorities have every conventional reason – at the very least – to detain. But I am, at all times, engaged in the defense of the truth insofar as I can ascertain it. And it is not true that Scheffer lived in a luxurious Park Avenue apartment, financed by wealthy friends, as I have heard that you have stated. (I didn’t hear this, and I may be wrong). Scheffer lived, as you could have easily ascertained, for instance by calling me, or Ham Armstrong or Frances Brown, or Shepherd Morgan, at 66 East 83rd street, in a two bedroom apartment, the rent of which was $95 per month, which was furnished out of the attics of a few of his friends, none of them Nazis. The hospital and surgical expenses which were involved in an operation for a hip fractured while under his first detention, and grossly neglected, leaving him with one leg much shorter than the other, and keeping him still seriously crippled, were defrayed by a handful of old friends, who felt badly that anyone, even a skunk, which his friends do not consider him, should be crippled as a result of official negligence. 

He had, after his arrest very little money from any source. 

There are arguments for and against the detention of Scheffer, all of them practical and all of them emanating from various branches of our own government. I am not thoroughly familiar with all the pros and cons, and have testified only to what I actually know about. I am not sending you this note for any publication purposes, or with any intention to influence you, but only as I am sure you wish to be clear on facts, and not injure your own cause by unwitting misrepresentations. 

Cordially as always – 


Dorothy Thompson

237 East Forty-Eighth Street

New York City


November 3rd 1946

Dear Walter: 

With regard to your reference to my relations with Paul Scheffer, I wish I knew from where or from whom the rumor started that I was associated with him in my work. 

The Scheffer story is far more complicated than anyone knows, apparently even than you know I do not know whether I should reveal what I do know, but I assure you that although I testified for Scheffer under oath of telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” he was released not because of me, but because of far more important and official sources, who did know things I did not. 

I have known Scheffer for twenty years. Since December 1941 (Pearl Harbor) I have seen him on two occasions. One was during his internment. The other was during the past summer, when I invited him to come and stay for a fortnight on the farm in Vermont. His financial condition is practically nil, and he remained in the village of Barnard, two miles from my home, because he found a very cheap place to stay. To help him out, he gave my son a few Latin lessons.  He left Vermont in mid-summer however, to stay with some other friends in an equally remote spot. He is working on philosophical work. I have not heard from him since. 

Scheffer who was correspondent in Moscow in the twenties, is hounded by the communists. I would be perfectly willing to tell all I know about the Scheffer story, except that, first, it is officially still “secret”, and, second, I do not want to expose him again to the campaign of the “Protestant” and other commies. I write this therefore to you confidentially. But Walter – why don’t you ever check with me on things like that? I don’t mean personal things, but matters involving public questions. Had you done so, and I had been able to speak with you personally, and trust your confidence, I would have set you right. I have never collaborated with Scheffer in any way. 

Incidentally – lest what I wrote may be misleading. I saw him on only on only one single occasion during the year preceding Pearl Harbor. I was absolutely convinced that he was anti-Nazi, but I thought his behavior bound to occasion mistrust, and I was not taking any chances whatever. I would really like to tell you the whole truth, and if you would not spill it I’d be inclined to do so – eye to eye. 





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