Anna Spiegel (II)
Anna Spiegel’s entire grand jury testimony on February 3, 1949.
ANNA SPIEGEL, called as a witness, having first been duly sworn by the Foreman, testified:
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, what is your address?
A. 5104 Sunset Road.
A. Baltimore, Maryland.
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, you are appearing before this grand jury in response to a subpoena, is that correct?
A. That’s right.
Q. With reference to your appearance before this grand jury, have you retained the services of an attorney?
Q. Will you give his name and his business address?
A. I don’t know his business address.
Q. In Baltimore?
A. Baltimore, that’s right.
Q. Will you give his name, that’s sufficient.
A. His name is Mr. Harry Adelberg.
Q. Your attorney has advised you with reference to your appearance before this grand jury, hasn’t he?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. I also would like to advise you that in your appearance before this grand jury you have the right to refuse to answer any question which might be asked you in this grand jury room if you reasonably and honestly believe by answering that question you might incriminate or degrade yourself. Do you understand that?
A. Yes, I think I do.
Q. Do you also understand that this is a Federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of New York, is that correct?
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, were you born in the United States?
Q. Where were you born?
A. I was born in Russia while my mother was on a trip from the United States to Russia.
Q. You are a citizen of the United States?
A. Yes, a citizen by derivation.
Q. Were your parents citizens when they were on that trip?
Q. Subsequently they became citizens?
A. Subsequently they became citizens.
Q. You are married and you have children?
A. Two children.
Q. And your occupation?
A. Now, housewife.
Q. What were you, formerly?
Q. Where did you teach, in the Baltimore schools?
A. In the Baltimore public schools.
Q. Would you briefly give your educational background beyond high school?
A. Maryland State Teachers College two years, plus numerous courses at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.
Q. Do you hold any degrees?
A. No, I don’t.
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, do you know an individual named David Carpenter?
A. I know an individual named David Zimmerman. When I was visited by the FBI, they said he called himself David Carpenter, and so I suppose I do know an individual named David Carpenter.
Q. Well, for purposes of clarifying that, the individual I am referring to also uses the name Carpenter and Zimmerman or has in the past, so I think I am referring to the same individual. Would you mind telling the grand jury when you first met Mr. Carpenter and when you last saw him? Give us in your own words what contact you had with him rather than me asking you detailed questions.
A. I met him, I suppose, about 17 years ago, right after I was married.
Q. In Baltimore?
A. In Baltimore. And I last saw him, I think it was in the spring of l938.
Q. You haven’t seen him since that time?
Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Whittaker Chambers?
Q. I would like to show you a photograph and ask you if you can identify the photograph, and when I say, do you know him, have you ever seen him? Now if that photograph isn’t sufficiently clear for you to give an opinion on it, you can say so.
A. It isn’t.
Q. All right.
MR. DONEGAN: Showing the witness Grand Jury Exhibit No. 3. May the record show that for purposes only of observation by the witness, an individual is being brought into the grand jury room and will leave the grand jury room without any statements or comment being made by the witness or the person coming into the grand jury room or by any other person in the grand jury room.
Now, Mrs. Spiegel, all I want you to do is observe this person. Do not say anything until I ask you a question.
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
At this point Mr. Donegan, the U.S. Attorney, left the grand jury room and returned with an individual known to the stenographer to have been previously identified as Whittaker Chambers, who, after entering, faced the witness, and left the grand jury room after several seconds.
Q. Have you ever seen that individual that stood by me at the head of the table here?
A. I am not sure, but I think so. I have seen someone that looks a great deal like him.
Q. Do you think it is a matter of the passage of years that changed his appearance?
Q. I will endeavor to show you a photograph that would be a good likeness of that individual in the early 30s, and ask you whether that would assist you. I will show you that very shortly. Now, do you feel that you can inform the grand jury of any information that you have on this individual that you think looks like him?
A. I don’t know what you mean.
Q. I withdraw that question. I would like to show you a photograph, Mrs. Spiegel, an enlarged photograph of that same individual that was in this room, the same individual you observed. This photograph, according to the best information, was taken about 1931, and I ask you whether you can identify that?
A. Not the photograph, no.
(SAID PHOTOGRAPH MARKED GRAND JURY EXHIBIT. 87, this date.)
Q. Now, Mrs. Spiegel, with reference to that individual you had an opportunity to observe, can you identify him any further? Does he look like an individual whom you may have met under some other name besides Whittaker Chambers?
A. Yes, he looks like him, yes.
Q. Would you give that name as to the person you think he looks like?
A. The name I don’t remember.
Q. All right. Will you tell the grand jury everything you know about that person you think he looks like?
A. He looks like an individual that was brought to my house by David Zimmerman.
Q. Can you set an approximate time?
A. An approximate date? Year?
Q. Year, the nearest you can, year, month.
A. Well, I can’t set a month. I’d say in about the fall of 1937, the fall or winter of 1937.
Q. Just for the purpose – I do not mean to interrupt what you are saying, but how would you associate ’37? Have you got something that happened at that time that would show ’37 rather than ’36 or ’35?
A. Well, I was living downtown at 112 East Madison Street, and I don’t remember the year that was, but happened to look at a bank book and something that happened a year after that, so I identified the fact that we were living at 112 East Madison Street in 1937 and 1938.
Q. In order to save time, of course your husband is going to appear before the grand jury. Is he in a better position to associate the date than you are?
A. No. As a matter of fact we both –
Q. What I am trying to get at, Mrs. Spiegel, is the year, which is quite important, in other words, for the purposes of this grand jury?
Q. Now, is there anything else, some incident that happened back in the 30s there, that you can more definitely associate that with, that is, something personal with reference to your children or something, that would set that date?
A. Well, I had no children at that time. I don’t know exactly what you mean.
Q. Well, it is quite important. It is realized it is a long time ago.
Q. And it is difficult to say what it is.
Q. But what I’d like you to do, is try to search your memory so that you can say more definitely whether it is ’37 or ’36? Now, if you do not know of anything, you do not know of anything, but we’d like you to give a little thought to it.
A. Only this, if this is what you mean: We moved into 112 East Madison Street, I think it was September or October of 1937, I am not quite sure, it was that early fall, and it was during that time, a while after we moved in there, that David Zimmerman asked if he could use our apartment, and offered to pay part of the rent, and since we were in quite bad circumstances at the time, why, we said that he could. That is the only reason I could associate with that time, plus the fact that my husband had just started a new business, and things were very bad for us, and we remembered that he started it that year.
Q. So it couldn’t possibly be before September or October 1937?
A. No. Because we lived at this apartment only one year, a little over one year. It was either 11 or 13 months, I do not remember which. And another way I might associate it was that was during one of the periods when we were in very bad financial straits, and the following year we were so much better off and we moved to a new and better apartment. I mean, those are the circumstances under which I can identify the date.
Q. Now, Mrs. Spiegel, do you know what this man used your apartment for?
Q. What purpose?
Q. What was the arrangement? Will you tell the grand jury, the best you can, what was done and so forth, in your own words?
A. There were no arrangements.
Q. What did David Carpenter say to you, or Zimmerman?
A. He was over one evening and asked – we were talking – he asked, I don’t know if it was the first time he had been to our new apartment, it is kind of hazy, or the second time, and asked if he might use the apartment, and since I was away teaching most of the day, and my husband was working, and the place where he was working was nearby, he was away most of the time, and I was taking classes after school, and we were home very little, plus the fact that he offered to pay for the use for it, we said yes. But there were no details discussed, or no arrangements.
Q. Was any space assigned that this individual was to use?
Q. How did Zimmerman or Carpenter – whenever I say Carpenter or Zimmerman, I mean the same person – how did they introduce you to this man who was going to use your apartment? In other words, did they bring him to you and introduce him to you, how did you meet him?
A. I don’t know what you mean. We said we would let David use the apartment. We didn’t talk about whether friends of David would use the apartment or not. I mean, we did not specifically say they could not, but as far as I can remember, those things weren’t talked about.
Q. What was the occasion for you to see this individual? When did you see him?
A. He was brought – David Zimmerman brought him over one evening on a social visit.
Q. What was the discussion then, as far as you can recall?
A. You mean, about the apartment?
Q. When this individual was there.
A. I don’t remember.
Q. Anything about his business, or what he did, or anything of that sort?
Q. Was there any mention of the fact that he wanted to do some photography work?
Q. Have you any knowledge that he did do photography work in the apartment?
A. I have no knowledge that he did any work.
Q. Did you observe, did he leave anything in your apartment at any time?
A. He didn’t leave anything. David Zimmerman left a suitcase.
Q. A suitcase?
A. That’s right.
Q. Did you ever see what was in the suitcase?
Q. Where did Zimmerman leave that suitcase?
A. In a cupboard.
Q. Is it true that at no time were you present during the period of time that this man was present, that Zimmerman brought to your place?
A. Is it true – what?
Q. That you were not present in your apartment at any time this man was present in your apartment except on this one occasion Zimmerman brought him?
A. You mean, was I not?
Q. Let me ask the question again, and if you do not understand it, ask for a further explanation. In the beginning Zimmerman bought him over, is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. And your husband was present then, and Zimmerman was present.
Q. Then did you ever see this man again in your apartment after that?
A. You mean, was he there on another visit?
Q. Yes. Was he there any other time, whether a visit or any other time?
Q. Will you explain those times?
A. I don’t remember. He was – I don’t remember if he ever came up there alone to visit without David Zimmerman or not.
Q. Did he ever come up there – if he did come up, did you ever see him do anything in your apartment?
Q. You never did see him?
Q. Did you ever see him use a camera in your apartment?
Q. Did you ever observe any film in your apartment, either hanging up or in rolls or anything of that sort?
Q. How long a period of time did that arrangement go on for, how long a period?
A. As nearly as I can remember, I think it went on two or three months. That, I mean, is very, very hazy.
BY THE FOREMA.N:
Q. Do you know if this individual that you saw in here had a key to your apartment?
A. No. David Zimmerman had a key.
Q. Was his arrangement with you one that involved his staying overnight?
Q. Just to use the apartment, presumably to change his clothes and have a place to meet friends?
Q. The cupboard that his suitcase was in, was that supposed to be his cupboard?
A. No. We had only two cupboards in the place.
Q. How large an apartment was it?
A. Small. Bedroom, a living room, kitchen and a bath, and two cupboards.
Q. It wouldn’t be possible that films could be hung up to dry overnight without your knowing it?
A. No, indeed. The place wasn’t that large.
BY MR. DONEGAN:
Q. Do you know whether this man used the kitchen for any reason while you were out?
Q. Was there any indication when you returned that he used the kitchen?
Q. Or the bathroom?
A. No, not as far as I could see.
Q. Can you say whether there were any occasions when he came up to the apartment without Carpenter, I mean, when he came alone?
A. You mean, when I was there?
Q. Of course, you had to be there or you wouldn’t know of it.
A. Well, I do remember his visiting us two or three times or – I know at least twice I am pretty sure of – but other than that, I don’t know.
Q. Would you and your husband follow the practice of going out for some social reason, either moving pictures or some other place, when he would come?
A. No. Are you speaking of David Carpenter?
Q. No. For the sake of keeping the record clear, the individual that you observed in this room is Whittaker Chambers, and that is the individual you say looks like the person that Carpenter brought to you?
Q. And said that he wanted to pay you for using your apartment. So, did Whittaker Chambers come to your apartment at any time, and you and your husband go out, so he would be in the apartment alone?
A. No, not that I recollect.
Q. I think you will understand that’s probably what is troubling the grand jury and certainly is a question in my mind, what was the purpose of Carpenter wanting to make this arrangement and pay out money for this man to use your apartment. What was your understanding of that, because it is an unusual arrangement.
A. I don’t think it is so unusual. We never thought a great deal about it. We knew that he had done some writing. As a matter of fact, I mean, we never thought very much about it at all. It was a very unimportant thing to us except that we were receiving this money.
Q. Well, let me put it this way: How much money, incidentally, do you recall?
A. I think it was twenty dollars.
Q. On what basis, $20 a week or a month?
A. A month.
Q. With reference to your apartment, the use of your apartment, in other words, it did not have any peculiar value to anybody, did it? Was it situated in a place –
A. Downtown; it was downtown.
Q. But the man never slept overnight, did he, there?
Q. So you would assume that he wanted to do some kind of work, is that right?
A. We knew he was writing a book.
Q. Did he have a typewriter? Did you ever observe a typewriter?
Q. Did you ever observe him doing any typing?
Q. So you never actually knew what he did in your apartment, did you?
Q. Did you ever have any discussion with Carpenter as to what he was doing?
A. No. I saw him very little.
Q. Of course to be curious is human, and the question would be as to why it was worth $20 a month to Carpenter for this man, whom I brought into this room here and I advised you is Whittaker Chambers, to use your apartment. In other words, if he is writing a book, at some time or other he would be in there for a considerable period of time and you would observe him doing some of the things in connection with writing a book.
A. But I was home so little.
Q. I understand that, but, after all, it was your place.
A. That’s right.
Q. And you were the one to raise the questions?
Q. So that is what I am trying to get at. In other words, were your suspicions aroused or were you curious? After all, money is money.
A. There was no reason for my suspicions to be aroused. I had known David Carpenter for a number of years and it is true, as you say, that one would naturally be curious. I thought about it a number of times in the past week or so, but at that period I did not at all, or, I will say, we did not. I mean, it was a very unimportant thing in our lives. We certainly had no indication that he would use the apartment for anything improper.
Q. Well, of course, the FBI talked to you very briefly, I take it?
Q. I do not know whether they did or not but I will ask you a question: Did they question you as to whether Chambers ever did any photographing in your apartment?
Q. In other words, if the allegation were made that while you and your husband were not present, Chambers used your apartment for purposes of photography, in other words, taking pictures of documents, and developing them, and printing them, while you and your husband were not present. Is it possible that that could have gone on without your knowledge?
A. I suppose so. I do not know. I do not know very much about taking pictures and photographs.
Q. I am not asking you from the technical point of view. I am asking you from the time element. Were you and your husband away from there long enough – it takes some time to take pictures, and you have to mix some chemicals and put your film through the chemicals, and you have to dry them because you cannot roll them up, you spoil them, you have to dry them – were you and your husband away from that place long enough for that to occur?
A. I think so. I left very early in the morning, and many times, many, many days, I did not return until it was time to go to bed.
Q. On any occasion did you ever see him working in there in the evening?
A. Not that I remember; no.
Q. Did you know Carpenter or Zimmerman as a member of the Communist Party?
Q. Did you have any reason to believe at that time that he was a member of the Communist Party?
A. No, I never thought of it.
Q. Did you know a woman by the name of Mrs. Soyring, or Eleanor Nelson, her married name being Soyring? Have you ever met her at any time?
A. I never heard of the name.
Q. Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?
Q. Did you ever have any suspicion in your mind that the purpose of this man using your apartment might have been for something that had to do with the Communist Party?
Q. Under what circumstances did you first meet Zimmerman?
A. As I can remember, I either met him at someone’s house or he came to my house.
Q. In Baltimore?
A. In Baltimore.
Q. He wouldn’t have come to your house without meeting you first someplace?
A. I mean, unless someone brought him to our house. When we were first married we lived right downtown on Franklin Street, and we had many people dropping in, people would bring other people with them.
Q. What happened to his suitcase?
A. I don’t know. It disappeared.
Q. Did you ever look in it?
Q. Do you know whether Mr. Zimmerman or Mr. Carpenter had an apartment or lived elsewhere, or where he lived at that time, and was he married at that time?
A. No, I never knew of him as being married.
Q. Do you know if he had an apartment and where it was and what kind of an apartment?
Q. Didn’t know where he lived at that time at all?
A. I knew he lived in the eastern part of the city.
Q. When you would return home, would there be any indication that someone had been in your apartment during the day?
Q. Such as cigarette butts or probably the apartment needed a little tidying up?
Q. Did you know Felix Inslerman?
Q. Felix Inslerman.
Q. Did you know if anybody other than Mr. Zimmerman used your apartment?
Q. Who did you think was writing the book, Zimmerman or somebody else?
A. I had no reason to believe anybody else was writing the book. I knew Mr. Zimmerman was writing a book.
Q. Did he leave a typewriter there?
Q. Did you know the nature of the book Mr. Zimmerman was writing?
Q. Whether it was a novel or biography?
A. I think there was some discussion of it being a novel.
BY MR. DONEGAN:
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, do you know an individual named Helen Schmerler?
Q. Do you know that she is a member of the Communist Party?
Q. Were you associated with her in any activities in Baltimore?
A. She belongs to the Progressive Party, and so do I.
Q. Did you know Zimmerman as having belonged to any organizations of a similar type when you knew him in Washington?
A. In Washington?
Q. I mean in Baltimore.
Q. Did you ever have any contacts with Mr. Zimmerman outside of the city of Baltimore? I mean, did you know him in any other city?
Q. Do you know what his present occupation is?
A. No. Let me qualify by saying that when the FBI men came, they said that Mr. Zimmerman was associated with the Daily Worker.
Q. Yes, he is a copywriter on the Daily Worker. So you can accordingly understand why you are being asked questions as to whether you had any knowledge of his activities back in those days.
Q. Have you anything that you can contribute with reference to that, for the information of the grand jury?
A. About his activities in those days?
Q. Yes, as you knew them in those days.
A. I don’t think so. The only way we knew him was socially. We didn’t see him a great deal. We thought he was a very intelligent person. I think we were a little flattered that he should pay any attention to us.
Q. What did he work at at that time, do you know?
A. I think he was a paint chemist.
Q. Paint chemist?
A. I think so.
Q. I don’t know whether you explained it already or not. How did you happen to meet him, what were the circumstances?
A. I do not remember whether we met him at someone’s house or someone brought him to our house.
Q. What was the reason for you breaking away from him?
A. We didn’t break away from him. We just never heard or saw him any more, and we wondered about that, but then after this period I suppose we were so involved in our own affairs and all that, that we didn’t think too much about it, although many times we wondered what had happened to him or where he was.
Q. Did you ever hear him talk politics at all?
Q. What general slant did he have in his discussions? Do you recall?
A. I wouldn’t say he was conservative.
Q. Was he inclined to be Communistic?
A. I don’t know what you mean by that. I mean, he was, I suppose, to the left.
Q. Not to an extent which you thought was unusual?
BY MR. DONEGAN:
Q. Mrs. Spiegel, have you tried to give some thought to recollecting the name under which this individual I identified as Whittaker Chambers was introduced to you?
A. I have.
Q. Do you recall whether it was a first name or whether it was a full name?
A. I mean, both my husband and I have tried to recall that.
Q. Was it under the name of Bob, do you recall Bob in reference to that, or Carl?
A. I don’t remember.
Q. Did this man ever indicate to you where he lived?
Q. Did the question ever come up as to why he wasn’t using his own place for whatever purpose he was using your place?
A. The question never came up because I was never aware that he was using my place, as far as I can remember.
Q. That’s confusing to me. Zimmerman comes and says, “Well, I will give you $20 a month if you will allow this individual to use your place when you are away from it,” so that raises the presumption that he must have been using your place, is that correct?
A. The understanding was that Zimmerman was going to use it.
A. That’s right.
Q. Not this man?
Q. So at no time did you have any knowledge that this man that came into this room here, that you saw, used your place?
A. I never thought about it. I never said to Mr. Zimmerman, “Don’t bring anybody into my place,” or anything like that.
Q. Did either Zimmerman or this individual ever have dinner at your home in a social way?
A. Mr. Zimmerman might have.
Q. Was there an understanding that Mr. Zimmerman was to be undisturbed for a certain number of hours each day?
Q. How did you reconcile the fact at the time that Mr. Zimmerman had his own apartment, I presume he at the same time was working, and paying an additional fee to use your apartment during the day? I mean, did you in your own mind reconcile why a man would have to have two apartments in the same city? Didn’t that strike you as rather strange?
A. I never thought very much about it. I think he was living with his mother at the time. I did not know. I knew very little about his personal life.
Q. Do you recall what rent you were paying at that time?
A. It was either $37.50 or $42.50. I think it was $37.50.