Author Martin Gumpert’s supporting affidavit, dated January 3, 1952, that was submitted with the 1952 Motion for a New Trial in the Hiss case.
Supporting Affidavit of Martin Gumpert
STATE OF NEW YORK, CITY OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK
MARTIN GUMPERT, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a physician duly licensed to practice in the State of New York, and I am the author of several books published in the United States and elsewhere.
I am the author of a book called Henri Dunant – The Story of the Red Cross, which was published in the fall of 1938.
I wrote the book in German and completed it in December 1937.
The Oxford University Press, which was managed in 1937 and 1938 by Paul Willert, bought my book before I completed it.
I sent the first three chapters to Mr. Willert several months before I finished the book, and I sent him two or three chapters at a time until the book was completed late in December 1937.
The translator who was engaged by the Oxford University Press was Mrs. Rita Reil, who resided at the Bedford Hotel, 118 East 40 Street, New York City, during the period when she was working on translating my book.
I too resided at the Hotel Bedford, and saw Mrs. Reil frequently in connection with the progress of the translation.
I do not remember exactly how long Mrs. Reil worked on the translation of my book, but I do know that Mrs. Reil was engaged as a translator some time before I completed the writing of my book in the end of December 1937, and that when Mr. Willert saw the translation of the first few chapters, he insisted that Mrs. Reil do over the translation.
I saw Mr. Willert frequently, not only in a business way, but socially, as I was very friendly with both Mr. Willert and his wife. Mr. Willert discussed with me his dissatisfaction with the translation produced by Mrs. Reil, his willingness to let her try again to translate the first few chapters, and his intention to obtain a new translator promptly if Mrs. Reil was unable to re-translate the first few chapters satisfactorily. Mr. Willert told me that time was important because certain publication dates were better than others.
The re-translation by Mrs. Reil of the first few chapters proved also to be unsatisfactory, and within a very short time afterwards Mr. Whittaker Chambers was engaged to do the translating of my book.
I do not remember how long Mrs. Reil worked on the translation, but it could not have been very long because Mr. Willert told me as soon as he received the first few chapters that he was not very happy about them, and shortly thereafter Mrs. Reil was asked to re-translate them.
I do remember that the new translator was engaged within two or three weeks, at the most, after Mrs. Reil’s second translation was declared inadequate.
As soon as the new translator, Mr. Chambers, was engaged, I asked to meet him, as I was anxious to see for myself if he was able, and I wanted, also, to give him some personal ideas on the translation.
I was told by Mr. Willert that I would be unable to meet my new translator because he was in hiding from the Russian secret service, known as the G.P.U. And that because he was in hiding, he constantly changed his address, and, also, that because he changed his address constantly, the Oxford University Press was unable to contact Mr. Chambers, but had to wait for him to contact the Oxford University Press.
I asked from time to time, during the course of the translation, to be permitted to talk to the translator, but I was told each time that I could not see him for the reason I have just given.
I finally met Mr. Chambers in late September or early October 1938, at a cocktail party given in honor of the publication of the book.
– MARTIN GUMPERT
Sworn to before me this
3rd day of January, 1952.
LILLIAN U. GENATT
[Notorial stamp and seal]