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"Harvard Red Caught on Karlsruhe; Anti-Nazi Exploit Baffles Officials" article from Boston Herald newspaper

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The Russian Revolution presented the strongest-ever counter to the American Revolution. The outcomes of the Russian Revolution posed a challenge to America's understanding of what a successful revolution would mean. During the 1930s, the Soviet Union was still seen as the principal ideological threat to the United States. Americans therefore feared Communism more than the rise of National Socialism in Germany and Fascism in Italy. In May of 1934, Allen K. Philbrick was caught "stuffing" procommunist propaganda "down a ventilator of the German cadet cruiser Karlsruhe." Philbrick's actions would have aroused the fears of Americans. The Boston Police department's "'Red' Squad" responded by taking Philbrick into custody and by holding him under the charge of 'suspicion of anarchy.' Urban police departments in the United States from the 1870s on routinely contained units charged with discovering and exposing political subversion.


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