Sylvia Caldwell letter - 1939-1-26

 

Sylvia Caldwell was the secretary to the leader of the Socialist Workers Party at their headquarters in New York, and she was a Soviet spy. She had joined the Communist party in Chicago, married a man with last name Franklin who was also a Soviet spy, and was recruited by Indianapolis native Louis Budenz, himself a spy and a leader in the Communist party of the USA. Caldwell was the name she used in New York as she volunteered at the SWP, and soon became the key secretary. She had access to everything, member rosters, letters between the leaders, bank account figures, travel plans, relationships, and she turned it all over to her Soviet handlers. With that information, they were able to plan the assassination of Trotsky. Budenz left the communist party in 1945, became a key witness for prosecution of Soviet spies, and even went to the office of SWP leader James Cannon and told him Sylvia Caldwell was a spy, but it was called a slander. It was not until the 1970s when all the government documents were made public, including her own testimony, that it was established without doubt.