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Adolf A. Berle, Jr.

In 1939, Berle, then an Assistant Secretary of State and the department's chief security officer, met with Whittaker Chambers at the request of Isaac Don Levine, an anti-Communist magazine editor. Chambers' conversation with Berle was the first time he made any charges about Communist activities to government officials. Berle's notes of the meeting, in which Alger and Donald Hiss were mentioned, were introduced at the Hiss trials. 

After the trials, Berle told Hiss's attorney, Chester Lane, that Chambers was not convincing or clear about Hiss's Communist connections. Berle said Chambers had told him only that the Hiss brothers were targeted for recruitment by Party members for a study group in Washington. Click here to read Lane's memorandum of the conversation.

Berle's notes also indicated that Chambers told him he left the Party in 1937. The government documents introduced into evidence - documents that Chambers said he got from Hiss - were dated 1938. For more on this, click here to read about Chambers' break with the Communist Party.