Massing was a self-confessed former Communist,
who was called to testify at the first trial
by the prosecution to bolster Whittaker Chambers'
charge that Alger Hiss had been a Communust.
Massing's testimony was excluded by Judge Samuel
H. Kaufman, who ruled that her story
was irrelevant to the charges against Hiss.
Largely because of that ruling, Kaufman came
under attack from conservatives in the press
and in Congress and was replaced as the judge
for the second trial by Henry W. Goddard.
Goddard permitted Massing to testify over objections
by the defense. Massing told the second jury
that in 1935 she had met Hiss at a party held
at the home of Mrs and
Mrs. Noel Field, whom she described
as intimate friends of hers. She also said that
Noel Field was in the State Department at the
time and that he had been a member of an underground
Communist group, operating in the Department.
Massing testified that she told Hiss at the
party, "I understand that you are trying
to get Noel Field away from my organization
into yours." She said Hiss's response was,
"So you are this famous girl that is trying
to get Noel Field away from me."
added that at the end of the brief conversation,
one of them said, "Whoever is going to
win, we are working for the same boss."
She said she couldn't be sure who made the latter
cross examination, Massing couldn't recall the
date of her own marriage to Gerhard Eisler,
admitting, "I have a bad memory."
She also admitted that with the help of journalist
Eugene Lyons (who was feeding suggestions to
prosecutor Thomas Murphy during the trial from
Richard M. Nixon, among others) she was preparing
a series of articles about her life that she
hoped to have published. These articles were
subsequently published and were adapted into
a book called "This
rebut her testimony, the defense called Henrikas
Rabinavicius, a former OSS member and a friend
of Lyons', who said that he had heard Massing
give a different and more innocuous account
of her alleged meeting with Hiss at a dinner
party in Lyons' home in September, 1949, just
prior to the second trial. Rabinivicius testified
that at the party, Massing said she was sent
to Washington to contact young men in the State
Department but that she "carefully concealed"
her affiliation so as not to frighten them away.
She said she was trying to recruit Field into
an anti-fascist organization but that she had
learned he was already a member of an organization
with a colleague of his in the State Department,
Alger Hiss. He said she made no reference to
any comment Hiss may have made about the two
of them working for the same boss.
his book, "In the Court of Public Opinion,"
Hiss denied her story, saying he had never met
Massing until he was introduced to her by FBI
agents in December 1948 and asked by them if
he could identify her. He also pointed out that
he and Field could not have been in the same
State Department organization, because the two
were not in the State Department at the same
time. Hiss did not enter the State Department
until September 1936.
also wrote that when the defense first read
an account of Massing's story in the newspaper
during the first trial, a Swiss attorney was
asked to contact Mrs. Field, who was then living
in Geneva (her husband had disappeared, having
been arrested by Czech and later Hungarian authorities).
Mrs. Field told the attorney that Hiss and Massing
were never in the Field apartment at the same
time. Before she could be contacted again by
the defense, Mrs. Field also disappeared.
the Fields were released from prison in 1954,
Noel Field, in a letter to Hiss, said Massing's
story was "nothing but a lie."
more on Noel Field's story, click