Grand Jury Minutes

Whittaker Chambers and Felix

On December 7, 1948, Whittaker Chambers told the grand jury for the first time about a photographer named "Felix" who photographed government documents passed along by his alleged Communist confederates. Chambers would later testify that he met Felix weekly for more than six months, between 1937 and 1938. On this day in 1948, Chambers decribed how the procedure was carried out. A crucial aspect of his story, however, would later be contradicted by Felix Inslerman, the man he would eventually identify as Felix:

Q. In other words, you, if you delivered a document to be photographed, if you were going to New York, you would get the document back the same night?

Chambers. That's right.

Who was "Felix"? The FBI wanted to know. The next day, agents showed Chambers a picture of a man they thought could be "Felix." His name was Samuel Pelovitz. (The FBI had seen Pelovitz's name used as a reference by David Carpenter, who Chambers said was one of his associates in the Communist Party.) Chambers identified Pelovitz as his former photographer.

Click here to see the FBI document, which recounts Chambers' confident identification of Pelovitz.


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