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1952. Otto Nathan was a life-long pacifist and socialist who escaped Nazi Germany to serve in the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations. He was one of Albert Einstein's closest friends and the executor of his literary estate. At the height of the McCarthy period, Otto Nathan was denied a passport by the State Department.

I had lost my teaching position because of alleged left-wing associations and I hoped that, if I could go overseas, I could find some professional work. My lawyers and I argued a long time about whether or not I should sign an affidavit that I had never been a Communist. I'm not proud of it, but finally I did it. In spite of that affidavit, the State Department continued asserting that I had been a Communist. They also held against me my friendship with Einstein who was considered to be on the left, himself. Mine was the first passport case lawyers took to court. The court ordered the State Department to grant me a passport. They refused. In the appeals court procedure, they said there was a danger that, if I went to Europe, I might assassinate the President of France. At that point, the chief judge said he had heard enough. He ordered the State Department to give me a "quasijudicial" hearing within three days, at which time I would be permitted to cross-examine the witnesses against me. Rather than let me question their witnesses, the informers, they gave me the passport.