From The Home Page of DC Dave
World War II had ended less than three years before. It was becoming increasingly apparent that, for all its losses, the big winner of that war had been the Soviet Union and world communism. On March 10, 1948, the body of one of the leading holdouts against the communist advance was found in the courtyard beneath the window of his office. National authorities called the death a suicide, but reports in opposition countries concluded that it had been a murder, a political assassination by the secret police. I am speaking of Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk, the last non-communist government minister of Czechoslovakia, which was the last Eastern European country not yet taken over completely by the communists.
On May 22, 1949, the body of the man generally regarded as the leading government official warning of the communist menace abroad and within the United States government, the nation’s first Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, was found on a third floor roof 13 floors below a 16th-floor window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He had been admitted to the hospital, apparently against his will, diagnosed as suffering from “operational fatigue” and kept in confinement in a room with security-screened windows on the 16th floor since April 2, some seven weeks before. The body had been discovered at 1:50 a.m., and the last edition of the May 22 New York Times reported the death as a suicide, although the belt, or sash, of his dressing gown was tied tightly around his neck, a more suspicious happenstance than anything associated with Masaryk’s death. Continue reading →