London, June 21 (AFP): British Left-wing writer George Orwell in 1949 gave the government a list of 38 suspected or actual Communist sympathisers, including comedian Charlie Chaplin, The Guardian reported today.
Orwell, the author of the political satire Nineteen Eighty-Four who would be 100-years-old on Wednesday, sent the list to a friend, Celia Kirwan, who worked for the information research department, a section of the foreign office, the British paper said.
Kirwan had asked the writer’s help in countering waves of Communist bloc propaganda in the intensifying cold war, the left-of-centre Guardian reported.
Orwell, who was terminally ill with tuberculosis which would lead to his death a year later, gave Kirwan a list of names including those of the bestselling novelist J.B. Priestley, the actor Michael Redgrav, the soviet historian E.H. Carr, and the historian Trotsky.
These figures “in my opinion are crypto-Communists, fellow-travellers or inclined that way and should not be trusted as (anti-Communist propagandists”, The Guardian quoted Orwell as writing.
The list was revealed in a 4,000-word article for the Guardian by political historian and commentator Timothy Garton Ash.
When Kirwan died last autumn, her daughter found among her papers a copy of Orwell’s list which she then sent to Garton Ash, The Guardian said.