FORBIDDEN JOURNEY - 1957

(Article Text)
41 DEFY WARNING, SET OFF FOR CHINA
Americans in Moscow Insist on Their 'Right to Travel'
by Max Frankel
(Associated Press Radiophoto)
OFF TO RED CHINA: Robert Cohen of Los Angeles, one of American youths who left Moscow for Peiping, bids Soviet girl farewell at the station.  The students, who were in Moscow for the Communist-sponsored international youth festival, will tour Communist China for three (six) weeks

MOSCOW, Aug. 14 - Despite the warnings of their Government and the appeals of many of their parents, forty-one young Americans left Moscow by train today for a three-week (six-week) tour of Communist China.  A brass band blared and a thousand flower-bearing Russians waved as the Moscow-Peiping express rolled from the Yaroslav station.  The gay group of Americans was quartered in a well-equipped Soviet sleeper for the six-day trip to the Chinese frontier.
    The Americans were embarking on what most of them descnbed frankly as a low-cost adventure. All defended the trip by saylng they had the "right to travel." Their ages range from the late teens to the early twenties.
    They went despite a clear warning yesterday from the State Department that their passports would be revoked, that they might have difficulty getting passports in the future and that they might "make themselves liable to prosecution for trading with an enemy."
     [In the State Department view the Trading With the Enemy Act, providing fines and imprison- ment, may be applied in this case on the ground that the Korean war (1950-53) has not been officially ended.]
     All the Americans making the trip showed their passports and turned in their passport numbers to get visas issued by the Chinese Embassy here.  These visas, however, were issued on separate pieces of paper so there would be no official record that any of the youths had been in China.
     The State Department contends that these making the trip are none the less violating passport regulations against travel to and in China.  Christian A. Herter, Under Secretary of State, in a special message to each of the travelers yesterday said the United States and China were in a "quasi-state of war," and further maintained that the youths would be "willing tools" of Communist propagandists if they made the trip.
     In a statement, thirty-one of the travelers said they held "widely divergent" political views and rejected "the notion" that they were tools of propaganda.  Having read Mr. Hereter's letter, they said, they wished to reaffirm their belief in the right of United States citizens to travel.
     They insisted that their action was "consistent with loyalty to our country."
     Among the ten who did not sign the statement were at least two young persons who agreed that they were being "used" by the Chinese to embarrass the United States.
     Steve Tyler, whose last permanent address was listed as New York, conveyed this viewpoint just before the train pulled away, but added that he thought the right to travel was more important.
     Shelby, Tucker Jr. of Pass Christian, Miss., an Oxford University student who had rejoined the group after twice having withdrawn, said he thought he could offer the Chinese "a fairer picture of America than that which will be depicted by a certain few in our group."

Minds Made Up
  But most Americans aboard the train seemed never to have had any serious doubt about the wisdom of the journey.  All were among the 160 Americans who came for Moscow's Festival of Youth and Students which ended last Sunday.   Last Wednesday came the Invitation from the Communist All-China Federation of Youth to visit their country.
     All expenses in China were guaranteed.  Travel to Peiping was assured and fifteen of the Americans were aIso promised free return plane fare to Prague after the tour.  The minimum cost to the others would be about $7O for return rail travel through the Soviet Union.
     Stanley Fukson of Los Angeles and Richard Sherman of Chicago dropped out at the last minute. Albert and David Maysles, rothers, of Boston, accepted Chinese visas but did not board the train. They were thinking of following by plane.
     Jacob Rosen of New York, one of the leading American organizers here during the festival, went to Kiev today as an "observer" of the Communist sponsored World Federation of Democratic Youth. He said he would go to Peiping by plane after the session.
     Throughout the preparation for the trip there was little serious open debate about its advisability.
     By last night, after the State Department plea and warning, the atmosphere in the group was such that those who wavered were described as "chickening out."
     Most of the young people acknowledged the attraction of a free trip to an exotic and forbidden place, and some suggested that taIk of "principles" amounted to rationalisation.
     Most of the preparations for the tour were made with the Chinese by Rosen and Robert Williamson, also of New York, and the Rev. Warren McKenna, an Episcopalian clergyman of Boston.  Boistered by the overt confidence and even frivolity of most of the travelers those who seemed to be still in doubt joined in the merriment at the station today.
     The Soviet national anthem and the Moscow Festival song were thumped out by the band.  Hundreds of bouquets and parting souvenirs were tossed at the Americans.  Banjo-strumming Guy Carawan and Peggy Seegar, both of Los Angeles, sang "America, the Beautiful."  The stationnmaster wished them  a happy journey-In English.
     The Americans were a bit flabbergasted by the attention their trip was receiving in the United States press.
     The group settled down after the platform farewells in four-bed compartments of their car.  Dan O'Connell, of Chicago, newly elected spokesman for the group, said, "There are some aboard who may change their minds" before the border is reached.
Travelers Are Listed
     In addition to those named in the foregoing, the following were listed by American correspondents as having embarked on the trip.
      From New York--Louis Alhonote, Morris Block, Eugene Bronstein, Jerry Fiedener, Ninel Goldstein, Fay Goodman, Joanne Grant, Sheila Greenberg, Sam Hockman, David Hollister, Elaine Hyman, Larry Moeyer, Betty Pamilton, Larry Schwartz and Patricia Tyler.
     From Los Angeles--Noel Carawan, Robert Cohen, Dean Hoxsey, Noel Kidder, and his wife, Susan, Elaine Kuznitz, William March and Sandra Mecoli.
     From elsewhere--Harry Blocksberg of Pompton Lakes, N.J.; Judy Collins, Ben Daniels and Ginger Maddox, all of San Francisco; Richard lane, Monterey Park, Calif.; Earl Williamson, Berkeley, Calif.; Lorraine Nowacki, Detroit; Nina Landau, Madison, Wis.; Sahag Avedisian, Pawtucket, R.I.; Fred Grab, Alexandria, Va., and Sally Belfrage, now living in London.
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