Joseph McCarthy (1908–1957)
Joseph McCarthy is a member of the US Senate from 1947 to 1957 at the height of the cold war. From 1953 to 1955 he directs the House Un-American Activities Committee, which is concerned with the dangers of communist agents infiltrating the United States. Based on the discovery of a few espionage cases, McCarthy conducts a vehement witch-hunt against anyone and everyone he deems is influenced by communism. Scientists – including Albert Einstein – writers, artists, trades union activists, anyone active on the left of the political spectrum, including those supporting peace, international understanding, and social rights all come under his scrutiny. This causes many people to lose their jobs or serve jail sentences although most of them have nothing whatsoever to do with the Communist Party. These witch-hunts poison the political climate inside the country and lead to an almost unprecedented persecution of critical positions in the United States.