Alfred Kohlberg

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Alfred Kohlberg (San Francisco, California, 27 January 1887 – New York City, 7 April 1960)[1] was an American textile importer and staunch anti-Communist – a member of the "China lobby", an ally of Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy, a friend and advisor of John Birch Society founder Robert W. Welch Jr. and a member of the original national council of the John Birch Society.[2]

Born in San Francisco, Kohlberg moved to New York and set up a business buying linen in Ireland that was then shipped to China where local weavers turned the raw linen into fine textiles. The finished products were then sent to the United States where they were sold to consumers as luxury fabrics. Kohlberg's business was highly profitable.

Due to his business interests he made many trips to China. During one of these trips in 1943, after inspecting the progress of the Chinese war-effort, he became convinced him that the many stories in the American press of Chiang Kai-shek's corruption were false and were being spread by communist-sympathizers. Subsequently he founded a journal Plain Talk intended to rebut the claims made by the China Hands and support the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-Shek, thus becoming an influential member of the "China lobby".

Kohlberg was a board member of the Institute of Pacific Relations, though he later claimed that it was infiltrated by communists.[3] He was the financial backer of Plain Talk, which merged with The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 1950.

Kohlberg married Jane Myers in 1921 and had two daughters and two sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b NNDB. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  2. ^ Herzstein, Robert E. (2006-06-01). "Alfred Kohlberg: Counter-Subversion in the Global Struggle against Communism, 1944-1960". Globalization, Empire, and Imperialism in Historical Perspective. University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  3. ^ McCarran Committee testimony, April 16, 1952