ABN gained a global reach by allowing any people oppressed by the
Soviet Union to join, including ultra-nationalist groups from
Siberia, China, Mongolia, Korea, and Manchuria.
In 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson requested the formation of a working committee representing leading political, social, economic, and religious figures that could then arrange contacts with the various exile organizations. This liaison group would enable the American government to provide assistance and to ensure that all activities would remain in line with U.S. foreign policy objectives. (Transnational Anti-Communism and the Cold War: Agents, Activities, and Networks, edited by Luc van Dongen, Stephanie Roulin, Giles Scott-Smith.)
formation gave the ABN emigre groups stature in the government and
access to leadership in every strata of our society.
Prior to 1949, the Nazi emigre groups and the UCCA in particular were investigated for anti-American activity by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which was eventually chaired by Senator Joe McCarthy.
President Truman's 1949 directive to designate them as
anti-communists, they were dropped from the investigation list. When
you consider that almost the entire Ukrainian emigre population (a
few hundred thousand) that came in were Nazi SS, Bandera's OUN army
and their leadership, in addition to the ultra-nationalist population
that was already present in the US, the narrative starts to take
the HUAC investigations in the early 1950's, ABN (UCCA) operatives
that barely had time to change out of their SS uniforms were bringing
accusations of communist subversion against US citizens whose
reputations, careers, and lives were ruined because of it. What
became known as the Red Scare to a large degree rested on the
information provided by the former Nazis now known as anti-communist
emigres. Most of the accusations made to the committee have been
debunked as fabricated.
McCarthy gave the ABN a national platform, and anyone who went
against it faced his wrath. The Captive Nations emigre population led
by the Bandera UCCA became the storm troopers for the hard right,
manning almost every demonstration during the 1950's and 60's,
hurling accusations of pro-communism at every politician or person
that stood against their agenda, from PTA meetings to national
protests. They purged libraries of books they considered too
OUN-ABN-UCCA Ukrainian emigres were not alone. Yaroslav Stetsko was a
brilliant organizer. Early on he found out that by consolidating
groups as he had done with the ABN, he could increase his political
footprint a hundred fold. Many politicians wouldn't talk to a war
criminal, so he stayed in the background while others promoted his
political scientist and diplomat George Kennan, one of the key
figures of the Cold War, described the Captive Nations ethnic groups
as a long standing phenomenon in American political life. Small,
compact ethnic voting groups in large cities put more pressure on
certain politicians, and through them the entire US government, than
an equivalent group of native citizens ever could.
Polish American Congress (PAC) was formed in New York in 1944, and
because of their size and unity, became instrumental after joining
Stetsko's ABN. From 1944, the PAC started influencing national
elections to such a degree that Republicans and Democrats scrambled
to get their support. From the 1940's until the present they have
represented 5% of the voting population in the United States.
Furthermore, their populations are located in states that are
essential for winning a national election, including Illinois,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New
York, Ohio, Connecticut, and Maryland. In the 1950's, the over
200,000 polish emigres that came to the US under the Displaced
Persons Act began to have an effect as the PAC started moving toward
Ultras: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
The Baltic States emigre population played a significant role even without a large footprint. These governments-in-exile became the darlings of right wing congressman, who took up their causes. The larger Eastern European community across the US adopted the Baltics states' cause and helped promote it on Capitol Hill.
According to Multiple Fronts of the Cold War: Ethnic Anti-Communism of Latvian Émigres, , by Ieva Zake:
The Latvian engagement in American partisan politics became particularly relevant in the 1960s when a large number of Latvians obtained U.S. citizenship and realized that they now possessed valuable political power. The American parties, especially the Republicans, understood that too and reached out to the refugees by creating ethnic committees. A notable group of prominent Latvian emigres such as Voldemārs Korsts, Laimonis Streips, Ilgvars Spilners and 'riks Dundurs became seriously interested in changing the American political scene from within.
noted that a sizable section of the Latvian community was made up of
former German Waffen-SS, which participated in the wartime genocide.
To defend them, Latvian nationalist journalist Ernests Blanks
insisted they had fulfilled a historic mission by protecting Western
Europe from the threat of communism: