The FBI has declassified a report, drafted in 1961 on musician Pau Casals, months prior to a concert held at the White House before the President of the USA, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, at which he played El cant dels ocells and a number of classical pieces. The FBI wanted to determine whether Casals was communist and drafted a report on 27 October. The concert took place on 13 November.
The report specifies that the FBI had not carried out any investigations itself on Pau Casals, but still gives a dteiled account of his career from information it had. They recall that Casals took part in the Musicians Committee of the Spanish refugees exiled in France and that the North American Committee in favor of Spanish democracy had raised 1 million dollars in aid of the 400 000 refugees. According to the FBI, the committee of the refugee campaign were considered to be part of the Spanish “Communist Front” in 1940.
They also mention that the Abraham Lincoln Battallion took part in the Spanish civil war in 1936 and 1937 and was connected to the communists in 1940. It goes on to mention declarations made by Pau Casals in several publications and quoting L’unità, linked to the PCI.
According to the report, Casals moved to Puerto Rico, in “a self-imposed exile in protest against Franco”, and protested when General Eisenhower visited Spain. “He has made a serious mistake”, he said.
However, the report did not stop Kennedy from inviting Casals to the White House to perform. A recording of the concert was made.