By now many of you have heard that last week, on September 11th, the transcript covering testimony of 43 of the 46* witnesses who appeared in front of the Grand Jury investigating my parents in 1950-1951, was made public. (*Only a portion of the testimony of Harry Gold, a key prosecution witness, was made available, and legal efforts to date have failed to win the release of testimony of three other witnesses, including Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass, the most crucial player in the case.)
This historic release of information coincided with an article that appeared on the same date in the New York Times, interviewing Morton Sobell, my parents’ co-defendant. Ever since his arrest more than 50 years ago, Mort has maintained his innocence. But in last week’s interview he admitted that he, along with Julius Rosenberg, passed non-atomic military intelligence to the Soviets during World War II in an effort to help them defeat the Nazis.
Over the last week I have read all 930 pages of Grand Jury testimony that have been released, and my brother has spoken to Mort directly to clarify Mort’s statement. Many of you are wondering about my reaction to these revelations.
Here are my initial thoughts after integrating the information from this last week with the rest of the historical record.
Since the 1980’s I have maintained that it is possible that my father engaged in non-atomic espionage, but that he did NOT participate in ANY activities that resulted in him obtaining or passing the’ “secret of the Atomic Bomb’ to the Soviets. Mort’s statement moves me to acknowledge that it is virtually certain, that Julius did, in fact, participate with others in passing along military information. But at the same time, I believe the still-evolving record makes it even clearer that Julius did not ‘steal’ or transmit the ‘secret of the Atomic Bomb,’ the crime for which he was executed.
Ruth Greenglass’s Grand Jury testimony provides several bombshells, but I will only highlight one here. Ruth and her husband David, (my mother’s sister-in-law and brother), cooperated with the prosecution in exchange for a comparatively light sentence for David, and for no charges being brought against Ruth. It was Ruth’s trial testimony that provided the one, key piece of evidence that led to my mother’s conviction. Ruth stated at trial that Ethel typed David’s handwritten notes describing the Atomic Bomb, an act that would have made Ethel an active participant in the alleged spy ring. However, despite being a cooperative witness trying to remain in the prosecutor’s good graces, Ruth’s Grand Jury testimony included NOTHING about Ethel ever typing any notes; included NOTHING about Ethel even being present at the meeting involving the notes; and in a damning contradiction to her later trial testimony, stated that RUTH hand-wrote the only notes and they described the buildings at Los Alamos not the Atomic Bomb.
All that I have learned in the last week, coupled with all that I have gleaned from the information already available, reinforces the biggest lesson to be taken from my parents’ case- that the U.S. Government abused its power in truly dangerous ways that are still very relevant today. Those in power who were involved in my parents’ case:
And finally, the agencies and individuals involved in my parents’ case, systematically and emphatically covered-up and denied all these abuses.
Ultimately, these new revelations have made me even more steadfast in my commitment to helping those whom the Rosenberg Fund for Children supports: today’s families experiencing similar targeting and suffering similar personal tragedies.
I thank you all for the many messages of support and solidarity you have sent to me and my family, and I invite any of you who would like more information, (including details on how to view the Grand Jury transcripts yourselves), to visit the RFC website at www.rfc.org
Rosenberg Fund for Children
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