The Atomic Bomb Spy Case (continued)		
 
 

Authorities File Charges

On June 16, 1950, the Criminal Division of the Justice Department was advised of David Greenglass's admissions and authorized the filing of a complaint in Albuquerque, New Mexico, charging him with espionage conspiracy to violate Title 50, U.S. Code, Section 34. On the same date, Greenglass was arraigned before a U.S. Commissioner of the Southern District of New York and was remanded to the custody of a U.S. Marshal in default of $100,000 bail. On July 6, 1950, Greenglass was indicted by a Federal grand jury in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and charged with espionage conspiracy.

A complaint charging Julius Rosenberg with espionage conspiracy was filed on July 17, 1950. Rosenberg was arrested at his home in Knickerbocker Village, New York City, the same day and was arraigned that evening before a U.S. District judge, Southern District of New York. Rosenberg was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal in default of $100,000 bail for further hearing.

On August 3, 1950, the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, authorized the filing of a sealed complaint against Morton Sobell, charging him with espionage conspiracy.

On August 7, 1950, Ethel Rosenberg appeared before a Federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York pursuant to a subpoena. A complaint charging her with espionage conspiracy was filed on August 11, 1950. Ethel Rosenberg was taken into custody on the same day by FBI Agents. Later, on the afternoon of August 11, 1950, she was arraigned before the U.S. Commissioner of the Southern District of New York and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal, in default of $100,000 bail for further healing.

On August 17, 1950, a Federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York returned an indictment alleging 11 overt acts. Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg, and Anatoli Yakovlev were charged with violation of Title 50, U.S. Code, section 34.

Following Morton Sobell's August 18, 1950, arrest by FBI Agents in Laredo, Texas, he was arraigned before the U.S. Commissioner, Southern District of Texas, waived removal to New York, and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal on August 23, 1950.

The Rosenbergs were arraigned before a U.S. District judge, Southern District of New York, and entered pleas of not guilty on August 23, 1950. Bail in the amount of $100,000 was continued for both of them.

The next day, Morton Sobell was arraigned before the U.S. Commissioner, Southern District of New York, and his hearing was adjourned. Bail of $100,000 was continued. On September 18, 1950, Sobell again appeared for a hearing before the U.S. Commissioner, which was adjourned to enable the Government to present its case to a Federal grand jury.

On October 10, 1950, a superseding indictment was returned by a Federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York. Morton Sobell, Ethel Rosenberg, Julius Rosenberg, David Greenglass, and Anatoli Yakovlev were charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Statutes.

On October 17, 1950, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg pleaded not guilty. Bail of $100,000 was continued for Julius Rosenberg; Ethel Rosenberg's bail was reduced to $50,000. They were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal in default of bail.

David Greenglass pleaded guilty to the superseding indictment on October 18, 1950. His plea was accepted by the presiding judge, and bail of $100,000 was continued pending sentencing.

Morton Sobell entered a plea of not guilty on December 5, 1950. His plea was accepted by a U.S. District judge, Southern District of New York, and his bail was continued in the sum of $100,000.

On January 31, 1951, a Federal grand jury handed down a second superseding indictment charging Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg, Anatoli Yakovlev, Mortin Sobell, and David Greenglass with conspiracy to commit espionage between June 6, 1944, and June 16, 1950. This indictment was similar in all respects to the previous superseding indictment, except that it changed the start of the conspiracy from November, 1944, to June, 1944.

On February 2, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobell entered pleas of not guilty before a U.S. District judge, Southern District of New York. David Greenglass entered a guilty plea to the above indictment and withdrew his plea of guilty to the previous superseding indictment. The judge directed that Greenglass's sentencing be postponed until the end of the trial.

Morton Sobell applied for a writ of habeas corpus on Febrary 5, 1951, claiming the indictment of January 31, 1951, was vague and that his incrimination was a violation of his constitutional rights. The application was denied.

On March 6, 1951, the Rosenbergs-Sobell espionage conspiracy trial on the superseding indictment of January 31, 1951, commenced in the Southern Distict of New York. At the outset of the case the U.S. Attorney moved to sever Anatoli A. Yakovlev from the trial, and the motion was granted. The selection of a jury of 12 with 2 alternates was completed on March 7, 1951. Counsel for the defendants made motions to dismiss the indictment on various grounds, which were denied by the court. A motion was then made and granted to sever David Greenglass from the indictment because he had already pleaded guilty.

Some of the espionage activities of the Rosenbergs with their ramifications were brought out at the trial of the atom spies. Greenglass's testimony revealed that he entered the U.S. Army in April, 1943, and in July, 1944, was assigned to the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He did not know at that time what the project was but he received security lectures about his duties and was told it was a secret project. Two weeks later, again being told that his work was secret, he was assigned to Los Alamos, New Mexico, and reported there in August, 1944.

In November, 1944, his wife, Ruth Greenglass, who came to Albuquerque to visit him, told him that Julius Rosenberg advised her that her husband was working on the atom bomb. Greenglass stated that he did not know that he was working on such a project. He stated that he worked in a group at Los Alamos under a professor of a New England university and described to the court the duties of his shop at Los Alamos. He stated that while at Los Alamos, he learned the identity of various noted physicists and their cover names.

Greenglass testified that the Rosenbergs used to speak to him about the merits of the Russian Government. He stated that when his wife came to visit him at Los Alamos on November 29, 1944, she told David that Julius Rosenberg had invited her to dinner at the Rosenberg home in New York City. At this dinner Ethel told Ruth that they had not been engaging in Communist activities, buying the "Daily Worker" any more, or attending club meetings because Julius finally was doing what he always wanted to do, which was giving information to the Soviet Union.

After Ethel told Ruth that David was working on the atom bomb project at Los Alamos, and said that she and Julius wanted him to give information concerning the bomb, Ruth told the Rosenbergs that she did not think it was a good idea and declined to convey their requests to David. Ethel and Julius remarked that she should at least tell David about it and see if he would help. During this conversation, Julius pointed out to Ruth that Russia was an ally and deserved to obtain the information that was not being provided for its use.

At first, David refused to have anything to do with the Rosenbergs' request, but on the next day he agreed to furnish any available data. Ruth then asked David specific questions about the Manhattan Project and David gave her that information.

In January, 1945, David arrived in New York City on furlough, and about two days later Julius Rosenberg came to David's apartment to ask him for information on the A-Bomb. He requested David to write up the information and said he would pick it up the following morning.

That evening Greenglass wrote up the information he had. The next morning he gave this material to Rosenberg, along with a list of the scientists at Los Alamos and the names of possible recruits working there who might be sympathetic to Communism.

Greenglass further stated that at the time he returned this material over to Rosenberg, Ruth Greenglass remarked that David's handwriting was bad and would need interpretation. Rosenberg answered that it was nothing to worry about because Ethel, his wife, would retype the information.

A day or two later David and his wife went to the Rosenberg apartment for dinner where they were introduced to a woman friend of the Rosenbergs. After she left, Julius told the Greenglasses that he thought this person would come to see David to receive information on the atom bomb. They discussed a tentative plan wherein Ruth Greenglass would move to Albuquerque; this woman would also meet Ruth in a movie theater in Denver, Colorado, to exchange purses. Ruth's purse would contain the information from David concerning Los Alamos.

To identify the perosn who would come to see Ruth, it was agreed that Ruth would use a side piece of a jello box. Julius held the matching piece of the Jello box. David suggested that meeting be held in front of a certain grocery store in Albuquerque. The date of the meeting was left to depend upon the time that Ruth would depart for Albuquerque.

During this visit, Julius said that he would like to have David meet a Russian with whom he could discuss the project on which David was working. A few nights later Julius made an appointment for David to meet a Russian on First Avenue between 42nd and 59th streets in New York City. David drove up to the appointed meeting place and parked the car near a saloon in a dark street. Julius came up to the car, looked in, went away, and came back with a man who got into David's car. Julius stayed on the street, and David drove away with the unknown man. The man asked David about some scientific information, and after driving around for a while, David returned to the original meeting place and let the man out. This man was then joined by Rosenberg, who was standing on the street, and David observed them leaving together.

In the spring of 1945, Ruth Greenglass came to Albuquerque to live, and David visited her apartment on weekends. On the first Sunday of June, 1945, a man, subsequently identified by David as Harry Gold, came to visit him and asked if David's name was Greenglass. David said that it was, and Gold then said, "Julius sent me." David went to his wife's wallet and took out the piece of the Jello box and compared it with the piece offered by Gold. They matched.

When Gold asked David if he had any information, Greenglass said that he did but would have to write it up. Gold then left, stating he would be back. David immediately started to work on a report, made sketches of experiments, wrote up descriptive material regarding them, and prepared a list of possible recruits for espionage. Later that day Gold returned and David gave him the reports. In return, Gold gave David an envelope containing $500, which he turned over to Ruth.

The Court accepted copies of the sketches prepared by Greenglass at the time of the trial to describe the information Greenglass had turned over to Gold. These sketches were admitted into evidence.

In September, 1945, David Greenglass, who was on furlough, returned to New York City with Ruth. The next morning Julius Rosenberg came to the Greenglass apartment and asked what David had for him. David informed Julius that he had obtained a pretty good description of the atom bomb.

At this point in Greenglass's testimony the Government prosecutor reverted to Rosenberg's contact with David in January, 1945. David reiterated that in January, 1945, Rosenberg gave him a description of an atom bomb, which David later learned had been subsequently dropped on Hiroshima, in order that David would know what information to look for.

Greenglass continued to relate what transpired in September, 1945. At Julius' request, he drew up a sketch of the atom bomb, prepared descriptive material on it, drew up a list of scientists and possible recruits for Soviet espionage and thereafter delivered this material to the Rosenberg apartment. He stated that at the time he turned this material over to Rosenberg, Ethel and Ruth.

At the trial, Greenglass prepared a sketch of a cross section of an atom bomb to indicate what he gave to Rosenberg, an this was made Government exhibit #8. At this point, Rosenberg's lawyer asked the court to impound the sketch of the bomb so that no one but the court, jury defendents, and attorneys would be able to see it. Rosenberg's lawyer stated the he was making this request in the interest of national security. The judge ordered the sketch impounded, pointing out that, inasmuch as the defense requested it, the defense would have no grounds for objection to the impounding in case of an appeal.

Greenglass then continued his testimony as to the composition of the atom bomb, using the sketch for reference. He stated that he told Rosenberg how the bomb was set off by a barometric pressure device. Rosenberg remarked that the information was very good and it should be typed immediately. Ethel then prepared the information on a portable typewriter in the Rosenberg apartment.

While Ethel was typing the report, Julius burned the handwritten notes in a frying pan, flushed them down a drain, and gave David $200. Julius suggested that David stay at Los Alamos after he was discharged from the Army so that he could continue to get information, but David declined.

From 1946 to 1949, David was in business with Julius Rosenberg, and during this period Julius told David that he had people going to school and that he had people in upstate New York and Ohio giving him information for the Russians.

Late in 1947, Julius told David about a sky platform project and mentioned he had received this information from "one of the boys." Rosenberg described the sky platform as a large vessel which could be suspended at a point in space where the gravity was low, and that the vessel would travel around the earth like a satellite. Rosenberg also advised David that he had a way of communicating with the Russians by putting material or messages in the alcove of a theater and that he had received from one of his contacts the mathematics relating to atomic energy for airplanes.

Greenglass testified that Rosenberg claimed to have received a citation and a watch from the Russians. Greenglass also testified that Rosenberg claimed to have received a console table from the Russians which he used for photographic purposes.

In February, 1950, a few days after the news of the arrest of Dr. Fuchs in England was published, Julius came to David's home and asked David to go for a walk. During this walk Rosenberg spoke of Fuchs and mentioned that the man who had come to see David in Albuquerque was also a contact of Fuchs. Julius stated that David would have to leave the country. When David answered that he needed money, Rosenberg said that he would get the money from the Russians.

In April, 1950, Rosenberg again told David he would have to leave the country, and about May 23, 1950, Rosenberg came to the Greenglass apartment with a newspaper containing a picture of Harry Gold and the story of Gold's arrest. Rosenberg said, "This is the man who saw you in Albuquerque." Julius gave David $1,000, and said he would come back later with $6,000 more for him to use in leaving the country and that Greenglass would have to get a Mexican tourist card. Rosenberg said that he went to see a doctor who told him that a doctor's letter stating David was inoculated for smallpox would also be needed, as well as passport photos. He then gave Greenglass a form letter and instructions to memorize for use in Mexico City.

Upon David's arrival in Mexico City, he was to send the letter to the Soviet Embassy and sign it "I. Jackson." Three days later after he sent this letter, David, carrying in his hand a guide to the city with his middle finger between the pages of the guide, was to go to the Plaz De La Colon at 5 p.m. and look at the Statue of Columbus there. He would wait until a man came up to him, when David would say, "That is a magnificent statue," and tell the man that David was from Oklahoma. The man would then answer, "Oh, there are much more beautiful statues in Paris," and would give Greenglass a passport and additional money. David was to go to Vera Cruz and then go to Sweden or Switzerland. If he went to Sweden, he was to send the same type of letter to the Soviet Ambassador or his secretary and sign the letter "I. Jackson." Three days later, David was to go to the Statue of Linnaeus in Stockholm at 5 p.m. where a man would approach him. Greenglass would mention that the statue was beautiful and the man would answer, "There are much more beautiful ones in Paris." The man would then give David the means of transportation to Czechoslovakia, where upon arrival he was to write to the Soviet Ambassador advising him of his presence.

Julius further advised Greenglass that he himself would have to leave the country because he had known Jacob Golos (a member of the Communist underground), and that Elizabeth Bentley (also a Communist Party member).

Sometime later, David and his family went to a photography shop and had six sets of passport photos taken. On Memorial Day, Greenglass gave Rosenberg five sets of these photos. Later Rosenberg again visited David, to who he gave $4,000 in $10- and $20-bills wrapped in brown paper, requesting Greenglass to go for a walk with him and repeat the memorized instructions. David gave the $4,000 to his brother-in-law for safekeeping.

On cross-examination, David testified he used the $1,000 he received from Julius to pay household debts and the $4,000 to pay his lawyer for representing him.

Ruth Greenglass also testified at the trial, and, in addition to corroborating her husband's testimony, gave the following information:

She stated that prior to her departure for New Mexico in November, 1944, she had had a conversation with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg at the Rosenberg apartment in New York City. Julius told her that he and Ethel had discontinued their open affiliation with the Communist Party because he had always wanted to do more than just be a Communist Party member. After two years, Julius had succeeded in reaching the Russians and was now doing the work he wanted to do. He requested her to enlist David's help furnishing information to him for the Russians about Los Alamos. Ruth declined at first, but Ethel urged her to approach David. Julius then gave her instructions for David as to the particular type of information he wanted. A few days later, he gave Ruth $150 to defray the expenses of her trip to New Mexico.

On her return to New York in December, 1944, after visiting David, Rosenberg visited her apartment, at which time she informed him of David's decision to cooperate. She furnished Julius oral and written information that David gave her and informed him of David's impending furlough. Prior to her departure for Albuquerque in February of 1945, Julius visited her and gave Ruth instructions concerning a meeting with an espionage contact in Albuquerque.

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