100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

October 09, 1981 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-10-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, October 9, 19131 21

The Life of f. Robert Oppenheimer, the Father of the A-Bomb

By ALLEN A. WARSEN

"The brilliant-and com-
plex character of J. Robert
Oppenheimer inspired two
distinct and contradictory
responses among those who
knew him. There is . a sub-
stantial majority which re-
members him as a great
man, someone who was
gifted with a superb intel-
lect, considerable personal
charm and great personal
integrity — someone whom
many of them professed to
have loved deeply.
"There--ia—s. minority,
however, which while ad-
mitting to his intellectual
powers — no one disagrees
over this — remembers him
as arrogant, calculating and
selfish."
The above passage is from
Peter Goodchild's "J.
Robert Oppenheimer Shat-
terer of Worlds" (Houghton,
Mifflin).
Goodchild, known as a
television script-writer,
traces the genealogical
roots of Oppenheimer to
his grandfather who
came to New-York in 1870
from Hanau, Germany.
In New York he became
an importer of cloth.
His son, Julius, at age 17,
followed him to this coun-
try. At first, he worked for
his father and then estab-
lished a firm that spe-
cialized in importing lin-
ings for men's suits. In 1903
he married Ella Friedman,
a painter of distinction, who
a year later, on April 22,
1904, gave birth to Julius
Robert.
Robert's parents, who re-
jected Jewish Orthodoxy,
enrolled their son at the
school operated by the
Society for Ethical Culture
founded by Felix Adler
"whose educational philos-
ophy was based very much
on the cult of the indi-
vidual."
Following his graduation
from high school, Robert
enrolled at Harvard from
which he graduated
"summa cum laude" in
chemistry.
He did graduate work
at first at Cambridge and
then at the University of
Gottingen. There, in 1927
he received his doctorate
"with distinction."
From 1929 to 1943 Op-
penheimer taught physics
at Berkeley where he and
Ernst Lawrence, the atom
smasher experimenter,
"catalyzed one another's ac-
tivities. Lawrence provid-
ing the experimental mate-
rial for Oppenheimer and
his theoreticians to work on,
while in turn the theoreti-
cians proposed new direc-
tions for the experimen-
ters." As a result of their ac-
complishments, Berkeley
became a great interna-
tional center of physics.
Once, at a party, Op-
penheimer was introduced
to a.number of Communists
who influenced him to join
Communist front organiza-
tions such as the Friends of
the Chinese People, the
Western Council of the Con-
sumers' Union and the
American Committee for
Democracy and Intellectual

Freedom.
penheimer was devoting his
• The support he gave these
energies to the Mahattan
organizations, though he
Project, U.S. Counter-
maintained he had never
Intelligence suspected him
joined the Communist
of passing secrets to the
Party, bad serious reper-
Soviets. Though the secret
cussions' on his life.
agents were unable to pin-
An important event in
point "a single indiscretion
the history of the A-Bomb
on .Oppenheimer's part,"
took place on April 22,
they recommended that he
1939. On that date physi-
be "removed completely
cist Joliot-Curie, the dis- - from the project and dis-
coverer of artificial
missed from employment by
radioactivity, published
the U.S. government." Luc-
a letter in the British sci-
kily, Gen. Groves ignored
entific journal, "Nature,"
their accusations and
that confirmed that atom
cleared Oppenheimer's
weapons were possible.
reputation.
As a result, the German
Meanwhile, problems re-
government decided to con-
sulting from incon-
centrate on developing such
veniences of life surfaced at
a weapon. At the same time,
Los Alamos. In addition,
Hungarian scientist Leo
Oppenheimer's domestic
Szilard, a refugee, also life compounded his numer-
realized its potential
ous pressures. Among other
strategic importance for the problems, his wife Kitty
U.S. Consequently, he and
began to drink and neglect
banker Abraham Sachs
the children.
"drafted a letter to
Not surprisingly, these
President Roosevelt urging
pressures began to take
that the American govern-
their toll on Oppenheimer.
ment join the race to pro-
He lost weight and although
duce a nuclear weapon."
he was more than six feet
This letter, signed by Albert
tall he weighed only 115
Einstein, was forwarded to
pounds.
the President.
Gen. Groves, con-
Soon afterwards, General
cerned with Op-
Leslie R. Groves was ap-
penheimer's physical
pointed to head the A-Bomb
and mental condition,
project. Gen. Groves super-
"worked out a chain of
vised the construction of the
command should Op-
Pentagon and was respon-
penheimer crack up
sible for all aspects of mili- completely." Fortu-
tary construction through-
nately, Oppenheimer re-
out the U.S.
covered his health and
Gen. Groves, in spite of continued to work on the
the FBI's objections, chose
A-Bomb until its suc-
Oppenheimer as the direc-
cessful completion in
tor of the project. On his
mid-July, 1945.
recommendation Groves
Satisfied with his success,
chose Los Alamos, New he returned to Cal. Tech.
Mexico as the site for the where he again taught
construction of the nuclear physics and involved him-
project laboratory.
-
self in research. At the same
Some 3,000 construc- time his reputation as the
tion engineers were "Father of A-Bomb" gained
brought to Los Alamos
him many friendships in the
and within three months world of science. David Li-
they erected an entire
city with living quarters,
Dayan Criticizes
laboratories and numer-
Carter's Aides
ous other facilities.
Simultaneously, the nu-
NEW YORK (ZINS) —
clear program, known as Moshe Dayan's latest biog-
the Manhattan Project, raphy, "Breakthrough,"
turned into the largest published in The Atlantic,
scientific enterprise in says that Dayan was in-
history. It employed 3,000 furiated by President
scientists, including Jimmy Carter and Vice
Enrico Fermi and Ed- President Walter Mondale
ward Teller.
during a 1977 meeting.
Ironically, while Op-
He wrote that the two
U.S. leaders made countless
CJC Supports
charges against Israel.
During the Camp David
Agency Plan
negotiations, however,
on Dropouts
Dayan had high praise for
MONTREAL (JTA) — the performances of Carter
The national executive and Secretary of State
committee of the Canadian Cyrus Vance. He was criti-
Jewish Congress (CJC) has cal of Zbigniew Brzezinski,
announced support of the U.S. national security ad-
Jewish Agency's plan to re- viser, for sharpening divi-
duce the number of Soviet sions between the U.S.,
Jewish dropouts by refusing Egypt and Israel.
to aid any Soviet Jews who
decide to settle in countries
other than Israel unless Travel Survey
they have first degree rela-
LONDON (ZINS) — A
tives in the other countries.
survey by the Financial
The CJC said it adopted Times of London shows Tel
this position because there Aviv in 32nd place in terms
is a steady decline in the of travel costs among 68
number of Soviet Jews who
leading commercial cities in
immigrate to Israel and the
the world.
further curtailment of the
Tel Aviv's hotel dinner
number of exit visas the costs, liquor and tax fares
Soviet Union will grant as a were its major price boos-
result of this.
ters.

lienthal, the first chairman
of the Atomic Energy Com-
mission, in particular, "was
adultory of Oppenheim."
Unfortunately, on New
Year's Day 1946, he
attended a party given by
his brother, Frank. Among
the guests were Com-
munists and a U.S. secret
agent. "For the next eight
years, Oppenheimer was to
be the subject of almost con-
tinuous Bureau (FBI) sur-
veillance."
After the election of
President Dwight
Eisenhower, during the
"McCarthy Era," Op-
penheimer became the
target of an Atomic Energy
Commission investigation
into his ties with Com-
munists.
The pro-Oppenheimer
witnesses included Mer-
vin Kelly, president of the
Bell Telephone Co., Les-
lie Groves and scientists
Isidor Rabbi.
The anti-Oppenheimer
witnesses included William
Borden and Edward Teller.
After four weeks of listen-
ing to the witnesses, the
majority of the Board of In-
quiry found Oppenheimer a
security risk. This decision
was also approved by the
majority of the Atomic
Energy Commissioners.
Ironically, nine years la-
ter, the AEC approved the
Fermi Award for Op-
penheimer. A gold medal
and a check for $50,000 was

y-

presented to Oppenheimer the United States."
by President Lyndon
Oppenheimer died of
Johnson in the White House throat cancer in 1967 at the
"on behalf of the people of age of 62.

NEW 1982 ESCORT

'5,350 includes:

• Destination charge
• 7 1/2% Discount on deluke features and options

Order or Take Immediate Delivery
Call for quote 9-5 Mon.-Fri.
255-0016 for information -- ---
after 5 & weekends 557 2643

-

BURGLAR ALARMS

NEW COMPUTERIZED
SECURITY EQUIPMENT

ALLSTATE
ALARM
SYSTEMS
INC.

-""

Central Station Monitoring

Thousands of satisfied customers

L
ROTT BROS

CAL THE

MARTY •
CY

SHEL or

AL RUSSMAN

imi ■ r•

r. e%

133- 104U

17534 W. 7 MILE, DETROIT
LICENSED BY

MICH. DEPT. OF STATE POLICE

See BERNIE MANELI or MANNY FOX and

SAVE 25-50% ON OUR ENTIRE INVENTORY

0W
la

•ALL WATCHES 30-50% OFF
• ALL DIAMONDS 25-50% OFF

PARKER PEN SETS
E li • CROSS AND 25%
OFF

I-- p
>"0
, • ALL 14K-18K GOLD CHAINS
NOW 18.90-'22.90 PER GRAM
ILI
>
ui in • ALL GIFTWARE 25% OFF

W

•ALL CLOCKS 25% OFF

VISX

1347-1470

layaways invited

IN:amend Jewelers

OPEN THUR. EVE. 'TIL 9 P.M.
4085 W. MAPLE at TELEGRAPH
- BIRMINGHAM

Satisfaction
Guaranteed

5 LBS. OF MATZO

If I Can't Beat Your Best Deal

Margolis Household Furniture

6 Mile, 181k. W. of Schaefer

ARNOLD MARGOLIS

INTERIOR
DECORATOR
SERVICE

MATTRESS SALE

Featuring: Beauty Rest by Simmons and
all other national brands


Furniture and Bedding

•SCHOOLFIELD •SELIG •SIMMONS •SEALY •SERTA •SPRING AIR •LA-Z-
BOY •STIFFEL LAMPS • KROEHLER • AMERICAN • BURLINGTON • BASSETT
•BARCALOUNGER •LANE •UNIOUE

13703 W. McNichols 342 - 5351 Hrs. Mon thru Sot. 9:30 til 5:30

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan