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January 12, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-12

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Sunday, January 12; 1975


Page Five



(Continued from Page 3)
The terms, he notes, are ones
that we are all familiar wth,
because they are the same
terms we heard throughout the
entire Watergate affair. Mere,
Robby is very intent on making
his point. It is necessary to
draw the links between the Ps-
enberg case and what happened
in Watergate, he says, for in
1931 one can find the bases of
the "national security" argu-
ment that allowed Nixon and his
men to pursue their Watergate
"You look at Nixon and you
look at that whole crew. the
whole mentality. rhev are peo-
ple who were young, bright-
eyed, eager, bushy-taile4 peple
coming up in the fifties. That's
where ..they got their brownie
points, that's where they made
it big. And their mentality is
the same. The same old crew.'
tHE IDEA that domestic rad-
icals posed a very great
threat to the life of the nation
was planted firmly in the minds
of Americans during the Rosen-
berg trial. Once people accept-
ed that argument, the govern-
ment could - easily attack its
political opponents, saying They
endangered national security.
And once that was allowed, the
door was open to all sor's of
secret government activity. The
concept was fully alive n the
Nixon administration, best Pe-~
presented perhaps in the am-'
ous "enemies list." ,
"This whole thing," Robby
points out, "is the heart of 'he
domestic anti-commuaisll issue,
and it's one thing that left-
wingers have had a most difi-
cult time overcoming in the last,
twenty years. Now there's an
opportunity to seize the time
and say look, this whole idea of
the Communist menace is : ust a
myth. Domestic radials have
been identified with foreign con-
spirators and we find that at-
titude in middle America. If we
can defuse that myrh, we can
begin to reach some of ?hose
The time is crucial, he ex-
plains. Now, after all the Water-
gate disclosures, the American
people are more wiliing than
ever to believe that the go'-
ernment is capable of perpetrat-
ing vicious hoaxes.
"jF WE WAITED until we
were fifty, we could come
out and without too much dif-
ficulty probably get the public
t see this (that the Rosanbergs
wvre framed) but we're trying
to do it before its political vali-
dity, dies. I mean, then it would
be a purely historical exercise
and a purely family, persona1l
exercise, which are not invalid,
but we want to do more than
that. We feel it is an ongoing
political event and that's one of
the reasons we feel it's very
important to do it and to do it
*. s
The Rosenberg case if you
look at it closely, is full of dirty
tricks. Take for example, the
hotel registration card. The day
after Harry Gold compieied his
testimony, the prosecution intro-
duced a photostatic copy of a
registration card from the Hilton
Hotel in Albuquerque to prove
that Gold was indeed there on
June 3, 1945. Because it wvs
one of the only pieces of docu-
mentary evidence taken directly
from the time of the comms-
sion of the crime, it took on

great importance.
The prosecution also submit-
ted a copy of the Greengiasses
bank records to show .hat on
June 4 Ruth deposited s4O0 of
the $500 they had received from
Gold. The prosecution claimed
in its closing statement that
"The veracity of David and
Ruth Greenglass and of Harry
Gold is established iy the doiu-
mentary evidence and cannot
be coptradicted." le then re-
ferred specifically to the rngis-
tration card and the bank re-,
THE AUTHORS of the most
falily researched book on
the case, .vitati1 to aI n-
quest, looked closely at these
two pieces of evidence. Upon
questioning the former man-
ager of the Albuquer ive iltton
and numerous former hotel em-
January 17-19
"A THING OF JOY."-Kerr N.Y Times






ignatu re

due to the times in Whichi he } G


was growing up, he hadihe oth-
er in the realm of the New Left
But the schism between the Old
Left and the New Left was ones
reason why the Rosenberg trial
faded into the background and
had such a small place in the
New Left consciousness. "Peo-
ple didn't relate to the Rosen-
bergs as being part of the-r
own left-wing activity," Robby
notes, "They related to it as an-
cient history.
"We (in the New Left) pro-
claimed our radicalism to the
world," he says. "We didn't try
,to cover it up. I mean, the Left
in the Fifties was tryiag toj
show that, 'We're more i meri-
can than you are' and thev did
not fool anybody. One of the
things that we said was, y"ab,
this is where we are, we're dif-
ferent, we've got an alternative,
and not only are we d;i'erent
but we're better."
j OOKING BACK at 'he Posen-
berg case now, it is ev
to see that the defense made
many crucial erros. Manny
Bloch was intensely deoted to
his clients' cause, bit 11 prer-
iolis experience had beei in un-'
ion law and he knew 'idle about
trial law. Of course the Rosen-
bergs never faulted him for it.
"You read their lerlers,' Rob-
by says, "and they thought
Manny Bloch was the greatest
lawyer in the world and die the'r
greatest defense jo for them.
They never doubted him; they
never thought he male any mis-
takes even to the lay da '
However, one of the key mis-
takes he made was not to cross-
examine Harry Gold, waose
veracity is definitely quiestion-
able. At a previous trial he ad-
mitted that he had it times
created fantasies for himself
that become so involved he
could find no way out of them.
For years, he told friends and
associates that he was married
and had children when in fact,
he had always been single. At
the spy trial of Abraham Broth-
man in November 1950, where


Gold died in 1972, his last em- Russian agents at all. But Man-
ployer characterized him as a ny Bloch didn't understa-' '10s.
"gentle man who had difficulty Of course, it was a time of
eparating fantasy from real- hysteria. The governmeat was
ity." intent on finding a scapegoa:.
Also, while Bloch did stress and most of the poouiauon
he fact that there had been bit- backed it all the way. 011 the
er business disagreements be- night of the execution, som- 400
ween the Rosenbergs and the people demonstrating for execu-
Greenglasses in the mmnths pre-' tive clemency kept a vigil ini
vious to the arrests (a po);.sible front of the White Hot e. A
cause for lying), he faileJ o crowd of thousands jeered at
probe deeply enough into the them from across the stree. At
nature of the Greenglass testi- the stroke of eight, the designat-
mony. Now it would seem that, ed time of execution, there
n fact, no crime of es,_- ona e came from the crowd, aceerding
ver took place - that it was all to the New York Heral Tri-
abricated - out Bloch sincere- bone, "an outbreak of cheers
y believed that Greenglass and and honking of automobile
Gold were indeed spies. He on'y
ried to prove that his clients
were in fact not part f the 4
Greenglass-Gold scheme.

horns: Passing motorists shout-
ed jibes at the pickets.
A SKED IF A better deease
could have saved the 1Ves
of his parents, Robby resj:ocded,
'No, I don't think so. a !ave
to think it was the times that
did it. Otherwise, we w,:-ij
have to blame our fr ends and
that would be too painful.
Most of the factual material
concerning the trial itself comes
from Invitation to an Inquest,
by Walter and Miriam Schneir,
Penguin Books, 1973.

AP Photo
Defense attorney Manny Bloch leads Michael, 9, and Robby, 5, out of Sing Sing Prison in
Ossining, New York, after a visit with their p arents in February, 1953, fours months before
their execution.

ployes, they found that in the
summer of 1950 the F31 had
unsupervised access to the hotel
files for several days on end.
The authors, Walter and Miriam
Schneir, then obtained copies of
the June registration card as
well as a registra:i-m c a r d
showing that Harry Gold had al-
so stayed at the hotel in Sep-
tember 1945. The latter card'
had been mentioned in Gold's
Philadelphia trial -he suppos-
edly stayed there after one of
his meetings with Klaus tuchs
- but did not play a part in,
the Rosenberg irial The

sister out of the room and told
told him, "David has an idea to
make some money and take
some things from the Army."
Julius said he had advised
against it.
Later, while the Rosenberg
defense was pursuing apoeals,
new evidence. came to light. It
seems David Greenglass w a s
first visited by the FBI in Feb-
ruary of 1950, when agents in-,
quired whether he had posses-
sion of any uranium samples
taken from Los Alamos.
* -, *

had been strong in the Thirties
and Forties, the Fifties const-'
tuted a void in terms of left-
wing politics. The Left v= as
scared and beaten: the rem-
nants found some sort of an un-
comfortable home in the univer-
sities and spent a good deal of
their time trying to cover up
their ideology and the-rizing
rather than acting on no.Aibcal
issues. When the New Left
emerged in the early aid middle
Sixties, the only thing they ivv
of the Old Left were the in,-f-
fectual ex-activists -f the Dif-
ties. The two groups never mer-

"THE PROBLEM was t an a t
tie emperor had no cloth-
es," Robby says. First of all,
there in fact was no "secret"
to the atomic bomib. As Philip
Marr .son, one of the top physic-
ists in the Manhattan Project,
stated (n the PBS doc uiieamarx'.
the oily secret was th It an
atomic bomb ,ideed could work,
and that secret was dividged
over Japan. Once it w-is le i-
ed that slch a bomb c l'l be
s'lccs ful, Morrison poinr-J )it,
any nation with sufficie-t scien-
tific and technological rensi'zr -
es conld perfect a bomb wTtho'l
rn ttide help. S condlv, it is
likely that Greenglass, never
transferred any documenTs o
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Schneirs submitted both These LAST SUMMER, Robby spent ged; in fact, they never re 0ly he was also used as a key
cards to a handwriting special- one drizzly night lecturing got along. nrosecution witness, he said of
ist along with writing .amples to a group of New Yorkers va- -his fantasies, "It is a wonder
from the clerk who had presum- cationing on Fire Island. Most WHEN ROBBY entered c(1- steam didn't come jut of my
ably signed both. The former of them had lived through the lege in 1965, he was :- an ears at times." According to the
clerk was retired and living in trial and as a result they were awkward position: thrngn his Public Broadcasting dIxxmer-
Florida at the time of tle a receptive audience. He listed family history, he had 'oe foot tarv, The Unquiet Death of Jul-
Schneir's research. The writing all the major pieces 6f evi- in the world of the Old Left; ius and Ethel Rosenberg, w.en
specialist made two astounding dence against his parents on a
observations. First, he form of blackboard, and as he refuted
the June card was different in each item, he crossed it off the CO-EDUCATIONAL
many subtle ways fro-n the! list. The crowd was impressed, -
form of the September card. and, one by onethey came up TAE KW ON D O
Second, while the clerk's writ- to shake his hand when the pre-
ing on the September cardt p- sentation was finished. "I just
peared to be authenti:, t 1: e want to tell you that I think K A IR A T E
writing on the June card did you're a very nice intelligent
not match up with tha samples boy," one woman enthusiastical-
submitted by the clerk. The ly said while she grabbed his
Schneirs were convinced tney hand in both of hers. "I'm 'tst
had found substantial eldence kvelling for your parents.'
of FBI forgery. It was the kind of comment
Also, the Schneirs obtained that would make Robby wince.
all the 1945 bank records of the { He doesn't like personal- atten-
Greenglasses and fo'mnd that tion or personal sympathy. "A
they had deposited large lot of people have come up to
amounts of money n various us and said, look oh you poorl
banks regularly for several victims, victimized orphans of
months before and after June the cold war. They point to our
4. Though the testimon! only parents and the rest of the pea-
referred to one meeting between pie who lost their jobs, were
Gold and the Greenglasses. this jailed, and they say, look at
research proved that the June these victims. But the circle of
4 deposit was in no way unique. victims is a lot broader than
Furthermore, the tot i deposits that. It was this type of show-
made that year would seem to case trial that created the cli- ALL YEAR DAILY SCHEDULE
be far above the Greenglasses' mate that allowed secrecy to HOURS:-weekdays 7-9 p.m.
income. The Schneirs have sog I go on, which meant that if you HR :
gested that the mones, includ- disagreed with an internation-? Saturday 8:30-10:00 am.
ing that deposited o: June 4, al government policy you were ,p Monday & Wednesday-Ange School
may have come from the sale of Ija subversive. It's that type of at yorner of South University and Oxford
stolen Army materials on tne climate that allowed the war in Tuesdoy, Thursday, and Saturday-
black market. Vietnam to go on for so long and
Ei'F JULIUS GOT on the that allowed Watergate. And the Huron High
stand at the trial, he result is that the true viet'nis, Master Yu 5th Degree Korean Black Belt
denied ever trying to recruit aside from my parents, ended
David Greenglass for espionage up being the Americans who FOR INFORMATION: 665-5555
purposes. He never cut a jello died in the battlefield of Viet-

' c7 A .ttj, ScF.t..::i ai. . s . Y a y N.m . 5 ,--: -ti '



box and never told Davi
someone would come t
him in New Mexico. Hed
member paying a visit toI
New York apartment inl
ary 1945. Julius said at th
that Ruth had sent her y

d that nam, being the peoples of those
to see countries, and also eventually
did re- all of us, as the ripples contin-
Ruth's ue to spread."
Febru- More specifically, the tr ial
he trial dealt a death blow to the
ounger American Left. While the Ieftl

.-...... ..


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