Emanuel Bloch

Emanuel Bloch

Emanuel Hirsch Bloch was born in 1901. A member of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) he became a lawyer.

Bloch's first important case was what became known as the Trenton Six. Ralph Cooper, Collis English, McKinley Forrest, John McKenzie, James Thorpe and Horace Wilson were all charged with the murder of William Horner, the owner of a second-hand furniture store in Trenton, New Jersey, on 27th January, 1948. The arrests were based on the vague descriptions provided by Horner's wife. The six men were arrested without warrants, were held without lawyers and questioned for several days before being brought before a judge. Five of the six men signed confessions.

The trial began on 7th June, 1948. Horner's widow could not identify the men as the ones who attacked her husband. They all had alibis and had withdrawn their initial confessions. There was no forensic evidence against them but they were all convicted and sentenced to death. The case caused great controversy and people such as Pete Seeger, William Du Bois and Albert Einstein joined the campaign to have the verdict overturned.

Emanuel Bloch & Trenton Six

The Communist Party of the United States became involved and Bloch was employed to look after the appeal of three of the defendants. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) defended the other three. Their team included Thurgood Marshall. Eventually McKinley Forrest, John McKenzie, James Thorpe and Horace Wilson had their verdicts overturned. Ralph Cooper and Collis English were less successful but their sentence was reduced to a term of imprisonment.

Julius Rosenberg was arrested on 17th July, 1950. The New York Times reported that Rosenberg was the "fourth American held as a atom spy". (1) The Department of Justice issued a press release quoting J. Edgar Hoover as saying "that Rosenberg is another important link in the Soviet espionage apparatus which includes Dr. Klaus Fuchs, Harry Gold, David Greenglass and Alfred Dean Slack. Mr. Hoover revealed that Rosenberg recruited Greenglass... Rosenberg, in early 1945, made available to Greenglass while on furlough in New York City one half of an irregularly cut jello box top, the other half of which was given to Greenglass by Harry Gold in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a means of identifying Gold to Greenglass." The statement went onto say that Anatoli Yatskov, Vice Consul of the Soviet Consulate in New York City, paid money to the men. Hoover referred to "the gravity of Rosenberg's offense" and stated that Rosenberg had "aggressively sought ways and means to secretly conspire with the Soviet Government to the detriment of his own country." (2)

Emanuel Bloch
Emanuel Bloch

Julius Rosenberg refused to implicate anybody else in spying for the Soviet Union. Alan H. Belmont reported to Hoover: "Inasmuch as it appears that Rosenberg will not be cooperative and the indications are definite that he possesses the identity of a number of other individuals who have been engaged in Soviet espionage... New York should consider every possible means to bring pressure on Rosenberg to make him talk, including... a careful study of the involvement of Ethel Rosenberg in order that charges can be placed against her, if possible." (3) Hoover sent a memorandum to the US attorney general Howard McGrath saying: "There is no question that if Julius Rosenberg would furnish details of his extensive espionage activities it would be possible to proceed against other individuals. Proceeding against his wife might serve as a lever in these matters." (4)

On 11th August, 1950, Ethel Rosenberg testified before a grand jury. She refused to answer all the questions and as she left the courthouse she was taken into custody by FBI agents. Her attorney asked the U.S. Commissioner to parole her in his custody over the weekend, so that she could make arrangements for her two young children. The request was denied. One of the prosecuting team commented that there "is ample evidence that Mrs. Rosenberg and her husband have been affiliated with Communist activities for a long period of time." (5)

Emanuel Bloch was appointed to represent Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Alexander Feklissov, the NKVD agent based in New York City, believed that this was a bad decision. "Beyond the mistakes that had been committed, did we react properly once the damage had been done? Did the PGU and the Soviet Union take the necessary steps to save the Rosenbergs after their arrest? My answer remains negative. First of all, the service should have properly organized the couple's defense. Emanuel Bloch, as devoted as he may have been, didn't have the experience or the caliber required to take on the American judicial system." (6)

Trial of the Rosenbergs

The trial of Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobell began on 6th March 1951. Irving Saypol opened the case: "The evidence will show that the loyalty and alliance of the Rosenbergs and Sobell were not to our country, but that it was to Communism, Communism in this country and Communism throughout the world... Sobell and Julius Rosenberg, classmates together in college, dedicated themselves to the cause of Communism... this love of Communism and the Soviet Union soon led them into a Soviet espionage ring... You will hear our Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Sobell reached into wartime projects and installations of the United States Government... to obtain... secret information... and speed it on its way to Russia.... We will prove that the Rosenbergs devised and put into operation, with the aid of Soviet... agents in the country, an elaborate scheme which enabled them to steal through David Greenglass this one weapon, that might well hold the key to the survival of this nation and means the peace of the world, the atomic bomb." (7)

David Greenglass was the key witness against the Rosenbergs. Questioned by the chief prosecutor assistant, Roy Cohn, Greenglass claimed that his sister, Ethel, influenced him to become a Communist. He remembered having conversations with Ethel at their home in 1935 when he was thirteen or fourteen. She told him that she preferred Russian socialism to capitalism. Two years later, her boyfriend, Julius, also persuasively talked about the merits of Communism. As a result of these conversations he joined the Young Communist League (YCL). (8)

Greenglass pointed out that Julius Rosenberg recruited him as a Soviet spy in September 1944. Over the next few months he provided some sketches and provided a written description of the lens mold experiments and a list of scientists working on the project. He was gave Rosenberg the names of "some possible recruits... people who seemed sympathetic with Communism." Greenglass also claimed that because of his poor handwriting his sister typed up some of the material. (9)

Greenglass told the court that in February 1950, Julius Rosenberg came to see him. He gave him the news that Klaus Fuchs had been arrested and that he had made a full confession. This would mean that members of his Soviet spy network would also be arrested. According to Greenglass, Rosenberg suggested that he should leave the country. Greenglass replied: "Well, I told him that I would need money to pay my debts back... to leave with a clear head... I insisted on it, so he said he would get the money for me from the Russians." In May he gave him $1,000 and promised him $6,000 more. (He later gave him another $4,000.) Rosenberg also warned him that Harry Gold had been arrested and was also providing information about the spy ring. Rosenberg also said he had to flee as the FBI had identified Jacob Golos as a spy and he had been his main contact until his death in 1943.

Greenglass was cross-examined by Emanuel Bloch and suggested that his hostility towards Rosenberg had been caused by their failed business venture: "Now, weren't there repeated quarrels between you and Julius when Julius accused you of trying to be a boss and not working on machines?" Greenglass replied: "There were quarrels of every type and every kind... arguments over personality... arguments over money... arguments over the way the shop was run... We remained as good friends in spite of the quarrels." Bloch asked him why he had punched Rosenberg while in a "candy shop." Greenglass admitted that "it was some violent quarrel over something in the business." Greenglass complained that he had lost all of his money in investing in Rosenberg's business.

Summations & Verdict

Emanuel Bloch argued: "Is there anything here which in any way connects Rosenberg with this conspiracy? The FBI "stopped at nothing in their investigation... to try to find some piece of evidence that you could feel, that you could see, that would tie the Rosenbergs up with this case... and yet this is the... complete documentary evidence adduced by the Government... this case, therefore, against the Rosenbergs depends upon oral testimony."

Bloch attacked David Greenglass, the main witness against the Rosenbergs. Greenglass was "a self-confessed espionage agent," was "repulsive... he smirked and he smiled... I wonder whether... you have ever come across a man, who comes around to bury his own sister and smiles." Bloch argued that Greenglass's "grudge against Rosenberg" over money was not enough to explain his testimony. The explanation was that Greenglass "loved his wife" and was "willing to bury his sister and his brother-in-law" to save her. The "Greenglass Plot" was to lessen his punishment by pointing his finger at someone else. Julius Rosenberg was a "clay pigeon" because he had been fired from his government job for being a member of the Communist Party of the United States in 1945. (10)

In his reply, Irving Saypol, pointed out that "Mr Bloch had a lot of things to say about Greenglass... but the story of the Albuquerque meeting... does not come to you from Greenglass alone. Every word that David and Ruth Greenglass spoke on this stand about that incident was corroborated by Harry Gold... a man concerning whom there cannot even be a suggestion of motive... He had been sentenced to thirty years... He can gain nothing from testifying as he did in this courtroom and tried to make amends. Harry Gold, who furnished the absolute corroboration of the testimony of the Greenglasses, forged the necessary link in the chain that points indisputably to the guilt of the Rosenbergs."

In his summing up Judge Irving Kaufman was considered by many to have been highly subjective: "Judge Kaufman tied the crimes the Rosenbergs were being accused of to their ideas and the fact that they were sympathetic to the Soviet Union. He stated that they had given the atomic bomb to the Russians, which had triggered Communist aggression in Korea resulting in over 50,000 American casualties. He added that, because of their treason, the Soviet Union was threatening America with an atomic attack and this made it necessary for the United States to spend enormous amounts of money to build underground bomb shelters." (11)

The jury found all three defendants guilty. Thanking the jurors, Judge Kaufman, told them: "My own opinion is that your verdict is a correct verdict... The thought that citizens of our country would lend themselves to the destruction of their own country by the most destructive weapons known to man is so shocking that I can't find words to describe this loathsome offense." (12) Judge Kaufman sentenced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the death penalty and Morton Sobell to thirty years in prison.

A large number of people were shocked by the severity of the sentence as they had not been found guilty of treason. In fact, they had been tried under the terms of the Espionage Act that had been passed in 1917 to deal with the American anti-war movement. Under the terms of this act, it was a crime to pass secrets to the enemy whereas these secrets had gone to an ally, the Soviet Union. During the Second World War several American citizens were convicted of passing information to Nazi Germany. Yet none of these people were executed.

Pleas for Clemency

In December 1952 the Rosenbergs appealed their sentence. Myles Lane, for the prosecution argued: "In my opinion, your Honor, this and this alone accounts for the stand which the Russians took in Korea, which... caused death and injury to thousands of American boys and untold suffering to countless others, and I submit that these deaths and this suffering, and the rest of the state of the world must be attributed to the fact that the Soviets do have the atomic bomb, and because they do... the Rosenbergs made a tremendous contribution to this despicable cause. If they (the Rosenbergs) wanted to cooperate... it would lead to the detection of any number of people who, in my opinion, are today doing everything that they can to obtain additional information for the Soviet Union... this is no time for a court to be soft with hard-boiled spies.... They have showed no repentance; they have stood steadfast in their insistence on their innocence." (13)

Judge Irving Saypol agreed and responded with the judgment: "I am again compelled to conclude that the defendants' guilt... was established beyond doubt... Their traitorous acts were of the highest degree... It is apparent that Russia was conscious of the fact that the United States had the one weapon which gave it military superiority and that, at any price, it had to wrest that superiority from the United States by stealing the secret information concerning that weapon... Neither defendant has seen fit to follow the course of David Greenglass and Harry Gold. Their lips have remained sealed and they prefer the glory which they believe will be theirs by the martyrdom which will be bestowed upon them by those who enlisted them in this diabolical conspiracy (and who, indeed, desire them to remain silent)... I still feel that their crime was worse than murder... The application is denied." (14)

Emanuel Bloch
Emanuel Bloch at Sing Sing with the sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg now appealed their sentence to President Harry S. Truman. However, Truman vacated the Presidency on 20th January, 1953, without acting on the Rosenbergs's clemency appeals. He had passed the problem to his successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was reported that he received nearly fifteen thousand clemency letters in the first week of his administration. He received a great deal of advice from columnists in the press. George E. Sokolsky, wrote in the New York Journal-American: "Everything has been tried by the Rosenbergs except the only step that can justify their existence as human beings: they have never confessed; they have shown no contrition; they have not been penitent. They have been arrogant and tight-lipped... It is impossible to forgive these spies; it would be possible to commute their sentences, if they told the story fully, more than we now know even after these trials... Klaus Fuchs confessed. David Greenglass confessed. Harry Cold confessed. The Rosenbergs remain adamant... let them go to the devil." (15)

President Eisenhower made his decision on 11th February, 1953: "I have given earnest consideration to the records in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and to the appeals for clemency made on their behalf.... The nature of the crime for which they have been found guilty and sentenced far exceeds that of the taking of the life of another citizen: it involves the deliberate betrayal of the entire nation and could very well result in the death of many, many thousands of innocent citizens. By their act these two individuals have in fact betrayed the cause of freedom for which free men are fighting and dying at this very hour.... There has been neither new evidence nor have there been mitigating circumstances which would justify altering this decision, and I have determined that it is my duty, in the interest of the people of the United States, not to set aside the verdict of their representatives." (16)

In a letter to his son, Eisenhower went into more detail about his decision: "It goes against the grain to avoid interfering in the case where a woman is to receive capital punishment. Over against this, however, must be placed one or two facts that have greater significance. The first of these is that in this instance it is the woman who is the strong and recalcitrant character, the man is the weak one. She has obviously been the leader in everything they did in the spy ring. The second thing is that if there would be any commuting of the woman's sentence without the man's then from here on the Soviets would simply recruit their spies from among women." (17)

Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg remained on death row for twenty-six months. Two weeks before the date scheduled for their deaths, the Rosenbergs were visited by James V. Bennett, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. After the meeting they issued a statement: "Yesterday, we were offered a deal by the Attorney General of the United States. We were told that if we cooperated with the Government, our lives would be spared. By asking us to repudiate the truth of our innocence, the Government admits its own doubts concerning our guilt. We will not help to purify the foul record of a fraudulent conviction and a barbaric sentence. We solemnly declare, now and forever more, that we will not be coerced, even under pain of death, to bear false witness and to yield up to tyranny our rights as free Americans. Our respect for truth, conscience and human dignity is not for sale. Justice is not some bauble to be sold to the highest bidder. If we are executed it will be the murder of innocent people and the shame will be upon the Government of the United States." (18)

It is surprising that Bloch did not encourage Julius to make the confession that would have saved the life of his wife. He would not have had to name anybody other than Harry Gold and David Greenglass who had already made full confessions. It has been suggested that Bloch was under the orders of the Communist Party of the United States who realised that the execution of Ethel would give them a cause that would provide them with propaganda against the "inhumanity of capitalism".

The case went before the Supreme Court. Three of the Justices, William Douglas, Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter, voted for a stay of execution because they agreed with legal representation that the Rosenbergs had been tried under the wrong law. It was claimed that the 1917 Espionage Act, under which the couple had been indicted and sentenced, had been superseded by the penalty provisions of the 1946 Atomic Energy Act. Under the latter act, the death sentence may be imposed only when a jury recommends it and the offense was committed with intent to injure the United States. However, the other six voted for the execution to take place.

The Rosenbergs were executed on 19th June, 1953. "Julius Rosenberg, thirty-five, wordlessly went to his death at 8:06 P.M. Ethel Rosenberg, thirty-seven, entered the execution chamber a few minutes after her husband's body had been removed. Just before being seated in the chair, she held out her hand to a matron accompanying her, drew the other woman close, and kissed her lightly on the cheek. She was pronounced dead at 8:16 P.M." According to the New York Times the Rosenbergs went to their deaths "with a composure that astonished the witnesses." (19)

At the funeral of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on 21st June, 1953, Emanuel Bloch accused President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Federal Bureau of Investigation head J. Edgar Hoover of “the murder of the Rosenbergs.” As a result of his remarks, the New York City bar association sought the revocation of his law license. On 30th January, 1954, eight days after being served with the complaint, Bloch died in his New York City apartment at the age of fifty-two.

Miriam Moskowitz later recalled: " I was among the overflow crowd who attended his funeral on February 2, 1954. The FBI, in characteristic, mindless snoopery (assisted in this case by the New York Police Department), duly noted my signature in the condolence book." (20)

Primary Sources


(1) Alexander Feklissov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (1999)

The fear that an impartial jury could not be secured was particularly important in this type of case. Now, all of you are New Yorkers or you come from the environs of New York. We are a pretty sophisticated people. People can't put thing over on us very easily. We are fairly wise in the ways of the world and the way s of people and we all know that there is not a person in this world who hasn't some prejudice, and you would be inhuman if you didn't have some prejudice. But we ask you now as we asked you before, please don't decide this case because you may have some bias or some prejudice against some political philosophy.

(2) Emanuel Bloch, speech in court (March, 1951)

The fear that an impartial jury could not be secured was particularly important in this type of case. Now, all of you are New Yorkers or you come from the environs of New York. We are a pretty sophisticated people. People can't put thing over on us very easily. We are fairly wise in the ways of the world and the way s of people and we all know that there is not a person in this world who hasn't some prejudice, and you would be inhuman if you didn't have some prejudice. But we ask you now as we asked you before, please don't decide this case because you may have some bias or some prejudice against some political philosophy.

If you want to convict these defendants because you think that they are Communists and you don't like communism and you don't like any member of the Communist Party, then, ladies and gentlemen, I can sit down now and there is absolutely no use in my talking. There was no use in going through this whole rigmarole of a three weeks' trial. That is not the crime.

But believe me, ladies and gentlemen, I am not here, other defense counsel are not here as attorneys for the Communist Party and we are not here as attorneys for the Soviet Union. I can only speak for myself and my father. We are representing Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, two American citizens, who come to you as American citizens, charged with a specific crime, and ask you to judge them the way you would want to be judged if you were sitting over there before twelve other jurors....

Now, let us take Dave Greenglass. This didn't come out of my mouth. This came out of his mouth. Is he a self-confessed spy? Is there any doubt in any of your minds that Dave Greenglass is a self-confessed espionage agent? He characterized himself that way. What did this man do? He took an oath when he entered the Army of the United States. He didn't even remember what the oath was. That is how seriously he took it. But, in substance, he swore to support our country. Is there any doubt in your mind that he violated that oath? Is there any doubt in your mind that he disgraced the uniform of every soldier in the United States by his actions? Do you know what that man did? He was assigned to one of the most important secret projects in this country, and by his own statements, by his own admissions, he told you that he stole information out of there and gave it to strangers, and that it was going to the Soviet Government. Now, that is undisputed. I would like Mr. Saypol or anybody who is going to sum upon the part of the Government to refute that. Is there any doubt in your mind about that?

You know, before I summed up, I wanted to go to a dictionary and I wanted to find a word that could describe a Dave Greenglass. I couldn't find it, because I don't think that there is a word in the English vocabulary or in the dictionary of any civilization which can describe a character like Dave Greenglass.

But one thing I think you do know, that any man who will testify against his own blood and flesh, his own sister, is repulsive, is revolting, who violates every code that any civilization has ever lived by. He is the lowest of the lowest animals that I have ever seen, and if you are honest with yourself, you will admit that he is lowest than the lowest animal that you have ever seen.

This is not a man; this is an animal. And how he got up there, and how he got up there. Did you look at him? I know you did; you watched him; all your eyes were fastened on him, just as people are fascinated by horror; and he smirked and he smiled and I asked him a question, so that it would be in the cold printed record, "Are you aware of your smile?" And do you know the answer I got? Do you remember it? "Not very." Listen to that answer, "Not very."

Well, maybe some people enjoy funerals; maybe some people enjoy lynchings, but I wonder whether in anything that you have read or in anything that you have experienced you have ever come across a man, who comes round to bury his own sister and smiles.

Tell me, is this the kind of a man you are going to believe? God Almighty, if ever a witness discredited himself on a stand, he did. What kind of a man can be disbelieve if we are going to believe Dave Greenglass? What is the sense of having witness chairs? What is the sense of having juries subject witnesses' testimony to scrutiny and analysis? Is that the kind of a man that you would believe in your own life or would you punch him in the nose and throw him out and have nothing to do with him because he is a low rebel? Come on, be honest with yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, is that the kind of testimony that you are going to accept?

And he was arrogant; he was arrogant. He felt he had the Government of the United States behind him. He had a right to be arrogant; he had a right to be arrogant, because I want to say right now that the Greenglasses put it all over the FBI and put it all over Mr. Saypol's staff, and I submit that they are smarter than the whole bunch. They sold them a bill of goods. Every man sitting over here is an honest man. The FBI representatives, Mr. Say pol and his staff, every man of them, they are doing their duty, but you know, even the smartest of us can be tricked, and do you want me to show you how they were tricked?....

Ruth Greenglass admitted here that she was in this conspiracy. Is there any doubt about that? Is there any doubt that in the middle of November she came out to Albuquerque and tried to induce her husband to sell secrets? Is there any doubt that she grabbed Gold's money and deposited it in the bank? Is thee any doubt that she gained by the illegal fruits of her husband's venture? Is there any doubt that she knew all about it?

Ruth Greenglass has never been arrested. She has never been indicted. She has never been sent to jail. Doesn't that strike you as strange? If this is such a terrible crime, and I tell you , gentlemen, it is a serious crime, a most serious crime, don't you think that the Greenglasses put it over the Government when Ruth Greenglass wasn't even indicted? Something peculiar, and I am not attributing anything wrong to the FBI or the prosecutor's staff, and let us get that straight right now. With all due respect I think the Greenglasses sold you a bill of goods. . . .

Ruth Greenglass got out. She walked out and put her sister-in-law in. It was a deal that the Greenglasses planned and made for themselves, and they made it--they may not have made it by express agreement with the Government, and I don't think the Government would countenance anything like that, but tell me do actions speak louder than words? Is the proof of the pudding in the eating? Is Ruth Greenglass a defendant here?

And, ladies and gentlemen, this explains why Dave Greenglass was willing to bury his sister and his brother-in-law to save his wife. Yes, there were other factors of course. He had a grudge against Rosenberg because he felt that Rosenberg had gyped him out of a thousand dollars, but that would not have been enough to explain Greenglass' act.

Not only are the Greenglasses self-confessed spies but they were mercenary spies. They spied for money. . . . They would do anything for money. They would murder people for money. They are trying to murder people for money.

Now I will tell you what the plot of the Greenglasses was here. Two-fold. Greenglass figured that if he couldn't put the finger on somebody, he would lessen his own punishment; and he had to put the finger on somebody who was here in the United States, and he had to put the finger on somebody who was a clay pigeon; and that man sitting there (indicating defendant Julius Rosenberg) is a clay pigeon, because he was fired from the Government service, because it was alleged that he was a member of the Community party; and he was the guy who was very open and expressed his views about the United States and the Soviet Union, which may have been all right when the Soviet Union and the United States were Allies, but today it is anathema; and you heard him testify, and he said it openly here, he didn't try to conceal it, "Yes, I thought that the Soviet did a lot for the underdog and they did a lot of reconstruction work and he went on to recount one or two other things that he felt should be to their credit. Well, that is the kind of philosophy that was expounded in the New Deal days by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and by these gentlemen of the press, sitting here. But, boy, when you do that today, it is different; and in 1950 we had the same kind of climate that we have now. This man was a clay pigeon....

What kind of man was [Julius Rosenberg]? Is this a Costello? Is this your concept of a racketeer? Is this your concept of a pay-off man, a man who lived in a Knickerbocker Village apartment at $45 a month, and finally his rent was raised after many, many years, was raised to $51 a month, whose wife did scrubbing and cleaning and who had two kids, and they had a terrible struggle and they had to go and borrow money, and he scraped together $1,000 in May 1950 to buy stock in the Pitt Machine Company, and he had to give notes for $4,500 for the balance of the purchase price; tell me, does that square with your idea of a pay-off man?

Now, look at that terrible spy (pointing to the defendant Ethel Rosenberg). Look at that terrible spy and compare her to Ruthie Greenglass, who came here all dolled up, arrogant, smart, cute, eager-beaver, like a phonograph record.

[Y]ou will find that [Ruth Greenglass] repeated, almost word for word, if not word for word, the whole business; and she wants you to believe that she didn't rehearse this story with Dave and Dave Greenglass didn't rehearse this story with her. Cute, cute. Maybe some of you are more acute in sizing up women than others, but if Ruth Greenglass is not the embodiment of evil, I would like to know what person is? Is Ruth Greenglass the kind of person that can be trusted? Let me tell you something, she is so acute that she wriggled out of this. That is how smart she is. She wriggled out of it. She squirmed through that needle's eye. Well, if she can fool the FBI, I do hope that she won't be able to fool you.....

[Ethel] wanted to help [David Greenglass]. That is human. Can we condemn every member of a family who wants to stick to another member of the family? What is so terrible? Wouldn't you do it, and wouldn't I do it? And here is a man who had had a fight with Davey to get his stock. And when Davey came around and said he was in trouble, like a schnook--that is a Jewish word; it means this--I am trying to get the exact translation--well, a very easygoing fool. He goes to his doctor to try to get a false certification for Davey....

[Gold] got his 30-year bit and he told the truth. That is why I didn't cross-examine him....

Bentley is a professional anti-Communist. She makes money on it. I am sure the Government doesn't pay her any money. She writes books, she lectures. This is her business; her business is testifying. Now, what did she say? Let us hear what this great authority said, this intellectual moll, this Puritan little girl from New England. Did she ever meet Rosenberg? She was a top gal. She gave orders, she says to Earl Browder....

Now, for God's sake, you are intelligent people. Do you believe, or have you ever heard that a Government cites somebody without making public the citation: And do you believe that this little guy (indicating), with a little business, this terribly wealthy man who hasn't got a dime to his name, that he was cited by the Russian Government? If you believe that, for God's sake, convict the Rosenbergs and let's get an end to this case; but if you don't believe it, then take a lot of the other things with salt that these Greenglasses said in their anxiety to bury the Rosenbergs....

Now is want to conclude very simply . I told you at the beginning and I tell you now that we don't come to you in this kind of charge looking for sympathy. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, there is plenty of room here for a lawyer to try to harp on your emotions, especially so far as Ethel Rosenberg is concerned; a mother, she has two children, her husband is under arrest. No, because if these people are guilty of that crime they deserve no sympathy. No, we want you to decide this case with your minds, not with your hearts, with your minds. . . . I say that if you do that, you can come to no other conclusion than that these defendants are innocent and you are going to show to the world that in America a man can get a fair trial.


(1) New York Times (18th July, 1950)

(2) Department of Justice, press release (17th July, 1950)

(3) Alan H. Belmont, memorandum to D.M. Ladd (17th July, 1950)

(4) J. Edgar Hoover to Howard McGrath (19th July, 1950)

(5) New York Times (18th August, 1950)

(6) Alexander Feklissov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (1999) page 279

(7) Irving Saypol, speech in court (6th March, 1951)

(8) Walter Schneir and Miriam Schneir, Invitation to an Inquest (1983) page 124

(9) Alexander Feklissov report to NKVD headquarters (January 1945)

(10) Walter Schneir and Miriam Schneir, Invitation to an Inquest (1983) page 153

(11) Alexander Feklissov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (1999) page 268-269

(12) Walter Schneir and Miriam Schneir, Invitation to an Inquest (1983) page 153

(13) Myles Lane, appearing before Judge Irving Kaufman (30th December, 1952)

(14) Judge Irving Kaufman, statement (2nd January, 1953)

(15) George E. Sokolsky, New York Journal-American (9th January, 1953)

(16) Dwight D. Eisenhower, statement (11th February, 1953)

(17) Dwight D. Eisenhower, letter to John Eisenhower (June, 1953)

(18) Statement issued by the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after the visit of James V. Bennett, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (May, 1953)

(19) Walter Schneir and Miriam Schneir, Invitation to an Inquest (1983) page 253

(20) Miriam Moskowitz, Phantom Spies, Phantom Justice (2010) 175