how does an ordinary couple become international spies? Why do compatriots and brothers betray their sister and brother-in-law? His wife had little to do with the espionage case, but why was he sentenced to death? After 50 years, how did my brother tell the real motive for perjury?




the black lens and the unsolved mystery of the century (Shaanxi Normal University Press, October 2006 Edition) starts with the real case, and according to dozens of declassified documents provided by the FBI and authoritative investigation conclusions and latest findings from the people, through 550 real moments recorded by camera lenses who have personally experienced the scene, Fully understand the context of the unsolved mystery of the century. This article is selected from one of them. From this, you can know: how does an ordinary couple become international spies? Why do siblings betray their sister and brother-in-law? His wife had little to do with the espionage case, but why was he sentenced to death? After 50 years, how did my brother tell the real motive for perjury?

happy family

Ethel Rosenberg is a competent housewife. Ever since she married Julius Rosenberg, she has been demanding to be a qualified wife and mother. Ethel was born in a poor family in New York on November 28, 1915. His father ran a tool repair shop. His business was poor and it was difficult to afford the life of a family of six. Ethel is the only girl in the family of four children, but she can’t get too much love from her mother. On the contrary, her mother was always sarcastic and malicious, and obviously loved her brothers more. However, Ethel is undoubtedly the smartest one. She has excellent academic performance and a good voice. It was her childhood dream to become a singer. But the reality is that after graduating from high school at the age of 15, she entered a shipping company as a secretary. Meanwhile, Ethel became interested in politics and began to frequently participate in the activities of enterprise workers’ organizations. Four years later, she was dismissed for leading a general strike of 150 women workers, but as an old Western saying goes, “when one door is closed, another door is opened”. Ethel was absorbed by the Communist Youth League and finally joined the Communist Party of America, embarking on a journey of fate full of twists and turns.

when Ethel met Julius, she soon fell in love with this passionate young man. Julius, like Ethel, was born in a poor family. He showed a strong belief in religion since childhood. His parents thought he would become a priest. Unexpectedly, after graduating from University, he joined the Communist Youth League and became a leader of social activities. The same political orientation made the two young people fall in love at first sight. In 1939, they got married.

married life is very sweet, but because Ethel is not in good health, she had to quit her job and become a full-time housewife. After the outbreak of World War II, Julius worked as an engineer in a military enterprise with good treatment. By the end of the war in 1945, the family had lived a comfortable middle-class life. In 1943 and 1947, their two sons Mike and Robert were born one after another. The couple were immersed in the joy of being parents and enjoyed the fun of family life. To outsiders, like all happy and ordinary American families, they are nothing special.

who leaked the secret

however, a sudden event completely disrupted the original calm life of the Rosenberg couple. The copy of Julius’ Party member card appeared on the boss’s desk somehow. Julius was dismissed immediately after he was found to be a communist. There is nothing wrong with the company’s decision. Although World War II ended, the cold war came one after another. The United States and the Soviet Union were no longer allies, but opponents competing for interests. In the view of the United States, anyone linked to the Soviet Union and communism is dangerous, while the Communists lurking in the U.S. military industry are even more dangerous. To this end, the US government launched a long-term hidden background investigation. Finally, Julius was found to be a Communist Party. But the truth is more than that. Julius is not only a Communist Party, but also a hidden Soviet spy. For many years, he has been taking advantage of his position to provide the Soviet Union with intelligence information of the US military. However, the US government was not aware of this.

after being dismissed, Julius is still looking for ways to obtain intelligence. At this time, he focused on Ethel’s brother David Greengrass. As the only mature country in the world to master the technology of atomic bomb manufacturing at that time, the international military monopoly of the United States can be imagined. The United States is naturally tight lipped about the “exclusive stunt”, let alone let it leak to its opponents. David Greengrass is an officer stationed in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the atomic laboratory is located. It is easy to use his position to obtain secrets related to nuclear weapons research projects. Therefore, David is undoubtedly a great for Julius. Julius asked Ethel to persuade David to help him with his espionage activities and promised David that he would be paid handsomely. In this way, David became Julius’s insider and began to steal top secret information about the atomic bomb through various channels.

on August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union’s first self-developed atomic bomb exploded successfully, becoming the second military power to master nuclear weapons after the United States. The news not only made the Soviets happy, but also made the Americans see the disaster coming. The US government firmly believes that the Soviet Union will never have the ability to independently develop an atomic bomb, so it suspects that there must be espionage. In 1950, an espionage case in Britain led Americans to find clues. Klaus fox, a physicist who was then the head of the theoretical physics group of the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Center in the UK, was arrested by the police for espionage. He was accused of providing the Soviet Union with top secret information about the manufacture of atomic bombs from Britain and the United States. These include the data of windeskell atomic reactor, the plan to build an isotope separation plant that can save raw materials, the schematic diagram of the principle of hydrogen bomb and the theoretical data of manufacturing hydrogen bomb. The fox case shocked the world. Fox was considered by the west to have played a vital role in the cause of Soviet atomic bombLyus can hear it. She can always dispel her husband’s doubts with sweet songs. They can only meet every Thursday afternoon. Besides, the only contact is letters. They exchanged their hearts in letters. These affectionate letters were also copied by their lawyers and widely read in their children’s book “we are your sons”. People who believe that the Rosenbergs are kind and innocent often gather at the gate of the federal court, holding slogans and shouting grievances for the couple. Led by lawyers, Mike and Robert stood in front of the White House and begged the president not to let them become orphans. The couple in prison are also looking forward to a miracle.

because they touched on military secrets, the government did not disclose the real crime committed by the couple, that is, to provide the Soviet Union with important information on the development of an atomic bomb. Therefore, those who support the Rosenbergs do not understand why the government should “poison” such a polite couple. But for the US government, the Soviet Union was the biggest enemy of the United States during the cold war, and they would never forgive traitors who defected to the enemy. Therefore, although lawyers, the masses and other sectors of society strongly condemned and protested the trial results, the government still did not change its decision. At 8:00 p.m. on June 19, 1963, Julius Rosenberg was first blindfolded and pushed into the electric chair. After the first strong current passed through his body, he had a few strong convulsions and then died quickly. Ethel followed, and she calmly kissed goodbye to the female guard who had taken care of her for two years. Go straight to the electric chair. Unfortunately, Ethel did not die after the first shock. So the executioner gave her a second.

he killed his sister

. Some people have been resentful for years that the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. Some legal professionals believe that after World War II, international treaties prohibit the execution of prisoners for espionage. So Klaus fox, a British physicist who also committed the number one espionage crime, was sentenced to 14 years in prison by the British government. Why were the Rosenbergs sent to the electric chair? The only explanation is that they are in the United States during the cold war. The special historical era and the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union are killing them.

but the truth is far more than that. David Greengrass was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He has lived in seclusion since he was released from prison in 1960. But in 2001, the 79 year old Greengrass, in an interview with CBS’s 60 minute current affairs magazine, unexpectedly said that he had given false testimony at the trial 50 years ago.

Greengrass admitted that he had indeed provided the Soviet Union with information on atomic research and nuclear detonators at the instigation of his brother-in-law Julius. But the charges against my sister are totally unfounded. Greengrass frankly said that the reason why he accused his sister and brother-in-law as the mastermind was to exonerate himself and his wife. In his testimony that year, he accused his sister Ethel of printing a copy of the information transmitted to Moscow for him with a “Remington” typewriter. In the view of the prosecution, this fully proved Ethel’s spy identity, and the court convicted Ethel for this. But until now, Greengrass admitted that these were just lies made up by him to protect himself. “I don’t know who printed this material. Frankly, I can’t remember whether anyone printed that material. I’ve lost my memory of what happened… I didn’t think how these words would affect Ethel.”

Greengrass’s actions were not personal, and his actions were supported by his mother, who was also Ethel’s mother. She had written to persuade him not to be sad about testifying against Ethel. She deserved it. In fact, what really gave him courage and confidence was Roy Cohen, an assistant lawyer of the procuratorate at that time. He publicly encouraged Greengrass to perjure and accuse Ethel. Later, Cohen successfully assisted McCarthy with such despicable means and played an important role in helping him launch the political persecution movement.

in the interview, when the reporter asked Greengrass whether he regretted his original behavior, his answer was shocking. He said he always thought that his sister didn’t defend herself and was willing to die with Julius, which was very simple and stupid. He was glad that he could survive and did not regret betraying his family. Even said: “if one day I meet two nephews, I just want to say to them: I deeply regret the death of your parents.”

nevertheless, when people re-examine the huge espionage case half a century ago, they still feel that it is the product of the political environment at that time. No wonder later generations use the classic judgment describing the Vietnam War to compare the Rosenberg couple, that is, they did a wrong thing at the wrong time.