Born in The Bronx in New York City and educated at Columbia University, Cohn rose to prominence as a U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, where he successfully prosecuted the Rosenbergs leading to their execution in 1953. As a prosecuting chief counsel during the trials, his reputation deteriorated during the late …
David Greenglass's new account appears in The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair (2001).) Harry Gold was an effective prosecution witness, even though …
Jun 18, 2020 · Cohn was just 23 when his role as a prosecutor in the Rosenberg trial made him a nationally-known figure. Electrical engineer Julius and his secretary wife Ethel were native New Yorkers who met in...
Jul 08, 2015 · Virtually on the eve of the Rosenbergs’ original scheduled execution date – June 18 th, 1951 –a lawyer named Fyke Farmer, who was not counsel-of-record for the Rosenbergs, on his own accord filed with the Supreme Court an emergency motion to postpone the execution in order to consider a novel legal issue that had not been raised earlier by any of the Rosenbergs’ …
The Rosenbergs, and co-defendant Morton Sobell, were defended by the father and son team of Emanuel and Alexander Bloch. The prosecution includes Roy Cohn, best known for his association with Senator Joseph McCarthy.
On June 17, 1950, Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage after having been named by Sgt. David Greenglass, Ethel's younger brother and a former machinist at Los Alamos, who also confessed to passing secret information to the USSR through a courier, Harry Gold. On August 11, 1950, Ethel was arrested.
On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair.
His parents were none other than Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and they were accused of being Russian spies who passed on secret information about nuclear technology as the Cold War kicked into high gear. The arrests started a chain of events that would lead to their execution.Mar 30, 2021
The Rosenberg Trial. Espionage was a major concern for the United States government during the Manhattan Project. Some of the individuals who worked on the Manhattan Project were spies and provided valuable information on the design of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union secretly conducted its first atomic weapons test on August ...
On March 29, 1951, the court convicted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of conspiracy to commit espionage. On April 5, Judge Kaufman sentenced them to death, and sentenced Sobell to 30 years in prison. Some reports claim that the Rosenbergs were offered a plea deal, where admittance of their guilt would grant them a prison sentence. David Greenglass received a 15 year prison sentence and was released in 1960. In early 1953, he wrote a letter to President Eisenhower, requesting that Ethel and Julius’ sentences be commuted to prison. This request was denied. Judge Kaufman justified his decision for the death penalty by stating: “I consider your crimes worse than murder. I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding fifty thousand and who knows how many millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason.”
The Soviet Union secretly conducted its first atomic weapons test on August 29, 1949. To this day, historians and scientists debate how much espionage sped up the progress of the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons program.
Harry Gold, a lab chemist and Soviet spy, passed this information to the USSR. Gold paid Greenglass $500 in exchange for information about the implosion lens in the atomic bomb. He also worked with Klaus Fuchs, a physicist at Los Alamos and Soviet spy, to pass on atomic research secrets.
The FBI arrested Greenglass for espionage in June of 1950. The direct evidence of the Rosenbergs’ involvement came from the confessions and testimonies of David and Ruth Greenglass. Since the Rosenbergs were being charged with conspiracy, no tangible evidence was required.
By 1945, the Soviets considered Rosenberg and his espionage network to be providing valuable information. The network included: engineers (Julius Rosenberg, Nathan Sussman, Joel Barr, Alfred Sarant, Morton Sobell ), a military aviation scientist ( William Perl ), a civil design engineer (McNutt), and a machinist (Greenglass), among others. Greenglass served in the Army’s Special Engineer Detachment (SED), and was a machinist at Los Alamos. McNutt was an engineer who worked at the Kellex design bureau in New York City. By 1944, Julius had recruited him to spy for the Soviets. Perl contributed to the development of the first jet fighter in the U.S. The engineers worked at top electronic firms, and they passed on confidential and useful information to the Soviet Union.
In 1949, the U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) discovered that Fuchs was a Soviet spy. Decrypted cables revealed this information through the Venona project. In February 1950, Fuchs was arrested in the United Kingdom. His arrest began a chain of investigations, which ultimately led to the arrest of Julius and Ethel. Fuchs was charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, and he confessed to spying for the Soviet Union. That same year, the FBI arrested both Greenglass and Gold based on information provided by Fuchs. When questioned, Greenglass admitted to spying. He also named Julius and Ethel Rosenberg as contacts and denied that his wife, Ruth Greenglass, was involved with any espionage activities.
Greenglass testified that he had given the Rosenbergs classified documents from the Manhattan Project that had been stolen by Klaus Fuchs. Greenglass would later claim that he lied at the trial in order "to protect himself and his wife, Ruth, and that he was encouraged by the prosecution to do so." Cohn always took great pride in the Rosenberg verdict and claimed to have played an even greater part than his public role. He said in his autobiography that his own influence had led to both Chief Prosecutor Saypol and Judge Irving Kaufman being appointed to the case. Cohn further said that Kaufman imposed the death penalty based on his personal recommendation. He denied participation in any ex parte ( on behalf of) discussions.
Family. Joshua Lionel Cowen (great-uncle) Roy Marcus Cohn ( / koʊn /; February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986) was an American lawyer who came to prominence for his role as Senator Joseph McCarthy 's chief counsel during the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, when he assisted McCarthy's investigations of suspected communists.
After attending Horace Mann School and the Fieldston School, and completing studies at Columbia College in 1946, Cohn graduated from Columbia Law School at the age of 20.
Born to a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York City, Cohn was the only child of Dora (née Marcus; 1892–1967) and Judge Albert C. Cohn (1885–1959); his father was influential in Democratic Party politics.
In 1984, Cohn was diagnosed with AIDS and attempted to keep his condition secret while receiving experimental drug treatment. He participated in clinical trials of AZT, a drug initially synthesized to treat cancer but later developed as the first anti-HIV agent for AIDS patients. He insisted to his dying day that his disease was liver cancer. He died on August 2, 1986, in Bethesda, Maryland, of complications from AIDS, at the age of 59. At death, the IRS seized almost everything he had. One of the things that the IRS did not seize was a pair of diamond cuff links, given to him by his client and friend, Donald Trump.
Cohn had to wait until May 27, 1948, after his 21st birthday, to be admitted to the bar, and he used his family connections to obtain a position in the office of United States Attorney Irving Saypol in Manhattan the day he was admitted. One of his first cases was the Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders.
Edgar Hoover, who recommended him to Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy hired Cohn as his chief counsel, choosing him over Robert F. Kennedy.
Judge Irving Kaufman presided over the trial, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Irving Saypol leading the prosecution and criminal defense lawyer Emmanuel Bloch representing the Rosenbergs. The prosecution's primary witness, David Greenglass, said that he turned over to Julius Rosenberg a sketch of the cross-section of an implosion-type atom bomb. This was the " Fat Man " bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, as opposed to a bomb with the "gun method" triggering device used in the " Little Boy " bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He also testified that his sister Ethel Rosenberg typed notes containing U.S. nuclear secrets in the Rosenberg apartment in September 1945.
They were adopted by the high school teacher, poet, songwriter, and social activist Abel Meeropol (author of the popular song " Strange Fruit ") and his wife Anne, and they assumed the Meeropol surname.
After the publication of an investigative series in the National Guardian and the formation of the National Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case, some Americans came to believe both Rosenbergs were innocent or had received too harsh a sentence, particularly Ethel. A campaign was started to try to prevent the couple's execution. Between the trial and the executions, there were widespread protests and claims of antisemitism; the charges of antisemitism were widely believed abroad, but not among the vast majority in the United States. At a time when American fears about communism were high, the Rosenbergs did not receive support from mainstream Jewish organizations. The American Civil Liberties Union refused to acknowledge any violations of civil liberties in the case.
Julius Rosenberg was born on May 12, 1918, in New York City to a family of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. The family moved to the Lower East Side by the time Julius was 11. His parents worked in the shops of the Lower East Side as Julius attended Seward Park High School. Julius became a leader in the Young Communist League USA while at City College of New York during the Great Depression. In 1939, he graduated from CCNY with a degree in electrical engineering.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg ( née Greenglass) were American citizens who were convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. The couple were convicted of providing top-secret information about radar, sonar, jet propulsion engines and valuable nuclear weapon designs ...
Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist working in Los Alamos , was convicted in the United Kingdom. For decades, the Rosenbergs' sons ( Michael and Robert Meeropol) and many other defenders maintained that Julius and Ethel were innocent of spying on their country and were victims of Cold War paranoia.
He admitted that he had given documents to the Soviet contact, but said these had to do with defensive radar and weaponry. He confirmed that Julius Rosenberg was "in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information ... [on] the atomic bomb," and "He never told me about anything else that he was engaged in."
The Rosenberg Trial is the sum of many stories: a story of betrayal, a love story, a spy story, a story of a family torn apart, and a story of government overreaching. As is the case with many famous trials, it is also the story of a particular time: the early 1950s with its cold war tensions and headlines dominated by Senator Joseph McCarthy ...
Julius Rosenberg was the son of a Polish garment worker living on New York's Lower East Side. Julius was a quiet, serious youth whose early success in Hebrew studies led his father to hope that he might become a rabbi.
Weeks after beginning life in the Women's House of Detention , Ethel began to adjust to prison life. Julius, meanwhile, gave no indication that his wife's threatened prosecution would cause him to reconsider his refusal to cooperate with authorities. The lever wasn't working, and now the Government was committed to the prosecution of Ethel as an equal partner in the espionage conspiracy.
Joel Barr, a college friend of Rosenberg, disappeared in Paris on the day Greenglass was arrested, leaving most of his personal possessions behind. Less than a week later, another college friend, Morton Sobell, boarded a plane with his family at La Guardia Airport with tickets for Mexico City.
William Perl, a Cleveland scientist, was called before the Rosenberg grand jury where he denied ever having known Rosenberg. On the basis of that statement and ample evidence to establish its falsity, Perl was indicted for perjury. A fifth Rosenberg acquaintance, Max Elitcher, chose cooperation over flight.
Next up for the prosecution was David's wife, Ruth Greenglass. Ruth testified as to how she, then just nineteen, was asked by Julius to inquire of her husband, recently stationed in Los Alamos, whether he would be willing to provide information on the progress of the Manhattan Project.
Elizabeth Bentley, dubbed "The Red Spy Queen" by the press, added a dramatic flair to the prosecution's case. Bentley, who seemed to revel in publicity, was an ex-Soviet spy and ex-lover of the Soviet's chief U. S. spy, who turned informer in 1945 and began writing books about her undercover exploits. It was through herself, Bentley testified, that Rosenberg made contact with Jacob Golos, chief of the KGB's American operations until his death in 1943. She told the jury that on five or six occasions she received early morning phone calls from someone identifying himself as "Julius" (Bentley never actually met Rosenberg) asking her to alert Golos of his need to talk. ( Link to Bentley testimony)
Michael Meeropol was born Michael Rosenberg, and is one of the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of espionage and sent to the electric chair in 1953. They were the only people executed by the US for Cold War-era spying.
Roy Cohn Condemned the Rosenbergs as Soviet Spies. Their Granddaughter Just Made a Film About Him. Ivy Meeropol, the director of Bully. Coward. Victim., discusses the life of the Trump mentor who remains one of America's most infamous villains. By Gabrielle Bruney. Jun 18, 2020.
On 19 June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the United States for conspiring to pass atomic secrets to Russia. Read how the Guardian reported their deaths. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg during their trial for espionage in New York, 1951. Photograph: AP.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison tonight. Neither husband nor wife spoke before they died. Julius Rosenberg, aged 35, was the first to die. They were executed just before the setting sun heralded the Jewish Sabbath.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed early this morning at Sing Sing Prison for conspiring to pass atomic secrets to Russia in World War II. Only a few minutes before, President Eisenhower had rejected a last desperate plea written in her cell by Ethel Rosenberg. Mr Emanuel Bloch, the couple's lawyer, personally took the note to ...
In January 1950, the U.S. discovered that Klaus Fuchs, a German refugee theoretical physicist working for the British mission in the Manhattan Project, had given key documents to the Soviets throughout the war. Fuchs identified his courier as American Harry Gold, who was arrested on May 23, 1950.
On June 15, 1950, David Greenglass was arrested by the FBI for espionage an…
Julius Rosenberg joined the Army Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, in 1940, where he worked as an engineer-inspector until 1945. He was discharged when the U.S. Army discovered his previous membership in the Communist Party. Important research on electronics, communications, radar and guided missile controls was undertaken at Fort Monmouth during World War II.
After the publication of an investigative series in the National Guardian and the formation of the National Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case, some Americans came to believe both Rosenbergs were innocent or had received too harsh a sentence, particularly Ethel. A campaign was started to try to prevent the couple's execution. Between the trial and the executions, there were widespread protests and claims of antisemitism; the charges of antisemi…
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, investigated how much the Soviet spy ring helped the USSR to build their bomb. In 1945, Moynihan found, physicist Hans Bethe estimated that the Soviets would be able to build their own bomb in five years. "Thanks to information provided by their agents", Moynihan wrote in his book Secrecy, "they did it in four".
• The song "Julius and Ethel" written by Bob Dylan in 1983 is based on the Rosenberg case.
• E.L. Doctorow's 1971 novel The Book of Daniel is loosely based on the Rosenbergs and their sons' attempt to clear their name. The 1983 film by Sidney Lumet, Daniel, is in turn based on the novel.
• The main character in Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar is morbidly interested in the Rosenbergs' case.