A radio dramatization and discussion of the controversy over the conviction and execution of the Rosenbergs for giving atomic secrets to Soviets.
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Is the 19th of June 1953 at Sing Sing prison in New York, the government of the United States has just put to death Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. They were said to have stolen the secret of the atomic bomb now Bob considine and I witness to their execution files his report. Play climax to two and a half years of. demonstration Call the American system of jurisprudence. last few minutes of their lives Will Cherry flies and it started up? in the poverty of Lori fried here in New York and What time is sunrise? That's what electrical engineer. health benefits center active voice turn off the night before a neighbor heart everything to live for. Residence Inn differently Channel 41 have an appointment for rent. Battle of Harbor Shuffle run over and look at each other. Appleton weather is now 21 years since the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, perhaps The Passion of the 50s is far enough behind us for a dispassionate examination of who they were and who we were Perhaps it is we will have a lot of explaining to do. In the next 60 minutes, we make inquiry into the unquiet death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It is May 1937 beacon on the chaos of the depression leads to strikes and violence the system of uncontrolled private Enterprise shows the evidence of its own bankruptcy in depression America, the rosenbergs grow to political maturity with millions of others, they question and economic and political system that lays waste human live. For Julius and Ethel Rosenberg living in the poverty of New York capitalism has failed. A new system might be better socialism is its name? And for many the vehicle for change is the Communist Party? Call morsani then a section leader in the Communist Party remembers very much out of that people begin to fight default for Relief. They fought for unemployment insurance before to organize the trade unions. And in that. A group of small call themselves, as it always believed that the system wasn't functioning who always believed that you couldn't have political democracy without economic democracy, spotty because I was going to make a revolution. It wasn't ideology was installing contacts the kids of something like I was in 29 became men and people like the weird thing is, these men simply to fight for the rights of the people voted home for food and shelter and abroad. To a government struggling to solve the problems of the depression the lefties present a threat to establish power. At city college in New York Julius Rosenberg is a student radical apple is a union activist. Is May of 1938? House on American Activities Committee is formed two years later Congress and acts the Smith Act Americans who work for or Advocate radical solutions to the cancer of depression can now under the Smith Act be investigated find imprisoned. They are subversive under the law. On New York's Lower East Side Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are reading the daily worker. Apple's teenage Brother David Greenglass has joined the young communist League now. It is 1942. The nation goes to World War II. The depression is Over The Purge of dissidents postponed the enemy abroad comes first. Julius Rosenberg is employed by the Army Ethel is in civil defense or Brother. David Greenglass is a soldier winning the war occupies All American scientists through at work attempting to convert nuclear energy into an atomic bomb. It is the end of the war and for some of the end of the world as they knew it the crew of the Enola Gay Ave delivered America's Atomic secret to the world. One of the man who developed an arm the bombs. Dr. Philip Morrison nature held from a terrifying secret to the world early part of 1939. And from then on most evil World War. and then as the Americans in the Great American projects We went step-by-step asking questions and getting answers from nature what to do next what to do next. How does all this pain how to solve that problem? And we never end the main singer was was there a barrier on this path? That's the gamble that we had to take say to begin the straight term expensive without any Surpassable. I certainly went to every Rotary Club in business man's organization Woman's Club and college class and I could talk to him. I wrote innumerable little someone hack needs articles by now repeating pretty much a picture still true. There was no Central secret. There will be no defense and the only answers International Peace. What secrets are you supposed to postwar America they're comforting illusion a weapon for power politics there a new enemies abroad and old animes with in Julius Rosenberg is fired from his government job they say he was a communist Is 1946 the cold war is moving in from the East it will freeze the minds of most Americans. In the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic the program. I was determined as far as a member of the Communist Party. Agents that they actually are and enable both public and private in the department of justice has prosecuted and will continue to prosecute with bigger than the actions of subversive group have no fear of Communism or any other alien way of life. I am holding in my hand on microfilm a very highly confidential secret State Department documents. These documents were fed out of the state department over 10 years ago by Communists who were employees of that department and who were interested in seeing that these documents were sent to the Soviet Union. Now it is August 1949 Russia successfully explodes its atomic bomb. comforting illusion of anatomic secret disappears in a mushroom cloud over Siberia In America, it is replaced with the concept of atomic theft. Andrew J Edgar Hoover finding the thieves is both a political necessity and a personal Crusade for if the so-called secret of the atomic bomb has been stolen and it has to have been stolen from under the nose of the FBI. Former FBI agent Richard Brennan, the pressure was almost unbelievable in some ways. Not only from the Bureau of the FBI that we were getting in from. Mr. Hoover was getting it from outside. He was getting it from Congress. She was getting it in the Daily Press the people of the United States that had a rude awakening. Russian would not have had the potential itself to have build an atomic bomb from scratch. Another was I had to steal it and we were the only ones who had it. They had was stolen from us Doctor Philip Morrison Atomic scientists physics. What scientist in Cold War America spoke in Whispers And the Roar of the crowd frightened by the shrill sounds of atomic bomb drills ground out there message America was changing find the atomic thieves. Go to American communism in New York. The 11 top American read are guilty of criminal conspiracy is February 2nd, 1950 British physicist arrested in England Fuchs admits passing atomic bomb information to an American agent of the Russians during the war in New York, Boston Santa Fe. May 23rd 1950 Harry gold chemist from Philadelphia arrested gold says he was the American to whom Klaus Fuchs past atomic bomb information. June 16th 1954 army Sergeant stationed at Los Alamos, New Mexico during the war arrested is named David Greenglass the charge passing Atomic information to the Russians through perigold on duty. I am not and never have been a communist. I am not and never happy. July 17th 1950 Julius Rosenberg brother-in-law David Greenglass arrested J. Edgar Hoover says Rosenberg is another LinkedIn Soviet Espionage apparatus, which includes doctor Klaus Fuchs Harry gold David Greenglass Rosenberg terms the charge fantastic something like kids here on television. August 11th 1950 Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg arrested she or husband Julius and her brother David Greenglass are held in $100,000 bond. August 18th 1950, Oregon so Bell arrested at the Mexican border in Laredo, Texas civil claims. He was kidnapped by the Mexican secret police. Is less than a year since Russia exploded its atomic bomb. Now five Americans are a gold David Greenglass Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morgan still Bell are in prison accused of having made it possible. In six months they are to go on trial in the America of the Korean War and of Joseph McCarthy. Now it is March 6th 1951 the federal courthouse, Foley Square, New York. A panel of over 300 New Yorkers has been boil down to 11 men and one woman. They are to be the jurors in America's Adams by case. They are to enter courtroom 110 and sit in judgment in the case of the people of the United States versus Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morphin so Bell. the charge of conspiring to commit Espionage in Wartime It is the courtroom of Judge Irving Ark Elfman. The government's prosecutors are assembled Irving safehold in charge is assistance miles Lane Roy Cohn James kilsheimer. Emmanuel block will defend the rosenbergs. The voices you are about to hear are actors words from the actual trial transcript Chief prosecutor safehold opens usual significance of union soon. Let them into a Soviet Espionage ring. We will prove that the rosenbergs devised and put into operation with the aid of Soviet agents in this country and Bastille through David Greenglass this one weapon, which might well hold the key to the survival of this nation the atomic bomb The prosecution's first witness is called Max Amateur Boyhood friend. So Bell college classmate of Julius Rosenberg a former communist now fearful of prosecution for having lied on a loyalty oath. He has become a government Witness. During the war eletra States when Russia and America were allies it was visited by Julius Rosenberg. Maxell Archer Rosenberg said there were many people who are implementing age of the Soviet Union by providing classified information about military equipment and asked would I be able to get some information? He told me that so Bell I would been my former roommate was also helping Although accusing Rosenberg and Sobel of trying to enlist him and what he calls this Espionage business admits on cross-examination that he never passed any information to either of them. Next for the prosecution David Greenglass is Ethel rosenberg's brother when arrested he pleaded guilty. The government postpones is sentence until after the trial of his sister and brother-in-law. In 1944. He was an army machine is stationed at Los Alamos in New Mexico. While on furlough in New York, he says he drew a sketch for Rosenberg of a high explosive lens mold. He worked on at Los Alamos. He tells the Rosenberg said he would send someone to Los Alamos to pick up more Atomic information in the future. He said Rosenberg Cottage yellow box into pieces to identify The Courier. The green glasses where to keep 1/2 The Courier would present the other. I'm Sunday morning June 3rd. 1945 Green Glass says Marigold knocked at the door of the Green Glass apartment in New Mexico. David Greenglass glass and I said, yes, and he said you sent me I walked in my wife's purse and took out the part of the Jell-O box gold produced his peace and we check them in a fitted Green Glass says he gave gold two more lens mold sketches and written data. Prosecutor Roy Cohn time give Rosenberg a description of the atom bomb itself. I did in September 1945 when I grow up a sketch of the atom bomb and prepared about 12 pages of written material Julius read it and he said this is very good. I got to have this typed up immediately. Who did the typing Mr. Greenglass the typing after the arrests of Fuchs and gold Green Glass says Rosenberg urged him to flee the country Rosenberg told him to have pictures taken for passports and gave him an Escape Route. Now Ruth Greenglass, his wife takes the stand. Although a co-conspirator with her husband David. She is not indicted. She appears as a government Witness. She supports her husband story and all Essentials. Now hurry goal takes the witness stand. Self-confessed Courier for Klaus Fuchs he'd been sentenced to 30 years earlier is not a defendant in the Rosenberg civil case is a government Witness. Gold says that in Spring 1945 is Russian Espionage Superior and a total Jakob love told him to pick up information in New Mexico. Ari Gold gave me a sheet of paper on which was typed the name Green Glass and address in Albuquerque and the words recognition signal I come from Julius. Give me a piece of cardboard which appeared to have been cut from a packaged food of some sort. It was cutting an odd shape and you told me that's a man Green Glass who would have the matching piece of cardboard. He says when he arrived in Albuquerque on a Saturday night, he found that the green glasses were not at home. Ari Gold I stayed that night. I finally managed to obtain a room in a hallway of a rooming house and then on Sunday morning June 3rd, I registered at the hotel Hilton under my own name. He says he returned to the green glasses apartment early Sunday morning Harry gold. I knocked on the door was opened by a young man of about 23 glass. He answered in the affirmative. I said I came from Julius and I showed him the piece of cardboard Green Glass went to a woman's handbag and brought out from a little piece of cardboard. We match the two of them Green Glass told me that he would have the material on the atom bomb ready for me that afternoon. He returned goal says took the atom bomb information and started back East to days later. He says he gave the information to Jakob love the Russian in New York. Emmanuel block the rosenbergs lawyer does not cross-examine or challenge goes testimony. The government presents a copy of a registration card from the Albuquerque Hilton Hotel. It has the name Marigold the date June 3rd 1945. A total of 23 Witnesses testify for the prosecution but only for a voucher the green glasses and Harry gold give evidence directly related to the alleged crime of conspiracy. Now Julius Rosenberg is called to the stand the manual block his lawyer questions him on the matter of the yellow box. Did you ever have any transaction with a green glasses and which I know I did not get any side of a Jell-O box at any time. I did not did any such incident ever take place. It never did. Did your wife ever type any material for transmission to the Soviet Union? She did not did you ever receive from David or Ruth Greenglass any information or any sketches concerning the Los Alamos project? I did not did you ever ask him or roof to get you such information? I never asked them. Now Ethel Rosenberg takes the stand she to squares the testimony of her brother and sister-in-law to be false. She reveals that the green glasses were jealous of them and angry about money. They lost in business with Julius. On cross-examination the rosenbergs refuse to answer questions concerning their political beliefs. They insist upon their reticence. Morton sobell is implicated by a single individual Max elliger the prosecution further implicates Obel in connection with a trip. He took to Mexico in June 1950 and his use of Alias is there. Morton sobell does not testify he pleads not guilty. Now defense attorney block sums up. You search the case against the rosenbergs depends upon oral evidence. Only there is he says no documentary evidence the ties the rosenbergs to espionage the manual block put yourself if you can in that defendants box and ask yourselves if my brother or my sister or my child was sitting in that defendants box. Would I am victim on this kind of testimony? That's all I ask you to do and I say 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 America a man can get up there trial prosecutor safe thumbs up for the government. Listing of this Jell-O box side the greetings from Julius and green glasses whereabouts in Albuquerque come to us. Not only from Roofing David, but from Harry gold, how are you go through furnace the absolute corroboration of the testimony of the green glasses Forge the necessary Link in the chain that points in this beautifully to the guilt of the rosenbergs. We know that these conspirators stole the most important Secrets ever known to mankind and deliver them to the Soviet Union no dependents ever stood before the bottom and now they can Justice less deserving of sympathy than these three to the jurors now belongs the verdict. 11 men and one woman ever listen for 14 days. There are too deliberate for 8 hours and 45 minutes. The verdict all three guilty as charged it is now 21 years later. the actual jurors remember the trial juror number 3 Howard Becker time and effort we expended during the trial and why Larry mention the fact that he had not even presented 3/4 of the evidence at the trial that they felt they are sufficient evidence to convict the rosenbergs juror number 10 Charles Duda a guilty verdict was in the letter and I had no qualms about it. I felt that I did a good job myself and I think the rest of the jewelry estate sale. Your number 5 Charles Christy Jordan number 6 Harold Oxley. Well today star may be dreaming about at the time. but To all intents and purposes my mind's eye. These people are guilty. the jury Foreman Vincent 1180 It was a tremendous hassle over the guilt or innocence of the defendant. It might have been just one individual. When is mine could not vote unites unanimously with us at the time? Individual could not conceive. Of a woman being put to death. I do distinctly recall mentioning that possibly Ethel rosenberg's actions someday might be responsible for your death the death of your children your family and even her children for that matter. I think when the man was able to equate what I had said with what he had felt I think this might have been a determining factor in him changing his mind and sentence David Greenglass the 15 years in prison acknowledged his cooperation with the government. The day before working so Bella this given the maximum prison sentence 30 years. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg face judge Kaufman The Voice is not the issue a punishment in this case is presented in a unique framework of History. It is so difficult to make people realize that this country is engaged in a life-and-death struggle with a completely different system. I consider your crime worse than murder. I believe your conduct and putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would reflect the bomb has already caused in my opinion a communist aggression in Korea with the results in casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but the millions more of innocent people. I pay the price of your treason. And they are your betrayal you undoubtedly have alter the course of history to the disadvantage of our country. We have evidence of your treachery all around us everyday activities throughout the nation are aimed at preparing us for an atom bomb attack. It is not in my power Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to forgive you. You are hereby sentenced to the punishment of death. Time is not still the voices of the past is thousands of pages of Court records and millions of words and dozens of books. Later. With the passage of 21 years the shroud of Doubt surrounding the Rosenberg. So Bell case hangs even heavier in the America of Watergate. Perhaps because our tolerance for the excesses of government is worn thin perhaps because they were the first and only Americans ever put to death for Espionage in our civil court history. To sell them the punishment seems not to fit the crime to others. It was always been room for a reasonable doubt. Victims were traitors. The former prosecutor Roy Cohn there is never been a question. We on the prosecution staff. So certain of the firm by a long series of circumstances an independent corroboration made this one of the most overwhelmingly approved cases there ever was you had this perfect Chain LED from Fuchs to go to the green glasses and the Green Glass has led to inevitably to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, but the perfect chain may have had an imperfect Link in the person of Harry gold. The 40 year-old Bachelor chemist claimed to have been the man to whom Klaus Fuchs past Atomic information. In the Rosenberg case gold believability is a key government witness rested on the assumption that Klaus Fuchs had indeed identified him. But Fuchs had originally twice failed to make an identification of gold from FBI photographs and film. Former FBI agent Robert lamphere the agent assigned to visit Fuchs in prison in England remembers his third attempt to get Fuchs to identify gold. Agents lamphere as it was being shown. I watched him and not the film. and again, he was expressionless a no comment until the film was Concluded and lights were back on and I turned to him again and said can you identify that man a pause and said yes, that was my American contact some years later Klaus Fuchs was visited in his English prison by a member of the British Parliament and two American lawyers. One was Marshall perlin the prime questions was Was gol the Corea. Did Fuchs ever identify goal as The Courier? And the clear and unequivocal evidence that came out of Fuchs mouth was no, he never identified gold as a Corea either to the FBI British intelligence or to his attorneys agent lamphere. That is absolutely not what happened. It was a representative of MI5. There was an assistant director of the FBI there and I was there and what happened is what I've related to Marshall probably saves Roman gold and Sissy is British intelligence at the same thing as attorneys at the same thing and he looks as if he wants to be the man so big he's the man but that was never in fact an identification of gold by Fuchs was Harry gold the man to whom Klaus Fuchs gave Atomic information. A 1950 Fuchs gave British authorities a written confession. Perhaps it contains the answer. This confession remain Secret in England despite our repeated efforts to have it made public. As for Klaus Fuchs the scientist who admitted passing Atomic information to Russia. He served nine years in a British prison. Today he works at the institute for Atomic physics in Dresden East Germany. We found him there questioned about Harry gold. He chose not to discuss the matter. Who was Harry gold John Wesley, the author of the Judgment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg the first book investigating the character in testimony of Harry gold spent four years following the trail of Harry gold. John Wesley, he was presented to the public by the prosecution. as a bona fide Atomic spy as The Courier of Klaus Fuchs Which there was scarcely any proof outside of his own declaration. No jury had found him guilty. That'd be no trial it which is claims have been investigated the jury had no idea. A previous trial that I'm taking place about four months before the Rosenberg trial at that when he said that he had concocted a fantasy life for many years. Too many friends and Associates of a fictitious wife and children of arrival would stolen his wife from him. And none of these people existed except in his imagination a case of classic pseudologia fantastica one who cannot help himself creates fantasies. And it was my suspicion that he had himself created a fantasy that he was in the comics by prosecutor Roy Cohn and came across as one of the most truthful with I ever saw understand. This man was such total honesty on top of which he has already been sentenced to 30 years in jail. So nobody can say you're testifying to do yourself some good. He's gotten whack with 30 years. He was highly intelligent extremely persuasive on the kind of witness. If you want after I'm too hard, he just murdered you on the fact that perhaps the most exhaustive investigation into the testimony of Harry gold is contained in a recent book invitation to an inquest. The authors Miriam in Walter schneer devoted five years to their study of the Rosenberg case. Miriam Schneider Harry gold was the key Cooperative witness in the rosenbergs Sobel trial? It was his testimony that formed what prosecutors say pole called the necessary Link in the chain of evidence that why was gold testimony necessary. The reason was that he provided the connection between Green Glass and the Russians. It was Harry gold who supposedly had the other half of the jello box, which was last seen in the hand of Julius Rosenberg. And which Harry said he obtained from his Russian associate. So therefore his Testament was absolutely necessary to provide the connection between the rosenbergs and alleged Russian agents. Walter Walter's near government's case that Harry gold be established as having been in Albuquerque on June 31945 the day of the alleged yellow box top meeting and in order to establish lists that had the testimony of gold that he was in Albuquerque and they had the testimony of the green glasses and the most important one of these was the registration card from the Hilton hotel in Albuquerque made out on the face of it June 31945. But when we looked at the actual exhibit a photostatic copy of this car that the prosecution entered in evidence at the trial we discovered that it contained a very serious error and that error was in the date time stamp date time stamp on the reverse side of the card read June for 1945. And when we queried employees of the Hilton hotel in Albuquerque about the stamp, they said that the date of the stamp would govern their for the card never prove. It was supposed to prove it never prove to Harry gold wasn't Albuquerque on the date of that allege meeting of the card out of a court proceeding just within the last five or six years and J Edgar Hoover was queried and ask please produce the original of this card so that it can be examined by document examiners for ink and paper and aging and so on he wrote back and said due to the passage of time. This card is no longer available rooms near really fantastic break. And that was that Harry go through his attorney. He gave us access to pretrial statement that he had made you are about to hear is that a very gold from tapes obtained by the snares. Gold's Russian contact was said to be Anatoly Jakob love also known as John. Gold said he delivered to yakovlev the atomic information. He picked up from a man in New Mexico later identified as David Greenglass. No gold describes yaakov loves reaction to the information and the man. The time mid June 1959 month before the Rosenberg trial the actual voice of Harry gold. I turn the information over to John John never mention anything about it and only one occasion when I did mention this man sometime in the late for 19. We could forget that there wasn't much point in getting in touch with him and I got from a very much consequence at all. Now here is Harry Gold trial testimony on the same incident nine months later. The voice actor of told me that the information that I had given him immediately from Green Glass was extremely excellent and very valuable information not in a very much consequence 9 months earlier, I'd become extremely excellent and very valuable at the Rosenberg trial. Clearly marigolds account to change dramatically. It was never documented the Julius Rosenberg at any contacted anytime with any Russians. The only link between Rosenberg and yakovlev. The Russian was provided by Harry gold a Jell-O box top and the password I came from Julius. Here is Harry gold testimony from the Rosenberg trial transcript. The voice is an actor or it was opened by a young man of about twenty-three. I said Mr. Greenglass answered in the affirmative. I said I came from Julius here is how gold describe the same password nine months earlier the actual voice of Harry gold. The name of the man and was something on the border. Something like that. How did the name is Bob or Benny or John evolve into Julius former FBI agent Richard Brennan recalls an interview with Harry gold before the Rosenberg trial. Hey news, the expression Vinnie sent me which was the best that he could recall at the time. Subsequently when the trail of Green Glass led to Rosenberg. We asked him Miller and myself or one of the other. Could it have been Julie sent me or Julia sent me and immediately brighten up with a great life. Yes. That is it. It wasn't Benny. It was Julius sent me. We asked agent Brennan. Is it normal procedure to suggest a name to somebody you're interviewing on something like that? It was not wrong at such a we didn't plant that idea in goals mine. Actually. You couldn't plan an idea in his mind. It was given to him as a suggestion here at the June 3 Albuquerque incident never occurred at Harry gold never met with the green glasses at their apartment in Albuquerque never received information from David Greenglass. Never For a Jell-O box top never gave greetings from Julius and never transferred information from the green glasses to a Soviet contact. I don't think the doc is from responsible sources without seems to come from people like the people in the snares who wrote a book called invitation to an inquest supposedly objective, but fail to beat the one person who is connected with the prosecution. We spoke with 112 persons connected with the rosenbergs. So Bell case dozens of who represented the government's position. Of the prosecutors only to Roy Cohn and James kilsheimer agreed to interviews. What is the truth behind Harry gold testimony the answer may be buried in the files of the FBI for 11 months. We have sought to gain access to these files. Although promised not have been released to us. As for Harry gold we found him in a Philadelphia Cemetery. He died on August 28th, 1972 seven years after he was released from prison. You left behind the lengthy convoluted rebuttal to the schniers and others. And the characterization by his last employer who said Harry gold was a gentle man who had difficulty separating fantasy from reality. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were put to death for having stolen the secret of the atomic bomb. Was there ever a secret to be stolen? Dr. Philip Morrison Nicole holder of a patent on the atomic bomb one of the scientists who developed and arm the weapon examines the sketches David Greenglass said he drew for Julius Rosenberg. Dr. Morrison of the structure one without enough detail to make it possible to reproduce or even do understand as it was drawn errors. What more can you expect from men with himself and no direct contact? Dr. Morrison? What are lens molds? Are they a secret? I think they would. Maybe that's traumatic Atomic secret. The secret is out fishing will make it work. There are thousands of little secrets. How do I do this? How do I do that? But there's only one of them obviously I do not. It's just too much for one man to note which one book to tell it is June 15th, 1953 the Supreme Court of the United States in a 5-2 for decision has denied a final review of the Rosenberg case. 4/2 years a manual block the Rosenberg lawyer has gone from court to court from Judge to judge pleading his case. 15 * he is lost because of federal practice. No appeals court had ever review the testimony or the reliability of the witnesses or the evidence. Only the original trial judge Irving R Kaufman or the President Harry Truman could change the sentence. Now the Supreme Court has adjourned for the summer. They will not meet again until October. The rosenbergs will be put to death in 3 days. Is June 16th as Justice Douglas prepares to leave for vacation is approached by two newcomers to the case Fike farmer and Daniel Marshall. They argue that the rosenbergs were tried under the wrong law. They say the Rosenberg should have been tried under the atomic energy Act of 1946. Have they been present death sentence would have been illegal? Justice Douglas considers the arguments he remains in Washington studying. The breeds well into the night. Now is the morning of Wednesday, June 17th? Justice Douglas, as a side of the argument has Merit he grants a stay of execution. The rosenbergs will live at least until the court reconvenes in October. Gloria agran attorney in the system to a manual block In the evening at the Douglas stay came down. Or the day before I came down in the morning. It was probably the only good day. We had in the entire Rosenberg case. There was a sense of tremendous release even though it would have meant was that they lived only until the October term of the Supreme Court, but that was not tomorrow. That was October and this was June to Washington one of the rosenbergs prosecutors James kilsheimer. He comes to urge attorney general Brownell to fight the stay to call the court back into session. I want to stress because I knew that this would lead to another series of appeals which would delay the case for months. United States was taking a terrible propaganda pass and then press both here and abroad and the case had in my our opinion been fully reviewed the Attorney General Brownell request to special supreme court session. The move reflects Brownells resolved to proceed with the executions. Chief justice Vincent complies he calls the justices back from vacation. Now it is Thursday June 18th. The Supreme Court is reconvened in an extraordinary session outside the Press awaits the decision at Sing Sing prison in New York preparation for the executions proceed in the event that the Douglas stay is vacated. At 6:29 p.m. The core processes until the next day Friday morning, June 19th at the White House. The Rosenberg case is discussed at a cabinet meeting with John Hughes. The president's assistant for calls and exchange between attorney general Brownell and Eisenhower. The president said he was impressed by the honest doubts expressed in the letters. He been seeing if the Supreme Court decides by 5 to 4 or even 6 to 3. The President says, it's The Brownell, but as far as the average man's concerned there will always be doubt. Brownell responds what who is going to decide these points pressure groups or the Supreme Court. He tells Eisenhower there was evidence that wasn't usable in court showing the rosenbergs were head in the center of an Espionage ring in direct contact with the Russians. Noon time Friday, the fate of the rosenbergs is in the hands of a special supreme court session. The vote is announced. It is 623 by 2 votes Douglas and stay of execution has been overruled the rosenbergs will die in 11 hours. The majority decision seems to urge executive clemency at least two Emmanuel block as he speaks to the Press. Vacating this day is not to be construed as endorsing the wisdom or appropriateness. So this case of a deaf people has to say the three judges who voted for us. We're obviously appalled by the death sentence so that you'll have nine judges of the Supreme Court who are questioning the death sentence are at Sing Sing preparations continue for the executions in cities Across America and Beyond hundreds of thousands Gather in silent protest 11. The execution hour is 6 hours away. All Eyes turned toward the White House The president responds White House Press Secretary, Marie Schneider case has a virus grave concern both here and abroad in the minds of serious people aside from the considerations of Law. And this connection. I can only say that increasing the chances of atomic war the rosenbergs may have condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world. I will not intervene in this matter Gloria agren. And we were not to be put through to him but the one of his secretaries and we hung on the line. 35 minutes with no one on the line not a secretary not an operator be called back and we hung on the line again for half an hour. And obviously we knew no one wanted to talk to us at one point. We did convey to Brownell. That this was the Jewish sabbath. I know the execution should not be on the Sabbath. I believe that any one of us was religious nor do I think that the rosenbergs were really just in that sense, but just because time with life and it was important. Well, I guess I have brown I understood that too because the word we got that he would do it before the sunset. Now the execution will be at 8 It is 2 hours away. Sing Sing an open telephone line connect to J Edgar Hoover's office in Washington The rosenbergs have been told for the last time that if they speak out they might live. At sing sing. The only response is the voice of Rabbi Irving costlow reading the 23rd psalm as Julius Rosenberg follows silently into the death chamber. Inside the White House the president is preparing for dinner. Outside those who have fought for 2 years to save the rosenbergs recognize the end. Does the sun falls below the Horizon 3 blocks away at The Statler Hilton Hotel, Gloria agran in the manual block. The Rosenberg lawyer's answer the telephone. Gloria agren just as it was getting to be eight and got a phone call from New York. Sing the executions have begun. We never heard it on television. We turned it off. And I think all that existed afterwards with silence and a blood red Sun. It was the poet philosopher santiana. Who said Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The unquiet death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg was televised originally over the Public Broadcasting Service on February 25th 1974. It was produced for impact the national public affairs Center for television this radio adaptation was produced for National Public Radio by Barney Quinn tape editor. John Weber Studio engineer Lea Thompson, the writer and narrator was Alvin H Goldstein. This is Alvin H Goldstein. Funds for this broadcast were made available by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is NPR National Public Radio.