Ron Radosh

How David Greenglass Helped Break Up a Soviet Spy Ring

The death July 1 of David Greenglass, one of the last survivors among those who played a role in the Rosenberg case, was only made public yesterday. Greenglass’s testimony was the most important part of the prosecution’s case, and led to the Rosenberg’s conviction for giving the Soviets atomic secrets. His passing has produced lengthy obituaries in major newspapers — all either incomplete, misleading, or sometimes just wrong.

In a ghastly development, moreover, Greenglass’s death is providing an occasion for the Rosenberg’s two sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, to renew their proclamations of their parents’ innocence. In the past years, both have acknowledged that their father (but not their mother) was working for the Soviets. Now, they have evidently gone back to their claim that the Rosenbergs were not guilty at all.

David and Ruth Greenglass, the Meeropols are quoted in the obituary in the Guardian as saying, were “the only ones who passed atomic secrets on to the Soviets, then ‘pinned what they did on our parents — a calculated ploy to save themselves by fingering our parents as the scapegoats the government demanded.’”The brothers know well that most people respond to them with sympathy, and are not aware of the overwhelming amount of material proving the Rosenbergs’ guilt that appeared in the Venona decrypts as well as in KGB files provided in Britain by Alexander Vassiliev, a former KGB agent who defected and had smuggled in to Britain all the files he had meticulously copied over the years. It is no wonder that they regularly ignore real hard evidence and neglect to inform their audiences about its existence.

Read the rest in Ron’s article at the New York Sun.