At least 10 out of the 13 “atom spies” were jews.
Harry Gold (December 11, 1910 – August 28, 1972) was a laboratory chemist and spy for a number of Soviet spy rings operating in the United States during the Manhattan Project.
Harry Gold was born on December 11, 1910, in Bern, Switzerland to Samson and Celia Gold. When he was 4, his famiy immigrated to the United States. During that process, the family’s surname was changed from Golodnitsky to Gold. The Golds lived in Chicago for a year before moving, Samson going to Virginia and Celia taking Harry to Philadelphia. Soon, Samson moved to Philadelphia as well, and took up a job as a cabinetmaker at the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey. In 1917, Gold’s mother gave birth to another son, and the family was described by many as quiet and stand-offish. Gold later described his childhood as happy and secure, and his intellectual appetite was insatiable. However, the injustices that both Gold and the members of his family faced due to their race and status left Gold with a tremendous resentment and an overwhelming desire to fight prejudice. Unfortunately, during these formative years in which he developed many insecurities, Gold developed an almost puppy-like eagerness to please, and would “literally do anything for his friends”. He developed a pronounced interest in chemistry and graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1929.
After his high school graduation, Gold was offered a job by one of his father’s acquaintances at Giftcrafters, a woodworking firm in the Kensington section of the city. He did not want the life that his father lived, with the hard physical labor and blatant anti-Semitism that came along with it.
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David Greenglass (March 2, 1922 – July 1, 2014) was an atomic spy for the Soviet Unionwho worked on the Manhattan Project. He was briefly stationed at the Clinton Engineer Works uranium enrichment facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and then worked at the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico from August 1944 until February 1946.
He provided testimony that helped convict his sister and brother-in-law Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were executed for their spying activity. Greenglass served nine and a half years in prison.
Greenglass was born in 1922 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. His parents, Barnet and Tessie, were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Austria, respectively. He attended Haaren High School, and graduated in 1940. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute but did not graduate
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Theodore Alvin Hall (October 20, 1925 – November 1, 1999) was an American physicistand an atomic spy for the Soviet Union, who, during his work on US efforts to develop the first and second atomic bombs during World War II (the Manhattan Project), gave a detailed description of the “Fat Man” plutonium bomb, and of several processes for purifying plutonium, to Soviet intelligence. His brother, Edward N. Hall, was a rocket scientist who worked on intercontinental ballistic missiles for the United States government.
Theodore Alvin Holtzberg was born in Far Rockaway, New York City to a devout Jewish couple, Barnett Holtzberg and Rose Moskowitz. His father was a furrier, and the Great Depression affected his business significantly. When his father’s business became unable to support the household, the family moved to Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan.
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George Abramovich Koval (Russian: Жорж (Георгий) Абра́мович Кова́ль, IPA: [ˈʐorʐ (ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪj) ɐˈbraməvʲɪtɕ kɐˈvalʲ] ( listen), Zhorzh Abramovich Koval, December 25, 1913 – January 31, 2006) was an American who acted as a Soviet intelligence officer for the Soviet atomic bomb project. According to Russian sources, Koval’s infiltration of the Manhattan Projectas a GRU (Soviet military intelligence) agent “drastically reduced the amount of time it took for Russia to develop nuclear weapons.”
Koval was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Sioux City, Iowa. As an adult, he traveled with his parents to the Soviet Union to settle in the Jewish Autonomous Region near the Chinese border. Koval was recruited by the Soviet GRU (military intelligence), trained, and assigned the code name DELMAR. He returned to the United States in 1940 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1943. Koval worked at atomic research laboratories and, according to the Russian government, relayed back to the Soviet Union information about the production processes and volumes of the polonium, plutonium, and uraniumused in American atomic weaponry, and descriptions of the weapon production sites. In 1948, Koval left on a European vacation but never returned to the United States. In 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded Koval the Hero of the Russian Federation decoration for “his courage and heroism while carrying out special missions”.
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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were United States citizens who spied for the Soviet Unionand were tried, convicted, and executed by the federal government of the United States. They provided top-secret information about radar, sonar, and jet propulsion engines to the USSR and were accused of transmitting nuclear weapon designs to the Soviet Union; at that time the United States was the only country in the world with nuclear weapons.
Other convicted co-conspirators were imprisoned, including Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents from Los Alamos to Julius and who served 10 years of a 15-year sentence; Harry Gold, who identified Greenglass and served 15 years in federal prison as the courier for Greenglass. Klaus Fuchs, a German scientist working in Los Alamos and handled by Gold, provided vastly more important information to the Soviets. He was convicted in Great Britain and served nine years and four months in prison.
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 victims of Cold War paranoia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, much information concerning them was declassified, including a trove of decoded Soviet cables, code-named VENONA, which detailed Julius’s role as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets and Ethel’s role as an accessory. Their sons’ current position is that Julius was legally guilty of the conspiracy charge, though not of atomic spying, while Ethel was only generally aware of his activities. The children say that their father did not deserve the death penalty and that their mother was wrongly convicted. They continue to campaign for Ethel to be posthumously and legally exonerated.
In 2014, five historians who had published works based on the Rosenberg case wrote that Soviet documents show that Ethel Rosenberg hid money and espionage paraphernalia for Julius, served as an intermediary for communications with his Soviet intelligence contacts, provided her personal evaluation of individuals Julius considered recruiting, and was present at meetings with his sources.
They also demonstrate that Julius reported to the KGB that Ethel persuaded Ruth Greenglass to travel to New Mexico to recruit David as a spy.
Julius Rosenberg was born on May 12, 1918, in New York City to a family of Jewishimmigrants. 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 (CCNY). In 1939, he graduated from CCNY with a degree in electrical engineering.
Ethel Greenglass was born on September 25, 1915, to a Jewish family in Manhattan, New York City. She originally was an aspiring actress and singer, but eventually took a secretarial job at a shipping company. She became involved in labor disputes and joined the Young Communist League, where she met Julius in 1936. They married in 1939. Together they had two sons, Michael and Robert, born in 1943 and 1947 respectively.
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Saville Sax (July 26, 1924 – September 25, 1980) was the Harvard College roommate of Theodore Hall who recruited Hall for the Soviets and acted as a courier to move the atomic secrets from Los Alamos to the Soviets.
Saville Sax was born in New York City on July 26, 1924 and went by the name of Sarry Sax. He was the son of Bernard Sax (1896–1936) and Bluma Sax (1895–1986). Bluma and Bernard were both born in Russia, of Jewish ancestry. In 1930 they were living in Manhattan with their grandfather Jacob Sax (1874–?). Saville was introduced to Soviet agents by his mother, Bluma, who worked for a Communist front organization called Russian War Relief. Sax went by the cover name “Oldster,” and periodically traveled to New Mexico to collect information from Hall. Saville had a son, Boria Sax, a daughter, Sarah Sax, and a sister, Anne Saville Arenberg. (1925-1967). After drifting from job to job, Saville ended up teaching “values clarification” in a Great Society funded education program called NEXTEP, when he was “something of an adult hippie, disheveled in his personal habits and given to LSD and other hallocinogenic drugs” and “openly boasted of his role in the [atomic] spying.” He died on September 25, 1980 in Edwardsville, Illinois.
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Morton Sobell (born April 11, 1917) is an American former engineer with General Electricand Reeves Electronics who worked on military and government contracts and who was subsequently found guilty of spying for the Soviets as a part of a ring that included ((( Julius Rosenberg ))) and others. Sobell was tried and convicted of espionage in 1951 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was released in 1969 after spending 17 years and 9 months in prison.
Morton Sobell was born into a Jewish family in New York City, to parents Louis and Rose, who in 1906 emigrated from the small village of Belozerka, Russian Empire (today in Ukraine). He attended Stuyvesant High School and the City College of New York where he received a degree in engineering and later married Helen Levitov (1918–2002).
He worked in Washington, D.C., for the Navy Bureau of Ordnance and in Schenectady, New York, for the General Electric Company.
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Ursula Kuczynski (15 May 1907, Schöneberg, Prussia, German Empire – 7 July 2000, Berlin, Germany, also known as Ruth Werner, Ursula Beurton and Ursula Hamburger) was a Jewish Communist activist who worked for the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s as a spy, most famously as the handler of nuclear scientist Klaus Fuchs. She moved to East Germany in 1950 when Fuchs was unmasked, and published a series of books related to her spy work, including her bestselling autobiography, Sonjas Rapport.
Sources concerned with her espionage work in the 1930s/40s sometimes use the cover name originally suggested to her in Shanghai by her fellow intelligence operative, Richard Sorge: “Sonja”, “Sonja Schultz” or, after she moved to Britain, “Sonya”.
From 1943 she also worked as a courier for the USSR’s “Atomic spies“, Klaus Fuchs and Melita Norwood. Agent Sonya thus hastened the development of the Soviet atomic bomb, successfully tested in 1949. In addition to the (retrospectively) high-profile spies Fuchs and Norwood, Sonya was the GRU handler for (among others) an officer of the British Royal Air Force and a British specialist in submarine radar. She was also able to pass to her Soviet employers information from her brother, her father, and other exiled Germans in England. It was, indeed, her brother Jürgen Kuczynski, an internationally respected economist, who originally recruited Klaus Fuchs to spy for the Soviets at the end of 1942.
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Watch the Oxford 2016 program for more information.
- Abe Brothman☭ born 1913, American chemical engineer, communist party member, Soviet spy, member of the ring of Jacob Golos
- Morris Cohen☭, also known in Britain by his alias Peter Kroger, (July 2, 1910 – June 23, 1995) was an American convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union. His wife Lona was also an agent.
- Samuel Dickstein☭ (February 5, 1885 – April 22, 1954) was a Democratic Congressional Representative from New York and a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Soviet files indicate he was a paid agent of the NKVD.
- Harold Glasser member of the Perlo spy ring
- Harry Gold☭ 1911-1972, was a laboratory chemist who was convicted of being the courier for a number of Soviet spy rings during the Manhattan Project.
- Sonia Gold☭, part of the Silvermaster spy ring in Washington D.C., spying for the Soviet Union during World War II.
- David Greenglass☭ (March 2, 1922 – July 1, 2014) was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union who worked on the Manhattan Project.
- Theodore Hall☭ (October 20, 1925 – November 1, 1999) was an American physicist and an atomic spy for the Soviet Union, who, during his work on US efforts to develop the first and second atomic bombs during World War II (the Manhattan Project), gave a detailed description of the “Fat Man” plutonium bomb, and of several processes for purifying plutonium, to Soviet intelligence.
- Jacob Golos☭ born 1889, Russia, moved 1910 to the USA, dies 1943, leader of a spy ring for the Soviets
- Irving Kaplan☭ was an official of the United States government. Kaplan was “a dues-paying Communist Party member” who had formerly been associated with the Perlo group of Soviet spies, later moving to the Silvermaster group.
- George Koval☭, December 25, 1913 – January 31, 2006) was an American who acted as a Soviet intelligence officer. According to Russian sources, Koval’s infiltration of the Manhattan Project as a Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye (GRU) agent “drastically reduced the amount of time it took for Russia to develop nuclear weapons.
- Miriam Moskowitz was the partner of Abe Brothman
- Victor Perlo☭ (1912–1999) was a Marxist economist, government functionary, and a longtime member of the governing National Committee of the Communist Party USA. A dedicated Communist, Victor Perlo☭ headed the Perlo☭ group of Soviet espionage agents in the United States
- J. Peters☭ (born Sándor Goldberger; 1894–1990) was the most commonly known pseudonym of a man who last went by the name “Alexander Stevens” in 1949. Peters was an ethnic Jewish journalist and political activist who was a leading figure of the Hungarian language section of the Communist Party USA in the 1920s and 1930s. From the middle 1930s, Peters was actively involved in the espionage activities of the Soviet Union in the United States, fabricating passports, recruiting agents, and accumulating and passing along confidential and secret information.
- Jonathan Pollard☭ born 1954, American civilian intelligence analyst, sold classified information to Israel.
- Lee Pressman☭ was a labor attorney and a US government functionary publicly exposed in 1948 for having been a spy for the Soviet foreign intelligence network during the middle 1930s
- Steve Rosen served for 23 years as one of the top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is often singled out in writings critical of AIPAC. He was indicted in August 2005 for alleged violations of the Espionage Act
- The Rosenbergs☭, Julius (1918-1953) and Ethel Rosenberg☭ (1915-1953), relating to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.
- Saville Sax
- Bernard Schwartz (born December 13, 1925, Brooklyn, New York) was the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Loral Space & Communications for 34 years, Chairman and CEO of K&F Industries, Inc., and president and CEO of Globalstar Telecommunications. In 1998 Schwartz became embroiled in a campaign donations scandal and an alleged transfer of missile technology to China that occurred in 1996.
- Abraham Silverman☭ (February 2, 1900-January 1973) was a mathematician and statistician who graduated from Harvard University. Silverman supplied documents from the Pentagon to the Silvermaster group of Soviet spies.
- Mort Sobell☭ born 1917, American engineer, spied for the Soviets
- Jack Soble☭ 1903-1967, spied for the Soviets
- Léopold Trepper☭ was a Communist jewish spy operating against Germany in WWII.
- Sidney Weinbaum☭ born in Russia, immigrated to the USA, mathematician, physicist, communist, gave false statements about communist membership, arrested 1949-1953 for 4 years because of perjury.
- William Weisband☭, Sr. (August 28, 1908 – May 14, 1967) was an American cryptanalyst and NKVD agent (code name ‘LINK’), best known for his role in revealing U.S. decryptions of Soviet diplomatic and intelligence codes to Soviet intelligence.
- Harry Dexter White☭ 1892-1948, economics, US state officer, he passed numerous secrets to the Soviet Union.
- Nathan Witt alleged member of the Golos spy ring