National Archives To Open Additional Rosenberg Grand Jury Transcripts
Press Release · Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The National Archives will make available four additional formerly secret grand jury testimony transcripts of two witnesses from the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The opening of these records consists of 105 pages of transcripts of grand jury proceedings from August 1950 through March 1951.
One transcript of the testimony of David Greenglass and two transcripts of Max Elitcher are being opened in full. One additional transcript of Max Elichter contains redactions on three pages to protect the personal privacy of other persons who may still be living.
These additional records are being opened now in response to a court order (dated May 19, 2015) ordering their release because the witnesses are now deceased. In 2008, the court ordered the release of transcripts for the 43 Rosenberg grand jury witnesses who were deceased or did not object, but withheld the transcripts of David Greenglass, Max Elitcher, and William Danziger due to their objections. The court indicated that these transcripts could be released upon their deaths, which has now occurred for Greenglass and Elitcher.
See related press releases on previous openings:
These records will be posted online on July 15, 2015, at noon, Eastern time.
The transcripts will be available on the National Archives web site: www.archives.gov/research/court-records/rosenberg-jury.html.
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg—along with Morton Sobell, David Greenglass, and Antoli Yacovlev—were indicted on the charge of conspiracy to commit espionage. The charges related to industrial and atomic espionage for the Soviet Union. Specifically, Julius Rosenberg began furnishing the Soviet’s with industrial secrets from Emerson Radio beginning in late 1942. By 1944, the Government had alleged that Julius had engaged his brother-in-law David Greenglass, an Army mechanic working on the atomic bomb, in the atomic spy network. During his trial testimony, Greenglass detailed how he passed on secrets he learned while working at the atomic laboratory at Los Alamos, NM. Max Elitcher was a close friend of Julius Rosenberg and former roommate of Morton Sobell. He was a lead prosecution witness in the Rosenbergs’ trial. The Rosenbergs were convicted on March 29, 1951, and sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman on April 5, 1951. The Rosenbergs were executed at Ossining, NY on June 19, 1953, despite worldwide protests.
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