(1918-1953) American electrical engineer and one of the most infamous spies of all time. The son of Polish immigrants, Rosenberg was politically active from an early age, and was a member of the Young Communist League. He graduated in 1939 with a degree in electrical engineering and that same year, he married Ethel Greenglass and became a member of the Communist Party. In 1940, Rosenberg joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a civilian engineer, working at the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories at Fort Monmouth. By 1942, he had become involved in espionage for the Soviet Union, providing numerous classified documents, including a model of a proximity fuze. He also attempted to recruit others to spy for the Soviet Union, including his brother-in-law David Greenglass, a member of the Special Engineer Detachment at Los Alamos who passed details about the Manhattan Project to Rosenberg. In 1945, Rosenberg was fired from his job at the Signal Corps. In 1950, when the atomic spy ring unraveled with arrests of Klaus Fuchs and Harry Gold, Greenglass implicated Rosenberg. On July 17, 1950, Julius was arrested; Ethel was arrested a month later. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage on March 29, 1951, were sentenced to death and executed at Sing Sing prison in New York on June 19, 1953. AN INCREDIBLE RARITY - JULIUS ROSENBERG DEFENDS HIS 'LOYALTY, PATRIOTISM AND DEVOTION' A historic content T.L.S. of the greatest rarity, marked 'CONFIDENTIAL', 2pp. 4to., New York, Feb. 13, 1945, in which Rosenberg defends his 'loyalty, patriotism, and devotion' after having been dismissed three days earlier by the Signal Corps for having been a member of the Communist Party. In this desperate letter to his Signal Corps commanding officer, Lt. Col. Frank Prina, Rosenberg defends his reputation. In part: '...Subject: Indefinite Suspension Reference is made to letter dated 10 February 1945 suspending me indefinitely pending action by the Secretary of War on a recommendation by you for my removal from civil service employment. 2. The charge as listed in paragraph #3 of letter is: 'Investigation has disclosed evidence of membership by you in the Communist party'. 3. Since September 2, 1945, I have been in the employ of the Signal Corps. During this period I received three promotions and my periodic efficiency ratings were either 'good' or 'very good'. In the course of my work I have been Resident Inspector in Charge at Peter A. Petroff and Jefferson Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation, and Assistant Resident Inspector in Charge at Emerson Radio and Phonograph Corporation. At times I have supervised the work of as many as fifty inspectors and engineers on receivers, transmitters, electronic and complicated radar equipment at many different contractors' plants...There never has been any question as to my efficiency, technical ability or character. I refer you to all the contractors and their representatives at whose plants I've been stationed, to all my former Resident Inspectors in Charge and my former Officers in Charge, as to my technical ability, efficiency and character; they can testify also as to my loyalty, patriotism and devotion to my country. The contractors are Mr. Peter A. Petroff, Mr. Irving Felt, Mr. Ben Abrams, and Mr. Dorman Israel...4. In the early part of 1941, I was investigated on the charge of alleged membership in the Communist party by the Civil Service Commission but after thorough investigation the extent of the charge was found to be that I held membership in the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians to which I readily admitted. Mr. Polk, the civil service investigator terminated my questioning on March 8, 1941 as follows: 'I personally don't think you are a Communist and I believe all the answers you gave during the interviews were truthful'. These charges were finally dropped and the whole issue was terminated by a letter dated July 18, 1941 which I quote: 'Reference is made to your examination for the position of Junior Engineer (Radio). You are advised that as a result of the Commission's investigations concerning your qualifications and suitability you have been rated eligible'. 5. I don't see why after four and a half years of conscientious work this old and discredited charge should be revitalized. It only serves to persecute me, prevents me from making my contribution to the war effort as an electronic engineer and earning my livelihood in the established American way, and thereby denies me my inalienable right to maintain myself, my wife and child. 6. My suspension places me in a position whereby I am not only prevented from earning any money on this job, but cannot seek my livelihood elsewhere without a statement of availability. It is extremely urgent therefore that you act immediately to reinstate me on the job and clear my record. This action is all the more exigent in view of the financial hardship my family and I must suffer until the matter is satisfactorily settled. Furthermore, as long as my position is not clear, I may be momentarily drafted into the armed services, thereby losing the chance to refute the charges and bring the issue to a successful conclusion. Therefore I request a prompt decision on my behalf to rectify the situation in the interest of justice and fair play. Respectfully yours, Julius Rosenberg.' File holes at top, marginal notes and some wear with old tape stains also evident but not affecting text nor Rosenberg's bold signature, overall good to very good. Rosenberg would go on to work for the Emerson Radio Corporation and then co-found the G&R Engineering Company, a machine shop, with Greenglass who would eventually betray him. On July 17, 1950 at 7:42 PM Rosenberg was arrested in his New York apartment by two FBI Special Agents and held on $100,000 bail. He and his wife Ethel were tried and executed three years later without making a final statement. An autograph - with content - of the utmost rarity!

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April 25, 2024 10:00 AM EDT
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