From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: U.S. | Police State & Prisons
Morton Sobell 1917-2018 and the Rosenberg-Sobell Frameup
by Resist Fascism
Thursday Jan 31st, 2019 7:40 PM
Morton Sobell, an electrical engineer, famous as one of 3 defendants in the Rosenberg-Sobell case, passed away on December 26, 2018 at age 101, with the formal announcement in the capitalist press of this event on January 30, 2019.
Morton Sobell, an electrical engineer, famous as one of 3 defendants in the Rosenberg-Sobell case, passed away on December 26, 2018 at age 101, with the formal announcement in the capitalist press of this event on January 30, 2019.

He and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were framed by Democrat President Harry Truman in 1950 for conspiracy to commit espionage, especially atomic espionage, to make Jew, Communist and traitor synonymous so as to justify the American anti-Communist war against Korea, 1950 to 1953 and fascist, anti-labor, anti-communist witchhunts at home, which did in fact weaken labor unions in the US. As the great labor lawyer, Clarence Darrow, stated, conspiracy charges should have been abolished with the thumbscrew and the rack as they exact the maximum penalty without proving an overt act. Morton Sobell spent 18 years in prison, including at the infamous Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay, and the US government murdered Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, parents of 2 small children, in the electric chair at the State of New York’s Sing Sing prison after a three-year worldwide movement to free them, on June 19, 1953.

Despite Morton Sobell’s statements in 2008 at age 91 that he gave the Soviet Union, a American ally during World War 2, which ended just 5 years before the frame-up, some non-atomic military and industrial information, this did not justify the frame-up, false imprisonment of Morton Sobell or execution of the Rosenbergs. The facts remain:
1. There was no atomic secret, and
2. The entire case was obviously a complete frame-up with ridiculously false “evidence” such as jello box-tops, replicas of “evidence” instead of originals, not sequestering the jury so that they were exposed to the anti-Communist hysteria in the capitalist press, and false statements by witnesses such as Ethel Rosenberg’s brother and sister-in-law, David and Ruth Greenglass, Harry Gold and Max Elitcher, all coached by the FBI.

More information on the case may be found at the website of the Rosenberg Fund for Children at,,,

Morton Sobell never took the witness stand during the three week trial ending with 1 day of deliberation by a jury of non-Jews in New York City, then the home of the world’s largest Jewish population in one city. This was on the erroneous advice of his lawyer as his testimony would have put an end to the lie of a conspiracy. Morton Sobell was dragged into the case to make a conspiracy since there cannot be a conspiracy between husband and wife.

The frame-up was also made possible by the infamous federal prosecutor, Roy Cohn, who engaged in illegal collusion with the equally infamous Judge Irving Kaufman, discussing ex parte (without notifying opposing counsel) of Cohn’s support of a death sentence for both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It was Judge Kaufman who made the vicious statement at the sentencing of the Rosenbergs and Sobell, falsely accusing them of atomic espionage and connecting them to non-existent “communist aggression in Korea” when it was the USA that was the aggressor, killing 3 million Chinese and 1 million Koreans in its 3 year (1950-1953) genocidal war against Korea, with napalm and all other horrifying weapons then in the US arsenal, much as the US did against Vietnam:

“But in your case, I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason. Indeed, by your betrayal you undoubtedly have altered the course of history to the disadvantage of our country.”

Those of us who are the same generation as the Rosenberg children, also known as the First Generation After the Holocaust, First Generation After World War 2, the anti-Vietnam War & Draft Resister Generation, and Baby Boomers, appreciate the firm resistance to fascism exhibited by Morton Sobell and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. By refusing to cooperate with the fascist US government and its Jewish collaborators, Judge Kaufman and prosecutors Roy Cohn and Irving Saypol, the Rosenbergs literally broke the back of the Cold War, saving the lives of their children and everyone else.

Perhaps the best statement of resistance that came during the rising anti-fascist movement of the 1960s was made by William Mandel (1917-2016), a radio commentator on Pacifica’s KPFA radio whose specialty was Soviet affairs, when he told the anti-Communist witchhunters, the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) the last time they showed their fascist faces in San Francisco at San Francisco’s City Hall in 1960:

“Honorable beaters of children, sadists, uniformed and in plain clothes, distinguished Dixiecrat wearing the clothing of a gentleman, eminent Republican who opposes an accommodation with the one country with which we must live at peace in order for us and all our children to survive. My boy of fifteen left this room a few minutes ago in sound health and not jailed, solely because I asked him to be in here to learn something about the procedures of the United States government and one of its committees. Had he been outside where a son of a friend of mine had his head split by these goons operating under your orders, my boy today might have paid the penalty of permanent injury or a police record for desiring to come here and hear how this committee operates. If you think that I am going to cooperate with this collection of Judases, of men who sit there in violation of the United States Constitution, if you think I will cooperate with you in any way, you are insane!”

We, the First Generation After, remember picketing the HUAC hearings the Saturday after the Friday before in May 1960, when the San Francisco Fire Department sprayed water with high pressure fire hoses on the student protesters who had come to demand their right to witness a government hearing, and were then literally thrown down the marble stairs by the San Francisco police, breaking bones and causing bleeding which stained the marble stairs for decades. The Saturday picket line was literally a double picketline for 4 full blocks around City Hall, one going clockwise, and one going counter clockwise, so crowded, literally shoulder to shoulder, that you could not move until the person in front of you moved. That was a labor-organized picketline, the best picketline in memory.

The Rosenbergs and Morton Sobell came from the labor movements of the 1930s and supported the anti-fascist resistance movements against Nazi Germany, the leading perpetrator of World War 2, which carried out the genocide of 6 million of Europe’s 9 million Jews.

We were raised on the Rosenberg-Sobell case as an example of a political frame-up and can never forgive or forget the ringing indictment this case is of the entire US legal system and US government. By age 14, we could read the many books written on the Rosenberg-Sobell case and the letters of the Rosenbergs to their children written from the Death House, as they appealed their case for 3 years. Their final letter to their children, then ages 6 and 10, stated their position clearly, at:
June 19, 1953
Dearest Sweethearts, my most precious children,
Only this morning it looked like we might be together again after all. Now that his cannot be, I want so much for you to know all that I have come to know. Unfortunately, I may write only a few simple words; the rest your own lives must teach you, even as mine taught me.

At first, of course, you will grieve bitterly for us, but you will not grieve alone. That is our consolation and it must eventually be yours.

Eventually, too you must come to believe that life is worth the living. Be comforted that even now, with the end of ours slowly approaching, that we know this with a conviction that defeats the executioner!

Your lives must teach you, too, that good cannot really flourish in the midst of evil; that freedom and all the things that go to make up a truly satisfying and worthwhile life, must sometimes be purchased very dearly. Be comforted then that we were serene and understood with the deepest kind of understanding, that civilization had not as yet progressed to the point where life did not have to be lost for the sake of life; and that we were comforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us.

We wish we might have had the tremendous joy and gratification of living our lives out with you. Your Daddy who is with me in these last momentous hours, sends his heart and all the love that is in it for his dearest boys. Always remember that we were innocent and could not wrong our conscience.

We press you close and kiss you with all our strength.


Long Live Morton Sobell and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg!

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


donate now

$ 196.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network