Morton Sobell, Figure in Rosenberg Case, Admits Spying for Soviets

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Ever since he was tried and convicted with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on espionage charges in 1951, Morton Sobell has maintained his innocence.

Until now. In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Sobell, who served nearly 19 years in Alcatraz and other federal prisons, admitted for the first time that he had been a Soviet spy. And he implicated his fellow defendant, Julius Rosenberg, in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets vital classified military information and what the American government claimed was the secret to the atomic bomb.

In the interview, Mr. Sobell, who is 91 and lives in the Bronx, was asked whether as an electrical engineer he turned over military secrets to the Soviets during World War II when they were considered allies of the United States. Was he, in fact, a spy?

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, call it that,” he replied. “I never thought of it as that in those terms.”

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