Harry Gold had worked for the Soviets for fifteen years and was one of their most trusted spies. He may have been the only American spy to meet Yakolev, chief of the American spy network. He was the witness best positioned to tell the inside story of Soviet espionage activities.
GOLD: Yakovlev was about twenty-eight or thirty years of age at the time I knew him. He was about 5 feet 9 inches in height; had a medium build, which tended toward the slender. He had dark or dark brown hair and there was a lock of it that kept falling over his forehead, which he would brush back continually. He had a rather long nose and a fair complexion, dark eyes. He walked with somewhat of a stoop....
Gold testified that he engaged in "Soviet espionage work." Bloch objected that that conclusion had not been established.
COURT: Are you saying, Mr. Bloch, that you would rather have this witness tell you how he arrives at the conclusion that he was engaged in espionage work for the Soviet Union? Would you rather have that?
E. H. BLOCH: Are you asking my personal opinion?
COURT: Yes. Is that what you are asking? Do I understand you are asking for that? You don't want the conclusion?
E. H. BLOCH: May I respond to your Honor's question?
COURT: Well, I assume that you may.
E. H. BLOCH: I want to do it.
COURT: Well, then do it.
E. H. BLOCH: I want to differentiate myself as a person, a personality from myself as acting as counsel for a defendant in a criminal case.
COURT: My question doesn't call for that type of reply. My question doesn't call for that.
E. H. BLOCH: I say yes, your Honor. I believe that this defendant is entitled to competent proof on each and every essential allegation of the indictment and that is the reason--
COURT: In the interest of your client you prefer to have this man detail all of his Soviet work, is that right?
E. H. BLOCH: No, I am not going to say--
COURT : Is that what you are asking?
E. H. BLOCH: No. I am asking for a proper foundation to be laid from which the Court and jury may infer that this witness was engaged in what he characterizes--
COURT: Before I go ahead, I want to make certain that I understand what you are asking for. You therefore say that before this witness can give what you call conclusions--that you would like to have from the witness the steps which he took which finally caused him to arrive at the conclusions which he testified to here in court today.
E. H.BLOCH: Now if the Court please, before I respond to that, I want to have an opportunity to consult with co-counsel because there are many considerations involved, one of which may be the shortening--
COURT: Do you want to withhold your objection then for the time being or do you want to have your conference right now?
E. H. BLOCH: May we have it now?
COURT: Go ahead....
COURT: I want the record to be clear that you objected to conclusions, you wanted to have each and every step which led to that conclusion, and in view of that objection and in view of your conference and in view of the statement made by Mr. Bloch on behalf of all counsel, I understand that counsel are asking for the steps which led to the conclusion.
KUNTZ: May I respectfully ask that your Honor's remarks be stricken from the record?....
COURT: Mr. Kuntz, don't give me any course of instruction as to what is usually done in a courtroom. This is the way I am running this room, Mr. Kuntz, and I think I understand the way a courtroom should be run. I don't care to hear anything further from you. Your objection is noted.
KUNTZ: Thank you.
COURT: Now, Mr. Bloch, I ask you, shall the witness now detail steps that led to the conclusion?
LANE: If the Court please, I think perhaps we can simplify this a little bit by my withdrawing my question and I will come back to it a little later, with the Court's permission, and I think perhaps in that way we may be able to obviate Mr. Bloch's objection.
COURT: All right. The fact of the matter is that you did plead guilty to an indictment charging you with espionage for the Soviet Government; is that correct?
GOLD: That is correct, your Honor.
COURT: All right.
Gold described his espionage activities. He described his meetings with the British physicist and spy, Klaus Fuchs. He described his meetings with Yakovlev, or "John." He described the use of recognition signals and said that he never gave his true name or residence.
GOLD: In other words, if we were just going to discuss the possibility of obtaining certain types of information, the hazards involved, just how much information should be obtained and just what source was needed, then a rather long meeting was scheduled. If I was going to actually get information, very usually a brief meeting was scheduled, the idea being to minimize the time of detection when information would be passed from the American to me. In addition to this I made payments of sums of money to some of the people whom I regularly contacted and always I wrote reports detailing everything that happened at every meeting with these people; and these reports I turned over to Yakovlev.
COURT: And where would you get the money from, that you paid to some of these people for the information?
GOLD The money was given to me by Yakovlev....This is how it worked: We had an arrangement not only for regular meetings but we had an arrangement for alternate meetings, should one of the regular ones not take place, and then in addition to that we had an arrangement for an emergency meeting. This emergency meeting was a one-way affair. A system was set up whereby Yakovlev could get in touch with me if he wanted me quickly. but I couldn't get in touch with him because I didn't know where. Yakovlev told me that in this way the chain was cut in two places. The person from whom I got the information in America did not know me by my true name, nor did he know where I lived, nor could he get in touch with me and I couldn't get in touch with Yakovlev. Yakovlev said this was a good thing.
Gold testified as to one favorite technique for passing information:
GOLD: I would take the information and put it between the folds of a newspaper and Yakovlev and I would exchange the newspapers. The one that I got was just a newspaper. The one that he got had the information between the folds, the information usually being in some sort of an enclosure.
Gold testified that Yakovlev asked him to go to Albuquerque to meet an American spy. He said that Yakovlev told him that the woman who was supposed to make the trip couldn't.
GOLD: Yakovlev then gave me a piece of paper; it was onionskin paper, and on it was typed the following: First, the name "Greenglass," just "Greenglass." Then a number [on] "High Street"; all that I can recall about the number is . . . it was a low number and . . . the second figure was "0" and the last figure was either 5, 7 or 9; then underneath was "Albuquerque, New Mexico." The last thing that was on the paper was "Recognition signal. I come from Julius."
Gold also testified that he was given part of a Jell-O box and told that Greenglass or his wife should produce the matching piece. According to Gold, Yakovlev gave him $500 to give to Greenglass once he had received the information.
Through a detailed examination, Gold told the story of how the secrets of Los Alamos were discovered, how Greenglass passed information in Albuquerque, how Fuchs passed information in London, and how Yakovlev first became concerned about security lapses:
GOLD: Yakovlev almost went through the roof of the saloon. He said, "You fool." He said, "You spoiled eleven years of work." He told me that I didn't realize what I had done, and he told me that I should have remembered that sometime in the summer of '45 he had told me that Brothman was under suspicion of having been engaged in espionage and that I should have remembered it.
Gold testified that Yakovlev told him shortly before Fuchs' arrest, "I'll never see you again." Direct examination ended:
LANE: The Government, your Honor has no further questions.
COURT: Any cross?
E. H. BLOCH: The defendants Rosenberg have no cross-examination of this witness.
PHILLIPS: No cross.
COURT: Th e witness is excused.