Skip To Content
Breaking News

David Greenglass, Brother Who Betrayed Ethel Rosenberg, Dies at 92

The controversial lead witness against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg died in July at 92.

The death of David Greenglass, who was Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, was not immediately reported because he changed his name and his family did not publicize his passing.

Greenglass provided testimony that led to the conviction and 1953 execution of the Jewish couple for sharing atomic secrets with the Soviet Union.

An Army sergeant, he helped the Rosenbergs obtain nuclear intelligence and was imprisoned for nearly a decade, then changed his name, The New York Times reported.

Tracked down decades later by a journalist, Greenglass said he had lied on the witness stand to save his wife from prosecution, according to the Times.

Greenglass grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and was an outspoken communist when he began his World War II Army service. In 1944 he was dispatched to Los Alamos, N.M., where he was assigned to a team supporting the work of those developing the atomic bomb, passing along classified information to Julius Rosenberg.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.