Few American Jews Were Communists, and Many Fewer Were Spies

But notoriously some, like Morton Sobell, were both. For the Jewish community, their highly visible profile was a constant source of tension and embarrassment.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg sitting in a police van after being convicted of espionage. Bettmann.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg sitting in a police van after being convicted of espionage. Bettmann.

Response
June 11 2019
About the author

Harvey Klehr is the co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism and Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. His most recent book is The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr.


David Evanier’s portrait of Morton Sobell, the last survivor of the American Communist cold-war spies, who died late last year at the age of one-hundred-one, is a devastating and depressing reminder of the political blindness and moral vacuity that long held in thrall a small but significant portion of the American Jewish community. Sobell may well have been more obtuse about the Soviet Union, and personally more manipulative, than most of his fellow Communists, but his brand of fanaticism was unfortunately shared by others.

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More about: Communism, History & Ideas, Morton Sobell, Rosenberg Trial, Soviet Union