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Secrets, Lies & Atomic Spies #PBSVHS0019
Secrets, Lies & Atomic Spies
Cold War
WGBH Boston Video

The documentary, Secrets, Lies & Spies, tells the amazing true story about how, during World War II and later in the Cold War, the Soviet Union penetrated the United States most secret work on developing the first Atom Bomb.   In the late 1940s, after American code-breakers had cracked the super secret Soviet telegrams between Moscow and their spies in America, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) detained Claus Fuchs, as well as, Ethel and Julian Rosenberg for giving atomic secrets to the Soviets.  While most are familiar with these spies, what has only recently come to light, is that as many as 300 other Americans including top-level Roosevelt Cabinet members may have spied for the Soviets during World War II.  Although the Rosenbergs were ultimately executed for their espionage, a physicist named Ted Hall who was identified early on by the FBI as a spy, was never brought to justice.  The supreme irony was that had the FBI prosecuted Ted Hall among a number of other individuals for their role in passing on atomic secrets to the Soviets, they would have had to reveal, essentially to the world, that they had broken the Soviet's secret code.  A further irony is that eventually the Soviet Union stopped using the cracked code once another American spy tipped them off that their code had been broken.  This documentary lays out how the American perseverance and ingenuity cracked the Soviet code believed to be impenetrable.  The viewer will learn how the Rosenberg's played only a minor role in the loss of atomic secrets.  Also revealed is why the truth about the extent of the Soviet spy network in the United States was kept secret for almost 50 years.  Finally, this documentary includes extended interviews with Ted Hall's wife and even has a short segment where Ted Hall himself, just before his death in Great Britain, reveals some of his reasons for why he passed on atomic secrets to the Soviets.  Narrated by Liev Schreiber.  Full screen in black and white & color.  Released in 2002.  Runtime 60 minutes.  


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