Jul 22, 2024 Last Updated 2:08 AM, Jun 8, 2024

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The Forever Living Julius and Ethel Rosenberg length: 5'27"

Category: ASIO Surveillance Films



This is one of the strangest pieces we've dug from the ASIO vault.  It's in the form of an experimental film concerning the execution of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg on charges of spying for the USSR.  How it got into the hands of ASIO is unknown and the maker is likely to have been Keith Gow & Norma Disher who's long record of making working class documentaries is legend in Australia.


By being able to read Soviet diplomatic traffic almost in real time through the use of Venona, the top secret decrypting project, Western intelligence agencies knew who many of the spies were.  This put the western intelligence agencies into a unique corner.  To use information gleaned from Venona in a court would have revealed the fact that they had cracked the Soviet code.  This, they couldn't afford to do.  Consequently agents had to be forced into admitting their guilt or incriminating eveidence had to come from other sources, as in the case of the Rosenbergs.  In Australia Wally Clayton was an agent and ASIO knew it but they couldn't get him to make any admission and he was never charged.  And for this very reason neither were the bulk of Soviet agents here, in the U.S. and the U.K.  To see another films possibly shot by the same filmakers concerning the Rosenbergs click this link:  Pro Clemency Vigil for Ethel & Julius Rosenberg