- 1. Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2. Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 3. As we begin, I believe you have a
statement to read into the record.
- 4. Yes, Your Honor.
- 5. We’re not judges, Doctor.
- 6. No.
- 7. Of course.
- 8. Members of the security board.
- 9. The so-called and derogatory
information in your indictment of me
- 10. cannot be fairly understood,
- 11. except in the context
of my life and my work.
- 12. How long did he testify?
- 13. Honestly, I forget.
- 14. The whole hearing took a month.
- 15. An ordeal.
- 16. I’ve only read the transcripts,
- 17. Who’d want to justify
their whole life?
- 18. - You weren’t there?
- As chairman, I wasn’t allowed to be.
- 19. Are they really going
to ask about it?
- 20. It was years ago.
- 21. - Four years ago.
- 22. Oppenheimer
still divides America.
- 23. The committee is gonna want
to know where you stood.
- 24. Senator Thurmond asked me to
say not to feel that you’re on trial.
- 25. Aw. Funny, I didn’t
till you just said that.
- 26. Really, Mr. Strauss--
- 27. It’s Admiral.
- 28. Admiral Strauss.
This is a formality.
- 29. President Eisenhower has
asked you to be in his cabinet.
- 30. Senate really has no choice
but to confirm you.
- 31. And if they bring up
- 32. When they bring up Oppenheimer,
you answer honestly.
- 33. No senator can deny
you did your duty.
- 34. It’ll be uncomfortable.
- 35. Who’d want to justify
their whole life?
- 36. Why did you leave
the United States?
- 37. I, uh-- I wanted to study
the new physics.
- 38. Was there nowhere here?
- 39. I thought Berkeley had the leading
theoretical physics department.
- 40. Yes. Once I had built it.
- 41. But first I had to go to Europe.
- 42. I went to Cambridge
to study under Patrick Blackett.
- 43. Were you happier there
than in America?
- 44. - Happier?
- 45. No.
- 46. No, I, uh...
- 47. I was homesick, um,
- 48. emotionally immature,
- 49. troubled by visions
of a hidden universe.
- 50. Useless in the lab.
- 51. Christ, Oppenheimer.
- 52. Have you had any sleep?
- 53. Start again.
- 54. I need to go
to the lecture, sir.
- 55. Why?
- 56. It’s Niels Bohr.
- 57. I’d completely forgot.
- 58. All right.
- 59. Oh, no, not you, Oppenheimer.
You finish coating those plates.
- 60. Quantum physics
is not a step forward.
- 61. It is a new way
to understand reality.
- 62. Einstein’s opened the door.
- 63. Now we are peering through,
seeing a world inside our world.
- 64. A world of energy and paradox
that not everyone can accept.
- 65. Yeah-- Are you all right?
- 66. Niels,
meet J. Robert Oppenheimer.
- 67. What’s the J stand for?
- 68. Nothing, apparently.
- 69. You were at my lecture. You
asked the only good question.
- 70. No one’s denying his insight.
- 71. It’s his laboratory work that
leaves a little to be desired.
- 72. I heard you give
the same lectu--
- 73. At Harvard, yes,
and you asked the same question.
- 74. Why ask again?
- 75. Hadn’t liked your answer.
- 76. - Did you like it better yesterday?
- A lot.
- 77. You can lift the stone without being
ready for the snake that’s revealed.
- 78. Now it seems you’re ready.
- 79. But you don’t enjoy the lab?
- 80. So get out of Cambridge
with its beakers and potions.
- 81. Go somewhere
they’ll let you think.
- 82. Where?
- 83. Göttingen.
- 84. - Born.
- 85. Get to Germany.
Study under Max Born.
- 86. Learn the ways of theory.
- 87. I’ll send word.
- 88. Wormhole.
- 89. How’s your mathematics?
- 90. Not good enough for the
physicist he wants to be.
- 91. Algebra’s like sheet music.
- 92. The important thing isn’t
"can you read music?"
- 93. It’s "can you hear it?"
- 94. Can you hear the music, Robert?
- 95. Yes, I can.
- 96. The senator from Wyoming.
- 97. Admiral Strauss,
- 98. I’m interested in
your relationship with
- 99. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
- 100. You met him in 1947?
- 101. Correct.
- 102. You were commissioner of
the Atomic Energy Commission?
- 103. I was, but I actually met Robert
in my capacity as board member
- 104. of the Institute for
Advanced Study at Princeton,
- 105. because after the war
he was world renowned
- 106. as the great man of physics,
- 107. and I was determined
to get him to run the Institute.
- 108. Dr. Oppenheimer. An honor.
- 109. Mr. Strauss.
- 110. It’s pronounced "straws."
- 111. Oh-ppenheimer, Oppenheimer.
- 112. Whatever way you say it,
they know I’m Jewish.
- 113. I’m president of Temple
Emanu-El in Manhattan.
- 114. "Straws" is just
the Southern pronunciation.
- 115. Anyway,
welcome to the Institute.
- 116. I think you could be
very happy here.
- 117. Yes, well,
you’ll love the commute.
- 118. The position comes with that
house for you and your wife,
- 119. and your-- Is it two children?
- 120. Yes, two.
- 121. I’m a great admirer
of your work.
- 122. And you’re a physicist
by training, Mr. Strauss?
- 123. I’m sorry, common room,
four o’clock tea.
- 124. No, I’m not trained
in physics or anything else.
- 125. I’m a self-made man.
- 126. Ah. I can relate to that.
- 127. Yes, my father was one.
- 128. And this would be your office.
- 129. I’m told he’s there
- 130. You know, I’ve always wondered
- 131. why you didn’t involve him
in the Manhattan Project.
- 132. Greatest scientific mind
of our time.
- 133. Of his time.
- 134. Einstein published
his Theory of Relativity
- 135. more than 40 years ago now.
- 136. But never embraced
the quantum world it revealed.
- 137. "God doesn’t play dice."
- 138. Precisely.
- 139. You never thought of studying
physics formally, Mr. Strauss?
- 140. I had offers,
but I chose to sell shoes.
- 141. Lewis Strauss was once
a lowly shoe salesman.
- 142. No, just a shoe salesman.
- 143. I’d love to introduce you.
- 144. No need.
- 145. I have known him for years.
- 146. Albert.
- 147. What was that?
- 148. What did you say to him?
- 149. Oh, he’s fine.
- 150. Mr. Strauss, there are things in
my past you ought to be aware of.
- 151. Well, as chairman of the AEC, I
have access to your security file.
- 152. I’ve read it.
- 153. You’re not worried?
- 154. Why would I be worried after
everything you’ve done for your country?
- 155. Well, times change,
- 156. Well, the purpose
of this institute
- 157. is to provide a haven
for independent minds.
- 158. That’s you.
- 159. You are the man for the job.
- 160. Well, then I’ll consider it.
- 161. I’ll see you
at the AEC meeting tomorrow.
- 162. This is one of the most prestigious
appointments in the country.
- 163. Yes, with a great commute.
- 164. That’s why I’m considering it.
- 165. So, Dr. Oppenheimer brought
your attention to
- 166. his past associations
- 167. before you appointed him?
- 168. - Yes.
- And they didn’t concern you?
- 169. Just then I was
- 170. with what he must have said
- 171. to sour him on me.
- 172. But later?
- 173. Well, we all know
what happened later.
- 174. Doctor, your time in Europe,
- 175. you seemed to meet
with a wide range
- 176. of other countries’ physicists.
- 177. Yes, that’s right.
- 178. Any Russians?
- 179. None that spring to mind.
- 180. If you’ll just allow me
to continue with my statement--
- 181. Mr. Robb, you’ll have ample
opportunity to cross-examine.
- 182. After Göttingen,
I moved on to Leiden in Holland,
- 183. where I first met Isidor Rabi.
- 184. Excuse me.
- 185. A Yank, lecturing
on the new physics?
- 186. This I have to hear.
- 187. I’m an American myself.
- 188. How surprising.
- 189. Let me know if you need any help
with the English.
- 190. Wait, what’s he saying?
- 191. No, thank you.
- 192. It’s a long way to Zurich.
- 193. You get any skinnier, we’re gonna
lose you between the seat cushions.
- 194. I’m Rabi.
- 195. Oppenheimer.
- 196. I caught your lecture
- 197. Caught some of it.
- 198. We’re a couple of New York Jews.
How do you know Dutch?
- 199. Well, I thought I’d better learn
it when I got here this semester.
- 200. You learned enough Dutch in six weeks
to give a lecture on quantum mechanics?
- 201. Wanted to challenge myself.
- 202. Quantum physics wasn’t
- 203. Schvitzer.
- 204. Show-off.
- 205. Dutch in six weeks,
but you never learned Yiddish?
- 206. They don’t speak it so much
my side of the park.
- 207. Screw you.
- 208. - You homesick?
- Oh, you know it.
- 209. Ever get the feeling our kind
isn’t entirely welcome here?
- 210. Physicists?
- 211. That’s funny.
- 212. Not in the department.
- 213. They’re all Jewish too.
- 214. Eat.
- 215. There’s a German
you have to seek out.
- 216. Heisenberg.
- 217. One might be led to the presumption
that behind the quantum world,
- 218. there still hides a real world
in which causality holds,
- 219. but such speculations seem
to us, to say it explicitly, fruitless.
- 220. Thank you. Have a great day.
- 221. Werner. Wonderful.
- 222. Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 223. Oppenheimer, yes. I liked
your paper on molecules.
- 224. Probably because
you inspired it.
- 225. If I inspire anything else,
let me know.
- 226. We could publish together.
- 227. I have to get back to America.
- 228. Why?
- 229. There’s no one there
taking quantum mechanics seriously.
- 230. That’s exactly why.
- 231. He’s pining for
the canyons of Manhattan.
- 232. Canyons of New Mexico.
- 233. You’re from New Mexico?
- 234. No. New York,
but my brother and I
- 235. have a ranch outside Santa Fe.
- 236. That’s the America
I miss right now.
- 237. Then it’s best
you get home, cowboys.
- 238. That’s him.
- 239. No, me and horses?
I don’t think so.
- 240. Nice to meet you.
- 241. Did you ever encounter
- 242. Not in person, no, but, uh...
- 243. you might say our paths crossed.
- 244. On returning to America,
- 245. I accepted positions at
both Caltech and up at Berkeley.
- 246. Dr. Lawrence, I presume?
- 247. - You must be Oppenheimer.
- 248. I hear you want to start
a school of quantum theory.
- 249. I am starting it. Next door.
- 250. They put you in there?
- 251. I asked for it.
- 252. Wanted to be close
to you experimentalists.
- 253. Theory will get you
only so far, huh?
- 254. We’re building a machine
to accelerate electrons.
- 255. Magnificent.
- 256. Would you like to help?
- 257. Build it? Oh, no.
- 258. No, no.
- 259. But I am working on theories
I’d like to test with it.
- 260. When do you start teaching?
- 261. I’ve got my first in an hour.
- 262. - Seminar?
- 263. One student? That’s it?
- 264. I’m teaching something
no one here has dreamt of.
- 265. But once people start hearing
what you can do with it--
- 266. There’s no going back.
- 267. - Oh. I must have missed the--
- Mr. Lomanitz?
- 268. Nah--
- 269. Yeah.
- 270. Yes, this is it.
Please. Take a seat.
- 271. What do you know
about quantum mechanics?
- 272. I have a grasp on the basics.
- 273. Then you’re doing it wrong.
- 274. Is light made up
of particles or waves?
- 275. Quantum mechanics says
it’s both. How could it be both?
- 276. - It can’t.
- It can’t.
- 277. But it is.
- 278. It’s paradoxical,
and yet, it works.
- 279. Now...
- 280. Thank you.
- 281. Mr. Lomanitz.
- 282. You’re gonna be okay.
- 283. Mr. Snyder.
- 284. Now let’s consider a star.
- 285. A star.
- 286. A vast furnace
burning in outer space,
- 287. fire pushing outwards
against its own gravity.
- 288. Balanced.
- 289. But if that furnace cools
- 290. and gravity starts winning,
- 291. Density increases.
- 292. Correct.
- 293. - Increasing density.
- 294. It’s a vicious cycle until...
What’s the limit here?
- 295. I don’t know.
See where the math takes us.
- 296. I guarantee it’s somewhere
no one’s been before.
- 297. Me?
- 298. Yes, you.
Your math is better than mine.
- 299. Dr. Oppenheimer’s file
- 300. contained details
of his activities in Berkeley.
- 301. Why would they have started
a file on Dr. Oppenheimer
- 302. before the war?
- 303. Well, you’d have to ask
- 304. I’m asking you, Admiral Strauss.
- 305. Uh, my assumption is
- 306. that it was connected to his,
uh, left-wing political activities.
- 307. You shouldn’t let them bring up
politics in the classroom, Oppie.
- 308. I wrote that.
- 309. Lawrence, you embrace
the revolution in physics.
- 310. Can’t you see it
- 311. Picasso, Stravinsky,
- 312. Well, this is America, Oppie.
We had our revolution.
- 313. Seriously,
keep it out of the lab.
- 314. Well, out of the lab, my landlady is
having a discussion group tonight.
- 315. Interested?
- 316. I have sampled
the Berkeley political scene.
- 317. It’s all just philosophy postgrads
and communists talking integration.
- 318. You don’t care
- 319. I want to vote for it,
not talk about it.
- 320. Especially on a Friday.
- 321. Come on. Let’s eat.
- 322. I’m meeting my brother there.
- 323. And how would these activities
have come to the attention of the FBI?
- 324. Well, if I remember correctly,
- 325. the FBI was taking license plates
outside suspected communist gatherings,
- 326. and his name popped up.
- 327. Jesus Christ. Sorry.
- 328. Frank.
- 329. Uh, you remember Jackie.
- 330. Evening.
- 331. Let’s go.
- 332. Robert.
- 333. I want you to meet Chevalier.
- 334. Dr. Haakon Chevalier,
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer.
- 335. Pleasure.
- 336. This is
my little brother, Frank. Hello.
- 337. - And this is--
- Still Jackie.
- 338. Hello, Still Jackie.
- 339. Chevalier, you’re in languages?
- 340. And your reputation
- 341. What have you heard?
- 342. That you’re teaching a radical
new approach to physics
- 343. I have no chance
- 344. but I hadn’t heard
you’re a Party member.
- 345. - I’m not.
- Not yet.
- 346. Frank and I are thinking of
joining. Just the other day, I was--
- 347. I support a range of causes.
- 348. The Spanish Civil War?
- 349. A democratic republic being
overthrown by fascist thugs, who wouldn’t?
- 350. Our government. They think that
socialism is a bigger threat than fascism.
- 351. Not for long. Look at what
the Nazis are doing to the Jews.
- 352. I send funds to colleagues
in Germany to emigrate.
- 353. I have to do something.
- 354. My own work is so abstract.
- 355. What are you working on? What
happens to stars when they die.
- 356. Do stars die?
- 357. Well, if they do,
they cool, then collapse.
- 358. In fact, the bigger the star,
the more violent its demise.
- 359. Their gravity gets so
concentrated, it swallows everything.
- 360. Everything, even light.
- 361. Can that really happen?
- 362. The math says it can.
- 363. If we can get published, then perhaps
one day an astronomer finds one.
- 364. But right now,
all I have is theory,
- 365. which can’t impact
- 366. Well, if you’re going
to send money to Spain,
- 367. do it through
the Communist Party.
- 368. - They can get it to the front lines.
- Mary sent me with these.
- 369. I’m Jean.
- 370. Robert.
- 371. Haakon Chevalier.
- 372. The union meeting
at Serber’s last month.
- 373. Right, right, yes.
- 374. Oh, thank you.
- 375. Robert here
says he’s not a communist.
- 376. Well, then he doesn’t
know enough about it.
- 377. I’ve read Das Kapital,
all three volumes.
- 378. - Does that count?
- It would make you better read than most party members.
- 379. It’s turgid stuff. There’s some
thinking, "Ownership is theft."
- 380. "Property."
- 381. "Property"?
"Property," not "ownership."
- 382. I’m sorry, I read it
in the original German.
- 383. Well...
- 384. It’s not about the book.
It’s about the ideas.
- 385. And you sound uncommitted.
- 386. I’m committed to thinking freely
about how to improve our world.
- 387. Why limit yourself to one dogma?
- 388. You’re a physicist.
You pick and choose rules?
- 389. Or do you use the discipline to
channel your energies into progress?
- 390. I like a little wiggle room.
- 391. Do you always
toe the party line?
- 392. I like my wiggle room too.
- 393. What?
- 394. Wait, wait, wait.
- 395. - Unexpected.
- 396. For a physicist.
- 397. You only have a shelf
full of Freud?
- 398. Well, actually,
my background’s more--
- 399. Jungian?
- 400. You know analysis?
- 401. When I was a postgrad at
Cambridge, I had a little trouble.
- 402. I’ll bite.
- 403. I tried to poison my tutor.
- 404. Did you hate him?
- 405. I liked him very much.
- 406. You just needed to get laid.
- 407. Took my analyst two years,
- 408. and I don’t think they ever
put it that succinctly.
- 409. You have everyone convinced you’re
more complicated than you actually are.
- 410. We’re all simple souls, I guess.
- 411. I’m not.
- 412. What’s this?
- 413. Sanskrit.
- 414. You can read this?
- 415. I’m learning.
- 416. Read this.
- 417. Well, in this part, Vishnu
reveals his multi-armed self--
- 418. No.
- 419. Read the words.
- 420. "And now I am become Death."
- 421. "The destroyer of worlds."
- 422. This’ll do.
- 423. It’ll break before dawn.
- 424. Air cools overnight.
Just before dawn, it breaks.
- 425. Come on. Come on.
- 426. So...
- 427. I’m getting married.
- 428. - Frank. Congratulations.
- Thank you.
- 429. To Jackie?
- 430. Yeah, to Jackie.
- 431. The waitress.
- 432. Oppie, you’re right.
It’s lettin’ up.
- 433. I’m gonna go see
if there’s any stars.
- 434. All your talk
about the common man,
- 435. but Jackie’s not good enough
for you, hmm?
- 436. We join the Party, and you
can’t hide your disapproval, why?
- 437. Is that because that’s
supposed to be your thing?
- 438. I haven’t joined the Party, Frank.
- 439. And I don’t think she should
have convinced you to either.
- 440. Half of the faculty
- 441. Not that half.
- 442. I’m your brother, Frank,
and I want you to be cautious.
- 443. And I want to wring your neck.
- 444. I won’t live my life
afraid to make a mistake.
- 445. You’re happy, I’m happy.
- 446. So then I’m happy you’re happy
that I’m happy.
- 447. I feel like I could see one of those
dark stars that you’re working on.
- 448. You can’t.
That’s the whole point.
- 449. Their gravity swallows light.
- 450. It’s like a kind of hole
- 451. Is Frank okay?
- 452. Yes. He just has
a shitty brother.
- 453. It is special here.
- 454. When I was a kid,
- 455. I thought if I could find a way
- 456. to combine physics
and New Mexico,
- 457. my life would be perfect.
- 458. Little remote for that. Yes.
- 459. Let’s get some sleep.
- 460. That mesa we saw today, one
of my favorite places in the world.
- 461. Tomorrow we’ll climb it.
- 462. What’s it called?
- 463. Los Alamos.
- 464. I didn’t expect
to see you today.
- 465. Do I have to
make an appointment?
- 466. - Hey! Hey, get back here!
- 467. Oppie! Oppie!
- 468. What? What is it?
- 469. They’ve done it.
They’ve done it.
- 470. Hahn and Strassmann in Germany.
They split the uranium nucleus.
- 471. How?
- 472. Bombarded it with neutrons.
- 473. It’s a nuclear fission. They
did it, they split the atom.
- 474. It’s not possible.
- 475. I’m gonna try to reproduce it.
- 476. See? Can’t be done.
- 477. Very elegant.
- 478. Quite clear.
- 479. There’s just one problem.
- 480. Next door.
- 481. Alvarez did it.
- 482. But then look,
- 483. these fission pulses,
- 484. I’ve seen 30 of these
in the past ten minutes.
- 485. Theory will take you
only so far.
- 486. During the process,
- 487. extra neutrons boil off, which could
be used to split other uranium atoms.
- 488. Chain reaction. You’re
thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?
- 489. You, me and every other
physicist around the world
- 490. who’s seen the news.
- 491. What?
What are we all thinking?
- 492. A bomb, Alvarez.
- 493. A bomb.
- 494. I told you, Robert,
no more fucking flowers.
- 495. I don’t understand what you want
from me. I don’t want anything from you.
- 496. Well, you say that and then
you call. Well, don’t answer.
- 497. I’ll always answer.
- 498. Fine. Just no more flowers.
- 499. You’re not coming?
- 500. You have to know
when you’re beaten, Robert.
- 501. It’s not that simple, Hoke.
- 502. - Chevalier, good to see you.
- F-A-E-C-T! F-A-E-C-T!
- 503. Barbara, good to see you, and
the illustrious Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 504. I’m Eltenton. Pleasure.
- 505. Please, please.
- 506. Might you say a word about
organized labor on campuses, yes?
- 507. Coming through!
- 508. I work at Shell.
- 509. We’ve signed up chemists,
we signed up engineers,
- 510. so why not scientists
- 511. Oppie! Oppie! Oppie!
Oppie! Oppie! Oppie!
- 512. Teachers are unionized.
- 513. - Why not professors?
- Don’t you have somewhere to be?
- 514. Lawrence,
academics have rights too.
- 515. Look, it’s not that.
I’ve got a group coming.
- 516. Oh. I’ll sit in.
- 517. Not this one.
- 518. Richard. Dr. Bush.
What brings you two up north?
- 519. Richard, you tell Ruth I’ll be
down to Pasadena Thursday.
- 520. Your paper on black holes is in!
- 521. Where’s Hartland?
- 522. Get Hartland. Get Hartland.
- 523. September 1st, 1939. The
world’s gonna remember this day.
- 524. Oh, Hartland.
Our paper, it’s in print.
- 525. We’ve been upstaged.
- 526. During the Battle of Britain,
- 527. I found myself
increasingly out of sympathy
- 528. with the policy of neutrality
that communists advocated.
- 529. But after Hitler invaded Russia
and we became allies,
- 530. these communist sympathies,
did they return?
- 531. No.
- 532. I need to make clear
that my changing views on Russia
- 533. did not mean a sharp break from
those who held different views.
- 534. For a year or two,
and during a previous marriage,
- 535. my wife Kitty had been
a Communist Party member.
- 536. This way. This is where
I keep the good stuff.
- 537. I thought this was
the Tolmans’ house.
- 538. I live with them
while I’m at Caltech.
- 539. - Do you two need anything?
- We’re good, Ruthie.
- 540. So, you’re a biologist.
- 541. Well, somehow I have
graduated to housewife.
- 542. Can you explain quantum
mechanics to me? Seems baffling.
- 543. Yes, it is.
- 544. Well, this glass, this drink,
- 545. this countertop, uh, our bodies,
- 546. all of it.
- 547. It’s mostly empty space.
- 548. Groupings of tiny energy waves
- 549. By what?
- 550. Forces of attraction
strong enough to convince us
- 551. that matter is solid, stop my
body passing through yours.
- 552. You’re married to Dr. Harrison.
- 553. Not very.
- 554. There is someone that I feel--
- 555. Does she feel the same way?
- 556. Sometimes.
- 557. Not enough.
- 558. You know,
I’m going to New Mexico.
- 559. To my ranch, with friends.
You should come.
- 560. I meant with your husband.
- 561. Yes, you did.
- 562. ’Cause you know it won’t make
- 563. a bit of difference.
- 564. Why did you marry him?
- 565. I was lost and he was kind.
- 566. Lost?
- 567. Well, my previous husband
- 568. and at 28 I wasn’t really ready
to be a widow.
- 569. Who was your first husband?
- 570. Nobody. But my second
husband was Joe Dallet.
- 571. He was, um, from money, like me,
- 572. but he was a union organizer
in Youngstown, Ohio.
- 573. Fell hard.
- 574. How hard?
- 575. Hard enough to spend
the next four years
- 576. living off beans and pancakes,
- 577. handing out the Daily Worker
at factory gates.
- 578. By 36, I just told Joe
I couldn’t take it anymore.
- 579. Quit the Party. A year
later, I wanted him back.
- 580. Him, not the Daily Worker.
- 581. He said, "Swell, I’ll meet
you on my way to Spain."
- 582. He went to fight
for the Loyalists?
- 583. And then he went to the
brigades and I waited, and...
- 584. Joe got himself killed first time he
popped his head outta the trench.
- 585. Ideology got Joe killed.
- 586. Spanish Republic isn’t nothing.
- 587. My husband offered both our
futures to stop one fascist bullet
- 588. from embedding itself
in a mudbank.
- 589. That’s the definition
- 590. Seems a little reductive. Pragmatic.
- 591. Now here I am.
- 592. Wherever the hell this is.
- 593. I didn’t want you to hear it
from anyone else.
- 594. Least you didn’t
bring me flowers.
- 595. We both know
I’m not what you want, Jean.
- 596. Yeah, but it’s a door closing.
- 597. No.
- 598. Not as far as I’m concerned, no.
- 599. You knocked her up.
- 600. Can’t keep a good man down.
- 601. I meant her.
- 602. She knew what she wanted.
What about the husband?
- 603. We talked.
- 604. They’re getting a divorce
- 605. so we can get married
before she starts showing.
- 606. How civilized.
- 607. You idiot.
This is your community.
- 608. You think the rules don’t apply
to the golden boy?
- 609. Brilliance makes up for a lot.
- 610. Don’t alienate the only people in
the world that understand what you do.
- 611. One day you might need them.
- 612. F-A-E-C-T! F-A-E-C-T!
- 613. The Federation of Architects, Engineers,
- 614. Chemists and Technicians.
- 615. - Lomanitz, what do you get paid a month?
- That’s not the point, Lawrence.
- 616. What do any of you have in common
with farm laborers and dock workers?
- 617. Plenty.
- 618. Everybody out. Now!
- 619. Not you.
- 620. What are you doing?
- 621. It’s a trade union.
Filled with communists.
- 622. So? I haven’t
joined the Party.
- 623. They won’t let me bring you onto
the project because of this shit.
- 624. They won’t even let me tell you
what the project is.
- 625. Oh, I know what the
project is. Oh, really?
- 626. We’ve all heard about Einstein
and Szilard’s letter to Roosevelt
- 627. warning him the Germans
could make a bomb,
- 628. and I know what it means
for the Nazis to have a bomb.
- 629. And I don’t?
- 630. It’s not your people
they’re herding into camps.
- 631. It’s mine.
- 632. You think that I tell them
about your politics.
- 633. The next time you’re
coming home from a meeting,
- 634. why don’t you take a look
in the rearview mirror?
- 635. Listen to the sounds on your phone
line and stop being so goddamn naive.
- 636. Why would they care what I do?
- 637. Because you’re not
- 638. you’re actually important.
- 639. Okay.
- 640. I get it. If you could
just be a little more--
- 641. Pragmatic.
- 642. I’ll talk to Lomanitz,
I’ll talk to the others.
- 643. You don’t have to worry.
It’s done, Lawrence.
- 644. Then welcome to the war.
- 645. I filled out
my first security questionnaire
- 646. and was informed that my
involvement with left-wing groups
- 647. would not prove a bar to my
working on the atomic program.
- 648. Why were
his communist associations
- 649. not seen as a security risk
during the war?
- 650. Senator, I can’t possibly
answer for security clearance
- 651. granted years
before I ever met the man.
- 652. Fine. What about after?
- 653. After the war,
- 654. Dr. Oppenheimer was the most
respected scientific voice in the world.
- 655. That’s why I asked him
to run the Institute.
- 656. That’s why he advised
the Atomic Energy Commission.
- 657. Simple as that.
- 658. What are they accusing me of?
- 659. I think they just wanna know what
happened between 1947 and 1954
- 660. to change your mind on
Oppenheimer’s security clearance.
- 661. I didn’t.
- 662. I was chair of the AEC,
- 663. but it wasn’t me that brought
the charges against Robert.
- 664. Who did?
- 665. Some former staff member of the
Joint Congressional Committee.
- 666. He was a rabid anti-communist
- 667. He wrote to the FBI
demanding they take action.
- 668. The FBI? Why not go
to the AEC direct?
- 669. Why get caught
holding the knife yourself?
- 670. What did Borden have
- 671. This was the McCarthy Era.
- 672. People hounded out of jobs
for any hint of red.
- 673. And then, reading
Oppenheimer’s security file,
- 674. his communist brother,
- 675. best friend, wife.
- 676. That’s before we even get
to the Chevalier incident.
- 677. But how would Borden have access
to Oppenheimer’s security file?
- 678. Because somebody gave it to him.
- 679. Somebody
who wanted Robert silenced.
- 680. Who?
- 681. Robert didn’t take care not to upset
the power brokers in Washington.
- 682. His opinions on the atom
- 683. and he wasn’t always patient
with us mere mortals.
- 684. I came in for plenty
of harsh treatment.
- 685. There was an AEC vote
- 686. on the export of isotopes
- 687. and they drafted in Robert
to make me look like a fool.
- 688. But, Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 689. we’ve already heard
from Admiral Strauss
- 690. that these isotopes
could be useful to our enemies
- 691. in the production
of atomic weapons.
- 692. Congressmen, you could use a
shovel in making atomic weapons.
- 693. In fact, you do.
- 694. You could use a bottle of beer
in making atomic weapons.
- 695. In fact, you do.
- 696. I say isotopes are less useful
than electronic components,
- 697. but more useful than a sandwich.
- 698. Genius is no guarantee
- 699. How could this man
who saw so much be so blind?
- 700. Kitty?
- 701. Kitty?
- 702. Kitty, the project--
- 703. I’m in. I’m in.
- 704. Let’s celebrate.
- 705. Shouldn’t you go to him?
- 706. I have been going to him
all fucking day.
- 707. Okay.
- 708. Here.
- 709. Come here, darling.
- 710. I don’t know how to say this.
- 711. I-I’m ashamed to ask.
- 712. Anything.
- 713. - Take Peter.
- 714. No, for a while, Hoke.
- 715. A while.
- 716. Does Kitty know you’re here?
- 717. Yes, of course she knows.
- 718. Of course she knows.
- 719. We’re awful people.
Selfish, awful people.
- 720. Forget I asked.
- 721. Selfish, awful people,
- 722. they don’t know
they’re selfish and awful.
- 723. Sit, sit, sit.
- 724. Robert, you see
beyond the world we live in.
- 725. There is a price to be paid
- 726. Of course we’ll help you.
- 727. Everything’s changing, Robert.
- 728. Having a child
was always going to change--
- 729. No, the world, it’s pivoting
in some new direction.
- 730. It’s reforming.
- 731. This is your moment.
- 732. We’re putting together a group
to study feasibili--
- 733. "We" shouldn’t be doing
anything. You should.
- 734. Lawrence won’t get this done.
- 735. Or Tolman, or Rabi.
- 736. Who are the uniforms?
- 737. I thought you might know.
- 738. Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 739. I’m Colonel Groves.
- 740. This is
Lieutenant Colonel Nichols.
- 741. Have that dry cleaned.
- 742. Well, if that’s how you
treat Lieutenant Colonel,
- 743. I’d hate to see how you treat
a humble physicist.
- 744. If I ever meet one,
I’ll let you know.
- 745. Ouch.
- 746. Theaters of combat
all over the world,
- 747. but I have to stay
- 748. - Why?
- I built the Pentagon.
- 749. The brass likes it so much they made me
take over the Manhattan Engineer District.
- 750. Which is?
- 751. Don’t be a smart ass.
- 752. You know damn well what it is.
- 753. You and half of every physics
department across the country.
- 754. That’s problem number one.
- 755. I thought problem number one
would be securing enough uranium ore.
- 756. - 1,200 tons bought the day I took charge.
- 757. Just broke ground
at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
- 758. Now I’m looking for
a project director.
- 759. And my name came up?
- 760. Nope.
- 761. Even though you brought
quantum physics to America.
- 762. - Which made me curious.
- What’ve you found out?
- 763. You’re a dilettante,
- 764. a suspected communist--
- 765. I’m a New Deal Democrat.
- 766. I said "suspected."
- 767. Unstable, theatrical,
- 768. Nothing good, no? Not even,
"He’s brilliant, but--"
- 769. Well, brilliance is taken for
granted in your circle, so no.
- 770. No, the only person who had anything
good to say was Richard Tolman.
- 771. Tolman thinks
you have integrity,
- 772. but he also strikes me as a guy who
knows more about science than people.
- 773. Yet here you are.
- 774. You don’t take much on trust.
- 775. I don’t take anything on trust.
- 776. Why don’t you have
a Nobel prize?
- 777. - Why aren’t you a general?
- They’re making me one for this.
- 778. Perhaps I’ll have the same luck.
- 779. A Nobel prize for making a bomb?
- 780. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite.
- 781. So how would you proceed?
- 782. You’re talking about turning theory
into a practical weapons system
- 783. faster than the Nazis.
- 784. Who have a 12-month head start.
- 785. - Eighteen.
- How could you possibly know that?
- 786. Our fast neutron research
took six months.
- 787. The man they’ve undoubtedly
put in charge
- 788. will have made that leap instantly.
- 789. - Who do you think they put in charge?
- Werner Heisenberg.
- 790. He has the most intuitive
understanding of atomic structure
- 791. I have ever seen.
- 792. - You know his work?
- I know him.
- 793. Just like I know Walther Bothe,
Von Weizsäcker, Diebner.
- 794. In a straight race,
the Germans win.
- 795. We’ve got one hope.
- 796. Which is?
- 797. Anti-Semitism.
- 798. What?
- 799. Hitler called quantum physics
- 800. "Jewish science."
- 801. Said it right
to Einstein’s face.
- 802. Our one hope is that Hitler
is so, so blinded by hate
- 803. that he’s denied Heisenberg
- 804. because it’ll take
- 805. Our nation’s best scientists,
- 806. Right now, they’re scattered.
- 807. Which gives us compartmentalization.
- 808. All minds have to see the
whole task to contribute efficiently.
- 809. Poor security
may cost us the race.
- 810. Inefficiency will.
- 811. The Germans know
more than us anyway.
- 812. The Russians don’t.
- 813. Remind me,
who are we at war with?
- 814. Somebody with your past
doesn’t wanna be seen downplaying
- 815. the importance of security
from our communist allies.
- 816. Point taken. But, no.
- 817. You don’t get to say "no" to me.
- 818. It’s my job to say "no" to you
when you’re wrong.
- 819. So you have the job now?
- 820. Uh, I’m considering it.
- 821. I’m starting to see
where you got your reputation.
- 822. My favorite response?
- 823. "Oppenheimer couldn’t run
a hamburger stand."
- 824. I couldn’t.
- 825. But I can run
the Manhattan Project.
- 826. There’s a way to balance
- 827. Keep the Rad Lab here at
Berkeley under Lawrence.
- 828. Met Lab in Chicago
- 829. Large scale refining,
where did you say? Tennessee.
- 830. And Hanford.
- 831. All America’s industrial might
and scientific innovation,
- 832. connected by rail.
- 833. Focused on one goal.
- 834. One point in space and time.
And it comes together here.
- 835. A secret laboratory.
- 836. In the middle of nowhere,
- 837. equipment, housing, the works.
- 838. Keep everyone there
until it’s done.
- 839. - I’ll need the schools, stores, a church.
- 840. If we don’t let scientists bring their
families, we’ll never get the best.
- 841. You want security,
build a town, build it fast.
- 842. Where?
- 843. Welcome to Los Alamos.
- 844. Now, there’s a boys’ school
we’ll have to commandeer
- 845. and the local Indians
come up here for burial rites.
- 846. But, apart from that, nothing.
- 847. Forty miles. Any direction.
- 848. Enough to find the perfect spot.
- 849. - What for?
- 850. Build him a town. Fast.
- 851. Let’s go recruit
- 852. Why would I leave my family?
- 853. I told you,
you can bring your family.
- 854. I’m not a soldier, Oppie.
- 855. A soldier?
He’s a general.
- 856. I’ve got all the soldier I need.
- 857. What can I tell them?
- 858. Heisenberg, Diebner,
- 859. What do these men
have in common?
- 860. The greatest minds
on atomic theory.
- 861. Yes, and?
- 862. As much as you like,
- 863. until you feel my boot
on your balls.
- 864. You know isotopes
- 865. and you know explosives,
better than anyone in the world.
- 866. But you can’t tell us
what you’re doing.
- 867. I don’t know.
The Nazis have them.
- 868. Niels Bohr’s in Copenhagen.
Under Nazi occupation.
- 869. Did they stop printing
newspapers in Princeton?
- 870. Why would we go to the middle of
nowhere for who knows how long?
- 871. A year or two.
- 872. General, could you
give us a moment?
- 873. It’s about unleashing
the strong force
- 874. before the Nazis do.
- 875. Oh, my God.
- 876. Niels won’t work for
the Nazis. No, never.
- 877. But while they have him,
- 878. That’s why I need you.
- 879. Why would you think I’d do that?
- 880. Why? Why?
- 881. How about because this is
the most important fucking thing
- 882. to ever happen in the
history of the world.
- 883. How about that?
- 884. They are not gonna let me
onto this project.
- 885. And failing a security check is
not gonna be good for a career,
- 886. even after the war.
- 887. So you’re a fellow traveler.
- 888. So what?
This is a national emergency.
- 889. I’ve got some skeletons,
they put me in charge.
- 890. They need us.
- 891. Until they don’t.
- 892. Is there any chance
of getting Bohr out of Denmark?
- 893. Nah, no dice.
- 894. I checked with the British.
- 895. Until we get Allied boots
back onto the continent,
- 896. there’s just no way.
- 897. Is he that important?
- 898. How many people do you know
who’ve proved Einstein wrong?
- 899. You know, it really would
be quicker to take a plane.
- 900. No, plane’s too risky.
- 901. Country needs us.
- 902. The Harvard guys, they say the
building’s too small for the cyclotron.
- 903. Get them together
with the architects.
- 904. When’s this place
supposed to open?
- 905. Two months.
- 906. Robert, you’re the great
improviser, but this...
- 907. you can’t do in your head.
- 908. Four divisions.
- 909. Experimental, Theoretical,
- 910. Who’s running Theoretical?
- 911. I am.
- 912. That’s what I was afraid of.
You’re spread too thin.
- 913. So you take Theoretical.
- 914. I’m not coming here, Robert.
- 915. Why not?
- 916. You drop a bomb, and it
falls on the just and the unjust.
- 917. I don’t wish the culmination
of three centuries of physics
- 918. to be a weapon
of mass destruction.
- 919. Izzy.
- 920. I don’t know if we can be
trusted with such a weapon.
- 921. But I know the Nazis can’t.
- 922. We have no choice.
- 923. Then...
- 924. the second thing you’ll have
to do is appoint Hans Bethe
- 925. to run the theoretical division.
- 926. Wait, what was the first?
- 927. Take off that ridiculous
uniform. You’re a scientist.
- 928. Groves is insisting we join.
- 929. Tell Groves
to go shit in his hat.
- 930. They need us for who we are.
- 931. So be yourself.
- 932. This is the only key.
- 933. And Teller’s already here.
Shall I just show him in?
- 934. No, let’s wait for the others.
- 935. Let’s get started.
- 936. Hello, Edward.
- 937. Yes.
- 938. Gentlemen, so, we will work here
- 939. until the T-section
at Los Alamos is finished.
- 940. Edward, can I please--
- 941. It is more important.
- 942. When I calculated
the chain reaction,
- 943. I found a rather
- 944. No. This can’t be right.
- 945. Show me how you did
- 946. Yes.
- 947. It’s exponential.
No. No, no, no. No.
- 948. This is fantasy.
- 949. Teller’s calculations
can’t be right.
- 950. Do them yourself
while I go to Princeton.
- 951. What for?
To talk to Einstein.
- 952. There’s not much common
ground between you two.
- 953. That’s why I should
get his view.
- 954. - Albert.
- 955. Ah, Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 956. Well, have you met Dr. Gödel?
We walk here most days.
- 957. Trees are the most
- 958. Albert, might I have a word?
- 959. Of course. Excuse me, Kurt.
- 960. You know, some days,
Kurt refuses to eat.
- 961. Even in Princeton.
- 962. He’s convinced that the
Nazis can poison his food.
- 963. Hmm?
- 964. Wha--
- 965. Whose-- Whose work is this?
- 966. Teller’s.
- 967. What do you take it to mean?
- 968. Neutrons smash into nucleus,
- 969. releasing neutrons
to smash into other nuclei.
- 970. Criticality,
a point of no return,
- 971. massive explosive force.
- 972. But this time, the chain
reaction doesn’t stop.
- 973. It would ignite the atmosphere.
- 974. When we detonate
an atomic device,
- 975. we might start
a chain reaction that...
- 976. destroys the world.
- 977. So here we are, hmm?
- 978. Lost in your quantum world
- 979. and needing certainty.
- 980. Can you run
the calculations yourself?
- 981. About the only thing you and I have in
common is a disdain for mathematics.
- 982. Who’s working on this
in Berkeley? Hans Bethe.
- 983. Well, he’ll get to the truth.
- 984. And if the truth
- 985. Then you stop.
- 986. And you share your findings
with the Nazis.
- 987. So neither side
destroys the world.
- 988. Robert.
- 989. This is yours, not mine.
- 990. Teller’s wrong.
- 991. He’s wrong.
Shh, shh, shh...
- 992. When you know Teller’s
- 993. the real picture emerges.
- 994. Bottom line?
- 995. The chances of an uncontrolled
nuclear reaction are near zero.
- 996. Near zero.
- 997. Oppie, this is good news.
- 998. Mmm.
- 999. Can you run them again?
No, you’ll get the same answer.
- 1000. Till they actually detonate
one of these things,
- 1001. the best assurance
you’re going to get is this.
- 1002. Near zero.
- 1003. Theory will
take you only so far. Mmm.
- 1004. - Hello!
- Hello, you. We missed him.
- 1005. You want to adopt?
- 1006. We wanted to see you
before we left.
- 1007. For parts unknown.
- 1008. You know who I ran into
the other day? Eltenton.
- 1009. Huh.
- 1010. The chemist from Shell?
The union guy?
- 1011. Yeah. The FAECT guy.
- 1012. He was moaning about
how we’re handling the war.
- 1013. How so?
- 1014. Lack of cooperation
with our allies.
- 1015. Apparently our government’s not
sharing any research with the Russians.
- 1016. Well, he said, "Most scientists
think the policy is stupid."
- 1017. Oh, yeah?
- 1018. He mentioned that if anyone had
anything they wanted to pass on,
- 1019. going around official
channels, that he could help.
- 1020. That would be treason.
- 1021. Yes, of course.
- 1022. I just thought you should know.
- 1023. The brat is down.
Where are the martinis?
- 1024. Coming right up.
- 1025. The conversation ended there.
- 1026. Nothing in our long-standing
friendship would have led me to believe
- 1027. that Chevalier was
actually seeking information,
- 1028. and I am certain that he had no idea
of the work in which I was engaged.
- 1029. It has long been clear to me
- 1030. that I should have reported
this incident at once.
- 1031. The Oppenheimer situation
highlights the tension
- 1032. between scientists
and the security apparatus.
- 1033. In hopes of learning how the
nominee handled such issues
- 1034. during his time at the AEC,
- 1035. we’ll have a scientist
appearing before the committee.
- 1036. Who are they bringing in?
They haven’t said.
- 1037. Mr. Chairman, if I may,
- 1038. I’m nominated
for commerce secretary.
- 1039. Why seek the opinion
- 1040. This is a cabinet post, Admiral.
- 1041. We seek a wide range of opinion.
- 1042. Well, I’d like to know the name
of the scientist testifying,
- 1043. I’d like the chance
- 1044. This is not a court.
- 1045. Formality, huh?
- 1046. No presidential Cabinet nominee
has failed to be confirmed since 1925.
- 1047. This is just how
the game is played.
- 1048. It’s in the bag, Lewis.
So play nice.
- 1049. They bring in a scientist,
- 1050. You don’t know scientists
like I do, Counselor.
- 1051. They resent anyone
who questions their judgment,
- 1052. especially if you’re not
one of them.
- 1053. I was chair of the AEC.
- 1054. I’m easy to blame
for what happened to Robert.
- 1055. We can’t have the Senate
thinking the scientific community
- 1056. doesn’t support you, sir.
- 1057. - Or should we pivot?
- To what?
- 1058. And embrace it.
- 1059. "I fought Oppenheimer
and the US won."
- 1060. I-I don’t think
we need to go there.
- 1061. Isn’t there someone we can call
who knows what really happened?
- 1062. - Teller.
- He’ll make an impression.
- 1063. - Can you get the name of the scientist they’ve called?
- 1064. Find out if he was based in
Chicago or Los Alamos during the war.
- 1065. - Why does that matter?
- If he was based in Chicago,
- 1066. he worked under Szilard
- 1067. not the cult of Oppie
at Los Alamos.
- 1068. Robert built that damn place.
- 1069. He was founder, mayor, sheriff,
all rolled into one.
- 1070. All it needs is a saloon.
- 1071. Let’s go and see.
- 1072. There’s no kitchen.
- 1073. Really? We’ll fix that.
- 1074. Barbed wire? Guns? Oppie.
- 1075. We’re at war, Hans.
- 1076. Halifax, 1917.
- 1077. A cargo ship carrying munitions
explodes in the harbor.
- 1078. A vast and sudden
- 1079. The biggest man-made
explosion in history.
- 1080. Now let’s calculate how much
more destructive it would have been
- 1081. if it were a nuclear,
and not a chemical, reaction.
- 1082. Expressing power
in terms of tons of TNT.
- 1083. But it will be thousands.
- 1084. Well, then... kilotons.
- 1085. Using U-235, the
bomb will need-- Ah...
- 1086. Right, sorry.
- 1087. Gadget will need a 33-pound
sphere about this size.
- 1088. Or using plutonium,
the ten-pound sphere.
- 1089. Here’s the amount of uranium
Oak Ridge refined all of last month.
- 1090. And the Hanford plant
made this much plutonium.
- 1091. Now, if we can enrich these amounts,
we need a way to detonate them.
- 1092. Are we boring you, Edward?
- 1093. A little bit, yes.
- 1094. May I ask why?
- 1095. We all entered this room knowing
a fission bomb was possible.
- 1096. - How about we leave it with something new?
- Such as?
- 1097. Instead of uranium or plutonium,
we use hydrogen.
- 1098. Heavy hydrogen.
- 1099. Deuterium.
- 1100. You see?
- 1101. We compact the atoms together
under great pressure
- 1102. to induce a fusion reaction.
- 1103. Then we’ll get not kilotons,
- 1104. but megatons.
- 1105. Okay, hang on, hang on.
- 1106. So how do you generate enough
force to fuse hydrogen atoms?
- 1107. A small fission bomb.
- 1108. Ah...
There we are!
- 1109. Well, since we’re going
to need one anyway,
- 1110. can we get back
to the business at hand?
- 1111. The isotopes issue wasn’t your
most important policy disagreement
- 1112. with Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 1113. it was the hydrogen bomb,
- 1114. As colleagues, we agreed to
disagree on a great many things, uh,
- 1115. and, well, one of them was the
need for an H-bomb program, yes.
- 1116. Thanks for convening
on short notice.
- 1117. I can’t believe it.
- 1118. Here we are.
- 1119. Catch me up.
What do we know?
- 1120. One of our B-29s over the North
Pacific has detected radiation.
- 1121. Do we have the filter paper?
- 1122. - There’s no doubt what this is.
- White House says there’s a doubt.
- 1123. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.
- 1124. Are those the long-range
detection filter papers?
- 1125. It’s an atomic test.
- 1126. The Russians have a bomb.
- 1127. We’re supposed to be years
ahead of them, but some--
- 1128. What were you guys doing at
Los Alamos? Wasn’t security tight?
- 1129. - Of course it was. You weren’t there.
- Forgive me, Doctor...
- 1130. but I was there.
- 1131. We can now consider the
actual mechanics of detonation.
- 1132. Any ideas?
- 1133. I call this "shooting."
- 1134. We fire a chunk of fissionable
material into a larger sphere
- 1135. with enough force
to achieve criticality.
- 1136. What do we think? Anyone?
- 1137. I’ve been thinking
- 1138. Explosives around the sphere
blast inwards, crushing the material.
- 1139. I’d like to investigate
- 1140. I’ll talk to Ordnance,
get you blowing things up.
- 1141. - Progress?
- Nice to see you too.
- 1142. Meet the British contingent.
- 1143. Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 1144. How long have you been British?
- 1145. Since Hitler told me
I wasn’t German. Aha.
- 1146. Come, welcome to Los Alamos.
- 1147. School’s up and running.
- 1148. Bar... always running.
- 1149. And I thought of a way
to reduce support staff.
- 1150. - Is that--
- Mrs. Serber, yes.
- 1151. I’ve offered jobs to all the wives.
Admin, librarians, computation.
- 1152. We cut down on staff,
keep families together.
- 1153. - Are these women qualified?
- Don’t be absurd.
- 1154. These are some of the
brightest minds in our community.
- 1155. And they’re already
- 1156. I’ve informed General Groves
you’ve been holding
- 1157. cross-divisional, open
discussions on a nightly basis.
- 1158. Shut them down.
- 1159. Compartmentalization is the key
to maintaining security--
- 1160. It’s only the top men.
- 1161. Who presumably communicate
- 1162. These men aren’t stupid.
They can be discreet.
- 1163. - I don’t like it.
- You don’t like anything enough for that to be a fair test.
- 1164. Once a week. Top men only.
- 1165. - I’d like to bring my brother here.
- 1166. Nichols.
- 1167. I still haven’t heard that my security
clearance has been approved.
- 1168. - It hasn’t.
- We’re going to Chicago tomorrow.
- 1169. Well, you should wait.
- 1170. You are aware that the Nazis
have a two-year head start?
- 1171. Dr. Oppenheimer, the fact
that your security clearance
- 1172. is proving difficult to obtain
is not my fault.
- 1173. It’s yours.
- 1174. May not be your fault, but it’s
your problem. Because I’m going.
- 1175. And how many people
were in these, uh,
- 1176. open discussions?
- 1177. Too many. Compartmentalization
was supposed to be the protocol.
- 1178. We were in a race
against the Nazis.
- 1179. - And now the race is against the Soviets.
- Not unless we start it.
- 1180. Robert, they just fired
a starting gun.
- 1181. What’s the nature of the device
- 1182. The data indicates it may have
been a plutonium implosion device.
- 1183. Like the one you built
at Los Alamos.
- 1184. The Russians have a bomb,
Truman needs to know what’s next.
- 1185. What’s next? Arms talks.
- 1186. - Arms talks.
- 1187. What about the Super?
- 1188. Does Truman even know about it?
Did we brief him on that?
- 1189. Not specifically.
- 1190. We still don’t know
if a hydrogen bomb’s
- 1191. technically feasible.
- 1192. My understanding is
that Teller proposed it?
- 1193. Yes.
At Los Alamos?
- 1194. Teller’s designs have always
been wildly impractical.
- 1195. You’d have to deliver
by ox cart.
- 1196. - Not airplane.
- 1197. I’m sorry, Dr. Lawrence.
Do you want to comment?
- 1198. No.
- 1199. Because if it can
put us ahead again,
- 1200. the President of the United
States needs to know about it.
- 1201. And if the Russians know about it
already from a spy at Los Alamos,
- 1202. then we’ve gotta get going.
- 1203. There’s no proof
there was a spy at Los Alamos.
- 1204. Robert.
- 1205. They put it
under the football stadium?
- 1206. The field’s not in use anymore.
- 1207. Just as well.
- 1208. - Oppie.
- Dr. Fermi.
- 1209. Come stai? Va bene?
- 1210. I hear you got a little
town. Yes. Come and see.
- 1211. Who could think straight
in a place like that? Huh?
- 1212. Everybody will go crazy.
- 1213. Thank you for
the vote of confidence, Szilard.
- 1214. Do we really-- Do we
really need that in the notes?
- 1215. When are you going to
try it out?
- 1216. We did.
- 1217. The first self-sustaining
nuclear chain reaction.
- 1218. Didn’t Groves tell you?
- 1219. No.
- 1220. One at a time, please.
One at a time.
- 1221. Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 1222. I tried Personnel.
They asked if I could type.
- 1223. Can you?
- 1224. Harvard forgot to teach that
- 1225. on the graduate
- 1226. Condon, put Mrs. Hornig here
on the plutonium team.
- 1227. What the hell
were you doing in Chicago?
- 1228. Visiting the Met?
- 1229. Why? Because we
have every right--
- 1230. You have just the rights that
I give you. No more, no less.
- 1231. We are adults trying
to run a project here.
- 1232. This is ridiculous.
- 1233. Tell him.
- 1234. Compartmentalization
is the protocol we agreed to.
- 1235. Enough of this madhouse.
- 1236. Nobody can work
under these conditions.
- 1237. You know what, Generalissimo?
- 1238. I quit.
- 1239. Thanks for nothing.
- 1240. Better off without him.
- 1241. Aren’t you more concerned
- 1242. about his discretion out there?
- 1243. We’ll have him killed.
- 1244. I was just kidding.
- 1245. No, he hates me, not America.
- 1246. You know, General, not everyone
has levers to pull like mine.
- 1247. I don’t think I understand.
- 1248. You didn’t hire me
despite my left-wing past,
- 1249. you hired me because of it.
- 1250. So you could control me.
- 1251. Well, I’m not that subtle.
- 1252. I’m just a humble soldier.
- 1253. You’re neither humble,
nor just a soldier.
- 1254. - You studied engineering at MIT.
- Guilty as charged.
- 1255. Well, now we understand
- 1256. perhaps you can get me
my security clearance
- 1257. so I can perform
this miracle for you.
- 1258. General Groves, were you aware of Dr.
- 1259. left-wing associations
when you appointed him?
- 1260. I was aware that there
were suspicions about him.
- 1261. I was aware he had a very
extreme, liberal background.
- 1262. In your opinion, would he ever
consciously commit a disloyal act?
- 1263. I would be amazed if he did.
- 1264. So you had complete
confidence in his integrity?
- 1265. At Los Alamos, yes, which
is where I really knew him.
- 1266. General, did your security
officers on the project
- 1267. advise you against the
clearance of Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 1268. They could not and would not
clear him until I insisted.
- 1269. And it’s safe to say that you had a pretty good
knowledge of Dr. Oppenheimer’s security file.
- 1270. I did.
- 1271. There’s only really one question
I need answered here today.
- 1272. In light of
the current AEC guidelines,
- 1273. would you clear
Dr. Oppenheimer today?
- 1274. Do you have the guidelines?
- 1275. Under current AEC guidelines,
- 1276. would you clear
Dr. Oppenheimer today?
- 1277. Physics and New Mexico, huh?
- 1278. My God.
- 1279. What a trek.
- 1280. That’s why you need a liaison.
- 1281. I’m appointing Lomanitz.
- 1282. You’re gonna be okay.
- 1283. This way, gentlemen.
- 1284. - Dr. Lawrence.
- 1285. I’d like to remind you what
we talked about in Berkeley.
- 1286. Compartmentalization.
I understand completely.
- 1287. Thank you.
- 1288. Greetings from Berkeley.
- 1289. I am here to update you on our
progress and solicit your input.
- 1290. To do so, I am going to
have to share a few things
- 1291. that General Groves
told me not to.
- 1292. Sorry, General, I said I
understood, not that I agreed.
- 1293. Okay.
- 1294. Gentlemen, to business.
- 1295. There were rumors of
espionage at Los Alamos.
- 1296. Unsubstantiated.
- 1297. I’m told that there
were communists on the project.
- 1298. We didn’t knowingly employ
- 1299. Were any of them involved
in discussions of the Super?
- 1300. I seem to remember you demanding
your brother come to Los Alamos.
- 1301. My brother had left
the Party by then.
- 1302. What about Lomanitz?
- 1303. Lomanitz was never employed
at Los Alamos.
- 1304. He was a liaison.
- 1305. Our security was tight,
- 1306. as former Colonel Nichols
- 1307. Our security was as tight as it could
be given the personalities involved,
- 1308. but attempts were made.
- 1309. - What is that supposed to mean?
- We’ve all read his file here.
- 1310. Do we need to talk
about Jean Tatlock?
- 1311. Or the Chevalier incident?
- 1312. Excuse me.
- 1313. That’s Lomanitz, on line one.
- 1314. Hello, Rossi.
- 1315. What? Okay, just calm down.
- 1316. There’s been another screw-up.
- 1317. Lomanitz just got drafted.
- 1318. - We are at war, Doctor.
- Don’t be an asshole, Nichols.
- 1319. We need this kid.
Fix it, will you?
- 1320. It wasn’t a mistake.
- 1321. Your friend Lomanitz
has been trying
- 1322. to unionize the Radiation Lab.
- 1323. He promised to quit all that.
- 1324. Well, he hasn’t.
- 1325. Security officer at Berkeley’s
concerned about communist infiltration
- 1326. through that union, the FA--
- 1327. FAECT.
- 1328. Well, I’m there next week,
- 1329. drop in to see him.
- 1330. Your Q clearance came through.
- 1331. It’s important you not maintain or
renew any questionable associations.
- 1332. Doctor,
did you think social contacts
- 1333. between a person engaged on secret
war work and communists was dangerous?
- 1334. My awareness of the danger
would be greater today.
- 1335. I mean, it’s fair to say
that during the war years,
- 1336. you felt that such contacts
were potentially dangerous?
- 1337. Were conceivably dangerous, yes.
- 1338. I mean, really?
- 1339. Look...
- 1340. I’ve had a lot of secrets
in my head for a long time.
- 1341. Doesn’t matter
who I associate with.
- 1342. I don’t talk
about those secrets.
- 1343. You said in your statement
- 1344. that you had to
- 1345. see Jean Tatlock in 1943.
- 1346. You left.
- 1347. Not a word.
- 1348. What did you think
that would do to me?
- 1349. I wrote.
- 1350. Pages of nothing.
- 1351. Where did you go?
- 1352. I can’t tell you.
- 1353. Because you’re a communist.
- 1354. Why did you have to see her?
- 1355. Because she had indicated a
great desire to see me before we left.
- 1356. At that time, I couldn’t, but I
felt that she had to see me.
- 1357. She was undergoing
- 1358. She was extremely unhappy.
- 1359. Did you find out
why she had to see you?
- 1360. Because she was still
in love with me.
- 1361. Spent the night together,
- 1362. Yes.
- 1363. You drop in and out of my life
- 1364. and you don’t have to
tell me why.
- 1365. Now, that’s power.
- 1366. Not that I enjoy.
- 1367. I’d rather be here for you
as you need.
- 1368. But you have
other priorities now.
- 1369. I have a wife and child.
- 1370. That’s not what either of us
is talking about.
- 1371. Jean.
- 1372. You asked me to come.
- 1373. And I’m glad I did.
- 1374. But I can’t see you again.
- 1375. But what if I need you?
- 1376. You said
you would always answer.
- 1377. Not a word.
- 1378. Did you think that
consistent with good security?
- 1379. As a matter of fact, it was.
Not a word.
- 1380. When did you see her after that?
- 1381. I never saw her again.
- 1382. I can make the last train
back to Princeton.
- 1383. Kitty, I didn’t say anything
that I hadn’t already told you.
- 1384. Today you said it to history,
didn’t you? This is a closed hearing.
- 1385. If they don’t release the
transcript, I’m sure you will.
- 1386. I was under oath.
- 1387. Well, you were
under an oath to me
- 1388. when you went to see Jean.
- 1389. You know, you...
- 1390. you sit there,
- 1391. day after day,
- 1392. letting them
pick our lives to pieces.
- 1393. Why won’t you fight?
- 1394. Robert, I’m not
putting her up there.
- 1395. Dr. Oppenheimer, it’s an honor.
Please, take a seat.
- 1396. No need, I just wanted to check
- 1397. whether I should talk to Lomanitz
while I’m here, given your concerns.
- 1398. Well, I’d say that’s really up to
you, Professor, but I’d be cautious.
- 1399. Uh-huh. Understood.
- 1400. Oh, and, um...
...as regards to the union,
- 1401. I wanted to give you a heads-up
on a man named Eltenton.
- 1402. - A heads-up?
- 1403. Just that he might
merit watching, is all.
- 1404. I’d love to get more details.
- 1405. Well, I have an appointment now,
and I leave early tomorrow.
- 1406. Well, come back as early as you
like. Since you haven’t time now.
- 1407. You went back the next morning.
- 1408. I did. I had to, really.
- 1409. This time there was another man.
- 1410. He said his name was Pash.
- 1411. Pash. You met Colonel Pash?
- 1412. Colonel Pash, could you
please read from your memo
- 1413. dated June 29, 1943?
- 1414. "Results of surveillance
conducted on subject
- 1415. indicate further possible
Communist Party connections.
- 1416. Subject met with, and spent
considerable time with,
- 1417. one Jean Tatlock, communist,
- 1418. the record of whom is attached."
- 1419. - The subject being Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 1420. Whom you had not met?
- 1421. Not then, but soon after.
- 1422. He’s the head of security for
the project. Shouldn’t I know him?
- 1423. No, he should know you. I would
never put you in a room with Pash.
- 1424. Why not?
- 1425. When Pash first heard
- 1426. he told the FBI
he was gonna kidnap him,
- 1427. take him out on a boat
- 1428. and interrogate him
in the Russian manner.
- 1429. General Groves has placed in me
a certain responsibility,
- 1430. and it’s like having a child
who I can’t see.
- 1431. By remote control.
- 1432. So to actually meet you is...
- 1433. - I won’t take up too much of your time.
- No, not at all.
- 1434. Whatever time you choose.
- 1435. Mr. Johnson told me of a
conversation you had yesterday
- 1436. in which I’m very interested.
- 1437. It’s had me worried all day.
- 1438. Yes, well, I didn’t want to talk to
Lomanitz without authorization.
- 1439. That’s not the particular
interest that I have.
- 1440. It’s something
a little bit more...
- 1441. in my opinion, more serious.
- 1442. Now, when the FBI pointed out
that such information
- 1443. wouldn’t be admissible in court,
- 1444. Pash made it clear he had no
intention of leaving any witness left
- 1445. to prosecute.
- 1446. Now, the FBI talked him down,
- 1447. but that’s the man
you’re dancing with.
- 1448. I gather you’ve heard
there are other parties
- 1449. interested in the work
of the Radiation Lab?
- 1450. A man attached
to the Soviet Consul
- 1451. indicated through
- 1452. to people on this project
- 1453. that he was in a position
- 1454. to transmit information.
- 1455. Why would anyone on the project
wanna do that?
- 1456. Frankly, I can see
that there might be an argument
- 1457. for the commander-in-chief
informing the Russians.
- 1458. They’re our allies after all.
- 1459. But I don’t like the idea
of it going out the back door.
- 1460. It might not hurt
to be on the lookout for it.
- 1461. And you said that to Pash?
- 1462. I was trying to put it in the
context of "Russia’s not Germany."
- 1463. Boris Pash is the son
of a Russian Orthodox bishop.
- 1464. Born here, but in 1918,
- 1465. he went back to Russia
to fight the Bolsheviks.
- 1466. This is a man who has killed
communists with his own hands.
- 1467. I’m not the judge of who should
or should not have information.
- 1468. It’s my business to stop it
from going through illegally.
- 1469. Would you be
a little more specific?
- 1470. There’s a man whose name was
mentioned to me a couple of times.
- 1471. Eltenton.
- 1472. Uh, I believe he’s a chemist
who works at Shell.
- 1473. He talked to a friend of his
- 1474. who’s an acquaintance
of someone on the project.
- 1475. And you thought Pash
would be satisfied with that?
- 1476. I was attempting to give them
Eltenton without opening a can of worms.
- 1477. I told them
a cock-and-bull story.
- 1478. Did you lie
to General Groves too?
- 1479. No. I admitted to him
that I’d lied to Pash.
- 1480. Do you recall this conversation
about the Chevalier incident?
- 1481. I’ve seen
so many versions of it,
- 1482. I wasn’t confused before but
I’m certainly getting there now.
- 1483. What was your conclusion?
- 1484. That he was
under the influence of
- 1485. the typical
American schoolboy attitude
- 1486. that there’s something wicked
about telling on a friend.
- 1487. Well, now...
- 1488. Might we know through whom
the contact was made?
- 1489. That would involve people
who are not to be involved in this.
- 1490. Is that someone
a member of the project?
- 1491. - A member of the faculty, yes, but not in the project, no.
- 1492. So Eltenton made his approach through
a member of the faculty here at Berkeley?
- 1493. As far as I know--
As far as I know, yes.
- 1494. But...
...there may have been
- 1495. more than one person involved.
- 1496. Gentlemen, if I-- If I seem
uncooperative, I think you can understand
- 1497. it’s because of my insistence
- 1498. in not getting innocent people
- 1499. You’re trying to protect your
friend. Who’s protecting you?
- 1500. - Well, you could.
- If you gave me the name.
- 1501. If you order me to, I’ll do it.
- 1502. That is a mistake, Robert.
You need to volunteer this name.
- 1503. - And did he give you the name?
- He did.
- 1504. But not then, did he?
- 1505. No. In fact, it was some
months later, wasn’t it?
- 1506. It was.
- 1507. - You see me as persistent.
- Well, you are--
- 1508. You are persistent,
but that is your job.
- 1509. And-And my job is to protect
the people that work for me.
- 1510. Instead of us going on certain steps,
which may come to your attention...
- 1511. and be disturbing to you,
- 1512. I would like to discuss those
with you first.
- 1513. I’m not formulating a plan. I’ll
just have to digest the whole thing.
- 1514. In the months in between your
interview with Dr. Oppenheimer
- 1515. and his eventual
naming of Chevalier,
- 1516. did you expend resources trying to
find the name of the intermediary?
- 1517. Considerable resources, yes.
- 1518. Without the name,
our job was extremely difficult.
- 1519. And when did you
receive the name?
- 1520. I was gone by the time
Oppenheimer finally offered it up.
- 1521. - Gone?
- They felt my time would be better spent in Europe
- 1522. determining the status
of the Nazi bomb project.
- 1523. Who did?
- 1524. General Groves.
- 1525. He transferred me to London.
- 1526. It’s a little early
for a Christmas party.
- 1527. Something’s up.
Tolman’s been away.
- 1528. Where?
- 1529. Ruth won’t tell.
- 1530. Hey!
- 1531. Come on, Ruthie. Can’t
tell me, who can you tell?
- 1532. Compartmentalization, Oppie.
- 1533. What makes you think
I know where he is anyway?
- 1534. ’Cause you do
a pretty good job of knowing
- 1535. where Mr. Tolman is
when it counts.
- 1536. Like now?
- 1537. Attention!
- 1538. Early Christmas present
for you all.
- 1539. The British pilots
put me in the bomb bay.
- 1540. Showed me the-the oxygen,
you know, but I messed it up.
- 1541. When they opened me up in
Scotland, I was unconscious.
- 1542. But I pretended
I’d been napping.
- 1543. Please enjoy your party.
- 1544. Is it big enough?
- 1545. To end the war?
- 1546. To end all war.
- 1547. Heisenberg sought me out
- 1548. It was chilling, my old
student working for the Nazis.
- 1549. He told me some things
to draw me out.
- 1550. Sustained fission reactions
- 1551. That sounds more like
a reactor than a bomb.
- 1552. Did he mention
- 1553. He seemed more focused
on heavy water.
- 1554. As a moderator?
- 1555. Yes, instead of graphite.
- 1556. What?
- 1557. He took a wrong turn.
- 1558. And with you here
to help us, Niels...
- 1559. Sorry, could you-- could you
give us a moment, gentlemen?
- 1560. I am not here to help, Robert.
- 1561. I knew you could do this
- 1562. Then why did you come?
To talk about after.
- 1563. The power you’re about to reveal
will forever outlive the Nazis.
- 1564. And the world is not prepared.
- 1565. "You could lift the stone without being
ready for the snake that’s revealed."
- 1566. We have to make
the politicians understand,
- 1567. this isn’t a new weapon.
- 1568. It’s a new world.
- 1569. I’ll be out there
doing what I can, but you...
- 1570. You are an American Prometheus.
- 1571. The man who gave them the power
to destroy themselves,
- 1572. and they’ll respect that.
- 1573. Then your work really begins.
- 1574. I’m sorry, Oppie,
but there’s a call.
- 1575. From San Francisco.
- 1576. Robert?
- 1577. Robert?
- 1578. Robert. Robert.
- 1579. Oh, my God.
What’s the matter?
- 1580. What happened?
- 1581. Her father called.
- 1582. They found her yesterday
in the bath.
- 1583. Who?
- 1584. She’d taken pills.
- 1585. Left a note, not signed.
- 1586. She took barbiturates, but there
was chloral hydrate in her blood.
- 1587. There was a note.
- 1588. Jean Tatlock?
- 1589. We were together.
- 1590. She said she needed me. I...
- 1591. - I told her I...
- ...I wouldn’t--
- 1592. I told her I couldn’t--
- 1593. No, it was-- it was me--
- 1594. You don’t get to commit the sin
- 1595. and then have us all feel sorry
for you that it had consequences.
- 1596. You pull yourself together.
- 1597. You know,
people here depend on you.
- 1598. Donald, would you like to
contribute here, please?
- 1599. You’re on your own, pal.
- 1600. Bob, I’m not quitting my job
because plutonium is radioactive.
- 1601. We just don’t know what it might do
to the female reproductive system--
- 1602. Your reproductive system
is more exposed than mine, presumably.
- 1603. Can we please? The
implosion device is nowhere.
- 1604. You can’t rush everything.
- 1605. Well, there’s rushing and there’s
getting on with it, so, pick one.
- 1606. Wait. Neddermeyer’s
doing his job.
- 1607. Teller’s not helping.
You’re not helping.
- 1608. I’ve been asking for calculations
on the implosion lenses for weeks.
- 1609. - The British can do it. Fuchs.
- 1610. - It’s your job, Teller.
- I’m engaged in research.
- 1611. On a hydrogen bomb
we’re not even building.
- 1612. I won’t work for that man.
- 1613. Let him go.
He’s a prima donna.
- 1614. I agree.
He should leave Los Alamos.
- 1615. Okay.
- 1616. Kisty, you replace Neddermeyer.
Seth, I’m putting you on plutonium.
- 1617. Lilli, you go work for Kisty,
because he needs you.
- 1618. Fuchs, you take Teller’s role.
- 1619. I’m putting you exclusively
on the implosion device.
- 1620. And no one
is leaving Los Alamos.
- 1621. They won’t let me leave.
- 1622. No. I won’t let you leave.
- 1623. Forget Hans. Forget fission.
- 1624. Stay here,
research what you want.
- 1625. Fusion, the hydrogen bomb, whatever.
- 1626. We’ll meet to discuss.
- 1627. You don’t have time to meet.
You’re a politician now, Robert.
- 1628. You’ve left physics behind
many, many years ago.
- 1629. Once a week.
- 1630. One hour, you and me.
- 1631. Now raise this fucking barrier.
- 1632. So the Super was under development
on your watch at Los Alamos?
- 1633. Yes.
- 1634. And yet, after the war,
you tried to deny it was viable.
- 1635. No, no, no. I-I pointed out
technical difficulties with it.
- 1636. Didn’t you try to kill it
at the AEC meeting
- 1637. - after the Russian bomb test?
- 1638. But that was the recommendation
of the AEC, was it not?
- 1639. After hours of discussion
about the best response.
- 1640. An H-bomb is 1,000 times
the power of an A-bomb.
- 1641. Its only intended target
would be the largest cities.
- 1642. It’s a weapon of mass genocide.
- 1643. Izzy, draw some circles on this side
of the map where they would target us.
- 1644. Starting with New York.
- 1645. - That’s fair.
- 1646. It’s a weapon of attack
with no defensive value.
- 1647. - Deterrence.
- 1648. Do we really need more deterrence
than our current arsenal of atomic bombs?
- 1649. Y-You drown in ten feet of water
or 10,000, what’s the difference?
- 1650. We can already drown Russia.
They know it.
- 1651. - Now they can drown us.
- We’re just escalating.
- 1652. Robert? Robert.
- 1653. As I said, Teller’s designs
- 1654. are still as impractical
as they were during the war.
- 1655. A hydrogen bomb can be made
to work, Oppie, you know that.
- 1656. I don’t believe we should commit
all our resources to that chance.
- 1657. Then how would you have Truman
reassure the American people?
- 1658. Simply by limiting
the spread of atomic weapons
- 1659. through international control
on nuclear energy.
- 1660. By which you mean
- 1661. The United Nations,
as Roosevelt intended.
- 1662. Well, I asked
what Truman should do, right?
- 1663. The world’s changed.
- 1664. It’s not fascism but communism
that now threatens our survival.
- 1665. Lewis, do you understand,
- 1666. if we build a hydrogen bomb,
- 1667. the Russians will have no choice
but to build their own?
- 1668. Could they
be working on one already,
- 1669. based on information gathered
from a spy at Los Alamos?
- 1670. No spy at Los Alamos.
- 1671. Gentlemen. Let’s not get
sidetracked. There wasn’t?
- 1672. I say we use this moment to gain
concessions from the Russians
- 1673. by committing that we will
not build a hydrogen bomb.
- 1674. Thereby revealing its existence.
- 1675. Which you seem convinced
they already know.
- 1676. All right. At this point,
I’d like the committee members
- 1677. to meet in privacy
to finalize our recommendations.
- 1678. I’m just not sure
you wanna go down this road.
- 1679. Lewis, with respect,
- 1680. we are the advisory committee,
we will give them our advice.
- 1681. Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 1682. Hi.
- 1683. William Borden. Joint
Committee on Atomic Energy?
- 1684. Oh, yes, yes.
- 1685. During the war, I was a pilot.
- 1686. One night,
flying back from a raid,
- 1687. I saw an amazing sight,
- 1688. like a meteor.
- 1689. A V-2 rocket headed to England.
- 1690. I can’t help but imagine what it
will be for such an enemy rocket
- 1691. to carry an atomic warhead.
- 1692. Well, let’s make sure we’re not
the ones to make that possible.
- 1693. Oppie, I don’t think you
wanna go up against Strauss.
- 1694. If we both speak,
they listen to me.
- 1695. When you speak,
they hear a prophet.
- 1696. When Strauss speaks,
they hear themselves.
- 1697. They’ll listen to a prophet.
- 1698. A prophet can’t be wrong.
- 1699. Didn’t you accuse Oppenheimer of
sabotaging the development of the Super?
- 1700. I was never one of those to
bandy around terms like "sabotage."
- 1701. But Mr. Borden was?
- 1702. As I understand it, possibly.
- 1703. How was Mr. Borden able to put
together such a detailed indictment?
- 1704. He was no longer
a government employee,
- 1705. yet he appears to have had
- 1706. to Dr. Oppenheimer’s file.
- 1707. Might Mr. Nichols have
given him access to the file?
- 1708. Or someone else at the AEC?
- 1709. That’s a very serious
- 1710. Is it your intention to suggest
- 1711. that Dr. Oppenheimer is
disloyal to the United States?
- 1712. I’ve always assumed,
and still assume,
- 1713. that he’s loyal
to the United States.
- 1714. I believe this.
And I shall believe it
- 1715. until I see very conclusive
proof to the opposite.
- 1716. Do you, or do you not believe that Dr.
Oppenheimer is a security risk?
- 1717. And if I may, when Hitler blew
his brains out in that bunker,
- 1718. it is my humble opinion that there
is no need for that bomb to be seen
- 1719. anywhere except
for that test site.
- 1720. We at least have to take
a moment to think about
- 1721. whether the means justify
the ends any longer, because--
- 1722. Germany is about to surrender.
- 1723. It’s no longer the enemy who
are the greatest threat to mankind.
- 1724. It’s our work.
- 1725. Hitler is dead, it’s true.
- 1726. But the Japanese fight on.
- 1727. Their defeat seems assured.
- 1728. Not if you’re a GI
preparing to invade.
- 1729. We can end this war.
- 1730. But how do we justify using
this weapon on human beings?
- 1731. We’re theorists, yes?
- 1732. We imagine a future,
and our imaginings horrify us.
- 1733. But they won’t fear it
until they understand it,
- 1734. and they won’t understand it
until they’ve used it.
- 1735. When the world learns the
terrible secret of Los Alamos,
- 1736. our work here will ensure a
peace mankind has never seen.
- 1737. A peace based on the kind
of international cooperation
- 1738. that Roosevelt always envisaged.
- 1739. - Progress?
- Two years and a billion dollars’ worth?
- 1740. Well, hard to put a price on it.
- 1741. Not really.
Just add up the bills.
- 1742. "Rural free deliveries." Eighty
babies delivered the first year.
- 1743. This year we’ve had ten a month.
- 1744. Birth control is a little out
of my jurisdiction, General.
- 1745. - Clearly.
- 1746. Kiddo.
- 1747. Head down, every-- Fuchs.
- 1748. That’s the one.
- 1749. Two viable bombs.
I need a date.
- 1750. September.
- 1751. July.
- 1752. That’s the sweet spot, gentlemen.
- 1753. August.
- 1754. July.
- 1755. Test in July.
But I need my brother.
- 1756. Frank knows the desert,
he’s left politics behind,
- 1757. he’s been working with
Lawrence for two years now.
- 1758. What do we call the test?
- 1759. "Batter my heart,
three person’d God."
- 1760. What?
- 1761. Trinity.
- 1762. You insisted on bringing on your
brother Frank, a known communist.
- 1763. Former communist.
- 1764. You brought
a known former communist
- 1765. onto America’s most secret
and important defense project.
- 1766. I knew my brother
could be trusted. Absolutely.
- 1767. And you felt your judgment was sound
on who on the team could be trusted.
- 1768. Fuchs, head down.
Okay, everybody ready.
- 1769. I hope you learned something.
- 1770. Yeah, we learned we’re gonna
need to be a lot further away.
- 1771. Well, figure it out. Fast.
- 1772. We leave for Washington in the
morning. We’re gonna give them a date.
- 1773. You’re a long way
from Chicago, Leo.
- 1774. If we don’t act now, they’re going
to use this thing against Japan.
- 1775. We booked a meeting with
Truman, but somebody killed it.
- 1776. You’re meeting
the secretary of war.
- 1777. Just because we’re building it
- 1778. doesn’t mean we get
to decide how it’s used.
- 1779. History will judge us, Robert.
- 1780. In Chicago,
we put together a petition.
- 1781. I’m not getting into that.
- 1782. Just tell me your concerns
and I’ll relay them. My concerns?
- 1783. Germany’s defeated. Japan’s
not going to hold out alone.
- 1784. How could you know that?
You got us into this.
- 1785. You and Einstein with your letter to
Roosevelt saying we could build a bomb.
- 1786. Against Germany. That’s not how
weapons manufacture works, Szilard.
- 1787. Oppie, you have to help.
- 1788. Fermi’s in the meeting.
Lawrence is in the meeting.
- 1789. They’re not you. You’re the
great salesman of science.
- 1790. You can convince anyone
- 1791. Even yourself.
- 1792. Excuse me.
- 1793. The firestorm in Tokyo
killed 100,000 people.
- 1794. Mostly civilians.
- 1795. I worry about an America where we
do these things and no one protests.
- 1796. Pearl Harbor and three years
of brutal conflict in the Pacific
- 1797. bought us a lot of latitude
with the American public.
- 1798. Enough to unleash
the atomic bomb?
- 1799. The A-bomb might not cause as
much damage as the Tokyo bombings.
- 1800. What are we estimating?
- 1801. In a medium-sized city,
20,000 or 30,000 dead.
- 1802. Yes, but don’t underestimate
- 1803. the psychological impact
of an atomic explosion.
- 1804. A pillar of fire
10,000 feet tall.
- 1805. Deadly neutron effects
for a mile. In all directions.
- 1806. From one single device.
- 1807. Dropped from
a barely noticed B-29,
- 1808. the atomic bomb will be a
terrible revelation of divine power.
- 1809. If that’s true,
it would be definitive.
- 1810. World War II would be over.
- 1811. Our boys would come home.
- 1812. Military targets?
- 1813. Uh... There aren’t
any big enough.
- 1814. Perhaps a vital war plant
- 1815. with workers housed nearby?
- 1816. And we could issue a warning
to reduce civilian casualties.
- 1817. They’d send everything
they have up against us,
- 1818. and I’d be up in that plane.
- 1819. But if we announce it
and it fails to go off,
- 1820. we’d scupper any chance
of a Japanese surrender.
- 1821. Is there no way to demonstrate a
bomb to Japan to provoke surrender?
- 1822. We intend to demonstrate it
in the most unambiguous terms. Twice.
- 1823. Once, to show
the weapon’s power,
- 1824. and a second to show that we can
keep doing this until they surrender.
- 1825. We have a list of 12 cities
to choose from--
- 1826. Sorry, 11.
- 1827. I’ve taken Kyoto off the list
- 1828. due to its cultural significance
to the Japanese people.
- 1829. Also, my wife and I
- 1830. It’s a magnificent city.
- 1831. Let me make this simple
for you, gentlemen.
- 1832. According to my intelligence,
which I cannot share with you,
- 1833. the Japanese people will not
surrender, under any circumstances,
- 1834. short of a successful and total
invasion of the home islands.
- 1835. Many lives will be lost,
American and Japanese.
- 1836. The use of the atomic bomb
on Japanese cities will save lives.
- 1837. - If we retain moral advantage.
- How so?
- 1838. Well, if we use this weapon
without informing our allies,
- 1839. they’ll see it as a threat,
and we’ll be in an arms race.
- 1840. How open can we be
with the Soviets?
- 1841. Secrecy won’t stop the Soviets from
becoming part of the atomic world.
- 1842. We’ve been told
they have no uranium.
- 1843. You’ve been misinformed. A
Russian bomb is a matter of time.
- 1844. The program needs to continue
at full pace after the war.
- 1845. Secretary Stimson, if I may,
- 1846. not all scientists on the
project are in agreement.
- 1847. In fact, this might be a moment to
consider other opinions. If you talk--
- 1848. The Manhattan Project
has been plagued from the start
- 1849. by certain scientists
of doubtful discretion
- 1850. and uncertain loyalty.
- 1851. One of them just tried to meet
with the president.
- 1852. Now, we need these men,
but as soon as it’s practical,
- 1853. we should sever any such
scientists from the program.
- 1854. Wouldn’t you agree, Doctor?
- 1855. If a Russian bomb is inevitable,
- 1856. perhaps we should invite
their top scientists to Trinity?
- 1857. President Truman has no
intention of raising expectations
- 1858. that Stalin be included
in the atomic project.
- 1859. Informing him
of our breakthrough
- 1860. and presenting it
as a means to win the war
- 1861. need not make
- 1862. But the Potsdam
peace conference in July
- 1863. will be President Truman’s last
chance to have that conversation.
- 1864. Can you give us
a working bomb by then?
- 1865. Absolutely. We will test
fire before the conference.
- 1866. Ground Zero, observation posts at
10,000 yards north, south and west.
- 1867. Where do we trigger from?
- 1868. South, 10,000.
- 1869. And Base Camp
is ten miles south here.
- 1870. And there’s a further observation
post on-- on that hill 20 miles away.
- 1871. What’s that, Frank?
Trigger lines already went in.
- 1872. The Air Force requested
a line of lights for their B-29.
- 1873. What B-29?
Our bomb’s on the tower.
- 1874. They wanna use the test to
confirm a safe operating distance.
- 1875. - That’s risky.
- Not as risky as dropping one over Japan
- 1876. and hoping that we were right
about the blast radius.
- 1877. Don’t let them slow us down.
We’re firing on the 15th.
- 1878. The 15th? That’s not--
- 1879. The 15th.
- 1880. So I’ll be here
at South Observation point
- 1881. with Frank and Kistiakowsky.
- 1882. You’ll all be assigned
to Base Camp, West Observation,
- 1883. or Far Observation.
- 1884. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Careful
with the knife. There, carefully.
- 1885. - Are those safe distances?
- They’re based on your calculations.
- 1886. Time to stand behind
your science, Hans. Literally.
- 1887. Yeah.
- 1888. What about the radiation cloud?
- 1889. Without high winds, it should
settle within two to three miles.
- 1890. Evacuation measures
are in place.
- 1891. But we need good weather
for visibility, so it has to be fine.
- 1892. Everybody out.
- 1893. We go on the night of the 15th.
- 1894. It’s a hard deadline, so if
anyone has anything, speak now.
- 1895. Little, little more.
Okay, stop, stop.
- 1896. Everybody, mattresses.
Put the mattress underneath.
- 1897. Could use
a final implosion test.
- 1898. - It couldn’t hurt.
- Do it.
- 1899. Is there anything else
that might stop us?
- 1900. It’s happening, isn’t it?
- 1901. I’ll send a message.
- 1902. If it’s gone our way...
- 1903. take in the sheets.
- 1904. Robert.
- 1905. Break a leg.
- 1906. Okay.
- 1907. Oppie’s taken
a very modest three kilotons.
- 1908. - Teller’s in with 45.
- 1909. 20,000 tons of TNT.
- 1910. And does anyone want the side
action on atmospheric ignition?
- 1911. - Are you saying we’ll have to delay?
- I’m saying it would be prudent.
- 1912. This weather,
has it reached the site?
- 1913. Bethe is calling to tell you
the implosion test failed.
- 1914. Hello, Hans. Yes, he’s here.
- 1915. Yes.
- 1916. - Is he wrong?
- 1917. - No?
- 1918. - So we’re about to fire a dud?
- 1919. - Explain.
- Well, I can’t. I just-- I just know.
- 1920. I know the implosion lenses
- 1921. If we fire these detonators
and they don’t trigger a reaction,
- 1922. two years’ worth of plutonium will
be scattered across White Sands.
- 1923. A month of my salary
against ten bucks says it lights.
- 1924. Jesus.
- 1925. The wind’s picking up
at Zero, not the rain.
- 1926. Lightning circling.
- 1927. You think it might be time
to tell your men
- 1928. to get away from the steel tower
with the atomic bomb?
- 1929. - Let’s get to South Observation.
- Pull ’em out.
- 1930. We can make
our determination there.
- 1931. The team
hasn’t slept in two nights.
- 1932. If we stand down, make the bomb
safe, we won’t be back here for weeks.
- 1933. Then we’ll miss Potsdam. I
gotta get word to Truman by 7:00.
- 1934. Our window’s closing.
What is this doing?
- 1935. Raining, blowing, lightning.
- 1936. - For how long, damn it?
- It’s holdin’ strong.
- 1937. It’ll break before dawn.
How could you know that?
- 1938. I know this desert.
Storm cools overnight.
- 1939. Just before dawn,
the storm breaks.
- 1940. He could be right, but
schedule as late as possible.
- 1941. 5:30.
- 1942. Sign your forecast.
If you’re wrong, I’ll hang you.
- 1943. - Frank, tell them all, 5:30.
- 1944. 5:30.
- 1945. Three years,
- 1946. 4,000 people,
- 1947. two billion dollars.
- 1948. Well, if it doesn’t go off,
- 1949. we’re both finished.
- 1950. I’m betting on three kilotons.
- 1951. Anything less,
they won’t get what it is.
- 1952. What did Fermi mean
by "atmospheric ignition"?
- 1953. Well, we had a moment
where it looked like
- 1954. the chain reaction from an
atomic device might never stop.
- 1955. Setting fire to the atmosphere.
- 1956. Why is Fermi still
taking side bets on it?
- 1957. Call it gallows humor.
- 1958. Wait, are we saying there’s a
chance that when we push that button,
- 1959. we destroy the world?
- 1960. Nothing in our research over
three years supports that conclusion.
- 1961. Except as
the most remote possibility.
- 1962. - How remote?
- Chances are near zero.
- 1963. Near zero.
- 1964. What do you want
from theory alone?
- 1965. Zero would be nice.
- 1966. In exactly one hour,
58 minutes, we’ll know.
- 1967. It’s letting up.
- 1968. The arming party’s left Zero,
they’re heading this way.
- 1969. Throwing the switches.
- 1970. Turn the cars.
Ready for emergency evacuation.
- 1971. Take your welder’s glass.
- 1972. Everybody, take your places.
- 1973. Everybody take a welder’s glass!
- 1974. Everybody take a welder’s glass.
- 1975. Twenty minutes.
- 1976. Twenty minutes.
- 1977. That’s 20.
- 1978. On the leg, please.
- 1979. Feynman.
- 1980. For your eyes, sir.
The glass stops the UV.
- 1981. And what stops the glass?
- 1982. I’m gonna head to Base Camp.
Best of luck.
- 1983. Robert,
- 1984. try not to blow up the world.
- 1985. Watch that needle.
- 1986. If the detonators don’t charge,
- 1987. or the voltage drops
below one volt,
- 1988. you hit that button, you abort.
- 1989. Understood?
- 1990. Understood.
- 1991. Two minutes to detonation.
- 1992. Everybody down.
- 1993. Do not turn around until you
see light reflected on the hills.
- 1994. Then look at the explosion
only through your welder’s glass.
- 1995. Ninety seconds to detonation.
- 1996. Eighty seconds to detonation.
- 1997. Is it rubbed in?
- 1998. Yeah.
- 1999. Sixty seconds to detonation.
- 2000. These things
are hard on your heart.
- 2001. Thirty seconds.
- 2002. Detonator’s charged.
- 2003. 17, 16, 15...
- 2004. 14, 13, 12, 11...
- 2005. Ten...
- 2006. ...nine,
- 2007. eight...
- 2008. seven...
- 2009. six...
- 2010. five...
- 2011. four...
- 2012. three...
- 2013. two...
- 2014. one.
- 2015. "And now I am become Death."
- 2016. "The destroyer of worlds."
- 2017. It worked.
- 2018. You owe me ten dollars!
- 2019. Come on!
- 2020. I-- I’m good for it, Kisty.
- 2021. You are.
- 2022. Yes, you are!
- 2023. We did it! Well done.
- 2024. Get me Potsdam right away.
- 2025. Get a message to Kitty.
We can’t say anything.
- 2026. Tell her to take in the sheets.
- 2027. Shh.
- 2028. - Hello?
- Hi. Kitty?
- 2029. What-- What? Charlotte.
Charlotte, go ahead, go ahead.
- 2030. Oh, um, well, I don’t know, he just
said to tell you to "bring in the sheets."
- 2031. Kitty?
- 2032. Kitty? Kitty,
are you still there?
- 2033. If they detonate it too high in the
air, the blast won’t be as powerful.
- 2034. With respect, Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 2035. we’ll take it from here.
- 2036. Did Truman brief Stalin
- 2037. A brief would be
- 2038. He referred to
a powerful new weapon.
- 2039. Stalin hoped we’d use it
- 2040. That’s it?
- 2041. Robert, we’ve given them an ace,
- 2042. it’s for them to play the hand.
- 2043. You’re aiming for the 6th?
- 2044. Well, it’s up to the CO
in the Pacific.
- 2045. Should I come with you
- 2046. What for?
- 2047. Well, you’ll keep me informed.
- 2048. Of course.
- 2049. As best I can.
- 2050. Would the Japanese surrender
if they knew what was coming?
- 2051. I don’t know.
- 2052. Have you seen
- 2053. What the hell does Szilard
know about the Japanese?
- 2054. You’re not signing it, are you?
- 2055. Many people have.
A lot of people have.
- 2056. Edward,
- 2057. the fact that we built this bomb
- 2058. does not give us any more
right or responsibility
- 2059. to decide how it’s used
than anyone else.
- 2060. But we’re the only people
who know about it.
- 2061. I’ve told Stimson the various
opinions of the community.
- 2062. But what’s your opinion?
- 2063. Once it’s used...
- 2064. nuclear war, perhaps all war...
- 2065. becomes unthinkable.
- 2066. Until somebody builds
a bigger bomb.
- 2067. I thought they would call.
- 2068. It’s only the 5th.
- 2069. In Japan, it’s the 6th.
- 2070. Charlotte.
- 2071. Try Groves.
- 2072. Anything?
- 2073. Charlotte?
- 2074. Truman’s on the radio.
- 2075. Sixteen hours ago,
- 2076. an American airplane dropped
one bomb on Hiroshima...
- 2077. ...and destroyed
its usefulness to the enemy.
- 2078. The bomb had more power
than 20,000 tons of TNT.
- 2079. It is an atomic bomb.
- 2080. It is a harnessing of the
basic power of the universe.
- 2081. Groves on one.
- 2082. We are now prepared to destroy,
- 2083. more rapidly and completely,
- 2084. General?
- 2085. I’m very proud of you
and all of your people.
- 2086. It went all right?
- 2087. Apparently, it went
with a tremendous bang.
- 2088. Well, everyone here is feeling
reasonably good about it.
- 2089. It’s been a long road.
- 2090. I think one of the
wisest things I ever did
- 2091. was when I selected
the director of Los Alamos.
- 2092. We have spent
more than two billion dollars
- 2093. on the greatest scientific
gamble in history,
- 2094. and we have won.
- 2095. Oppie! Oppie!
- 2096. Oppie! Oppie! Oppie! Oppie!
- 2097. The world...
- 2098. will remember this day.
- 2099. It’s too soon to--
- 2100. It’s too soon to determine what
the results of the bombing are.
- 2101. But I’ll bet
the Japanese didn’t like it.
- 2102. I’m so proud.
- 2103. So proud of
what you have accomplished.
- 2104. I just wish we had it in time
to use against the Germans.
- 2105. Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 2106. Dr. Oppenheimer?
- 2107. Nice picture.
- 2108. President Truman
will see you now.
- 2109. Dr. Oppenheimer.
It’s an honor.
- 2110. Mr. President. Please.
- 2111. Thank you.
- 2112. Secretary Byrnes.
- 2113. How’s it feel to be the most
famous man in the world?
- 2114. You helped save
a lot of American lives.
- 2115. What we did at Hiroshima
was a-- And Nagasaki.
- 2116. Well, obviously.
- 2117. Your invention
let us bring our boys home.
- 2118. Well, it was hardly...
- 2119. my invention.
- 2120. It was you on the cover of Time.
- 2121. Jim tells me you’re concerned
about an arms race with the Soviets.
- 2122. Oh, yes, uh...
- 2123. Well, um...
- 2124. It’s that, uh,
- 2125. now is our chance to secure...
- 2126. international cooperation on...
- 2127. a-a-and I’m concerned--
- 2128. Do you know when the Soviets
are gonna have the bomb?
- 2129. I don’t think
I could give a precise--
- 2130. Never.
- 2131. Never.
- 2132. Mr. President, the Russians
have good physicists
- 2133. a-a-and abundant resources.
- 2134. Yes.
- 2135. I don’t think so.
- 2136. Well, they’ll put everything
they have in...
- 2137. I hear you’re leaving
- 2138. What should we do with it?
- 2139. Give it back to the Indians.
- 2140. Um, Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 2141. if what you say
about the Soviets is true,
- 2142. we have to build up Los Alamos,
not shut it down.
- 2143. Mr. President...
- 2144. Um...
- 2145. I feel that I have
blood on my hands.
- 2146. You think anyone
in Hiroshima or Nagasaki
- 2147. gives a shit who built the bomb?
- 2148. They care who dropped it.
- 2149. I did.
- 2150. Hiroshima isn’t about you.
- 2151. Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2152. Don’t let that crybaby
back in here.
- 2153. Robert saw that
hand-wringing got him nowhere.
- 2154. By the time I met him,
he’d fully embraced
- 2155. his "father of the bomb"
- 2156. And he used his profile
to influence policy.
- 2157. Doctor, in the years
following the war,
- 2158. would you say that
you exerted a great influence
- 2159. on the atomic policies
of the USA?
- 2160. I think "great" would be
- 2161. Really?
If we look at the issue of isotopes,
- 2162. were you not personally responsible for
destroying all opposition to their export?
- 2163. You could use
a bottle of beer...
- 2164. ...when making atomic weapons.
- 2165. In fact, you do.
- 2166. I was the spokesman,
- 2167. but the opinion among scientists
- 2168. All along with McCarthy on the
rise, he knew he was vulnerable.
- 2169. His brother was blacklisted
- 2170. by every university
in the country.
- 2171. Lomanitz wound up working
the railroad, laying track.
- 2172. And Chevalier went into exile.
- 2173. But none of that stopped Robert
from pushing the GAC
- 2174. to recommend arms control
instead of the H-bomb.
- 2175. He was devastated when Truman
rejected their recommendation.
- 2176. I miss Richard
more than I can bear.
- 2177. I know, Ruth, I know.
- 2178. Part of me’s glad he didn’t
live to see where this is all going.
- 2179. Here comes the birthday boy.
- 2180. Have fun.
- 2181. Robert, uh,
my son and his fiancée
- 2182. are desperate to meet the father
of the atomic bomb, and so...
- 2183. Well... good day.
- 2184. Is this a bad time?
- 2185. What do you think, Lewis?
- 2186. Well, I think it must
have been a blow for you.
- 2187. For the world.
- 2188. The world? What does Fuchs
mean to the rest of the world?
- 2189. Fuchs?
- 2190. Klaus Fuchs?
- 2191. Oh, dear. You haven’t heard.
- 2192. Klaus Fuchs,
the British scientist
- 2193. that you put onto the
implosion team at Los Alamos,
- 2194. turns out he was spying for
the Soviets the whole time.
- 2195. I’m sorry.
- 2196. After the truth
about Fuchs came out,
- 2197. the FBI stepped up
surveillance on him.
- 2198. He knew his phone was tapped,
- 2199. he was followed everywhere,
- 2200. his trash picked through.
- 2201. - But never stopped speaking his mind.
- A man of conviction.
- 2202. And maybe he thought fame
could actually protect him.
- 2203. When Eisenhower took office,
he saw one more chance.
- 2204. He took it.
- 2205. America and Russia may be
likened to two scorpions in a bottle,
- 2206. each capable
of killing the other,
- 2207. but only at the risk
of his own life.
- 2208. Now, there are various aspects
of this policy--
- 2209. Lot of scientists blame me,
- 2210. but how was I supposed
to protect him?
- 2211. ...are too secret for discussion,
candor is the only remedy.
- 2212. Officials in Washington need to
start leveling with the American people.
- 2213. That was the last straw
for Robert’s enemies.
- 2214. So he had to lose
his security clearance?
- 2215. And with it, his credibility.
- 2216. But how could they do it?
- 2217. He was a war hero. He’d already
told everyone about his past.
- 2218. Borden dredged it all up.
- 2219. How could Borden get access
to Oppenheimer’s FBI file?
- 2220. Could it have been Nichols?
No, I can’t imagine he’d do that.
- 2221. But whoever did
unleashed a firestorm
- 2222. that burned a path from the White
House back to my desk at the AEC.
- 2223. You see him in there, right?
- 2224. I’ve worked
my whole life to get here,
- 2225. Cabinet of
the United States of America,
- 2226. and now, in front of the entire country,
they’re gonna put me back in my place.
- 2227. A lowly shoe salesman.
- 2228. Lewis, we can win this thing.
- 2229. I-I think we can get the Senate
to grasp that you did your duty,
- 2230. painful though it was.
- 2231. Now, will Hill’s testimony
back us up? Hill will be fine.
- 2232. I don’t really know him, but he
was one of Szilard’s boys in Chicago,
- 2233. and they never forgave Robert
- 2234. for not supporting the petition
against bombing Japan.
- 2235. This was taken
31 days after the bombing.
- 2236. Virtually everyone in the
street for nearly a mile around
- 2237. was instantly
and seriously burned.
- 2238. The Japanese spoke of people
who wore striped clothing
- 2239. upon whom the skin
was burned in stripes.
- 2240. There were many
who thought themselves lucky,
- 2241. who climbed out of the ruins of
their homes, only slightly injured.
- 2242. But they died anyway.
- 2243. They died days or weeks later
from the radium-like rays
- 2244. emitted in great numbers
at the moment of the explosion.
- 2245. Did you read
this crap in the papers?
- 2246. A British physicist is saying
- 2247. the atomic bombings were
not the last act of World War II,
- 2248. but the first act
of this cold war with Russia.
- 2249. Which physicist?
- 2250. I think you knew him.
- 2251. He may not be wrong.
- 2252. Stimson is now telling me
- 2253. we bombed an enemy
that was essentially defeated.
- 2254. Robert, you’ve
all the influence now.
- 2255. Please.
- 2256. Urge them to continue
my research on the Super.
- 2257. I neither can nor will, Edward.
- 2258. Why not?
- 2259. It’s not the right use
of our resources.
- 2260. Is that what you really believe?
- 2261. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Sphinx-like guru of the atom.
- 2262. Nobody knows what you believe.
- 2263. Do you? Hmm?
- 2264. One final time,
our program director,
- 2265. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
- 2266. I hope that, in years to come,
- 2267. you will look back on your work
here with pride.
- 2268. But today that pride must be
tempered with a profound concern.
- 2269. If atomic weapons are to be added
to the arsenals of a warring world,
- 2270. then the day will come when people
will curse the name of Los Alamos.
- 2271. Sorry, Admiral.
Stopped off to get this.
- 2272. It seems pretty favorable.
- 2273. There’s Oppenheimer.
What’s the caption?
- 2274. Uh, "J. Robert Oppenheimer,
- 2275. and the US won."
- 2276. That’ll work.
- 2277. Those were your words
from the other day.
- 2278. We needed to pivot.
- 2279. But how would you know what
Time magazine’s gonna write?
- 2280. Henry Luce is a friend.
- 2281. You sat here and let
me tell you how it’s done,
- 2282. but you’ve been far ahead
- 2283. Survival in Washington
- 2284. is about knowing
how to get things done.
- 2285. Right.
- 2286. What was it you said
- 2287. "Why get caught
holding the knife yourself?"
- 2288. I’m beginning to think Borden
was holding the knife for you.
- 2289. It’s gonna come down to how much influence
Borden’s been able to exert on Teller.
- 2290. Did I say something funny?
- 2291. Just "Borden, Borden, Borden"
when we all know that it’s Strauss.
- 2292. Lewis brought me
to Princeton, Kitty.
- 2293. And then you humiliated him
in front of Congress.
- 2294. But more useful than a sandwich.
- 2295. How’d I do?
- 2296. Maybe a little too well, Robert.
- 2297. That was six years ago.
- 2298. You know the truly vindictive,
patient as saints.
- 2299. Strauss has been perfectly clear
that he is neutral.
- 2300. Wake up! It is Strauss!
- 2301. It’s always been Strauss,
and you know it.
- 2302. Why won’t you fight him?
- 2303. Christ’s sake.
- 2304. It wasn’t Nichols, or Hoover,
or one of Truman’s guys.
- 2305. It was you.
You gave the file to Borden.
- 2306. You set him on Oppenheimer.
You convinced him to--
- 2307. Borden didn’t take
- 2308. Take your time,
use the entire file.
- 2309. Write up your conclusions,
send them to the FBI.
- 2310. The material is obviously extensive,
but there’s nothing new here.
- 2311. Your conclusions will be.
- 2312. And they’ll have to be answered.
- 2313. Hoover passes them to McCarthy?
- 2314. Oppenheimer’s too slippery
for that self-promoting clown.
- 2315. I’ve talked it over with Hoover,
he’ll hold McCarthy at bay
- 2316. while you do this with the AEC.
- 2317. A trial.
- 2318. No. No trial.
- 2319. You can’t give Oppenheimer
- 2320. You can’t martyr him.
- 2321. We need a systematic destruction
of Oppenheimer’s credibility
- 2322. so he can never again speak
on matters of national security.
- 2323. Then what?
- 2324. A shabby little room,
far from the limelight.
- 2325. A simple,
- 2326. His Q clearance
is up for renewal.
- 2327. You send your accusations
to the FBI...
- 2328. Hoover sends them to the AEC,
you’re forced to act.
- 2329. You write up an indictment.
- 2330. You tell Oppenheimer his security
clearance is not being renewed.
- 2331. But offer him
the chance to appeal.
- 2332. As you can see, Robert,
it’s not yet signed.
- 2333. May I keep this?
- 2334. If you do decide to appeal,
they’ll have to send you a copy.
- 2335. When he appeals,
and trust me, he will,
- 2336. I appoint a board.
- 2337. They will, of course,
- 2338. - Prosecutor?
- In all but name.
- 2339. Who?
- 2340. Ouch.
- 2341. Robb will have security clearance
to examine Oppenheimer’s file.
- 2342. As will the Gray board.
- 2343. Defense counsel will not.
- 2344. A closed hearing.
- 2345. "The so-called and derogatory
information in your indictment of me..."
- 2346. No audience. No reporters.
No burden of proof.
- 2347. No burden of proof?
- 2348. We’re not convicting.
- 2349. We’re just denying.
- 2350. What is it you said?
- 2351. "This is just how
the game is played."
- 2352. Well, forgive my naivete.
- 2353. Amateurs seek the sun...
- 2354. Power stays in the shadows.
- 2355. But, sir, you’re out
of the shadows now.
- 2356. Yeah, that’s why
this has to work.
- 2357. Well...
- 2358. Teller’s testifying
this morning. That’ll help.
- 2359. And then...
- 2360. Hill is in the afternoon.
- 2361. Hill is gonna help us too.
- 2362. As you can see,
Robert, it’s not yet signed.
- 2363. - May I keep this?
- 2364. If you do decide to appeal, then
they’ll have to send you a copy.
- 2365. Take my car and driver.
- 2366. I’ll have to
consult my lawyers, Lewis.
- 2367. Of course.
But don’t take too long.
- 2368. I can’t keep Nichols at bay.
- 2369. I’m sorry it’s come
to this, Robert.
- 2370. I think it’s wrong.
- 2371. Nichols wants me to fight so
he can get it all on the record.
- 2372. Strauss wants me to walk away.
- 2373. Strauss knows that you can’t do
that. You’d be accepting the charges.
- 2374. You’ll lose your job.
- 2375. You will lose your reputation.
We’ll lose our house.
- 2376. Robert, we have to fight.
- 2377. As AEC counsel, I can’t represent
you. I’ll call Lloyd Garrison.
- 2378. - He’s good.
- The best, but...
- 2379. I have to warn you,
- 2380. this won’t be a fair fight.
- 2381. During your interview
with Boris Pash in 1943,
- 2382. did you refer to microfilm?
- 2383. - No.
- Tab 11, page one, paragraph three.
- 2384. You never said, "Man of the
consulate expert in the use of microfilm."
- 2385. - I’m sorry.
- 2386. I would like to know what
document Mr. Robb is quoting from
- 2387. and if we might
be furnished with a copy.
- 2388. The document is classified,
- 2389. I think we should get back
to firsthand information.
- 2390. - This is firsthand.
- How so, Roger?
- 2391. There was a recording
of the interview.
- 2392. You let my client sit here
and potentially perjure himself
- 2393. and all this time,
you had a recording?
- 2394. Nobody told your client to
misrepresent his former answers.
- 2395. Misrepres-- It was 12 years ago.
- 2396. Can we hear this recording?
- 2397. You don’t have the clearance,
- 2398. - But you’re reading it into the record.
- Please, please.
- 2399. Is this proceeding interested
in entrapment or in truth?
- 2400. If it’s truth, where’s the
disclosure? Where’s the witness list?
- 2401. Mr. Garrison, this isn’t a
trial, as you’re well aware.
- 2402. Evidentiary rules do not apply.
We are dealing with national security.
- 2403. Yes, sir, with all due respect,
- 2404. I fail to see how national
security prevents the prosecution
- 2405. from providing us
a list of witnesses.
- 2406. Perhaps we are in need
of a brief recess.
- 2407. Gentlemen, you have my words.
- 2408. If you say they’re from a
transcript, then I’ll accept it.
- 2409. I’ve already explained
I made up a cock-and-bull story.
- 2410. But why would anyone
make up such an elaborate story?
- 2411. Because I was an idiot.
- 2412. Why lie?
- 2413. Well, clearly with the intention of not
revealing who the intermediary was.
- 2414. Your friend, Haakon Chevalier,
- 2415. Is he still your friend?
- 2416. Yes.
- 2417. Dr. Rabi,
thank you for coming.
- 2418. Do you know who else
the prosecution has called?
- 2419. Teller, obviously.
- 2420. - They’ve asked Lawrence.
- What did he say?
- 2421. - He wasn’t going to help them, but...
- 2422. Strauss told him that you and Ruth Tolman
have been having an affair for years.
- 2423. The whole time
you lived with them in Pasadena.
- 2424. He convinced Lawrence that
Richard died of a broken heart.
- 2425. - That’s absurd.
- What part?
- 2426. The broken heart.
- 2427. Richard never found out.
- 2428. Is Lawrence gonna testify?
- 2429. I don’t know.
- 2430. Dr. Rabi, what governmental
positions do you currently hold?
- 2431. I am the chairman of the General
Advisory Committee to the AEC,
- 2432. succeeding Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2433. And how long have you known
- 2434. Since 1928. I...
- 2435. I know him quite well.
- 2436. Well enough to speak to the
bearing of his loyalty and character?
- 2437. Dr. Oppenheimer is a man
of upstanding character.
- 2438. And he is loyal to the
United States, to his friends,
- 2439. to the institutions
of which he is part.
- 2440. Eat.
- 2441. - What was that?
- Nothing to worry about.
- 2442. After the Russian A-bomb test,
- 2443. did Dr. Lawrence come to see you
about the hydrogen bomb?
- 2444. You’d be better off asking him.
- 2445. Well, I fully intend to.
- 2446. Would you say that Dr. Oppenheimer
was unalterably opposed to the H-bomb?
- 2447. No, he thought
that a fusion program
- 2448. would come at the expense of
our awfully good fission program.
- 2449. But that proved
not to be the case.
- 2450. In the event,
both could be done.
- 2451. Suppose that this board
did not feel satisfied that,
- 2452. in his testimony here,
Dr. Oppenheimer had been wholly truthful.
- 2453. What would you say whether
or not he should be cleared?
- 2454. Why go through all this
against a man
- 2455. who has accomplished
what Dr. Oppenheimer has?
- 2456. Look at his record.
- 2457. We have an A-bomb
and a whole series of it.
- 2458. We have a whole series
of Super bombs.
- 2459. What more do you want?
- 2460. But I’ve known Secretary
Strauss for many years,
- 2461. and I feel it a necessity
to express the warm support
- 2462. for science and scientists
Lewis has shown.
- 2463. We’ll break now, unless
there’s any immediate business.
- 2464. Senator, I’d like to
once again request
- 2465. that we’re furnished
with a list of witnesses.
- 2466. And I will remind the nominee
- 2467. that we don’t always have
that information in advance.
- 2468. We do know that Dr. Hill
will be here after lunch.
- 2469. Mr. Chairman, our next
scheduled witness, Dr. Lawrence,
- 2470. has apparently
come down with colitis.
- 2471. So we’ll proceed
with William Borden instead.
- 2472. Mr. Borden, welcome.
Please take a seat.
- 2473. Mr. Borden, during your
investigation into Dr. Oppenheimer,
- 2474. - did you reach certain conclusions?
- I did.
- 2475. And did there come a time when
you expressed those conclusions
- 2476. in a letter to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
- 2477. - That is correct.
- Prior to the writing of the letter,
- 2478. did you discuss the writing of
the letter with anybody attached
- 2479. to the Atomic Energy Commission?
- 2480. - I did not.
- Do you have a copy of the letter?
- 2481. I have one in front of me.
- 2482. Would you please be so kind
as to read it, sir?
- 2483. "Dear Mr. Hoover, the
purpose of this letter is to state--"
- 2484. I’m sorry, I’m sorry,
if I could have a--
- 2485. What is the purpose of the delay?
He’s simply gonna read the letter.
- 2486. Mr. Chairman, this is the
first I’ve seen of this letter,
- 2487. and I see statements here,
at least one,
- 2488. of a kind that I don’t think anyone
would like to see go into the record.
- 2489. These are accusations that
have not previously been made.
- 2490. That are not part of
the indictment from Nichols.
- 2491. Accusations of a kind
that I don’t think belong here.
- 2492. The witness wrote this letter
on his own initiative,
- 2493. laying out evidence that has
already been before the board.
- 2494. His conclusions
are valid testimony,
- 2495. just like the positive conclusions
of friends of Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2496. It cuts both ways.
- 2497. How long has counsel been
in possession of this letter?
- 2498. I don’t think I should be subject to
cross-examination by you, Mr. Garrison.
- 2499. Mr. Garrison, given that we on
the board have all read the letter,
- 2500. wouldn’t it be better
to have it in the record?
- 2501. Let’s proceed.
- 2502. "Dear Mr. Hoover,
- 2503. the purpose of this letter
is to state my opinion
- 2504. based upon years of study of
the available classified evidence,
- 2505. that more probably than not
- 2506. J. Robert Oppenheimer
is an agent of the Soviet Union.
- 2507. The following conclusions
- 2508. One, between 1929 and 1942,
more probably than not,
- 2509. J. Robert Oppenheimer was a
sufficiently hardened communist,
- 2510. that he volunteered information
to the Soviets.
- 2511. Two, more probably than not,
- 2512. he has since been functioning
as an espionage agent.
- 2513. Three, more probably than not,
- 2514. he has since acted
under a Soviet directive
- 2515. in influencing United States
- 2516. - I’m sorry, Robert.
- ..."atomic energy, intelligence..."
- 2517. Is anyone ever going to tell the
truth about what’s happening here?
- 2518. We will now hear
from Dr. David Hill.
- 2519. Dr. Hill, would you care
to make a statement?
- 2520. Thank you.
- 2521. I’ve been asked to testify
about Lewis Strauss.
- 2522. A man who has given years of
service in high positions of government
- 2523. and who is known to be earnest,
hardworking and intelligent.
- 2524. The views I have to express
are my own,
- 2525. but I believe that much I
have to say will help to indicate
- 2526. why most of the scientists
in this country
- 2527. would prefer to see Mr. Strauss
completely out of government.
- 2528. You’re referring to the
hostility of certain scientists
- 2529. directed toward Mr. Strauss
because of his commitment to security,
- 2530. as demonstrated
in the Oppenheimer affair?
- 2531. No.
- 2532. Because of the personal vindictiveness
he demonstrated against Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2533. Order.
- 2534. Order.
- 2535. It appears to most scientists
around this country
- 2536. that Robert Oppenheimer
is now being pilloried
- 2537. and put through an ordeal because
he expressed his honest opinions.
- 2538. Dr. Bush, I thought I was
performing a service to my country
- 2539. when hearing this case.
- 2540. No board in this country
should sit in judgment of a man
- 2541. because he expressed
- 2542. If you wanna try that case,
you should try me.
- 2543. Excuse me, gentlemen,
if I become stirred.
- 2544. But I am.
- 2545. Dr. Hill, we’ve already heard that
Mr. Strauss did not bring the charges,
- 2546. or participate in the hearings
against Dr. Oppenheimer.
- 2547. The Oppenheimer matter
was initiated and carried through
- 2548. largely through the animus
of Lewis Strauss.
- 2549. Oppenheimer made mincemeat
out of Strauss’s position
- 2550. on the shipment of isotopes
- 2551. and Strauss never forgave him
this public humiliation.
- 2552. Another controversy between them centered
around their differences in judgment
- 2553. on how the H-bomb would
contribute to national security.
- 2554. Strauss turned
to the personnel security system
- 2555. in order to destroy
- 2556. And Strauss was able
to find a few ambitious men
- 2557. who also disagreed
with Oppenheimer’s positions
- 2558. and envied him his prestige
in government circles.
- 2559. I’ve always assumed, and still assume,
that he’s loyal to the United States.
- 2560. I believe this.
- 2561. And I shall believe it until I see
very conclusive proof to the opposite.
- 2562. Do you, or do you not, believe that
Dr. Oppenheimer is a security risk?
- 2563. In a great number of cases,
- 2564. I have seen Dr. Oppenheimer
act in a way which was, to me,
- 2565. exceedingly hard to understand.
- 2566. I thoroughly disagreed with him
in numerous issues,
- 2567. and his actions, frankly, appeared
to me confused and complicated.
- 2568. To this extent, I feel,
- 2569. I want to see the vital
interests of this country
- 2570. in hands
which I understand better,
- 2571. and therefore trust more.
- 2572. - Thank you, Doctor.
- Thank you.
- 2573. I’m sorry.
- 2574. You shook his fucking hand?
- 2575. Oh, I would have
spit in his face.
- 2576. Not sure the board
would have appreciated that.
- 2577. Is it not gentlemanly enough
- 2578. I think you’re all being
too goddamn gentlemanly.
- 2579. Gray must see
what Robb is doing.
- 2580. Why doesn’t he just
shut him down?
- 2581. And you shaking Teller’s hand.
- 2582. You need to stop
playing the martyr.
- 2583. Under the current AEC guidelines,
would you clear Dr. Oppenheimer today?
- 2584. Under my interpretation
of the Atomic Energy Act,
- 2585. which did not exist when I
hired Dr. Oppenheimer in 1942,
- 2586. I would not clear him today
if I were on the commission.
- 2587. Good, thank you,
General, that is all.
- 2588. But I don’t think
I’d clear any of those guys.
- 2589. That’s all.
- 2590. Dr. Oppenheimer
had no responsibility
- 2591. in the selection or the
clearance of Klaus Fuchs, did he?
- 2592. No. None at all.
- 2593. And you wouldn’t want to
leave this board
- 2594. with any suggestion today
- 2595. that you’re here questioning his
basic loyalty to the United States
- 2596. and the operation of Los Alamos.
- 2597. By no means.
- 2598. I hope I didn’t lead anyone to
believe otherwise for an instant.
- 2599. Thank you, General.
- 2600. Okay. We shouldn’t
keep them waiting.
- 2601. She’ll be here.
- 2602. Do you even want her here?
- 2603. Only a fool or an adolescent
- 2604. presumes to know
someone else’s relationship,
- 2605. and you’re neither, Lloyd.
- 2606. Kitty and I, we’re grown-ups.
- 2607. We’ve walked through fire together.
- 2608. She’ll do fine.
- 2609. Would you describe your views
on communism as pro, anti, neutral?
- 2610. Very strongly against.
- 2611. I’ve had nothing to do with
communism since 1936, since...
- 2612. since before I met Robert.
- 2613. That’s all.
- 2614. The record demonstrates
- 2615. was not interrogated by
impartial and disinterested counsel
- 2616. for the Gray board.
- 2617. He was interrogated
by a prosecutor
- 2618. who used all the tricks of a
rather ingenious legal background.
- 2619. You are charging now that the
Gray board permitted a prosecution.
- 2620. If I were on the Gray board,
- 2621. I would have protested against the
tactics of the man who served, in fact,
- 2622. as the prosecuting counsel.
- 2623. A man appointed,
not by the board,
- 2624. but by Lewis Strauss.
- 2625. Who was this?
- 2626. I’m sorry?
- 2627. Who was this?
- 2628. Uh, Roger Robb.
- 2629. Mrs. Oppenheimer.
- 2630. Did you have a Communist
Party membership card?
- 2631. I’m--
- 2632. I’m not sure.
- 2633. Not sure?
- 2634. Well--
- 2635. Well?
- 2636. I mean, presumably,
the act of joining the Party
- 2637. required sending some money
and receiving a card, no?
- 2638. Yeah.
- 2639. Sorry.
- 2640. Yeah.
- 2641. It’s just it was all so very
long ago, Mr. Robb, wasn’t it?
- 2642. - Not really.
- Long enough to have forgotten.
- 2643. Did you return the card
or rip it up?
- 2644. The card whose existence
- 2645. - Your Communist Party membership card.
- Haven’t the slightest idea.
- 2646. Can a distinction be made between
Soviet communism and communism?
- 2647. In the days when I was a member, I
thought they were definitely two things.
- 2648. I thought that the Communist
Party of the United States
- 2649. was concerned with
our domestic problems.
- 2650. I now no longer believe this.
- 2651. I believe the thing’s linked together
and spread all over the world,
- 2652. and I have believed this since
I left the Party, 16 years ago.
- 2653. - But--
- 17 years ago. My mistake.
- 2654. - But you sai--
- Sorry, 18.
- 2655. 18 years ago.
- 2656. Are you familiar with the fact your
husband was making contributions
- 2657. to the Spanish Civil War
as late as 1942?
- 2658. I knew that Robert
gave money from time to time.
- 2659. Did you know this money was
going into Communist Party channels?
- 2660. - Don’t you mean "through"?
- 2661. I think you mean "through
Communist Party channels," don’t you?
- 2662. Yes!
- 2663. - Yes!
- 2664. Then would it be fair to say
that this meant that by 1942,
- 2665. your husband had not stopped having
anything to do with the Communist Party?
- 2666. You don’t have
to answer that yes or no.
- 2667. You can answer that
any way you wish.
- 2668. I know that, thank you.
- 2669. It’s your question.
- 2670. It’s not properly phrased.
- 2671. - Do you understand what I’m getting at?
- I do.
- 2672. Then why don’t you
answer it that way?
- 2673. ’Cause I don’t like your phrase.
- 2674. "Having anything to do
with the Communist Party."
- 2675. Because Robert never had anything
to do with the Communist Party as such.
- 2676. I know he gave money
to Spanish refugees.
- 2677. I know he took an intellectual
interest in communist ideas--
- 2678. Are there two types
- 2679. Intellectual communists and
your plain, old, regular commie?
- 2680. Well, I couldn’t
answer that one.
- 2681. I couldn’t either.
- 2682. Good evening.
- 2683. Robert,
you can’t win this thing.
- 2684. It’s a kangaroo court
with a predetermined outcome.
- 2685. Why put yourself through
more of it? I have my reasons.
- 2686. All right.
- 2687. Good night.
- 2688. He has a point.
- 2689. I’m not sure you understand, Albert.
- 2690. No?
- 2691. I left my country
never to return.
- 2692. You served your country well.
- 2693. If this is the reward
she offers you, then...
- 2694. perhaps you should
turn your back on her.
- 2695. Damn it, I happen
to love this country.
- 2696. Then tell them to go to hell.
- 2697. Interestingly enough,
- 2698. this is no longer
a confirmation hearing,
- 2699. it’s now a trial about a trial!
- 2700. It’s not good he’s telling
everyone you initiated the hearings.
- 2701. He can’t prove a goddamn thing.
- 2702. He certainly can’t prove
that I gave the file to Borden.
- 2703. We’re not in court, sir.
There’s no burden of proof.
- 2704. Right.
They’re not convicting...
- 2705. just denying.
- 2706. But why would Hill come here to
tear me down? What’s his angle?
- 2707. Do people need a reason
to do the right thing?
- 2708. As he sees it.
- 2709. I told you, Oppenheimer poisoned
the scientists against me,
- 2710. right from that first meeting.
- 2711. I don’t know what Oppenheimer
said to him that day,
- 2712. but Einstein
wouldn’t even meet my eye.
- 2713. Oppenheimer knows
how to manipulate his own.
- 2714. And at Los Alamos, he preyed
on the naivete of scientists
- 2715. who thought they’d get a say
in how we used their work.
- 2716. Don’t ever think
he was that naive himself.
- 2717. Doctor.
- 2718. During your work on the hydrogen bomb,
were you deterred by any moral qualms?
- 2719. Yes, of course.
- 2720. But you still got on with
your work, didn’t you?
- 2721. Yes, because this was work of exploration.
It was not the preparation of a weapon.
- 2722. You mean it was more of
an academic excursion?
- 2723. No, it is not an academic thing
whether you can build a hydrogen bomb.
- 2724. It’s a matter of life and death.
- 2725. By 1942,
you were actively pushing
- 2726. the development of the
hydrogen bomb, weren’t you?
- 2727. Pushing’s not the right word.
Supporting it and working on it, yes.
- 2728. So when did these moral qualms
become so strong
- 2729. that you actively opposed the
development of the hydrogen bomb?
- 2730. When it was suggested that it
be the policy of the United States
- 2731. to make these things at all
cost, without regard to the balance
- 2732. between these weapons and
atomic weapons as part of our arsenal.
- 2733. What do moral qualms
have to do with that?
- 2734. What do moral qualms
have to do with it? Yes.
- 2735. Oppenheimer wanted to own
the atomic bomb.
- 2736. He wanted to be the man
who moved the Earth.
- 2737. He talks about putting the
nuclear genie back in the bottle.
- 2738. Well, I’m here to tell you that I
know J. Robert Oppenheimer,
- 2739. and if he could do it all over,
he’d do it all the same.
- 2740. You know he’s never once said
that he regrets Hiroshima?
- 2741. He’d do it all over. Why?
- 2742. Because it made him the most
important man who ever lived.
- 2743. Well, we’ve freely used
the atomic bomb--
- 2744. In fact, Doctor, you assisted
in selecting the target
- 2745. to drop the atomic bomb
on Japan, didn’t you?
- 2746. - Yes.
- Then you knew, did you not,
- 2747. that by dropping that atomic
bomb on the target you selected,
- 2748. that thousands of civilians would
be killed or injured, is that correct?
- 2749. Yes, not as many as turned out--
- 2750. Oh. Well, how many
were killed or injured?
- 2751. 70,000.
- 2752. 70,000 at both Hiroshima and--
- 2753. 110,000 at both.
- 2754. On the day of each bombing?
- 2755. - Yes.
- And in the weeks and years that followed?
- 2756. It has been put at somewhere
between 50,000 and 100,000.
- 2757. - 220,000 dead, at least.
- 2758. Any moral scruples about that?
- 2759. Terrible ones.
- 2760. Yet you testified in here that the
bombing of Hiroshima was very successful.
- 2761. - Technically successful.
- Oh! Technically, it was very successful.
- 2762. And it is also alleged
to have helped end the war.
- 2763. Would you have been supportive of the
dropping of a hydrogen bomb on Hiroshima?
- 2764. - That would make no sense at all.
- 2765. The target is too small.
- 2766. Well, supposing there had been
a target in Japan big enough
- 2767. for a thermonuclear weapon,
- 2768. would you have been opposed
to the dropping of it?
- 2769. This was not a problem
with which I was confronted--
- 2770. I’m confronting you
with it now, sir.
- 2771. It was all part of his plan.
- 2772. He wanted the glorious,
insincere guilt of the self-important
- 2773. to wear like a fucking crown.
- 2774. Say, "No, we cannot go down this
road," even as he knew we’d have to.
- 2775. Would you have been
opposed to the dropping...
- 2776. ...of a thermonuclear weapon on
Japan because of moral scruples?
- 2777. Yes, I believe I would, sir.
- 2778. Did you oppose the dropping
- 2779. of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima
because of moral scruples?
- 2780. - We set forth our arg--
- No, you.
- 2781. - I’m asking you. You!
- I set--
- 2782. I set forth our arguments
against dropping it,
- 2783. but I did not endorse them.
- 2784. You mean after working night and
day for three years building the bomb,
- 2785. you then argued
against the use of it.
- 2786. I was asked by the secretary of
war what the views of scientists were.
- 2787. I gave him the views against
and the views for.
- 2788. You supported the dropping
of the atom bomb on Japan.
- 2789. - What do you mean, "support"?
- You supported it.
- 2790. - You helped pick the target, didn’t you?
- I did my job.
- 2791. I was not in a policy-making
position at Los Alamos.
- 2792. I would have done anything
I was asked to do.
- 2793. Then you would have built
the H-bomb too, wouldn’t you?
- 2794. - I couldn’t.
- I didn’t ask you that, Doctor.
- 2795. And the GAC report,
- 2796. which you co-authored
after the Soviet atomic test,
- 2797. said a Super bomb
should never be built.
- 2798. What we meant--
What I meant was--
- 2799. - What you? Who? Who?
- What I meant--
- 2800. And wouldn’t the Russians do
anything to increase their strength?
- 2801. If we did it,
they would have to do it.
- 2802. Our efforts would only fuel their efforts,
just as it had with the atomic bomb.
- 2803. "Just as it had
with the atomic bomb," exactly!
- 2804. No moral scruples in 1945,
plenty in 1949.
- 2805. Dr. Oppenheimer...
- 2806. when did your strong
moral convictions develop
- 2807. with respect to
the hydrogen bomb?
- 2808. When it became clear to me...
- 2809. that we would tend
to use any weapon we had.
- 2810. J. Robert Oppenheimer
- 2811. I gave him
exactly what he wanted.
- 2812. To be remembered for Trinity,
- 2813. Not Nagasaki.
- 2814. He should be thanking me.
- 2815. Well, he’s not.
- 2816. Do we still have enough votes,
- 2817. or is the crowning moment
of my career
- 2818. about to become the most
public humiliation of my life?
- 2819. Full Senate’s about to vote.
You’ll scrape through.
- 2820. Great, then gather
the fucking press.
- 2821. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
- 2822. This board, having heard
testimony from you
- 2823. and many of your current
and former colleagues,
- 2824. has come to the unanimous
conclusion that you are a loyal citizen.
- 2825. However, in the light
of your continuing associations
- 2826. and disregard for the security
apparatus of this country,
- 2827. together with your
somewhat disturbing conduct
- 2828. on the hydrogen bomb program,
- 2829. and the regrettable lack
- 2830. in certain of your responses
to this board,
- 2831. we have voted two-to-one
- 2832. to deny the renewal
of your security clearance.
- 2833. A full written opinion,
with a dissent from Mr. Evans,
- 2834. will be issued to the AEC
in the coming days.
- 2835. That is all.
- 2836. Gordon.
- 2837. Robert.
- 2838. Robert.
- 2839. Don’t, uh...
- 2840. Don’t take in the sheets.
- 2841. - Sir.
- Two minutes. Two minutes.
- 2842. You’ll get your shot.
- 2843. Is it official?
- 2844. Well, there were
a couple of unexpected holdouts.
- 2845. I’m denied. Yeah?
- 2846. I’m afraid so, sir.
- 2847. Who were the holdouts?
- 2848. Um... There were three,
- 2849. led by the junior senator
- 2850. Young guy trying to make
a name for himself,
- 2851. didn’t like
what you did to Oppenheimer.
- 2852. What’s his name?
- 2853. Uh, Kennedy. John F. Kennedy.
- 2854. Kitty?
- 2855. Did you think that if you
let them tar and feather you,
- 2856. that the world
would forgive you?
- 2857. It won’t.
- 2858. We’ll see.
- 2859. Goddamn it.
- 2860. You told me I’d be okay.
- 2861. Yeah, well, I didn’t have
all the facts, did I?
- 2862. Here’s a fact.
- 2863. President Eisenhower
pinned the Medal of Freedom
- 2864. on my chest last year,
- 2865. ’cause I’ve always done
what’s right for this country.
- 2866. They don’t want me
in the Cabinet room?
- 2867. Oh, that’s-- That’s fine.
- 2868. Maybe they should just invite
- 2869. Maybe they will.
- 2870. I told you, he turned the
scientists against me one by one,
- 2871. starting with Einstein.
- 2872. I told you about Einstein.
I saw him by the pond.
- 2873. You did, but you know, sir,
- 2874. since nobody really knows what
they said to each other that day,
- 2875. is it possible they didn’t
talk about you at all?
- 2876. Is it possible
they spoke about something
- 2877. more important?
- 2878. Mr. Strauss!
- 2879. Oh!
- 2880. Thank you.
- 2881. Albert.
- 2882. Ah...
- 2883. The man of the moment.
- 2884. You once held
a reception for me.
- 2885. In Berkeley. You gave
me an award, mmm? Yes.
- 2886. You all thought that I had
lost the ability to understand
- 2887. what I’d started.
- 2888. So, the award
really wasn’t for me.
- 2889. It was for all of you, hmm?
- 2890. Now it’s your turn
- 2891. to deal with the consequences
of your achievement.
- 2892. And one day,
- 2893. when they’ve
punished you enough...
- 2894. they’ll serve you
salmon and potato salad.
- 2895. Make speeches...
- 2896. ...give you a medal.
- 2897. Hello, Frank.
- 2898. You’re happy, I’m happy.
- 2899. Pat you on the back,
tell you all is forgiven.
- 2900. Just remember...
- 2901. it won’t be for you.
- 2902. It’ll be for them.
- 2903. Albert.
- 2904. When I came to you
with those calculations,
- 2905. we thought we might start
a chain reaction
- 2906. that would destroy
the entire world?
- 2907. Mmm. I remember it well.
What of it?
- 2908. I believe we did.