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Infamous Spy Trials of the Early Fifties


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#1 Herbert Blenner

Herbert Blenner

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:58 PM

Nat Sherman had a special interest in the Rosenberg case of 1950-1953 and the Prague trial of 1951-1952. We find many coincidences of erroneous Nat Sherman' advertisements with articles on these spy trials. More significantly, Nat Sherman published an encrypted message on the same day as the doomsday article on the Rosenbergs.

In the initial phase of the Rosenberg case we find the coincidence of two Nat Sherman' advertisements with articles on the Rosenberg case. On July 18, 1950, the article, "Fourth American Held As Atom Spy," (1) reported the arrest of Julius Rosenberg and appeared on the same page as a Nat Sherman' advertisement. (2) The July 20, 1950-article "More Arrests Seen in Atomic Spy Case" (3) appeared on page eighteen and a Nat Sherman' advertisement was published on page six. (4)

If Nat Sherman advertised daily then a coincidence of his advertisement with any article on the Rosenberg case could be discounted. At the opposite extreme, if Nat Sherman' advertisements only appeared on the days when they published an article on the Rosenberg case then the coincidence would be difficult to dismiss. Nat Sherman was an infrequent and irregular advertiser in The New York Times during the early fifties. Hence the dates on which Nat Sherman advertised prior to and following a coincidence between an advertisement and an article on the Rosenberg case is of interest.

The two Nat Sherman' advertisements that were published on the same day as the initial articles on the Rosenberg case were preceded by the advertisement of July 13, 1950 and followed by the advertisement of July 24, 1950.

During the fall of 1952, doubts arose that the Courts were going to uphold the death sentence imposed upon the Rosenbergs. An international movement to curb abuses in spy trials arose in Europe in 1951 and reached the U.S. during 1952. These events were echoed by The New York Times and Nat Sherman' advertisements.

On November 8, 1952, the article "New Trial Petition Filed for Rosenbergs" (5) was published on page six near a Nat Sherman' advertisement. (6) This Nat Sherman' advertisement of November 8, 1952 was preceded by the October 25, 1952 advertisement and followed by the November 14, 1952-advertisement.

The article, "716 Stage Rally for Atom Spies at Ossining; Demonstrators Are Kept Away From Prison," (7) was published on December 22, 1952 along with a Nat Sherman' advertisement. (8) Nat Sherman' advertisement of December 22, 1952 was preceded by his December 19, 1952 advertisement and followed by his January 19, 1953.

By the spring of 1953, any doubt that the Courts would uphold the death sentence imposed in the Rosenberg case vanished. In the final month before the execution of the Rosenbergs four Nat Sherman' advertisements were published on the same day as articles on the Rosenberg case.

On May 19, 1953, the article "High Court Delays Rosenberg Ruling" (9) was published on page nineteen and a flawless Nat Sherman' advertisement (10) appeared on page six.

The following week Nat Sherman' published the first of his two known advertisements containing irrefutable encrypted messages. This advertisement of May 26, 1953 was published on page 8 along with the front page article, "Rosenberg Appeal Denied for 3d Time by Supreme Court."

The page one article, "High Court Denies a Rosenberg Stay; New Plea Up Today" (11) from June 16, 1953 was published with a page eight Nat Sherman' advertisement that contained a broken vertical border. (12)

On June 19, 1953, a Nat Sherman' advertisement in which a large dot appears under the last letter in "CIGARETTES" (13) was published on page eight with the four articles, "Spies 'Overjoyed' by News of Delay," (14) "Many Abroad Ask Mercy for Spies," (15) "High Court Rules on Spy Case Today," (16) and "5 to Study Impeachment." (17)

The dates on which Nat Sherman published advertisements that surround those advertisements published during the last month of the Rosenberg case are May 8, 1953, May 19, 1953, May 26, 1953, June 1, 1953, June 16, 1953, June 19, 1953, and June 23, 1953.

The Prague Trial

In the initial phase of the Slansky prosecution we find the coincidence of two Nat Sherman' advertisements with articles on Slansky case. On November 28, 1951, the article "Slansky is Seized by Prague as Spy," (18) reported the arrest of Rudolf Slansky and appeared on the same page as Nat Sherman' advertisement. (19)

The first letter in the word "two" in this advertisement was illegible. The November 30, 1951-article, "More Arrests Seen for Czech Officials," (20) appeared on page 8 and a Nat Sherman' advertisement was published on page six. (21)

The dates of Nat Sherman' advertisements that surround his November 28, 1951 and November 30, 1951 advertisements are November 26, 1951 and December 3, 1951.

The May 3, 1952-article "61 Red Leaders Reported Ousted" (22) reported former Foreign Minster Vladmir Clementis and party Secretary Rudolf Slansky were charged with working for the West. This page six article appeared with an error-free Nat Sherman advertisement. (23) This May 3, 1952-Nat Sherman' advertisement was bounded by his April 26, 1952 and May 10, 1952 advertisements.

Two articles, "14 Purged Reds go on Trial in Prague" (24) and "Kremlin's Hand Seen in Czech Purge Trial", (25) were published on page six on November 21, 1952 along with a Nat Sherman' advertisement that had two lines of text transposed (26).

On November 28, 1952, a page six-Nat Sherman' advertisement (27) contained the error "We carry every famous/brand of cigars in our . . ." and the article "11 Czechs Must Die; 3 Others Get Life on Treason" (28) appeared on page one and was continued on page four.

The Nat Sherman' advertisement of November 14, 1952 preceded his November 21, 1952 advertisement and his December 12, 1952 advertisement followed his November 28, 1952 advertisement.

Source: The New York Times

1. July 18, 1950, page 8, "Fourth American Held as Atom Spy"
2. July 18, 1950, page 8, Nat Sherman' advertisement
3. July 20, 1950, page 18, "More Arrests Seen in Atomic Spy Case"
4. July 20, 1950, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
5. November 8, 1952, page 6, "New Trial Petition Filed for Rosenbergs"
6. November 8, 1952, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
7. December 22, 1952, page 10, "716 Stage Rally for Atom Spies at Ossining; Demonstrators Are Kept Away From Prison"
8. December 22, 1952, Page 8, Nat Sherman' advertisement
9. May 19, 1953, page 19, "High Court Delays Rosenberg Ruling"
10. May 19, 1953, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
11. June 16, 1953, page 1, "High Court Denies A Rosenberg Stay; New Plea Up Today"
12. June 16, 1953, page 8, Nat Sherman' advertisement
13. June 19, 1953, page 8, Nat Sherman' advertisement
14. June 19, 1953, page 8, "Spies 'Overjoyed' By News Of Delay"
15. June 19, 1953, page 8, "Many Abroad Ask Mercy For Spies"
16. June 19, 1953, page 8, "High Court Rules On Spy Case Today"
17. June 19, 1953, page 8, "5 To Study Impeachment"
18. November 28, 1951, page 8, "Slansky is Seized by Prague as Spy"
19. November 28, 1951, page 8, Nat Sherman' advertisement
20. November 30, 1951, page 8, "More Arrests Seen for Czech Officials"
21. November 30, 1951, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
22. May 3, 1952, page 6, "61 Red Leaders Reported Ousted"
23. May 3, 1952, page 6, Nat Sherman advertisement
24. November 21, 1952, page 6, "14 Purged Reds go on Trial in Prague"
25. November 21, 1952, page 6, "Kremlin's Hand Seen in Czech Purge Trial"
26. November 21, 1952, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
27. November 28, 1952, page 6, Nat Sherman' advertisement
28. November 28, 1952, page 1, "11 Czechs Must Die; 3 Others Get Life on Treason"




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