Mench: I am John Mench and sixty years ago I was a young man with a wife and a baby girl, a good job in industrial deferment, a brand new home and a mortgage. Inside of a week or two, I had in my hand a ticket to a camp, an Army camp, an industrial deferment that was cancelled. I still had a wife and a baby daughter but they were now living with my wife’s sister, and my home was rented. The only thing that hadn’t changed was the mortgage.
The Debate over the Bomb
Cindy Kelly: Terrific. I am Cindy Kelly, President of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and we are in Rockville, Maryland. The date is Wednesday, October 1st, 2014. I have the privilege of interviewing Rosemary Maiers Lane. The first question is to ask please tell me your name and spell it.
Rosemary Lane: Spell it? Well it’s Rosemary Maiers Lane. Rosemary, R-O-S-E-M-A-R-Y, one word Maiers – my maiden name – M-A-I-E-R-S, and then Lane, L-A-N-E.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. This is Monday, February 16, 2015. We are in Pompano Beach, Florida with Dieter Gruen. I'm going to ask him to please say his name and spell it.
Dieter Gruen: I am Dieter Martin Gruen. D-I-E-T-E-R, M-A-R-T-I-N, G-R-U-E-N.
Kelly: Very good. Anyway, this is an interview about your life but with a focus on the Manhattan Project Experience. In that spirit can you tell us when and where you were born?
Freeman Dyson: I’m Freeman Dyson, F-R-E-E-M-A-N D-Y-S-O-N, retired professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t we start with your experience in World War II? Maybe you could tell us what your role was.
Richard Groves: I’m Richard Hulbert Groves, G-R-O-V-E-S.
Paul Williams: What memories do you have of family life, at least when you were at home?
Val Fitch: My name is Val Logsdon Fitch. It’s V-A-L L-O-G-S-D-O-N F-I-T-C-H. And the Logsdon is my mother’s maiden name. Where Val comes from, I have no idea. Except it was a favorite name of my mother’s.
Cindy Kelly: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you happened to end up at Los Alamos during the war.
Raemer Schreiber: Yes, there was at least one [bomb core], and people back here worked furiously taking the plutonium as it arrived and converting it into another core. I don’t know the answer to it. I have heard stories another core was on its way out at the time of the surrender.
Richard Rhodes: Groves decided not to ship it. I’ve seen the document.
Richard Rhodes: This will be a tape of an interview with Doctor Segrè. That's E-m-i-l-i-o, S-e-g-r-e at his home in Lafayette, California on the 29th of June 1983.
I have been, for example, through the Oppenheimer Papers, I’ve been through the [Leo] Szilard Papers in La Jolla. All of the books, most of the books have errors of one kind or the other.
Segrè: The Oppenheimer Papers, I have never gone through, but you have seen the letters of Oppenheimer?
Richard Rhodes: Interview with Dr. Kistiakowsky in Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 15, 1982.
I have done a great deal of reading into the literature; there are probably two hundred books that are built around the subject that I’ve looked at, including yours, which I enjoyed. Can I go back to some very early things?
George Kistiakowsky: Sure.
Stephane Groueff: We were talking about President Truman.