Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is Thursday July 17, 2014. I am in the lovely home Vera Kistiakowsky, and the first question I have for Vera is to tell me your name and spell it.
Life in the Secret Cities
Stephane Groueff: I want to start from the beginning. My book, I intend to start with the year 1942 because otherwise, there is no limit. A few months before the Manhattan District and decision to go—
J. Robert Oppenheimer: The decision was actually made on December 6, to take the thing seriously.
Groueff: After Pearl Harbor?
Oppenheimer: Before Pearl Harbor.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and I'm in Ithaca, New York. It is Wednesday, June 11, 2014. And I have with me Rose Bethe. And I'm going to start by asking Rose to tell us her name and spell it.
Rose Bethe: My name is Rose Bethe. It's spelled B as in boy, E, T as in Tom, H, E.
Richard Rhodes: There are two particular themes that I am interested in that I know you were involved with very much. Anything else that you remember that you would want to talk about would be wonderful. One is the developing of computing. Los Alamos made a major contribution to the development of computing in the world. The other has to do with the period around the invention of the two-stage thermonuclear weapon. Could you talk about your experience with those things?
William Lowe: I was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in the year 1920. Within a few years, my parents had moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where I grew up. But upon reaching 18, I went to college at Purdue University. It was 700 miles from home. By train, it took a day.
I would say that my 93 years have been dominated by atomic bombs, war, in particular World War II, and later by people uses of atomic energy. What I will do is try to convey, more or less chronologically, what happened.
Robert Holmberg: I’m Robert W. Holmberg, H-O-L-M-B-E-R-G, Bob Holmberg. And I like to tell people I’ve never had an honest job. I’ve worked for the Manhattan Project or its predecessors all my life. I’m an Iowan by birth; Fort Dodge, Iowa. As a little boy I was interested in chemistry. I went to college and got my degree at Ames, Iowa. Iowa State College then, it is Iowa State University now.
Cindy Kelly: Okay, it is Friday, February 7, 2014. We’re here in Alexandria, Virginia. My name is Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. I’m interviewing the daughter of Colonel Heflin, and she is here. Please tell us your name.
Cathy Dvorak: Cathy Dvorak.
Kelly: And spell it please.
Dvorak: D as in David, V as in Victor, O-R-A-K.
Kelly: And Cathy, how do you spell it?
[Interviewed by Cynthia Kelly and Tom Zannes.]
Robert Kupp: My name is Robert William Kupp. Did you say spell it?
Kupp: Robert William K-U-P-P. And the age is eighty-two. I’ll be eighty-three next month in July.
So, Mr. Kupp, I wanted to know, what were you doing before you came to the Secret City?
Alexandra Levy: Okay, this is Alexandra Levy with the Atomic Heritage Foundation, and we are here on December 27 in Florida with Richard Renner. My first question is to please say your name and to spell it.
Richard Renner: Okay, my name is Richard, and Renner is spelled R-E-N-N-E-R, it is palindromic.
Levy: Can you tell us a little bit about where and when you were born?
Renner: I was born in Gettysburg after the battle. And, that was in 19 [laughs], 19, oh, this is bad, isn’t it, 1927.
Cindy Kelly: It is January 14, 2014, and we are in St. Louis, Missouri. And I want to ask the first question of you, which is to tell us your name and spell it.
Dunell Cohn: My complete name is Dunell Edlin Cohn, D-U-N-E-L-L. Edlin is E-D-L-I-N. And the last name is Cohn, C-O-H-N.
Kelly: Very good.