The Manhattan Project

Security & Secrecy

Gerhart Friedlander's Interview

Gerhart Friedlander: My name is Gerhart Friedlander.

Interviewer: What was your role in the Manhattan Project?

Friedlander: I got into the Manhattan Project very early; in fact, before there was an official Manhattan Project. I was a graduate student at Berkeley at the University of California. My thesis advisor was Glenn Seaborg, who later on got a Nobel Prize and became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, but at that time he was just a new instructor and I was his first graduate student. 

Ernest Tremmel's Interview

Ernest Tremmel: I'm Ernie Tremmel. 

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in civil engineering, and I went to work for the Corps of Engineers in St. Louis. One of my bosses was a Captain Powell who, after I was in St. Louis two years, got transferred to a secret project he was going to work on called the Manhattan Project Corps of Engineers.  

Nancy Greenewalt Frederick's Interview (2006)

Nancy Greenewalt Frederick: My father, Crawford Greenewalt, was the only child of Dr. Frank Lindsay Greenewalt and Mary Hallock Greenewalt. Dr. Greenewalt was a physician at Gerard College in Philadelphia, and my father grew up there most of his young life. He went to a German school, what we would call a preschool, run by German monks when he was a child. He says he spoke German before he spoke English. But when he was grown up he could do some German, but he couldn’t speak it.

Hans Bethe's Interview (1982) - Part 2

Hans Bethe: The other was M - A - D, MAD [Mutually Assured Destruction], which essentially says that nuclear weapons make sense only as a safeguard against nuclear weapons. As [Wolfgang] Panofsky has said recently, and there is actually an article by him, "It is not a doctrine. It is a fact of life. Nothing else is possible, whatever you might wish.” So I think you should not present it as something really unavoidable, without any movements in the opposite direction.  

Harry Allen and Robert Van Gemert's Interview

Harry Allen: Mr. Wilson and company set us up a purchase request for a barber chair, because they couldn’t get off work in time to get their hair done.

Robert Van Gemert:  There was only one man cutting hair, I think, up there.

Allen: The barber service was extremely limited, and we just happen to know where there was an old barber chair down in the old engineers’ warehouse. So we sent the truck driver down, and we delivered one barber chair down to the cyclotron building. 

General Kenneth Nichols's Interview - Part 3

General Kenneth Nichols: —found we did not have the authority to satisfy DuPont.

Stephane Groueff: But why did DuPont challenge your authority?

Nichols: Because they had trouble, in World War I, being called munitions makers and investigated after World War I, so they are more conservative than most companies. And they wanted to have in their files copies of our authorities. And what we had, which I have shown you, and that is satisfactory to them.

Groueff: I see.

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