We are sad to report the passing of our friend Roslyn Robinson. Robinson passed away at the age of 98 on April 22, 2018.
Robinson was born on March 31, 1920, in New York City. She studied psychology at Brooklyn College and became a social worker. In 1942, she married Sidney Robinson, and the couple moved to Chicago to begin working at the Met Lab.
In Chicago, she worked as a driver and in the administrative office. She had various responsibilities, including checking security clearances and working as a chauffeur. In a 2016 interview with AHF, she explained how she got her job in Chicago: “They asked me if I wanted to drive, not only driving, but if I could work in administration. This was my first real job, besides the Cook County social work. I was hired to be part of the administration group. Our office was in Ryerson Hall.”
During her time working on the Manhattan Project, she was not aware of the project’s goals. She did not learn about the atomic bombs until after they were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was the case for many project staff workers. She commented: “There was a lot to talk about in Chicago itself. But nobody ever, as far as I know, said anything about what the project was. The war wasn’t ever talked about.”
In her AHF interview, Robinson also recalled her conflicting feelings about working on the Manhattan Project: “I’m glad I was involved in it, if it was a positive thing. But every time I hear of a story of a Japanese person or their family, then I would feel sort of, should I say, guilty of having been a part of that whole operation.”
In 1944, Roslyn and Sidney left the project. They returned to New York, and she worked as a teacher and social worker in her community.