Rudolf Abel: Standing there like that, you remind me of a man who used to come to our house when I was young. My father used to say: “watch this man”, so I did, every time he came. And never once did he do anything remarkable.
James B. Donovan: And I remind you of him?
Rudolf Abel: This one time, I was about the age of your son. Our house was overrun by partisan border guards. Dozens of them. My father was beaten, my mother was beaten, and this man, my father’s friend, he was beaten. And I watched this man. Every time they hit him he stood back up again. So they hit him harder. Still, he got back to his feet. I think because of this they stopped the beating and let him live. “Stoikiy muzhik”. I remember them saying it. “Stoikiy muzhik”. It sort of means like a “standing man”. Standing man.
My name’s Donovan. Irish. Both sides, mother and father. I’m Irish, you’re German. But what makes us both Americans? Just one thing. One, one, one. The rule book. We call it the Constitution and we agree to the rules, and that’s what makes us Americans.