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The Rosenburg Case
Transcript of The Rosenburg Case
Congress and the McCarran Act
Smith Act 1940 McCarthyism -the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. -characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents. The Rosenberg Trial is the sum of many stories: a story of betrayal, a love story, a spy story, a story of a family torn apart, and a story of government overreaching. As is the case with many famous trials, it is also the story of a particular time: the early 1950's with its cold war tensions and headlines dominated by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Julius Rosenberg was born on May 12, 1918, in New York. He graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering in 1939 and in 1940 joined the Army Signal Corps where he worked on radar equipment. He became a leader in the Young Communist League, where he met Ethel in 1936, before marrying her three years later. Ethel Greenglass was born on September 28, 1915, in New York. She was an aspiring actress and singer, but eventually took a secretarial job at a shipping company. She became involved in labor disputes and joined the Young Communist League, where she first met Julius. The Rosenbergs had two sons, Robert and Michael. On June 17, 1950, Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage after having been named by Sgt. David Greenglass, Ethel's younger brother and a former machinist at Los Alamos, who also confessed to passing secret information to the USSR through a courier, Harry Gold. On August 11, 1950, Ethel was arrested. The trial against the Rosenbergs began on March 6, 1951. From the beginning, the trial attracted a high amount of media attention and generated a largely polarized response from observers, some of whom believed the Rosenbergs to be clearly guilty, and others who asserted their innocence. The Rosenbergs stoically maintained their innocence throughout the length of the trial and appeals. They were executed by the electric chair on June 19, 1953. Julius Rosenburg Ethel Rosenburg The Rosenburgs So Why Is The Rosenburg Story Important? -The Rosenburgs led the biggest espionage organization in the history of the United States
-It also fueled the fire of "The Red Scare" and Joseph McCarthy
-Its a classic, famous, and still controversial example on how communists were viewed. The case began when a scientist named Klaus Fuchs was charged with sending atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The investigation against Fuchs ultimately led to the arrest of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1950. The Rosenbergs were charged with conspiring to pass top-secret information about nuclear science to Soviet agents. Nothing created more concern about international security than the charge that some Americans had helped the Soviets build an atomic bomb. . The case began when a scientist named Klaus Fuchs was charged with sending atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
The investigation against Fuchs ultimately led to the arrest of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1950. The Rosenbergs were charged with conspiring to pass top-secret information about nuclear science to Soviet agents. The trial of the Rosenbergs generated intense controversy in America and around the world. The case against them was largely based on the word of one confessed spy. Pleading innocent, the Rosenbergs claimed that they were being persecuted for being Jewish and for holding unpopular beliefs. To Sum This all up:
* Both were found guilty and sentenced to death. * * Many believed that the harsh sentence was intended as a lever to force them to identify other members of the alleged spy ring. But the Rosenbergs claimed they had no such information.
* All of the media attention helped push McCarthyism
* After 26 months on death row, the Rosenbergs were executed in 1953. Years of debate followed the executions. Some believe that anti-Semitic sentiment did influence the outcome. In the 1900’s, tangible evidence emerged indicating that Julius Rosenberg was guilty. Ethel Rosenberg appears to have played a minor role in the espionage. Many people continue to believe that the death penalty was too severe for the little involvement she may have had. Espionage involves a government or individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSvEbofV0Ze4EHdlIA-o8orQElU3Ey5gP6APj_cj0NpXuYrrRw https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSvEbofV0Ze4EHdlIA-o8orQElU3Ey5gP6APj_cj0NpXuYrrRw https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSuz8Too05zlQ_9PNsXGnRaTOVNALCs6wO7TK__ueiYYbAcgYJJ3Q https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRKuchyTAAkwfbu_H1xS7M8co19qCOgZ8RSropg1Qk0Ih7Amhgg