Ms. Hengesbach 1 December 2014



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Christian Mullins

English 10

Ms. Hengesbach

1 December 2014

The Rosenberg Case

The execution that stopped all political hysteria during the cold war. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had been executed due to espionage, the background of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the people that helped them and led them to their execution, but most of the information found was not available until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The background of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, explains why they were prosecuted as strictly as they were.There were also other things that lead to the prosecution of the Rosenbergs. The Red Scare was causing paranoia in the atmosphere during this time “The Rosenberg Trial”. The Red Scare was the fear of the spread of communism that most all Americans feared. That is why the government was afraid of the Rosenbergs. Julius joined the army as an engineer-inspector, he later got fired because he was associated with an American communist party. While working for the army Julius started to take notes and key points on the projects that were associated with the atomic bombs. After gaining information he would then send it down to the other associates. Ethel was also associated with the same communist party that Julius was in that started the spy ring circle “The Atom Spy Case”. Since both Julius and Ethel were both associated with the communist spy ring, they got stricter sentences for there crimes of espionage.

The people that helped with the spying were just as guilty as Julius and Ethel, but since the others decided to plead guilty they got lesser consequences than Julius and Ethel. The two main helpers were Harry Gold and David Greenglass that only received prison time. David Greenglass who is Ethel's brother-in-law who worked on the Manhattan project would give key information to Julius about the atomic bomb. David started to give Julius the information after Julius was fired by the army and didn't have a way to get the information himself. David received 15 years in prison because he pleaded guilty. Harry Gold was the person that acted as the leader of the spy ring. Gold would gain the information then give it directly to the communist. Harry Gold received a thirty year sentence for his actions”The Rosenberg Trial”. There was evidence found that if the Rosenbergs would have pleaded guilty,they to would have been put into prison instead of the death penalty”Linder”. Julius and Ethel were issued more severe punishments because, they did not want to plead guilty and also they were the the gatherers of the information “The Atom Spy Case”. In 1953 Julius and Ethel were executed for espionage being the only people in American history”Autumn Ashes, 30”. At the time of the Rosenbergs prosecution there was not much evidence that supported that they were guilty. Since the case was during the time that it was with the political hysteria they got harsher punishments.

The real evidence that Julius and Ethel were involved in a spy ring was not given much proof until the collapse of the Soviet Union. For many years people thought that the United States pushed judgments of the Rosenbergs execution “An Account”. It was not until later that there was proof of the Rosenbergs being guilty, the collapse of the old Soviet Union released sealed materials that the Rosenbergs had given them information on atomic bombs “The Atomic Spy Case”. If the Soviet Union would never of collapsed the United States still would not know if they persecuted the Rosenbergs the right way or not. With this evidence found, people did not judge the government for what they did during this time of hysteria.

This states that the Rosenbergs had been correctly prosecuted with the collapse of the Soviet Union the Rosenberg’s were proven guilty and so were their helpers, their background tied this together. Julius and Ethel had a background that tied them together with the Soviet Union and with the spy ring. When the spy ring collapsed did, the Soviet Union also collapsed shortly after. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the evidence of the Rosenbergs being guilty. This all shows the background and also people that helped with the spy ring and how the collapse of the Soviet Union proved the Rosenberg’s to be guilty of espionage.




Works Cited

Casalaspi, David. "The Cold War Museum." The Rosenberg Trial. Cold War Museum, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

F.B.I. "Atomic Spy Case." The Atomic Spy Case. FBI, 21 May 2010. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Linder, Doug. "Rosenbergs Trial: An Account of the Trial with Links." Rosenbergs Trial: An Account of the Trial with Links. University of Missouri-Kansas City, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Marascia, Salvatore. "Autumn Ashes." Autumn Ashes: (From Presley to Prozac). N.p.: Xlibris Corporation, 2001. 30. Print.


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