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TITLE OF VIDEO:

The Rosenberg Case: Case Closed


VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

1. Why did the United States become suspicious of communist Russia, also called the Soviet Union, our wartime ally during World War II?

2. What interests did Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have in common that led them to get married?

3. Of what benefit was the proximity fuse, a radar device used with anti-aircraft artillery and bombs in World War II's Allied victory? To what intelligence disaster did it contribute?

4. What was the Venona Program and how did it relate to the Rosenbergs?

5. Why did Lona Cohen say she was willing to engage in espionage for the Soviets after America achieved atomic capability?

6. On what evidence was the charge against Ethel Rosenberg based?

7. Morton Sobell and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. What were the sentences imposed upon the following defendants? If possible, state the rationale for each sentence.

- Harry Gold

- Morton Sobell

- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

- David Greenglass

- Klaus Fuchs
8. Why did supporters of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg try to convince the government that their lives should be spared?

9. Why did prosecutors for the federal government want a death sentence in the case of Julius Rosenberg?

10. What conclusion can be drawn about the quality of American intelligence from the Venona documents?

DiscoverySchool.com

http://www.discoveryschool.com
Copyright 2001 Discovery.com.

Teachers may reproduce copies of these materials for classroom use only. See next page for answers.





The Rosenberg Case: Case Closed
VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

1. Why did the United States become suspicious of communist Russia, also called the Soviet Union, our wartime ally during World War II?

The United States became suspicious of the Soviet Union when it refused to hand over its strategic plans and vital military secrets.



2. What interests did Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have in common that led them to get married?

Julius and Ethel had a shared passion for progressive political causes.



3. Of what benefit was the proximity fuse, a radar device used with anti-aircraft artillery and bombs in World War II's Allied victory? To what intelligence disaster did it contribute?

The proximity fuse increased the probability of shooting down enemy aircraft by as much as 20 times. It also contributed to the downing of an American pilot over the Soviet Union in 1960. This crisis, later known as the U-2 incident, would serve to heighten tensions between the superpowers as the Eisenhower administration came to a close.



4. What was the Venona Program and how did it relate to the Rosenbergs?

Venona was a top-secret program designed to break the Soviet code used to transmit cables between Moscow and America during World War II. Julius Rosenberg's code name was in one of the first cables decoded from the Soviet consulate in New York.



5. Why did Lona Cohen say she was willing to engage in espionage for the Soviets after America achieved atomic capability?

Lona Cohen stated, “If both sides were equal, America and the Soviet Union, there will never be another war. I never felt I was an enemy of them. I felt I was protecting them.”



6. On what evidence was the charge against Ethel Rosenberg based?

Ruth Greenglass testified that Ethel had typed information stolen by her bother from the Los Alamos atomic bomb lab so it could be transmitted to the Soviets.



7. Morton Sobell and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. What were the sentences imposed upon the following defendants? If possible, state the rationale for each sentence.

- Harry Gold

- Morton Sobell

- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

- David Greenglass

- Klaus Fuchs
- Harry Gold was sentenced to 30 years in prison because he did not know the importance of the secrets he was revealing.

- Morton Sobell spent 30 years in Alcatraz Prison. Although he was found guilty of espionage relating to avionics and electronics, it was never proved that he passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death. The judge felt their crime was worse than murder.

- David Greenglass was sentenced to 15 years in prison in return for cooperating with the government.

- Klaus Fuchs served 14 years in the British prison system. British sentencing was generally more lenient than that of the American judicial system in the area of espionage. In Britain, it was understood that the atomic powers would use spies to obtain each other's secrets.
8. Why did supporters of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg try to convince the government that their lives should be spared?

Rosenberg supporters believed that Julius and Ethel were the victims of a McCarthy witch-hunt.



9. Why did prosecutors for the federal government want a death sentence in the case of Julius Rosenberg?

Prosecutors wanted a death sentence to show the seriousness of the case and to force Julius to reveal the names that he knew from the Venona cable.



10. What conclusion can be drawn about the quality of American intelligence from the Venona documents?

The Venona documents showed that the most important atomic spies had not been prosecuted in America. They had gotten away. Venona revealed failures in the American intelligence community.



DiscoverySchool.com

http://www.discoveryschool.com
Copyright 2001 Discovery.com.

Teachers may reproduce copies of these materials for classroom use only.


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