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THE ROSENBERGS. Background. Soviet Union had developed the atomic bomb far before America had expected it to Americans had to have aided the USSR in order for this to be possible Russians had infiltrated the Manhattan Project.

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Presentation Transcript

Soviet Union had developed the atomic bomb far before America had expected it to

Americans had to have aided the USSR in order for this to be possible

Russians had infiltrated the Manhattan Project

the rosenberg and greenglass involvement and roles in the espionage operation
The Rosenberg and Greenglass Involvement and Roles in the Espionage Operation


Ruth Greenglass – married to David Greenglass ; was a courier part time

David Greenglass – sold secrets to the Soviets by drawing a cross section of the bomb; claims to do that only at the urging of his sister’s husband

Julius Rosenberg – created the espionage plans and recruited David Greenglass to join; activists in the American Communist Party

Ethel Rosenberg – typed out David’s secret notes on her computer while David was away ; activists in the American Communist Party

fbi breaks the spy ring
FBI Breaks the Spy Ring
  • Klaus Fuchs – English scientist worked on atomic bomb was found to be a Russian spy
  • Harry Gold was connected to Fuchs
  • After Gold was arrested, Rosenberg warned Greenglass to escape
    • Greenglass recieves $1000 from Julius Rosenberg
    • Gave him an additional $4000 and urged to leave
    • Greenglass was arrested before he got the chance to leave the U.S.
    • Admitted to have drawn a cross section of the bomb for the USSR
greenglass s testimony
Greenglass’s Testimony
  • Recruited to espionage by Julius Rosenberg
    • Rosenberg’s Reasoning
      • David could help all of humanity by sharing secret of the bomb with the Russians
      • Russians = allies – deserve it just as much as we do
      • It would be disastrous for the world if only one country had atomic bomb
            • It would give that country too much power and control over other countries
  • Rosenberg set up the entire operation
    • He tore up half a Jell-O carton and gave it to his courier
    • The courier would then look for the other courier, who would have the matching half to the carton
    • Ensure that they were delivering information to the right people
julius rosenberg s testimony
Julius Rosenberg’s Testimony
  • Asked multiple questions about the espionage operation
  • Answer was, “I did not” to all of the questions asked, such as:
      • Did he ever give Greenglass the money?
      • Did he know about the Soviet’s project?
      • Did he tear/ know about the Jell-O carton?
      • Did he have any involvement whatsoever in espionage activities?
result of the trial
Result of the Trial
  • Appealed their case after being found guilty
      • Rosenberg did not have enough money to give Greenglass
      • Greenglass was trying to accuse his own family for a more lenient sentence
      • Jury had to decide who to believe: Rosenbergs or Greenglasses -> could not believe both
  • RESULT: Rosenberg’s found guilty (again)
      • Sentenced to death in electric chair (executed on June 19,1953)
  • Greenglass given 15 years in prison, lives under an alias in NYC still today (as of 2008)
  • 1995 – Records of Russian interactions with Americans for the atomic bomb secrets revealed that Julius Rosenberg was in fact a spy
  • 2001 – Greenglass admitted of corroborating his wife’s account of Ethel’s typing
    • He believed that Ruth herself had done the typing
    • That was Ethel’s only offense, meaning that Ethel may have been killed unjustly
works cited

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. 1951. N.p.

"Julius and Ethel Rosenberg." n.d.: n. pag. Print.

Roberts, Sam. "1951: The Rosenberg Trial." New York Times Upfront 18 Apr. 2011: n. pag. Web. 16 May 2014.