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von Dennis Theurer

  • Englisch-Referat (12. Klasse)
  • 3 Minuten
  • 13 Punkte

Julius and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg were American citizens and Communist Party members who arose worldwide media attention when they were tried and convicted for spying for the Soviet Union in the so called McCarthy area after the second world war. They were accused of passing nuclear weapon secrets to Russian agents and were thought to be partly responsible for the quick development of the Russian atomic bomb.

Though they kept insisting on being innocent they were sentenced to death and finally executed on the electric chair on the 19th of June in 1953.

The ever since controversial trial rose international protests. Even the Pope Pius XII like many others appealed to spare the couple but failed so save their lives.
The Rosenbergs were the only people being sentenced to death for espionage after the Second World War.

Julius Rosenberg was born on May the 12th in 1918 in New York. He graduated in engineering and later worked on radar equipment. He became leader in the Young Communist League where in 1936 he met his wife Ethel. They married 3 years later and had two sons.

Ethel Rosenberg was born on September the 25th in 1915 in New York where she eventually worked as a secretary for a ship company. Her involvement in labour disputes made her join the Young Communist League where she first met her husband.

The Rosenbergs were both Jews.

During the Cold War Russia shocked the world with their first nuclear test in 1949. Soon the passing of nuclear information was traced back and led to David Greenglass, Ethel’s brother. He was deeply involved in espionage and testified that his sister Ethel as well had passed secrets in order to save his own life and family. After the Rosenberg’s execution it became evident that they indeed were involved in espionage but the information they provided for the Soviet Union were of no importance.

The trial has been in the center of controversy over the communism in the USA ever since. Supporters say that the Rosenberg’s conviction was an example of the hysteria of the Cold War, similar to witch hunting. This hysteria has helped to fuel investigations on those who dared criticise American politics and to make the Korean War acceptable to American people.

In other words the Rosenbergs had to be sacrificed to back up American politics. Also the fact that both of them were Jews fitted in perfectly. So the Case was inescapably a tragedy which ended in an unnecessary and problematic pair of executions.

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