Rosenberg Case

(redirected from Julius and Ethel Rosenberg)
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Rosenberg Case,

in U.S. history, a lengthy and controversial espionage case. In 1950, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Julius Rosenberg (1918–53), an electrical engineer who had worked (1940–45) for the U.S. army signal corps, and his wife Ethel (1916–53); they were indicted for conspiracy to transmit classified military information to the Soviet Union. In the trial that followed (Mar., 1951), the government charged that in 1944 and 1945 the Rosenbergs had persuaded Ethel's brother, David Greenglass—an employee at the Los Alamos atomic bomb project—to provide them and a third person, Harry Gold, with top-secret data on nuclear weapons. The chief evidence against the Rosenbergs came from Greenglass and his wife, Ruth.

Both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty (1951) and received the death sentence; Morton Sobell, a codefendant, received a 30-year prison term, as did Harry Gold; and David Greenglass was later sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Despite many court appeals and pleas for executive clemency, the Rosenbergs were executed on June 19, 1953. They became the first U.S. civilians to suffer the death penalty in an espionage trial.

The case aroused much controversy. Many claimed that the political climate made a fair trial impossible and that the only seriously incriminating evidence had come from a confessed spy; others questioned the value of the information transmitted to the Soviet Union and argued that the death penalty was too severe. Communists in the United States and abroad organized a campaign to save the Rosenbergs and received the support of many liberals and religious leaders.

Bibliography

See L. Nizer, The Implosion Conspiracy (1973); R. Radosh and J. Milton, The Rosenberg File (1984); R. and M. Meeropol, We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (2d ed. 1986); S. Roberts, The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair (2001); W. Schneir, Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case (2010); A. M. Hornblum, The Invisible Harry Gold (2010).

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in New York of conspiracy to commit espionage.
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On March 29, 1951, while the United States and the Soviet Union were in the throes of the Cold War, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiring to steal designs for America's atomic bomb and delivering them to Soviet secret agents.
1951: New Yorkers Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty of spying for the USSR.
IN America Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Americans convicted of having given military secrets to the Soviet Union, are executed in the U.
The coincidental fact that the Rosenbergs shared the surname of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg gives their story an additional, if unintentional poignancy.
That was where convicted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed at the height of the Cold War on Jan.
He spoke out following the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were controversially executed for passing atom bomb secrets to the Russians.
1953 Husband and wife Julius and Ethel Rosenberg went to the electric chair in New York, having been found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union.
Historians are seeking the release of US grand jury records in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, whose espionage trial for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union became a defining moment in the Cold War.
ITEM: A Washington Post feature column for December 3 promoted several movies that ostensibly "tackle McCarthyism," including the documentary "Heir to an Execution" by Ivy Meeropol--described as "the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of espionage at the height of the Cold War and executed in 1953.