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Executing the Rosenbergs – Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World

Lori Clune


In the summer of 1950, FBI agents arrested Julius Rosenberg and charged him with conspiracy to commit espionage. Specifically the Justice Department accused him of passing—through his brother-in-law—the “secret of the atomic bomb” to the Soviet Union. A few weeks later they charged Julius’s wife Ethel with the same crime to pressure them to name spies. Convicted and sentenced to death at the height of Cold War anti-Communist hysteria, the couple was plunged into a whirlwind of appeals, protests, and propaganda until their executions in June 1953. Their deaths did little to silence protest, how ... More

Keywords: Julius Rosenberg, Ethel Rosenberg, Soviet espionage, atomic bomb, global protest, execution propaganda, State Department, Cold War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190265885
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190265885.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lori Clune, author
Associate Professor of History, California State University, Fresno

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