JULIUS AND ETHEL ROSENBERG
In 1951, Jewish-Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried and convicted of espionage against the government of the United States for stealing and providing secret information to the Soviet Union. The information was about American military secrets and may have included information about American advancements in the development of the atomic bomb. Julius Rosenberg was an electrical engineer who worked for the Army Signal Corps, which allowed him access to technical information and to other people who were working on military related projects. After being discovered, Julius and Ethel underwent a very public trial which ended with their execution for “anti-American” activities. The couple became the first American citizens to be to be executed for espionage in the United States.
Espionage was common during the Cold War. It was a key tool that helped both superpowers (the United States and the Soviet Union) in their policies to expand their influence. These countries conducted espionage against each other and other countries to get information on subjects such as military secrets, government secrets; or economic secrets.