The legal case, and executions, of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were the top headlines in every newspaper in the world back in the 1950’s. However, in the 1940’s when the story begins, the Soviet Union and the United States were allies against a common world enemy: Hitler’s Germany. The United States v Rosenberg takes place in the aftermath of World War II, at the height of the Cold War. While those headlines cast them as traitors to America and spies for the Soviet Union, much was taking place behind the scenes that brings into question whether this was law applied correctly or perhaps a miscarriage of justice? Were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg equally accountable? Were they the only ones involved in sharing secret documents with the Russians?
In this lecture, Professor David Goldenberg will discuss the events that led to this ruling. The story begins back in the Russian Empire in the late 19th Century and carries an impact across time to World War II and the Cold War. Only recently have documents been declassified that shed light on this moment in history.