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On this day

Spies in the electric chair

Rosenbergs “had provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb.”, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, recalled in his memoirs.
The trial of the Rosenberg couple, causing a big stir, began on March 6, 1951. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

The Rosenberg couple was sentenced to death. The unusually severe verdict caused quite a stir all over the world. Many people saw the case as a witch hunt or a show-trial. Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and Pope Pius XII all spoke against the death penalty, but to no avail as President Eisenhower refused the pleas. With their death sentences carried out on June 19, 1953, the Rosenbergs were unique in being the first two civilians executed for spying against the USA.

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