The day the trial of the Rosenbergs started – level 2


The atomic bomb which the Americans developed helped to end the war with Japan. It also gave the United States a military advantage over the rest of the world. However, this advantage didn’t last long.

In 1949, the Soviets secretly tested their nuclear weapon. It was a shock to the Americans.

They experienced another shock when their plane took air samples over the Pacific shortly after the explosion. The samples showed that the Soviet bomb was a copy of the bomb which the Americans dropped on Nagasaki four years earlier.

The Americans understood that somebody gave the Soviets the information on how to create an atomic bomb.

Soon after, the FBI arrested a worker at a laboratory where nuclear weapons were made. He told them the truth and he started to work with the FBI. He told the FBI the names of other Russian agents.

The most important agent was Julius Rosenberg. He was a leader of other agents who gave him secret information about military technology. Rosenberg was arrested and taken to court.

On March 6, 1951, the trial began with him and his wife. The result of the trial was a death sentence for both of them.

Difficult words: advantage (something good which you have and others don’t have), last (to take time), sample (a small part of something), court (the place where the judge works), trial (a process in a court), sentence (a punishment).

Who gave the Soviet Union information about how to create an atomic bomb?


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