7 March 1950

Cold War: The Soviet Union issues a statement denying that Klaus Fuchs served as a Soviet spy.

Klaus Fuchs
Klaus Fuchs - police photograph.jpg
Police photograph of Klaus Fuchs (c. 1940)
Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs

(1911-12-29)29 December 1911
Died28 January 1988(1988-01-28) (aged 76)
CitizenshipGermany, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
University of Kiel
University of Bristol
University of Edinburgh
Spouse(s)Grete Keilson (1959–1988)
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical physics
InstitutionsLos Alamos National Laboratory
Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment
Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf
Doctoral advisorNevill Mott

Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs (29 December 1911 – 28 January 1988) was a German theoretical physicist and atomic spy who supplied information from the American, British, and Canadian Manhattan Project to the Soviet Union during and shortly after World War II. While at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fuchs was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons and, later, early models of the hydrogen bomb. After his conviction in 1950, he served nine years in prison in the United Kingdom and then moved to East Germany where he resumed his career as a physicist and scientific leader.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Fuchs attended the University of Leipzig, where his father was a professor of theology, and became involved in student politics, joining the student branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, the SPD's paramilitary organisation. He was expelled from the SPD in 1932, and joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). He went into hiding after the 1933 Reichstag fire, and fled to the United Kingdom, where he received his PhD from the University of Bristol under the supervision of Nevill Mott, and his DSc from the University of Edinburgh, where he worked as an assistant to Max Born.

After the Second World War broke out in Europe, he was interned in the Isle of Man, and later in Canada. After he returned to Britain in 1941, he became an assistant to Rudolf Peierls, working on "Tube Alloys"—the British atomic bomb project. He began passing information on the project to the Soviet Union through Ruth Kuczynski, codenamed "Sonia", a German communist and a major in Soviet Military Intelligence who had worked with Richard Sorge's spy ring in the Far East. In 1943, Fuchs and Peierls went to Columbia University, in New York City, to work on the Manhattan Project. In August 1944, Fuchs joined the Theoretical Physics Division at the Los Alamos Laboratory, working under Hans Bethe. His chief area of expertise was the problem of implosion, necessary for the development of the plutonium bomb. After the war, he returned to the UK and worked at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell as head of the Theoretical Physics Division.

In January 1950, Fuchs confessed that he was a spy. A British court sentenced him to fourteen years' imprisonment and stripped him of his British citizenship. He was released in 1959, after serving nine years, and emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), where he was elected to the Academy of Sciences and became a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) central committee. He was later appointed deputy director of the Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf, where he served until he retired in 1979.

Early life

Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs was born in Rüsselsheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse, on 29 December 1911, the third of four children of a Lutheran pastor, Emil Fuchs, and his wife Else Wagner.[1][2] He had an older brother Gerhard, an older sister Elisabeth, and a younger sister, Kristel. The family moved to Eisenach, where Fuchs attended the Gymnasium, and took his Abitur. At school, Fuchs and his siblings were taunted over his father's unpopular political views, which they came to share. They became known as the "red foxes", Fuchs being the German word for fox.[3]

Fuchs entered the University of Leipzig in 1930,[4] where his father was a professor of theology. He became involved in student politics, joining the student branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), a party that his father had joined in 1912, and the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, the party's paramilitary organisation.[5] His father took up a new position as professor of religion at the Pedagogical Academy in Kiel, and in the autumn Fuchs transferred to the University of Kiel, which his brother Gerhard and sister Elisabeth also attended. Fuchs continued his studies in mathematics and physics at the university.[6] In October 1931, his mother committed suicide by drinking hydrochloric acid. The family later discovered that his maternal grandmother had also taken her own life.[3][2]

In the March 1932 German presidential election, the SPD supported Paul von Hindenburg for President, fearing that a split vote would hand the job to the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) candidate, Adolf Hitler. However, when the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) ran its own candidate, Ernst Thälmann, Fuchs offered to speak for him, and was expelled from the SPD. That year Fuchs and all three of his siblings joined the KPD.[3] Fuchs and his brother Gerhard were active speakers at public meetings, and occasionally attempted to disrupt NSDAP gatherings.[6] At one such gathering, Fuchs was beaten up and thrown into the river.[7]

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Fuchs decided to leave Kiel, where the NSDAP was particularly strong and he was a well-known KPD member. He enrolled at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin. On 28 February, he took an early train to Berlin for a KPD meeting there. On the train, he read about the Reichstag fire in a newspaper. Fuchs correctly assumed that opposition parties would be blamed for the fire, and quietly removed his hammer and sickle lapel pin.[6][7]

The KPD meeting in Berlin was held in secret. Fellow party members urged him to continue his studies in another country. He went into hiding for five months in the apartment of a fellow party member. In August 1933, he attended an anti-fascist conference in Paris chaired by Henri Barbusse, where he met an English couple, Ronald and Jessie Gunn, who invited Fuchs to stay with them in Clapton, Somerset. He was expelled from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in October 1933.[6][7]

Refugee in Britain

Fuchs arrived in England on 24 September 1933. Jessie Gunn was a member of the Wills family, the heirs to Imperial Tobacco and benefactors of the University of Bristol. She arranged for Fuchs to meet Nevill Mott, Bristol's professor of physics, and he agreed to take Fuchs on as a research assistant.[8] Fuchs earned his Ph.D. in physics there in 1937. A paper on "A Quantum Mechanical Calculation of the Elastic Constants of Monovalent Metals" was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1936.[9] By this time, Mott had a number of German refugees working for him, and lacked positions for them all. He did not think that Fuchs would make much of a teacher, so he arranged a research post for Fuchs, at the University of Edinburgh working under Max Born, who was himself a German refugee. Fuchs published papers with Born on "The Statistical Mechanics of Condensing Systems" and "On Fluctuations in Electromagnetic radiation" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. He also received a Doctorate in Science degree from Edinburgh. Fuchs proudly mailed copies back to his father in Germany.[10]

In Germany, Emil had been dismissed from his academic post, and, disillusioned with the Lutheran Church's support of the NSDAP, had become a Quaker in 1933.[7] He was arrested for speaking out against the government, but was only held for one month. Elisabeth married a fellow communist, Gustav Kittowski, with whom she had a child they named Klaus.[11] Elisabeth and Kittowski were arrested in 1933, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, but were freed at Christmas. Gerhard and his wife Karin were arrested in 1934, and spent the next two years in prison. Gerhard, Karin, Elisabeth and Kittowski established a car rental agency in Berlin, which they used to smuggle Jews and opponents of the government out of Germany.[11]

After Emil was arrested in 1933, Kristel fled to Zurich, where she studied education and psychology at the University of Zurich. She returned to Berlin in 1934, where she too worked at the car rental agency. In 1936, Emil arranged with Quaker friends in the United States for Kristel to attend Swarthmore College there. She visited Fuchs in England en route to America, where she eventually married an American communist, Robert Heineman, and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became a permanent resident in the United States in May 1938.[12][13][14] In 1936, Kittowski and Elisabeth were arrested again, and the rental cars were impounded. Gerhard and Karin fled to Czechoslovakia. Elisabeth was released and went to live with Emil, while Kittowski, sentenced to six years, later escaped from prison and also made his way to Czechoslovakia. In August 1939,[15] Elisabeth committed suicide by throwing herself from a train, leaving Emil to raise young Klaus.[14][13]

Second World War

Fuchs applied to become a British citizen in August 1939, but his application had not been processed before the Second World War broke out in Europe in September 1939. There was a classification system for enemy aliens, but Born provided Fuchs with a reference that said that he had been a member of the SPD from 1930 to 1932, and an anti-Nazi. There matters stood until June 1940, when the police arrived and took Fuchs into custody. He was first interned on the Isle of Man and then, in July, he was sent to an internment camp in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. During his internment in 1940, he continued to work and published four more papers with Born: The Mass Centre in Relativity, Reciprocity, Part II: Scalar Wave Functions, Reciprocity, Part III: Reciprocal Wave Functions and Reciprocity, Part IV: Spinor Wave Functions, and one by himself, On the Statistical Method in Nuclear Theory.[16]

Poynting Physics building at the University of Birmingham

While interned in Quebec, he joined a communist discussion group led by Hans Kahle.[17] Kahle was a KPD member who had fought in the Spanish Civil War. After fleeing to Britain with his family, Kahle had helped Jürgen Kuczynski organise the KPD in Britain.[18] Kristel arranged for Israel Halperin, the brother-in-law of a friend of hers, Wendell H. Furry, to bring Fuchs some magazines. Max Born lobbied for his release. On Christmas Day 1940, Fuchs and Kahle were among the first group of internees to board a ship to return to Britain.[17]

Fuchs returned to Edinburgh in January, and resumed working for Born.[19] In May 1941, he was approached by Rudolf Peierls of the University of Birmingham to work on the "Tube Alloys" programme – the British atomic bomb research project. Despite wartime restrictions, he was granted British citizenship on 7 August 1942 and signed an Official Secrets Act declaration form.[19][20] As accommodation was scarce in wartime Birmingham, he stayed with Rudolf and Genia Peierls.[21] Fuchs and Peierls did some important work together, which included a fundamental paper about isotope separation.[22]

Soon after, Fuchs contacted Jürgen Kuczynski, who was now teaching at the London School of Economics. Kuczynski put him in contact with Simon Davidovitch Kremer (codename: "Alexander"), the secretary to the military attaché at the Soviet Union's embassy, who worked for the GRU (Russian: Главное Разведывательное Управление), the Red Army's foreign military intelligence directorate. After three meetings, Fuchs was teamed up with a courier so he would not have to find excuses to travel to London. She was Ruth Kuczynski (codename: "Sonia"), the sister of Jürgen Kuczynski. She was a German communist, a major in Soviet Military Intelligence and an experienced agent who had worked with Richard Sorge's spy ring in the Far East.[23]

In late 1943, Fuchs (codename: "Rest"; he became "Charles" in May 1944)[24] transferred along with Peierls to Columbia University, in New York City, to work on gaseous diffusion as a means of uranium enrichment for the Manhattan Project.[25] Although Fuchs was "an asset" of GRU in Britain, his "control" was transferred to the NKGB (Russian: Народный Kомиссариат Государственной Безопасности), the Soviet Union's civilian intelligence organisation, when he moved to New York. He spent Christmas 1943 with Kristel and her family in Cambridge.[26] He was contacted by Harry Gold (codename: "Raymond"), an NKGB agent in early 1944.[27]

Los Alamos ID badge

From August 1944, Fuchs worked in the Theoretical Physics Division at the Los Alamos Laboratory, under Hans Bethe. His chief area of expertise was the problem of imploding the fissionable core of the plutonium bomb. At one point, Fuchs did calculation work that Edward Teller had refused to do because of lack of interest.[28] He was the author of techniques (such as the still-used method) for calculating the energy of a fissile assembly that goes highly prompt critical,[29] and his report on blast waves is still considered a classic.[30] Fuchs was one of the many Los Alamos scientists present at the Trinity test in July 1945.[31] In April 1946 he attended a conference at Los Alamos that discussed the possibility of a thermonuclear weapon; one month later, he filed a patent with John von Neumann, describing a method to initiate fusion in a thermonuclear weapon with an implosion trigger.[32] Bethe considered Fuchs "one of the most valuable men in my division" and "one of the best theoretical physicists we had."[30]

Fuchs, who was known as "Karl" rather than "Klaus" at Los Alamos, dated grade school teachers Evelyn Kline and Jean Parker. He befriended Richard Feynman. Fuchs and Peierls were the only members of the British Mission to Los Alamos who owned cars, and Fuchs lent his Buick to Feynman so Feynman could visit his dying wife in hospital in Albuquerque.[33]

Klaus Fuchs's main courier was Harry Gold. Allen Weinstein, the author of The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999), has pointed out: "The NKVD had chosen Gold, an experienced group handler, as Fuchs' contact on the grounds that it was safer than having him meet directly with a Russian operative, but Semyon Semyonov was ultimately responsible for the Fuchs relationship."[34]

Gold reported after his first meeting with Klaus Fuchs:

He (Fuchs) obviously worked with our people before and he is fully aware of what he is doing. … He is a mathematical physicist … most likely a very brilliant man to have such a position at his age (he looks about 30). We took a long walk after dinner. … He is a member of a British mission to the U.S. working under the direct control of the U.S. Army. … The work involves mainly separating the isotopes... and is being done thusly: The electronic method has been developed at Berkeley, California, and is being carried out at a place known only as Camp Y. … Simultaneously, the diffusion method is being tried here in the East. … Should the diffusion method prove successful, it will be used as a preliminary step in the separation, with the final work being done by the electronic method. They hope to have the electronic method ready early in 1945 and the diffusion method in July 1945, but (Fuchs) says the latter estimate is optimistic. (Fuchs) says there is much being withheld from the British. Even Niels Bohr, who is now in the country incognito as Nicholas Baker, has not been told everything.[35]

Post war

At the request of Norris Bradbury, who had replaced Robert Oppenheimer as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in October 1945, Fuchs stayed on at the laboratory into 1946 to help with preparations for the Operation Crossroads weapons tests. The US Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (McMahon Act) prohibited the transfer of information on nuclear research to any foreign country, including Britain, without explicit official authority, and Fuchs supplied highly classified U.S. information to nuclear scientists in Britain as well as to his Soviet contacts. As of 2014, British official files on Fuchs were still being withheld.[36][37]

He was highly regarded as a scientist by the British, who wanted him to return to the United Kingdom to work on Britain's post-war nuclear weapons programme.[38] He returned in August 1946 and became the head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell.[39] From late 1947 to May 1949 he gave Alexander Feklisov, his Soviet case officer, the principal theoretical outline for creating a hydrogen bomb and the initial drafts for its development as the work progressed in England and America. Meeting with Feklisov six times, he provided the results of the test at Eniwetok Atoll of uranium and plutonium bombs and the key data on production of uranium-235.[40]

Also in 1947, Fuchs attended a conference of the Combined Policy Committee (CPC), a committee created to facilitate exchange of atomic secrets at the highest levels of governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada; Donald Maclean, another Soviet spy, was also in attendance as British co-secretary of CPC.[41]


By September 1949, information from the Venona project indicated to GCHQ that Fuchs was a spy,[42] but the British intelligence services were wary of indicating the source of their information. The Soviets had broken off contact with him in February.[43] Fuchs may have been subsequently tipped off by Kim Philby. In October 1949, Fuchs approached Henry Arnold, the head of security at Harwell, with the news that his father had been given a chair at the University of Leipzig in East Germany.[44]

Under interrogation by MI5 officer William Skardon at an informal meeting in December 1949, Fuchs initially denied being a spy and was not detained.[45] In January 1950, Fuchs arranged another interview with Skardon and voluntarily confessed that he was a spy.[46] Three days later, he also directed a statement more technical in content to Michael Perrin, the deputy controller of atomic energy within the Ministry of Supply.[47] Fuchs told interrogators that the NKGB had acquired an agent in Berkeley, California, who had informed the Soviet Union about electromagnetic separation research of uranium-235 in 1942 or earlier.[48] Fuchs's statements to British and American intelligence agencies were used to implicate Harry Gold,[49] a key witness in the trials of David Greenglass and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the United States.[50]

Fuchs later testified that he passed detailed information on the project to the Soviet Union through courier Harry Gold in 1945, and further information about Edward Teller's unworkable "Super" design for a hydrogen bomb in 1946 and 1947.[51]

Value of Fuchs's data to the Soviet project

Hans Bethe once said that Klaus Fuchs was the only physicist he knew who truly changed history.[40] Because the head of the Soviet project, Lavrenti Beria, used foreign intelligence as a third-party check, rather than giving it directly to the scientists, as he did not trust the information by default, it is unknown whether Fuchs's fission information had a substantial effect. Considering that the pace of the Soviet program was set primarily by the amount of uranium they could procure, it is hard for scholars to accurately judge how much time this saved.[52]

According to On a Field of Red, a history of the Comintern (Communist International) by Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald, Fuchs's greatest contribution to the Soviets may have been disclosing how uranium could be processed for use in a bomb. Fuchs gave Gold technical information in January 1945 that was acquired only after two years of experimentation at a cost of $400 million. Fuchs also disclosed the amount of uranium or plutonium the Americans planned to use in each atomic bomb.[53]

Whether the information Fuchs passed relating to the hydrogen bomb would have been useful is still debated. Most scholars agree with Hans Bethe's 1952 assessment, which concluded that by the time Fuchs left the thermonuclear program in mid-1946, too little was known about the mechanism of the hydrogen bomb for his information to be useful to the Soviet Union. The successful Teller-Ulam design was not devised until 1951. Soviet physicists later noted that they could see as well as the Americans eventually did that the early designs by Fuchs and Edward Teller were useless.[54]

Later archival work by Soviet physicist German Goncharov suggested that while Fuchs's early work did not help Soviet efforts towards the hydrogen bomb, it was closer to the final correct solution than anyone recognized at the time—and indeed spurred Soviet research into useful problems that eventually provided the correct answer. Since most of Fuchs's work on the bomb, including a 1946 patent on a particular model for the weapon, are still classified in the United States, it has been difficult for scholars to fully assess these conclusions. In any case, it seems clear that Fuchs could not have just given the Soviets the "secret" to the hydrogen bomb, since he did not actually know it himself.[55]

Trial and imprisonment

It is likely that Fuchs' espionage led the U.S. to cancel a 1950 Anglo-American plan to give Britain American-made atomic bombs.[56] He was prosecuted by Sir Hartley Shawcross,[57] and was convicted on 1 March 1950 of four counts of breaking the Official Secrets Act by "...communicating information to a potential enemy."[58] After a trial lasting less than 90 minutes based on his confession, Lord Goddard sentenced him to fourteen years' imprisonment, the maximum for espionage, because the Soviet Union was classed as an ally at the time.[59] In December 1950, he was stripped of his British citizenship.[60] The head of the British H-bomb project, Sir William Penney, visited Fuchs in prison in 1952.[61]

While imprisoned he was friendly with Irish Republican Army prisoner Seamus Murphy whom he played chess with and helped escape.[62][63] It was suggested by some that Fuchs had turned IRA leader Cathal Goulding into a Marxist but Seamus Murphy denied this saying "Fuchs never tried to turn anyone – it was hard to get a word out of him!".[64]

Fuchs was released on 23 June 1959, after serving nine years and four months of his sentence (as then required in England where long-term prisoners were entitled by law to one-third off for good behaviour in prison) at Wakefield Prison and promptly emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (GDR).[65]

Career in East Germany

On arrival at Berlin Schönefeld Airport in the GDR, Fuchs was met by Grete (Margarete) Keilson, a friend from his years as a student communist. They were married on 9 September 1959.[66]

In the GDR, Fuchs continued his scientific career and achieved considerable prominence as a leader of research. He became a member of the SED central committee in 1967, and in 1972 was elected to the Academy of Sciences where from 1974 to 1978 he was the head of the research area of physics, nuclear and materials science; he was then appointed deputy director of the Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf, where he served until he retired in 1979. From 1984, Fuchs was head of the scientific councils for energetic basic research and for fundamentals of microelectronics. He received the Patriotic Order of Merit, the Order of Karl Marx and the National Prize of East Germany.[67]

The grave of Klaus Fuchs in Berlin

A tutorial Fuchs gave to Qian Sanqiang and other Chinese physicists helped them to develop the first Chinese atomic bomb, the 596, which was tested five years later—according to Thomas Reed and Daniel Stillman, the authors of The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation (2009).[68] Three historians of nuclear weapons history, Robert S. Norris, Jeremy Bernstein, and Peter D. Zimmerman, challenged this particular assertion as "unsubstantiated conjecture"[69] and asserted that The Nuclear Express is "an ambitious but deeply flawed book".[70]


Fuchs died in Berlin on 28 January 1988. He was cremated and his ashes buried in the "Pergolenweg" of the Socialists' Memorial in Berlin's Friedrichsfelde Cemetery.[71][72]

In popular culture

A documentary film about Fuchs, Väter der tausend Sonnen (Fathers of a Thousand Suns) was released in 1990.[73]


  1. ^ Williams 1987, pp. 10-13.
  2. ^ a b Flowers, Mary. "Fuchs, (Emil Julius) Klaus (1911–1988)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40698. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b c Moss 1987, pp. 4–8.
  4. ^ Williams 1987, p. 14.
  5. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 4–7.
  6. ^ a b c d Laucht 2012, pp. 83–85.
  7. ^ a b c d Moss 1987, pp. 10–12.
  8. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 12–13.
  9. ^ Proc. Roy. Soc. A vol. 153 no. 880 (1 February 1936), pp. 622-639.
  10. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 19–20.
  11. ^ a b Williams 1987, pp. 17–18.
  12. ^ "[Lamphere to Gardner], "Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs", aka; Karl Fuchs," 26 September 1949, National Security Agency, Venona Collection at 49–029". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  13. ^ a b Williams 1987, pp. 16–18.
  14. ^ a b Moss 1987, pp. 17–18.
  15. ^ Laucht 2012, p. 15.
  16. ^ O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. (July 2008). "Emil Klaus Julius Fuchs". University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  17. ^ a b Moss 1987, pp. 21–26.
  18. ^ Williams 1987, pp. 33–34.
  19. ^ a b Greenspan 2005, pp. 238–239.
  20. ^ Moss 1987, p. 43.
  21. ^ Moss 1987, p. 34.
  22. ^ Bernstein 2010, p. 43.
  23. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 51, 57, 63.
  24. ^ Laucht 2012, p. 204.
  25. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 46–47.
  26. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 103–105.
  27. ^ Williams 1987, pp. 70–73.
  28. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 117–119.
  29. ^ "The Fuchs-Nordheim model and pulsing characteristics". IAEA. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  30. ^ a b Szasz 1992, p. 89.
  31. ^ Rhodes 1995, p. 175.
  32. ^ Bernstein 2010, pp. 43–46.
  33. ^ Szasz 1992, pp. 35, 90–91.
  34. ^ Weinstein & Vassiliev 1999, pp. 186–187.
  35. ^ Trenear-Harvey 2011, pp. 74–75.
  36. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (13 June 2014). "The Spy Who Changed the World by Mike Rossiter – review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  37. ^ Laucht 2012, pp. 78, 101.
  38. ^ Laucht 2012, pp. 75–76.
  39. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 93–94.
  40. ^ a b Rhodes 1995, p. 259.
  41. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 300–301.
  42. ^ Goodman 2005, pp. 126–128.
  43. ^ Rhodes 1995, p. 377.
  44. ^ Goodman 2005, pp. 128–129.
  45. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 134–136.
  46. ^ Goodman 2005, pp. 130–131.
  47. ^ Williams 1987, pp. 124–126.
  48. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 411–412.
  49. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 425–428.
  50. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 479–481.
  51. ^ Rhodes 1995, pp. 244–246.
  52. ^ Holloway 1994, pp. 220–224.
  53. ^ Brown & MacDonald 1981, pp. 626–627.
  54. ^ Bernstein 2010, pp. 49–50.
  55. ^ Goncharov 1996, pp. 1033–1044.
  56. ^ Baylis 1995, p. 76.
  57. ^ Williams 1987, pp. 129–130.
  58. ^ Goodman 2005, p. 132.
  59. ^ Moss 1987, pp. 158–165.
  60. ^ Moss 1987, p. 184.
  61. ^ Laucht 2012, p. 79.
  62. ^ "IRA prisoner on life sentence who escaped from Wakefield prison". www.irishtimes.com.
  63. ^ O’Shea, Helen (16 October 2014). "Ireland and the End of the British Empire: The Republic and its Role in the Cyprus Emergency". I.B.Tauris – via Google Books.
  64. ^ Hanley, Brian; Millar, Scott (3 September 2009). "The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party". Penguin UK – via Google Books.
  65. ^ Hoffmann 2009, p. 416.
  66. ^ Rossiter 2014, pp. 311–313.
  67. ^ Laucht 2012, p. 175.
  68. ^ Reed 2008, pp. 52–53.
  69. ^ Norris, Bernstein & Zimmerman 2009, p. 296.
  70. ^ Norris, Bernstein & Zimmerman 2009, p. 293.
  71. ^ Pace, Eric (29 January 1988). "Klaus Fuchs, Physicist Who Gave Atom Secrets to Soviet, Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  72. ^ "Klaus Fuchs". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  73. ^ "Väter der tausend Sonnen". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2 May 2018.


Further reading

  • Brinson, Charmian; Dove, Richard (2014). A Matter of Intelligence. MI5 and the Surveillance of Anti–Nazi Refugees 1933–50. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-9079-0. (discusses the case of Fuchs, based on now available MI5 'Personal Files')
  • Friedmann, Ronald (2006). Klaus Fuchs. Der Mann, der kein Spion war. Das Leben des Kommunisten und Wissenschaftlers Klaus Fuchs (in German). Rostock: Koch. ISBN 3-938686-44-8. OCLC 153884248.
  • Greenspan, Nancy (2020). Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0593083390.
  • Kojevnikov, Alexei (2004). Stalin's Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists. London: Imperial College Press. ISBN 1-86094-420-5. OCLC 539098325. (discusses use of Fuchs's passed on information by Soviets, based on now-declassified files)

External links

7 March 1936

In violation of the Locarno Pact and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.

The remilitarization of the Rhineland by the German Army began on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, marking the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this region. The remilitarization changed the balance of power in Europe from France and its allies towards Germany, making it possible for Germany to pursue a policy of aggression in Western Europe that the demilitarized status of the Rhineland had blocked until then.

Under Articles 42, 43 and 44 of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles—imposed on Germany by the Allies after the Great War—Germany was “forbidden to maintain or construct any fortification either on the Left bank of the Rhine or on the Right bank to the west of a line drawn fifty kilometers to the East of the Rhine”. If a violation “in any manner whatsoever” of this Article took place, this “shall be regarded as committing a hostile act…and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world”. The Locarno Treaties, signed in October 1925 by Germany, France, Italy and Britain, stated that the Rhineland should continue its demilitarized status permanently. Locarno was regarded as important as it was a voluntary German acceptance of the Rhineland’s demilitarized status as opposed to the diktat of Versailles. Under the terms of Locarno, Britain and Italy guaranteed the Franco-German border and the continued demilitarized status of the Rhineland against a “flagrant violation” without however defining what constituted a “flagrant violation”. Under the terms of Locarno, if Germany should attempt to attack France, then Britain and Italy were obliged to go to France’s aid and likewise, if France should attack Germany, then Britain and Italy would be obliged to Germany’s aid. The American historian Gerhard Weinberg called the demilitarized status of the Rhineland the “single most important guarantee of peace in Europe” as it made it impossible for Germany to attack its neighbors in the West and as the demilitarized zone rendered Germany defenseless in the West, impossible to attack its neighbors in the East as it left Germany open to a devastating French offensive if the Reich tried to invade any of the states guaranteed by the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, the so-called Cordon sanitaire.

The Versailles Treaty also stipulated that Allied military forces would withdraw from the Rhineland by 1935. However, the German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann announced in 1929 that Germany would not ratify the 1928 Young Plan for continuing to pay reparations unless the Allies agreed to leave the Rhineland in 1930. The British delegation at the Hague Conference on German reparations in 1929 proposed that reparations paid by Germany be reduced and that British and French forces should evacuate the Rhineland. The last British soldiers left in late 1929 and the last French soldiers left in June 1930. As long as the French continued to occupy the Rhineland, the Rhineland functioned as a form of “collateral” under which the French could respond to any German attempt at overt rearmament by annexing the Rhineland. Once the last French soldiers left the Rhineland in June 1930, it could no longer play its “collateral” role, thus opening the door for German rearmament. The French decision to build the Maginot Line in 1929 was a tacit French admission that it was only a matter of time before German rearmament on a massive scale would begin sometime in the 1930s and that the Rhineland was going to be remilitarized sooner or later. Intelligence from the Deuxième Bureau indicated that Germany had been violating Versailles continuously all through the 1920s with the considerable help of the Soviet Union, and with the French troops out of the Rhineland, it could only be expected that Germany would become more open about violating Versailles. The Maginot Line in its turn lessened the importance of the Rhineland’s demilitarized status from a French security viewpoint.

The foreign policy of Fascist Italy was to maintain an “equidistant” stance from all the major powers in order to exercise “determinant weight”, which by whatever power Italy chose to align with would decisively change the balance of power in Europe, and the price of such an alignment would be support for Italian ambitions in Europe and/or Africa.

The foreign policy goal of the Soviet Union was set forth by Joseph Stalin in a speech on 19 January 1925 that if another world war broke out between the capitalist states that: “We will enter the fray at the end, throwing our critical weight onto the scale, a weight that should prove to be decisive”. To promote this goal which would lead to the global triumph of Communism, the Soviet Union tended to support German efforts to challenge the Versailles system by assisting German secret rearmament, a policy that caused much tension with France. An additional problem in Franco-Soviet relations was the Russian debt issue. Before 1917, the French had been by far the largest investors in Imperial Russia, and the largest buyers of Russian debt, so the decision by Lenin in 1918 to repudiate all debts and to confiscate all private property, whether it be owned by Russians or by foreigners, had hurt the world of French business and finance quite badly. The question of the Russian debt repudiation and compensation for French businesses affected by Soviet nationalisation policies poisoned Franco-Soviet relations until the early 1930s.

The centerpiece of interwar French diplomacy had been the cordon sanitaire in Eastern Europe, which was intended to keep both the Soviet Union and Germany out of Eastern Europe. To this end, France had signed treaties of alliance with Poland in 1921, Czechoslovakia in 1924, Romania in 1926 and Yugoslavia in 1927. The cordon sanitaire states were intended as a collective replacement for Imperial Russia as France’s chief eastern ally. The states of the cordon sanitaire emerged as an area of French political, military, economic and cultural influence.

As regards Germany, it had always been assumed by the states of the cordon sanitaire that if Germany should attack any of them, France would respond by beginning an offensive into western Germany. Long before 1933, German military and diplomatic elites had regarded the Rhineland’s demilitarized status as only temporary, and planned to remilitarize the Rhineland at the first favorable diplomatic opportunity. In December 1918, at a meeting of Germany’s leading generals, it had decided that the chief aim would be to rebuild German military power to launch a new world war to win the “world power status” that the Reich had sought, but failed to win in the last war. All through the 1920s and the early 1930s, the Reichswehr had been developing plans for a war to destroy France and its ally Poland, which necessarily presumed remilitarization of the Rhineland. Steps were taken by the German government to prepare for the remilitarization, such as keeping former barracks in a good state of repair, hiding military materials in secret depots, and building customs and fire watch towers that could be easily converted into observation and machine gun posts along the frontier.

From 1919 to 1932, British defense spending was based upon the Ten Year Rule, which assumed that there was to be no major war for the next ten years, a policy that led to the British military being cut to the bone. Amongst British decision-makers, the idea of the “continental commitment” of sending a large army to fight on the European mainland against Germany was never explicitly rejected, but was not favored. The memory of the heavy losses taken in the Great War had led many to see the “continental commitment” of 1914 as a serious mistake. For most of the inter-war period, the British were extremely reluctant to make security commitments in Eastern Europe, regarding the region as too unstable and likely to embroil Britain in unwanted wars. At most, Britain was willing to make only limited security commitments in Western Europe, and even then tried to avoid the “continental commitment” as much as possible. In 1925, the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Austen Chamberlain had famously stated in public at the Locarno conference that the Polish Corridor was “not worth the bones of a single British grenadier”. As such, Chamberlain declared that Britain would not guarantee the German-Polish border on the grounds that the Polish Corridor should be returned to Germany. That the British did not take even their Locarno commitments seriously could be seen in Whitehall’s prohibition of the British military chiefs’ holding staff talks with German, French and Italian militaries about what to do if a “flagrant violation” of Locarno occurred. In general, for most of the 1920s–30s, British foreign policy was based upon appeasement, under which the international system established by Versailles would be revised in Germany’s favor, within limits in order to win German acceptance of that international order, and thereby ensure the peace. One of the main British aims at Locarno was to create a situation where Germany could pursue territorial revisionism in Eastern Europe peacefully. The British viewpoint was that if Franco-German relations improved, France would gradually abandon the cordon sanitaire.

Once France had abandoned its allies in Eastern Europe as the price of better relations with the Reich, the Poles and Czechoslovaks would be forced to adjust to German demands, and would peacefully hand over the territories claimed by Germany such as the Sudetenland, the Polish Corridor and the Free City of Danzig. British policy-makers tended to exaggerate French power with the normally Francophile Sir Robert “Van” Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office writing in 1931 that Britain was faced with an “unbearable” French domination of Europe, and what was needed was a revival of German power to counterbalance French power. French economic and demographic weaknesses in the face of Germany’s strengths such as the Reich’s far larger population and economy together with the fact that much of France had been devastated by World War I while Germany had escaped mostly undamaged were little appreciated in Whitehall.

7 March 1965

Over 600 civil rights marchers are brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.

On March 7, 1965, state troopers and a sheriff’s posse in Selma, Ala., attacked 600 civil rights demonstrators taking part in a march between Selma and Montgomery, the state capital. The march was organized to promote black voter registration and to protest the killing of a young black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper during a Feb. 18 voter registration march in a nearby city.

The New York Times on March 8 described the day’s events. As the demonstrators crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were ordered by the police to disperse. When they stood in place, the troopers charged at them.

“The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground screaming, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides,” The Times wrote. “Those still on their feet retreated. The troopers continued pushing, using both the force of their bodies and the prodding of their nightsticks.”

The police also fired tear gas at the crowd and charged on horseback. More than 50 demonstrators were injured. The Times described a makeshift hospital near the local church: “Negroes lay on the floors and chairs, many weeping and moaning. A girl in red slacks was carried from the house screaming.” Amelia Boynton lay semiconscious on a table. “From the hospital came a report that the victims had suffered fractures of ribs, heads, arms and legs, in addition to cuts and bruises.”

The day of violence, which became known as Bloody Sunday, was covered in newspapers across the country and broadcast on national news, outraging many Americans. A photo of Mrs. Boynton lying unconscious on the bridge became the most enduring image of the day.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. soon arrived in Selma to organize a second march as civil rights lawyers filed for a federal injunction to prevent police interference. Dr. King led a ceremonial march over the Pettus Bridge and back on March 9. While the march itself was peaceful, segregationists attacked three white ministers who supported the march that night, killing one, James J. Reeb.

A district court judge issued the injunction on March 17, clearing the way for a second Selma-to-Montgomery march on Sunday, March 21. Flanked by federal troops, 3,200 marchers left Selma on the first leg of the 54-mile journey.

They reached Montgomery that Thursday, marching to the state capitol with 25,000 people. The leaders unsuccessfully attempted to present a petition to Gov. George Wallace and Dr. King delivered a speech before the capitol steps. “The march was hailed by several speakers as the greatest demonstration in the history of the civil rights movement,” The Times reported.

Bloody Sunday had a considerable effect on the civil rights movement. On March 15, eight days after watching the violence, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented a bill to Congress that would become the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It outlawed discriminatory voting laws that had kept black people off the voting rolls and provided for federal examiners to oversee voter registration in areas where voting rights were endangered.

7 March 1965

A group of 600 civil rights marchers are brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.

On March 7, 1965, state troopers and a sheriff’s posse in Selma, Ala., attacked 525 civil rights demonstrators taking part in a march between Selma and Montgomery, the state capital. The march was organized to promote black voter registration and to protest the killing of a young black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper during a Feb. 18 voter registration march in a nearby city.

The New York Times on March 8 described the day’s events. As the demonstrators crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were ordered by the police to disperse. When they stood in place, the troopers charged at them.“The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground screaming, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides,” The Times wrote. “Those still on their feet retreated. The troopers continued pushing, using both the force of their bodies and the prodding of their nightsticks.”

The police also fired tear gas at the crowd and charged on horseback. More than 50 demonstrators were injured. The Times described a makeshift hospital near the local church: “Negroes lay on the floors and chairs, many weeping and moaning. A girl in red slacks was carried from the house screaming.” Amelia Boynton lay semiconscious on a table. “From the hospital came a report that the victims had suffered fractures of ribs, heads, arms and legs, in addition to cuts and bruises.”The day of violence, which became known as Bloody Sunday, was covered in newspapers across the country and broadcast on national news, outraging many Americans.