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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Cold War

The Story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Cold War<BR>(1947-1991)
Cold War

The Story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Print The Story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Reading Comprehension with Sixth Grade Work

Print The Story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9

     challenging words:    conspiracy, vigil, atomic, testimony, refusal, execution, mistrust, controversial, wartime, espionage, incident, commit, suspicion, controversy, garment, refused
     content words:    Julius Rosenberg, New York City, Communist Party, World War II, United States, David Greenglass, War II, Soviet Union, Cold War, Senator Joseph McCarthy

The Story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
By Sharon Fabian

1     Julius Rosenberg was born in 1918, the son of a garment worker in New York City. He was a quiet boy who took his schoolwork seriously. When he became a young man, he took an interest in politics. He was also interested in the ideas of the communists, and he joined the Communist Party. In 1939, he married a young woman named Ethel. They had two sons, Robert and Michael.
2     During the World War II period, Julius was still involved in Communist Party activities here in the United States. Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, was too.
3     After World War II, the Soviet Union became the enemy of the United States, and the Cold War began. So did the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the senator who made a career of hunting for communist spies.
4     During this time, David Greenglass was arrested and charged with espionage, or spying. He admitted to passing secret information. In his testimony, he also named other members of the Communist Party in the United States, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. He claimed that Julius Rosenberg had asked him to get secret information about how to make an atomic bomb and then passed it on to the Soviets in 1945. He gave details of suspicious activities and secret meetings. He even told of a Jell-O box being used as a secret signal. He said that Ethel had typed secret information.
5     Soon, Julius Rosenberg was arrested. He was charged with "conspiracy to commit espionage," a serious crime of passing information to our enemies during wartime. He admitted that he was a member of the communist party, but denied giving atomic bomb secrets to the Russians. His lawyer also pointed out that Russia was not our enemy at the time the incident happened. He said that Greenglass had lied, maybe to gain a lighter sentence for himself.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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