The Fuchs Case: Can Secrecy in Science Work?

Today much information has recently become available, including U.S. Atomic Energy Commission files and FBI files on Fuchs' statements and on his and Gold's confessions, as well as memoirs published by Fuchs' communist associates in England. From these and other sources it is clear that many aspects of the case were kept from the public in order to conceal important political secrets, not just atomic ones. One political secret was how Fuchs' spying was discovered in the first place. We now kno

Robert Chadwell Williams
Jan 10, 1988
Today much information has recently become available, including U.S. Atomic Energy Commission files and FBI files on Fuchs' statements and on his and Gold's confessions, as well as memoirs published by Fuchs' communist associates in England. From these and other sources it is clear that many aspects of the case were kept from the public in order to conceal important political secrets, not just atomic ones.

One political secret was how Fuchs' spying was discovered in the first place. We now know that in 1949, when American government cryptographers decoded some messages sent from the Soviet embassy in New York to Moscow during World War II, they came upon a report by Fuchs on work being done at Los Alamos. To conceal from the Soviet Union that their codes had been deciphered, the American and British security services sought to have Fuchs confess to his actions. The result was the...

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