Fuchs was born on 29th December,
1911, in Russelsheim,
Germany. He studied physics and mathematics
at the University of Leipzig.
A member of the Germany
Communist Party, Fuchs was forced to
flee the country after the Nazis gained power in 1933.
Fuchs moved to Scotland where he continued he studies. On the outbreak
of the Second World War, Fuchs was briefly interned
but was released when it was discovered that
his knowledge of physics would be useful to the British government.
He worked at Birmingham University under Rudolf
Peierls, another German refugee physicist in England. In 1943
Fuchs was sent to the United States where he
worked at Los Alamos on developing the atom
After the war Fuchs returned to England where he became head of the
physics department of the British nuclear research centre at Harwell.
On 5th September 1945, Igor Gouzenko,
officer based in
defected to the West claiming he had evidence of an Soviet spy ring
based in Britain. Gouzenko provided evidence that led to the
arrest of 22 local agents and 15 Soviet spies in Canada. Some
of this information from Gouzenko resulted
in Fuchs being interviewed by MI5.
denied any involvement in espionage and the intelligence services
did not have enough evidence to have him arrested and charged with
spying. However, after repeated interviews with Jim
Skardon he eventually confessed on 23rd January 1950 to passing
information to the Soviet Union
Six weeks later
Fuchs was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
In 1950 the FBI arrested Harry
Gold, who confessed to helping Fuchs in his espionage
activities in the United States. As a result of Gold's testimony,
other spies, including David
Rosenberg and Julius
Rosenberg were arrested and convicted.
After his release on 24th June 1959, he went
to East Germany where he became deputy director of the Central Institute
for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf. Klaus
Fuchs died on 28th January, 1988.