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Klaus Emil Fuchs

Fuchs, Klaus Emil (fŏks, fōks) [key], 1912–88, British physicist and Communist spy, b. Germany. In 1933 he fled Germany for England, where he completed his education. Interned (1940–41) in Canada as an enemy alien, he made no attempt to conceal his Communist sympathies and was soon released, becoming a naturalized British citizen. In 1943, he began work on the development of the atomic bomb project in the United States; during this period, he started transmitting information to the Soviet Union. He later (1946) became head of the theoretical physics division of the atomic research center at Harwell and continued his espionage activities, which were suspected only because of information gleaned by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation from confessed Communist agents in the United States. Arrested in Britain in 1950, he pleaded guilty and was imprisoned. Fuchs was released in 1959 and went to East Germany, where he was director of East Germany's Institute for Nuclear Physics until his retirement in 1979.

See R. C. Williams, Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy (1987).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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