Monday, August 10, 2015

The Meeropol Brothers: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg - The New York Times

"never let them change the truth of our innocence"said Julius Rosenberg.  Around the world people rallied behind that slogan to save the two Brooklyn Communist Jews convicted as atomic spies for Russia.  Now their sons acknowledge that Julius was guilty of conspiracy - to help the USSR develop a nuclear weapon.  The information transmitted was trivial but the offense proved fatal.
What is the importance of the Rosenberg case?  First it was part of the anti-communist hysteria at a peak in the era when the Soviet Union was working to develop a nuclear weapon to counter the U.S.- the only country that had ever used one.  Once the Russians had "the bomb" we were crawling under desks at Abby Lane School in case the Russians dropped the bomb on Levittown.  There were public bomb shelters.
 The Rosenbergs were Comnunists, loyal to the homeland of socialism - a loyalty incomprehensible to most Americans.  The Rosenbergs were Russian, Jewish, Commie rats. That the trial judge - Irving Kaufman was Jewish scarcely blunted symbolism of their ethnicity.  They were executed in a torturous way - the electric chair. No mistaking the symbolism of husband and wife going together to their deaths like that.
The orphaned Rosenberg children have had to acknowledge bitter truths.  But they are persuasive in arguing that their parents were no mortal threat- and that their mother was  so peripheral that her prosecution was wrongful. - gwc
The Meeropol Brothers: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg - The New York Times
by Michael and Robert Meeropol
OUR parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed on June 19, 1953, after being convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. That was the formal legal charge, but in the public’s mind they were executed for providing our archenemy, the Soviet Union, with the ability to destroy our country with atomic bombs. Theirs was the most sensational case of the McCarthy period.
Last month, the grand jury testimony of our uncle David Greenglass, who died last year, was made public, the latest in a trove of material released since 2008 after we and others filed a legal action. Back then, we concluded that our father was legally guilty of the conspiracy charge, but not of atomic spying, and we maintain that neither of our parents deserved the death penalty.
The newly released 46-page transcript — along with previously released testimony and other records — demonstrates conclusively that our mother was prosecuted primarily for refusing to turn on our father. We now call onPresident Obama to acknowledge that Ethel Rosenberg was wrongly convicted and executed.
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