Children of Ethel Rosenberg demand their mother be exonerated

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tags: Rosenberg case, atomic bomb

Related Links

●  Secret Grand Jury Testimony From Ethel Rosenberg’s Brother Is Released (NYT news story)

●  David Greenglass and Max Elitcher’s Secret Grand Jury Testimony Unsealed: What the Transcripts Really Reveal About the Rosenberg Spy Case By R. Bruce Craig

●  Grasping at Straws to Try to Exonerate Ethel Rosenberg By Ron Radosh

●  The Rosenbergs and Espionage Denial By John R. Schindler

In an op ed in the NYT, the Metropol brothers -- sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the accused atomic spies -- claim that grand jury testimony that was just released exonerates their mother.

The Times identifies them this way:  "Michael Meeropol­ is professor emeritus of economics at Western New England University and editor of The Rosenberg Letters. Robert Meeropol is the founder of the Rosenberg Fund for Children and author of An Execution in the Family. They are the authors of We Are Your Sons."

Historian R. Bruce Craig wrote in an article last month published by HNN that the real nugget of new information in the grand jury transcript is that it was their uncle's wife Ruth "who played the far more important role in assisting in Soviet espionage." (She was married to Ethel's brother.)

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal historian Ron Radosh insisted that the transcript did not exonerate Ethel Rosenberg as many in the media believe:  "The transcript, taken by itself and out of context, could lead to this conclusion, but only if one lacks knowledge about the case. It never occurs to these reporters that at the early stage of his arrest David Greenglass was desperately trying to protect his sister and to convince the government to leave her out of the indictment."

Excerpt from the Meeropol­ op ed

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 on President Obama to acknowledge that Ethel Rosenberg was wrongly convicted and executed.

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