Angels in America

Last weekend Elli and I had the privilege of seeing both parts of Tony Kushner’s brilliant play Angels in America in New York City. This is a marathon: two 3½ hour segments separated by a 2½ hour break. I was mesmerized by this revival of the original 1993 production, but I don’t intend to review the play in this blog. Instead I’ll focus on one small, but important, interaction that takes place late in its second part.

Ethel & Julius Rosenberg and Bradley Manning: A Question of Loyalty

The case of Private Bradley Manning, accused of being the source of Wikileaks’ massive outing of “secret” United States diplomatic information, is back in the news. He is now in the midst of a procedural hearing (technically called an Article 32 hearing) to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold a Court Martial (see www.bradleymanning.org for additional information).

Treason Revisited

The subject of treason came up in a rerun of the television series I was watching last week.   Naturally, the heroes got involved in foiling a terrorism plot.  While being given classified government information during a briefing they were told that if they divulge anything about it they would be committing treason.  I didn’t think anything of this at the time, perhaps because recently I’ve heard similar statements on several other TV shows.

June 19, 2014

My grandparents were executed 61 years ago today.  In their final letter to my father and uncle they wrote they “were comforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us.” (Click here to see Eve Ensler and Cotter Smith read the letter, introduced by Angela Davis.) Since 1990, support from thousands of people allowed first my dad, and more recently me, to justify their faith and convert the destruction that was visited upon our family into the Rosenberg Fund for Children to benefit kids whose families a

Love, Conscience, Conviction

Last week I attended the opening of the new exhibit of my grandparents’ prison correspondence at Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. The event offered attendees a preview of the exhibit, which includes hundreds of letters Ethel and Julius wrote to each other, their attorney, my father and uncle, and other family members from their arrests in 1950 until just before their executions in June 1953.

The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100: a new blog series

If she were still living, my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, would turn 100 on September 28th of this year. The same month will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.  My Executive Director’s Report in the spring 2015 issue of our newsletter explores how the RFC plans to honor these milestones in a variety of ways as 2015 unfolds, while reflecting on how much has changed and what has remained constant at the RFC over our first quarter century.

Ethel at 100 (part 1): Ethel in the Kitchen

(Part 1 of the The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100 series)

What was the cultural context of Ethel’s trial and execution? The era of the 1950's was captivated by the idea of the housewife in her kitchen. This image was used to sell a multitude of products, to remind women of their proper place, and to reassure the war-weary populace that everything was back to normal and “cooking” again.

Strange Convergence: Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg at 100

(Guest post by Rosenberg Fund for Children founder, Robert Meeropol. Hear more from Robert about the iconic song, Strange Fruit, see its relevance to current Movement for Black Lives, and watch a powerful performance of it by artist Pamela Means, in the video below.)

Ethel at 100 (part 2): Communists in the Kitchen

(Part 2 of the The RFC at 25 and Ethel Rosenberg at 100 series)

The first blog in this series explored the public response to the press conference my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, held in her kitchen in support of her husband, Julius Rosenberg, after his arrest in 1950. As I mentioned in my previous blog, an image of Ethel from that day is the centerpiece of "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler.* Numerous atomic images and anti-communists “frame” or surround Ethel in Rosler’s artwork.

Ethel at 100 (part 3): "The Ideal Woman" - Ethel Rosenberg and Women’s Magazines

This is my third blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler*, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg.

Ethel at 100 (part 4): Strong Woman/Weak Man?

This is my fourth blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.

From Robert and Michael Meeropol: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel at 100 (part 5): Anti-Semitism and the Rosenberg Case

This is my fifth blog in a series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.

Ethel at 100 (part 6): Lessons for Supporting the Children of Today's Targeted Activists

This is the sixth and final blog in this series which uses "Unknown Secrets," a collage by Martha Rosler*, as an organizing principle to explore how the popular press, the prosecution, the defense, supporters, anti-Semitism, politicians, and the highly charged political and cultural climate influenced how people perceived my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg, then and now.

Guest Blog: Exonerate Ethel

by Robert Meeropol

originally published on Robert Meeropol's blog, Still Out on a Limb

In March the Rosenberg Fund for Children launched an online petition campaign to exonerate my mother, Ethel. I urge everyone  to sign the petition, and to spread the word throughout your communities.

Help from David Greenglass

Guest blog  by Robert Meeropol, Rosenberg Fund for Children Founder & son of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg

It has been a year since the release of David Greenglass’s grand jury testimony in which he denied my mother, Ethel Rosenberg’s, involvement in espionage. This was the final element necessary for me to pursue a plan I’d thought about for decades.

One Year Ago Today

On September 28, 2015 (which would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday) Members of the New York City Council issued a proclamation which declared the U.S. government, “wrongfully executed Ethel Rosenberg.” The proclamation concluded, “now therefore BE IT KNOWN: That we, the undersigned Members of the New York City Council, honor the life and memory of Ethel Rosenberg in observance of the 100th anniversary of her birth.”

Visiting Ethel & Julius in Havana

(guest blog by RFC Communications Director, Amber Black)

It’s large, the monument. It resides on a nondescript corner of an intersection in Havana, Cuba. The striking portrait in stone honors a young couple, killed by the U.S. government on June 19, 1953. They’re viewed as traitors by some, heroes by others. In this country where a tank rests on the lawn of the university in the capital, the legacy of the Cold War affects citizens’ lives in a visceral way. There’s tremendous irony involved, but it makes perfect sense that there would be a memorial to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in Havana, and that I would go and find it.