Press Releases, Background, Photos

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For media inquiries contact Amber Black, Communications Director, at (413) 529-0063 x 203,  or amber@rfc.org. To join the Press List, click here.


Press-Ready Photos

(Click on photos or links for high resolution versions)

Jennifer Meeropol

Robert Meeropol

Robert Meeropol


Background Information

Rosenberg Case Summary
Biography of Jennifer Meeropol
Biography of Robert Meeropol
Recent Press Coverage
Rosenberg Fund for Children Mission Statement and Background
Rosenberg Fund for Children Fact Sheet
Boards & Staff


Press Releases

Erin McKeown, Gina Belafonte and Ellen Meeropol to headline an evening celebrating ARTISTS AS ACTIVISTS in Eastworks on Oct 17th

For immediate release

For information contact:
Amber Black, Rosenberg Fund for Children
(413) 529-0063
amber@rfc.org

October 12, 2015, Easthampton, MA: Artists and activists including Picasso, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco, Angela Davis, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, and dozens of others, have supported the Easthampton-based Rosenberg Fund for Children - and the family of its namesake, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - for decades. In turn, as part of its work aiding children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted, progressive activists, the RFC has made, and supported the making of art, throughout its 25 year history.

For these reasons, the RFC is marking its 25th anniversary with an event spotlighting Artists as Activists featuring New York City-based actress Gina Belafonte (daughter of Harry Belafonte), western MA resident and musician Erin McKeown who records for Northampton’s Signature Sounds, and writer Ellen Meeropol, of Easthampton, MA. (Read more about these artists, and find high resolution photos for press use, below.)

The celebration – expected to draw up to 300 people – begins at 8:00 pm on October 17th, on the ground floor (east end) of Eastworks, at 116 Pleasant St. in Easthampton (home to the RFC office).

The evening will include:

  • a moderated discussion with Gina, Erin and Ellen about how they navigate the intersection of art and activism
  • a short film linking art and activism, featuring interviews with RFC Advisory Board members Angela Davis, Holly Near, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and Mike +Ruthy, and Peter Mulveyl plus Pamela Means and The Nields; and RFC founder, Robert Meeropol
  • a concert by Erin McKeown opened by the A Besere Velt (A Better World), Boston Workman’s Circle Chorus.

Tickets ($25 general admission; $15 student/limited income; $125 Anniversary Circle including pre-event reception, reserved seating section and more) are on sale now at www.rfc.org/rfc25. Cash bar with beer from Abandoned Building Brewery and wine from Black Birch Vineyard.

Details about the Activist Artists are on the event page at www.rfc.org/rfc25 or as a .pdf here.

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For information or interviews with Erin McKeown, Gina Belafonte, Ellen Meeropol, or RFC Executive Director Jenn Meeropol or founder Robert Meeropol (granddaughter and son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg), contact Amber Black, (413) 529-0063, amber@rfc.org. Scroll down for downloadable, high res photos.

About the RFC
The Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC), named after Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, is a public foundation that aids kids in the U.S. whose parents have been attacked because they’re struggling to preserve civil liberties, wage peace, safeguard the environment, combat racism, and organize on behalf of workers, political prisoners, immigrants, member of the LGBTQ community, and others whose human rights are under threat.

Since 1990 the RFC has awarded grants totaling more than $5.6 million. RFC grants often enable our beneficiaries to participate in artistic endeavors, exemplifying our mission of helping meet these young people’s educational and emotional needs as much as the prison visits, school books, and myriad other services and resources we fund.

Robert Meeropol, younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, founded the RFC in 1990 to aid children in this country suffering from nightmares similar to what he and his brother experienced when at ages six and 10, their parents were executed by the U.S government in 1953, after being convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in the “trial of the century” at the height of McCarthy era.

In September 2013, Robert's daughter, Jennifer Meeropol, took over as the RFC's executive director upon Robert’s retirement.


Ethel Rosenberg Receives Two Honors in New York City on Her 100th Birthday:

  • NYC Council Declares "government wrongfully executed Ethel Rosenberg"
  • "Ethel Rosenberg Day of Justice in the Borough of Manhattan" declared by Manhattan Borough President

 

For immediate release

For information contact:
Amber Black, Rosenberg Fund for Children
(413) 529-0063
amber@rfc.org

September 28, 2015, New York, NYAt 11:00 am Eastern, on September 28, 2015, in a ceremony on the steps of City Hall, New York City Council Members gathered, with three generations of Ethel Rosenberg's descendants present, to issue a stunning proclamation in Ethel's honor, stating in part, "...the government wrongfully executed Ethel Rosenberg; 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." See full proclamation by Members of the New York City Countil here.

"Ethel Rosenberg was wrongfully executed in 1953 which resulted in her two young children becoming orphans," said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). "Although nothing can erase this terrible loss of life, I am pleased to join my colleagues in the Council in posthumously acknowledging Ms. Rosenberg on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth. It is my hope that this tribute will restore some dignity to the memory of this much-maligned New Yorker and her family."

In addition, Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President, bestowed a remarkable honor of her own on Ethel, proclaiming, "...I, Gale A. Brewer, do hereby recognize the injustice suffered by Ethel Rosenberg and her family, and on the occasion of her 100th birthday on Monday, September 28th, 2015, proclaim 'Ethel Rosenberg Day of Justice in the Borough of Manhattan.'" See full proclamation by Borough President Brewer here.

"...To have so many Council Members of my parents' hometown - my hometown, my brother's hometown - acknowledge our mother's achievements and note that she was wrongfully executed is a dream come true. Today, a major elected institution of this great city and Manhattan's borough President have taken important steps towards acknowledging a terrible injustice. Next, it is time for the Federal Government to step up to do the same." - excerpt of statement of Robert Meeropol, son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

"Let me echo Rob’s thanks to the members of the City Council, the Manhattan Borough President and the Public Advocate for recognizing the injustice that was done to our mother and, as a result, to her entire family.

We also want to make it clear that the unjust prosecution and execution of our mother damaged our country as well...We believe that the issuance of these proclamations implicitly calls upon the federal government to take corrective action. We would like to make this request explicitly. Therefore, we call upon Attorney General Lynch and President Obama to acknowledge the injustice done to Ethel Rosenberg back in 1953 as a way of learning from our past in the hope that similar injustices will be avoided in the future."- excerpt of statement of Michael Meeropol, son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

See full statements of Robert and Michael Meeropol (sons of Ethel and Julius Roseberg) here.

See links below.

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For information or interviews contact Amber Black at the Rosenberg Fund for Children, (413) 529-0063, amber@rfc.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For information contact:
Amber Black
Rosenberg Fund for Children
(413) 529-0063, amber@rfc.org

New York City Councilors to Issue Proclamation Honoring
Ethel Rosenberg on her 100th Birthday, September 28th, 2015

September 24, 2015, Easthampton, MA: On Monday, September 28th, 2015, at 11:00 am, Members of the New York City Council including Council Member Dromm, will issue a public proclamation on the steps of New York City Hall, honoring Ethel Rosenberg on what would have been her 100th birthday. The public, and members of the media, are invited to attend.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg’s sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol (formerly Rosenberg), who were 10 and 6 at the time of their parents’ execution, will be present to take part in this historic event, along with other members of the Meeropol family. Michael and Robert Meeropol will speak as part of the ceremony and take questions from the media until the conclusion of the event at 12:00 noon.

Ethel Rosenberg was executed along with her husband, Julius Rosenberg, on June 19th, 1953 after being convicted, at the height of the Red Scare-McCarthy period, of giving what was called “the secret of the Atomic Bomb” to the Soviet Union. The recently released grand jury testimony of Ethel Rosenberg’s chief accusers, David and Ruth Greenglass, provided powerful proof that Ethel Rosenberg’s conviction was based on their perjuries. Ethel and Julius were natives and life-long residents of New York City, where they resided at the time of their arrests.

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For information or interviews contact Amber Black at the Rosenberg Fund for Children, (413) 529-0063, amber@rfc.org


Robert Meeropol (Younger Son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg) Reacts to Release of His Uncle, David Greenglass’ Grand Jury Testimony

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For information contact:
Amber Black, Rosenberg Fund for Children
(413) 529-0063
amber@rfc.org

July 15, 2015, Easthampton, MA - I applaud the release by the National Security Archives of the Grand Jury testimony of David Greenglass and Max Elitcher. I want to thank attorneys David C. Vladeck and Debra L. Raskin for advocating for the release of this testimony and federal District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein for granting our petition. They have done a service by bringing this testimony to the public. Since my brother and I and others launched the effort to reopen the Rosenberg Case in 1973, we have maintained that the public and family members deserve every bit of information that exists about the case. Today, thanks to this just released information, we have a more complete picture of my parents’ case than ever before.

Some of David Greenglass’ statements to the Grand Jury echo those of his wife, Ruth Greenglass. Ruth’s testimony, released in 2008, did not mention my mother Ethel typing notes from the Greenglasses’ alleged September 25th, 1945 espionage meeting with the Ethel and Julius—a supposed meeting that was the key trial testimony to doom my mother. As cooperating witnesses, under oath, neither David nor Ruth Greenglass mentioned this key evidence against my mother during their Grand Jury appearances, despite swearing to it at trial the following year. That trial testimony resulted in my mother’s execution.

But David’s Grand Jury testimony is even more stunning than Ruth’s; in addition to the absence of any discussion of Ethel typing any material, he states “I said before and say it again, honestly this is a fact: I never spoke with my sister about this at all.”

Shocking as this is, I believe a second omission in David’s testimony is just as important because it guts the governments case against both my parents. The heart of the government’s case was that my parents met with the Greenglasses on September 25, 1945 at the Rosenberg apartment in New York City. At that meeting, the Greenglasses claimed, David gave a sketch of the cross-section of the atomic bomb to my father, and my mother typed David’s accompanying hand-written notes. At trial, the prosecutor claimed this drawing gave away the most important secret known to mankind—the so-called secret of the atomic bomb—and in summarizing the case against Ethel, dramatically stated that as Ethel, “hit the keys, she struck blow upon blow against her country.” In pronouncing the death sentence, Judge Kaufman blamed my parents for the Korean War.

What many missed in 2008 was that Ruth’s Grand Jury testimony not only omitted Ethel’s typing, it made no mention whatsoever of the September 25th, 1945 meeting. From today’s release, we know that while David testified to the Grand Jury about giving sketches to Julius, he doesn’t mention the specific date or the Rosenberg apartment: instead, he says he met Julius in Manhattan in the fall of 1945 and, when pressed about the date, agrees that it might have been September or October. Thus, there is no evidence, other than the Greenglasses’ later, much-evolved trial testimony, that a September 25th, 1945 espionage meeting at the Rosenberg apartment took place.

More than 60 years after my parents’ execution, it is long past time for the government to admit that Ethel Rosenberg was not a spy and that Julius was not an atomic spy. I call for the record to be set straight once and for all:

  1. My father engaged in non-atomic military espionage for the Soviet Union. He did not pass the secret of the atomic bomb to anyone.
  2. My mother did not conspire to commit espionage. The government knew this; colluded with the Greenglasses to convict her; and executed her anyway.

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For information or interviews contact Amber Black, Rosenberg Fund for Children: (413) 529-0063, amber@rfc.org.

All photos below available for press use. (Click title or photo for large image.) Please credit the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, circa 1942

Robert (l) and Michael (r) Rosenberg (later Meeropol) in 1953, ages six and 10

Robert (l) age six, Michael, and grandmother Sophie Rosenberg, Washington DC, 1953

Protest Against Rosenbergs' Executions, Washington DC, 1953

AN EXECUTION IN THE FAMILY by Robert Meeropol, cover