Michael and Robert Meeropol, the sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, visited the White House on Dec 1, 2016, to deliver their petition asking President Obama to exonerate their mother, signed by over 40,000 people. Watch video of that event here, including their personal messages for the President.
Last Updated Dec 1, 2016 5:04 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- The sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg returned to the White House on Thursday, more than 50 years after pleading unsuccessfully to spare her life, in a last-ditch appeal to President Obama to exonerate her amid new evidence. Read the full story and watch video here.
BY ERIC TUCKER AND JOSH LEDERMAN
December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg returned to the White House on Thursday, more than 50 years after pleading unsuccessfully to spare her life, in a last-ditch appeal to President Barack Obama to exonerate her amid new evidence.
Rosenberg was executed in 1953 along with her husband, Julius, after being convicted of conspiring to pass secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. But court records made public last year through a judge's order cast doubt on the conventional narrative of a Cold War espionage case that captivated the country. Read the full print story at the link above. See the AP video story here.
On the day Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were scheduled to face the electric chair as convicted spies in June 1953, their sons, Michael and Robert, then 10 and 6, were told to go to a friend’s house and play baseball until dark.
When they walked back in the house that evening, Michael asked family members if his parents’ lives had been spared. When he didn’t get a direct answer, he knew his worst fears had been realized.
It was just days after the two boys had protested at the White House and handed a letter to a security guard asking the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, for clemency. The request hadn’t been granted.
On Thursday morning, the two brothers — who took the last name of their adopted family, Meeropol — returned to the White House. Now 73 and 69, they approached the northwest gate with a letter addressed to President Obama asking that he issue a statement exonerating their mother, who they say was wrongly convicted and sentenced.
“We are giving the United States government the chance to acknowledge the injustice done to our mother,” Robert Meeropol said to a group of reporters and onlookers. Read the full story at the link above.
By Allison Malloy, CNN
Updated 4:14 PM ET, Thu December 1, 2016
Washington (CNN)The sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, two convicted communist spies who were sentenced to death during the Cold War, visited the White House without an invitation on Thursday to call on President Barack Obama to exonerate their mother, in what they see as their final shot.
Editorial, November 23, 2016
Ethel Rosenberg died June 19, 1953, executed by her government for a crime she did not commit.
In what became the most notorious spy case of the Cold War, Rosenberg and her husband Julius were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1951 for conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. The Supreme Court voted against a stay of execution. Crowds gathered outside New York’s Sing Sing prison to celebrate their deaths. President Dwight Eisenhower issued a statement that said the Rosenberg executions were “a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.”
Ethel Rosenberg was not a spy. Read the rest of the editorial at the link above.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's sons tell Anderson Cooper how it felt to be the children of the infamous spies, in a story that sheds new light on a central event of the Cold War
October 16, 2016
Anderson Cooper, correspondent
(excerpted from broadcast transcript)
Before he leaves office, President Obama will have to sort through more than 13,000 petitions from federal prisoners seeking pardons or reduced sentences. But one of the most unusual requests he has been asked to consider concerns two people who were already executed, more than 60 years ago. It was called “The Crime of the Century.” In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sent to the electric chair for conspiring to provide the secrets of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. They left behind two little boys, Robert and Michael, just 6 and 10 years old at the time.
The brothers Rosenberg were the orphans of Communist spies at the height of the McCarthy era. Relatives were afraid to take them in. One town blocked them from attending its schools. What ever happened to those two little boys? They’re the ones asking President Obama to proclaim that their mother was wrongfully convicted. It’s a remarkable story, a piece of American history that hasn’t been fully told. Watch the full segment at the link above.
December 30, 2016
Two brothers are making a last-ditch appeal to President Obama to clear their mother’s name. Michael and Robert Meeropol are calling on Obama to posthumously exonerate their mother, Ethel Rosenberg. She, along with their father, Julius Rosenberg, was charged with conspiring to share nuclear secrets with the Soviet Union and executed on June 19, 1953. At the time, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover accused the couple of committing "the crime of the century." The government alleged the Rosenbergs, along with Morton Sobell, helped the Soviet Union acquire the secret of the atomic bomb. But supporters say there’s no evidence that Ethel Rosenberg took part in espionage. A new report by the Seton Hall School of Law suggests Ethel was used by the government as a pawn for leverage in its attempt to build a case against her husband. We speak to Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He was six years old at the time of their execution. Watch the interview at the link above.
The U.S. government used convicted Soviet spy Ethel Rosenberg as a “pawn” in the case against her atomic-secret-stealing husband despite a lack of evidence, a new inquiry into the execution of the couple found.
The report by Seton Hall Law School analyzed piles of evidence in the case. Those documents included a July 1950 FBI memo in which investigators acknowledge they did not have enough evidence to warrant Ethel Rosenberg’s prosecution. Read the full story at the link above.