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Readers of the People's World and its antecedents may know something about the federal spying case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg that led to their execution at Sing Sing Prison on June 19, 1953. In the light of newly uncovered evidence, a campaign is now underway to exonerate Ethel. The campaign, directed to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and President Barack Obama in their final months of office, was launched recently on the website of the Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC), an organization founded in 1990 to support the children of present-day activists who have been imprisoned or otherwise separated from their children. Read more at the link above.
The Rosenberg Fund for Children is petitioning the White House to exonerate Ethel Rosenberg. Along with her spouse Julius Rosenberg, Ethel was executed on June 19, 1953, after being convicted of trumped-up charges of committing “espionage” for the Soviet Union.
RFC co-founder Robert Meeropol and his brother Michael Meeropol have addressed an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Barack Obama, asking for a formal acknowledgement of the miscarriage of justice suffered by their mother, Ethel Rosenberg. Read more at the link above.
In 1953, just two years after being convicted for conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act, Ethel Rosenberg, along with her husband Julius, was executed by the United States government. The Rosenbergs left behind two young children Robert, age six, and Michael, age ten.
The execution sparked considerable domestic and international protests, with figures such as, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and even the Pope calling for President Eisenhower to halt the execution. In the decades after, the debate over what the Rosenbergs had actually done and the extent to which government misconduct contributed to their conviction raged on. Forty years after the execution, the American Bar Association held a mock trial–presided over by a federal judge–for the Rosenbergs. It resulted in an acquittal.
With the Cold War over, however, formerly classified or unavailable information (including to the prosecutor in the Rosenberg case) became public. It is now known that Julius Rosenberg did engage in espionage for the Soviet Union, though he most likely did not pass on atomic secrets, as he was alleged to have done during the trial. Newly released information though has only served to cast considerable doubt on Ethel’s guilt. Read the full story at the link above.
August 10, 2015
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. Read the remainder of this op-ed at the link above.
Bennett L. Gershman
The just-disclosed grand jury testimony of David Greenglass, the government's star witness in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, raises new questions about whether the prosecutors suborned perjury. The Rosenbergs were convicted and executed. The proof against Julius Rosenberg was strong. But the proof against his wife Ethel was weak; her guilt hinged mainly on the testimony of Greenglass, her brother. Read more at the link above.
A Jewish-American woman executed in 1953 for passing atomic secrets to the Soviets may have been innocent, declassified documents show.
Together with her husband Julius, Ethel Rosenberg was executed as a spy in the electric chair at a New York prison after her brother testified against her. However, it now appears that her brother was lying. Read more at the link above.
July 15, 2015 7:20 PM ET
Here's what we know: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for selling U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union after one of the most sensational Cold War-era espionage trials. They were convicted in 1951 owing, largely, to the testimony of David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother.
Here's what we don't know: How credible Greenglass' testimony was in court. Read/hear more at the link above.
Arden Dier, Newser staff 9:30 a.m. EDT July 16, 2015
(NEWSER) – The newly released 1950 grand jury testimony of David Greenglass, who helped cement the executions of his brother-in-law and sister Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, offers new evidence that Ethel was innocent in the most intense spying case of the Cold War. Read more at the link above.
By Eric Tucker Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, who was a star witness against his sister and brother-in-law in a sensational Cold War atomic spying case, minimized his dealings with his sister during an earlier appearance before a grand jury and said they had never discussed her role ‘‘at all,’’ according to court records unsealed Wednesday.
The revelation may heighten public suspicion that Ethel Rosenberg was wrongly convicted and executed in an espionage case that captivated the country at the height of the McCarthy-era frenzy about Communist allegiances. Read more at the link above.