Today is the anniversary of my grandparents’ executions. As it approached, I prepared the statement below reflecting on the date’s significance. Many members of the Rosenberg Fund for Children network have firsthand memories of the grief and fear the executions elicited among left-wing progressives at the time – a community that felt very much under attack in that moment in history. Sixty three years later I still hear from people who were shaken to their core, but whose response was to resist the repression they were experiencing.
On today’s anniversary of my grandparents’ execution, I’m thinking about two-year-old Angel and his big brother Bryan, who don’t understand why they can’t live with both parents anymore.
Kids wondering if their father will go to prison this summer for participating in a nonviolent demonstration. Young siblings staying with relatives as their dad—already struggling financially after he was fired from his job for his organizing—couch surfs while their mom self-isolates with a fever and other worrisome symptoms.
Today is the 68th anniversary of my grandparents’ execution. But since the start of the year I’ve been more focused on an anniversary we just passed: April 5th marked exactly 70 years since Judge Kaufman sentenced my grandparents to death. Many of you know the nightmare my father and uncle experienced after their parents’ arrest, conviction and execution but this recent milestone has me thinking about the more intangible consequences of the loss of my grandparents and so many others who resisted repression and are still resisting today.