Early Tuesday morning, June 16th, Ben Bach drove us to meet our parents’ attorney, Manny Bloch, in Manhattan. From there Manny took us to Sing Sing prison, 30 miles to the north, for what would become our last visit with our parents.
This was the only prison visit where we saw both our parents together at the same time. My brother wrote in We Are Your Sons, “[T]hey sat at opposite ends of the table. Robby and I wandered around the room, hugging them and listening” while they talked strategy with Manny.
I did not understand that with the executions scheduled for Thursday, it was probable that we would never see them again, but Michael did, and at the end of the visit he started to wail, “One more day to live. One more day to live.” They hurriedly said goodbye before we all broke down.
While we were all visiting at Sing Sing, unbeknownst to us, two attorneys who had not been involved in the case previously presented a petition to Justice Douglas as he left for vacation. The new lawyers claimed my parents had been tried under the wrong law, and that under the correct law the death sentence was illegal. Douglas decided to postpone his vacation one day to consider the request.
(Check back each day this week for a new posting leading up to Friday, June 19th, the 56th anniversary of my parents’ execution. To be notified whenever there is a new post to Out On a Limb Together, subscribe to the blog here.)
I'm so very touched by this remembrance of yours. Although the story is well-known and I have read both of your books and more, I am still very moved at the thought of this monstrous injustice. Your life's work is a lasting tribute to your parents; they would be so proud of you and the mission of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. My commitment to the Board of Directors for the past 18 years has been one of the most significant activities in which I have been involved and has given special meaning and satisfaction to my own life's work for social justice.
Your story gives me such strength to fight on, again and again and again. I am riveted by this blog and thank you for posting it.
I am very grateful for the Rosenberg Fund. I visit the family of an innocent man, incarcerated for being a Muslim. The Rosenberg Fund pays for their school tuition.
The children miss their father very much. Reading your story makes me realize even more how we much work for justice. I am very sorry your parents were executed. I am very touched by your post.
In the case of my friends, their father's sentence is 15 years. He will only miss their childhoods. But, fifteen years is a long time when you are only 3.
Thank you so much for the Rosenberg Fund.
I was in the fifth grade at the time. My parents and many of their friends were ardent supporters of your parents. Our family's life was caught up in the severe miscarriage of justice. It was a terrible time. We went to rallies and other supportive activities, but all of us felt so helpless! Sometimes, I think that not much has changed. Thank goodness for RFC and progressive people who still give me hope for the future. Robert, you are a hero, as were your parents. I will never stop fighting for people's issues and justice.
Heart wrenching memories. Thank you for keeping your story alive. We should never forget history that is so severely painful and wrong. Never give up the fight despite the lies against you. Peace and power to the people of justice and freedom. Thank you for carrying for our children and their needs. Sharon Cohen