The Rosenberg Case

Despite massive, worldwide protest, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed on June 19, 1953, at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, NY. They were convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Espionage in one of the most hotly-debated trials in U.S. history.

Case Summary

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Rosenbergs in the park

"We were comforted in the sure knowledge that others
would carry on after us."

Justify their trust—
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Rosenberg Mentions of the Day

  • Copy of Anne Sebba's "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy" on orange background
    #rosenbergmotd

    Sep 07, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: Sharing Foreign Affair's latest review of "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy", a brief statement acknowledging that prejudice (misogyny, antisemitism, anti-communism… Read More
  • Ed Asner as newspaper editor Lou Grant in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, circa 1975. (Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images)
    #rosenbergmotd

    Sep 02, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: Sharing a lovely and fitting tribute to legendary actor Ed Asner (an "unflagging supporter of socialist causes") which shares a number of stories of his art &… Read More
  • Colorful collage of Ethel Rosenberg's face in colorized photos in blues, yellows, and purples
    #ExonerateEthel

    Aug 02, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: We're pleased to share Ellen Meeropol's publication for Lilith Magazine, a thoughtfully crafted reflection on two recently published books focused on Ethel Rosenberg.
  • Collage including screenshot of Director Ivy Meeropol and her father Michael Meeropol for virtual conversation about her film "Bully. Coward. Victim." and movie's logo underneath over three block photos of Roy Cohn in red, yellow, and purple colorized photos.
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jul 29, 2021

    Excellent news to share! Ivy Meeropol (granddaughter to the Rosenbergs)'s documentary "Bully. Coward. Victim." has been nominated for a 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Historical documentary!
  • WAMC logo - royal blue background with cartoon image of radio microphone in white with orange sound design emanating from top, yellow WAMC letters below. Caption below includes Anne Sebba's book and title "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy"
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jul 28, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: New from WAMC Northeast Public Radio, an illuminating interview with both Michael Meeropol, older son of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg, and author Anne Sebba to discuss… Read More
  • Graphic design of RFC donor testimonial (quote included in post text), arranged scrapbook-style, with quote text in silver on a white note card layered over another white note card, taped to a white background with a strip of yellow and white striped piece of tape.
    #notesfromourcmmty

    Jul 23, 2021

    Sharing one of our #notesfromourcmmty today. This one is from an RFC supporter who gathered in support of the Rosenbergs with their family all those years years ago ♡
  • Screen shot of the online event, split screen between author Anne Sebba (left) and RFC Founder Robert Meeropol (right)
    #ExonerateEthel

    Jul 20, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: ICYMI - RFC Founder Robert Meeropol & NYT bestselling author Anne Sebba discuss Sebba's latest biography which focuses on the life of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and… Read More
  • Professional headshot of Jennifer Meeropol, Executive Director of Rosenberg Fund for Children
    #ExonerateEthel

    Jul 13, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: ICYMI - Jenn Meeropol's "Exonerating Ethel" presentation delivered on June 6th, 2021 to the Community Church of Boston to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the… Read More
  • Web design of the handwritten letter quoted in the post's text. Scrapbook-style layout with beige note paper layered over a gray box, torn paper, fern fronds, and paper bag in the background.
    #notesfromourcmmty

    Jul 02, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: Stories and donations continue to stream in to the RFC in response to the June 19th anniversary of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg's executions.
  • Ethel and Julius Rosenberg during their trial for espionage in New York. Photograph: AP
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jul 01, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: The Guardian reviews "Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy" (the UK title of Anne Sebba's new biography) -- "Sebba has dug deep beneath this famous and archetypically… Read More
  • Two panel image with book cover on the left of "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy" and author Anne Sebba on the right
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jun 23, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: On Tues 6/29 at 7PM EDT, the Odyssey Bookshop is hosting a free (virtual) event, a conversation with Anne Sebba, author of "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy" and RFC… Read More
  • Graphic design with black and white color blocked background, and green circle with RFC beneficiary parent quote inside in white text (quote in post), and "we love you!!" highlighted with pink
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jun 22, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: Thank you to everyone who made the anniversary of June 19th so very meaningful this year, whether you shared your story with us, made a gift to the RFC in honor of Ethel… Read More
  • Booking photographs of Ethel (left) and Julius Rosenberg (right)
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jun 21, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: Fantastic article published over the weekend, featuring deeply personal interviews with RFC Founder Robert Meeropol and RFC Advisory Board Member Michael Meeropol about… Read More
  • Red square Rosenberg Fund for Children logo in white text
    #childrenofresistance

    Jun 19, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: On the 68th anniversary of her grandparents’ execution, RFC Executive Director Jenn Meeropol shares her thoughts on another recent anniversary: April 5th marked exactly… Read More
  • Graphic design with donor quote in white text (text in post), inside a dark gray box. Background is a photo of a forest looking from the ground up to the sky with treetops in the background, all with a black transparent overlay.
    #notesfromourcmmty

    Jun 19, 2021

    Remembering the Rosenbergs today 💔
  • Black and white photo from 1953 of Ethel/Julius Rosenberg's 2 sons as young children standing in front of the White House with their two guardians.
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jun 19, 2021

    In their final letter to their sons, Ethel & Julius Rosenberg wrote that they were "comforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us." On this anniversary of their executions,… Read More
  • Black and white photo of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg posing for a photo in the park. Both are seated, Ethel's arms are around Julius.
    #notesfromourcmmty

    Jun 18, 2021

    Rosenberg Mention of the Day: As we anticipate tomorrow's anniversary of the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, we can't help but think of the communities of support who kept hope alive and… Read More
  • Red square Rosenberg Fund for Children logo in white text
    #rosenbergmotd

    Jun 16, 2021

    We're holding space in our hearts for two momentous anniversaries this week. Being fully in the joy and fully in the grief, as life so often calls upon us to do:

The Rosenbergs' Last Letter

On June 19, 1953, hours before their execution, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg wrote one final letter to their two young sons: Michael, age 10 and Robby, age six.

In the video below, Angela Davis sets the scene and Eve Ensler and Cotter Smith read the letter, as part of the RFC's CARRY IT FORWARD event that commemorated the anniversary of the executions and celebrated activist families who continue to resist today.

Remote video URL

Who Supported the Rosenbergs?

Exonerate Ethel

In 2016, the RFC and the Meeropol family launched a petition campaign calling on President Obama to exonerate Ethel Rosenberg, after the release of previously secret grand jury records provided additional proof that Ethel was not a spy, and that the government knew that at the time but prosecuted and executed her anyway. The petition garnered massive press coverage and tens of thousands of supporters, and significantly altered the public narrative about Ethel.

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Press Coverage

Sons of Cold War spies reinvestigate their parents' case

Jul 23, 2017
It was called "The Crime of the Century," one of the most famous espionage cases of the Cold War.  In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sent to the electric chair for conspiring to provide the… Read More

Unsealed 1950 testimony minimizes Ethel Rosenberg's spying role

Jul 15, 2015
Newly unsealed testimony from Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass, minimizes her role in the spying operations of her husband, Julius Rosenberg, furthering public incredulity about her actual… Read More

Secret Grand Jury Testimony From Ethel Rosenberg’s Brother Is Released

Jul 15, 2015
More than six decades later, the prosecution of Ethel Rosenberg remains one of America’s most controversial criminal cases: Her conviction — and eventual execution — for joining in her husband Julius… Read More
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Close-up of Robert Meeropol behind microphone

Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and founder of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. He is an activist, attorney, writer and public speaker. In his 23 years at the RFC, Robert assisted hundreds of children whose parents also have been attacked for their social activism.

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Contact us to request an interview or speaking engagement with Robert Meeropol, for Rosenberg or Meeropol-related photos or permissions, or for other questions.