“The FBI files show that my mother was only arrested to use as a lever against her husband.”. Today, after the release of the intercepted Venona cables from the Soviet consulate to the KGB, it is widely accepted that Julius Rosenberg was, indeed, a spy who passed along information, but nothing of nearly as much value as atomic bomb secrets. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. 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. Many years later, Greenglass said he implicated his sister to protect himself and his wife.

On Thursday morning, the two brothers — who took the last name of their adopted family, Meeropol — returned to the White House. They were convicted and became the first and only American civilians to be executed for espionage conspiracy. Eventually, they adopted them. Michael Meeropol, who had not seen the movie before, said he had been forewarned and left the auditorium from his seat in the back row shortly before the executions were shown on screen. (AP), The brothers, who took the name of the family that adopted them, Meeropol, say their mother was wrongfully convicted and executed. (Whether they are guilty remains unclear.). “And people are wondering, ‘How much of this is the real Rosenberg case?’”. Although they admit that their father was a spy for the Soviet Union, they do not believe he passed along secrets about the atomic bomb, the crime for which he was tried and executed. Michael Meeropol said Thursday that he remembers taking part in the White House protest 63 years ago and seeing a broad coalition of supporters and signs that said such things as “The electric chair can’t kill the doubts in the Rosenberg case.”. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! “We never do this,” Michael said in an interview following the forum. That reversed testimony led to the charges against Ethel. Robert, on the other hand, admitted that his feelings about Doctorow’s book were much more negative than his brother’s. ( Joe Heim/The Washington Post). And so the saga of the Rosenberg orphans continues—as unsatisfying and unresolved as ever. Fiction and fact intersected dramatically when the real-life sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg made a rare joint public appearance for a screening and discussion of “Daniel,” a movie inspired by their parents’ infamous trial on conspiracy to commit espionage charges. Nor has the government ever admitted that Julius Rosenberg didn’t pass on the kinds of secrets for which he was convicted. “There’s no accounting for taste,” he said, with a laugh. The Isaacson parents, who are depicted throughout the movie as committed Communists, are accused of leaking state secrets to the Russians. The network he helped create stole information on all kinds of military technology.

Then what happened? Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. Copyright ©2020The Forward Association, Inc.All rights reserved. His parents were none other than Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and they were accused of being Russian spies who passed on secret information about nuclear technology as the Cold War kicked into high gear. In fact, the Meeropol brothers today bear little resemblance in age or in temperament to the Isaacson siblings in the film, who are shown as small, traumatized children and damaged young adults. Deaf Ears: The Rosenbergs? Throughout the panel discussion, the Meeropols were good-humored and seemed to have no trouble speaking candidly about the circumstances of their parents’ deaths. Others were implicated and convicted for participating in the spy ring, but the Rosenbergs drew the most attention. After living in what amounted to hiding for years, they embraced their true identities and began to reinvestigate their parents’ case. All Rights Reserved. During their 1951 trial, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Jewish New Yorkers and Communists, were charged with leaking secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union during World War II. A growing amount of evidence points to Julius Rosenberg as a busy—and successful—recruiter of Soviet spies.

Later in the conversation, Haberman brought up another aspect of the Rosenberg trial, one only briefly touched upon in the film: the fact that many players in the case, including the Rosenbergs, their judge, the prosecutors and the defense lawyers, were Jewish. Though “Daniel,” the 1983 film by Sidney Lumet, is a work of fiction and is based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel, “The Book of Daniel,” it follows the same basic premise as the Rosenberg trial. 10-year-old Michael Rosenberg pats his younger brother, Robert, 6, and tries his best to comfort him, as the youngsters ride away from Sing Sing prison after visiting their parents, convicted atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, just a few days before their execution. As such, much of the panelists’ discussion focused on delineating what actually happened during the Rosenbergs’ trial. They’re even firmer on their mother’s innocence. Opposition to the sentence came from figures as varied as Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Pope Pius XII, who petitioned Eisenhower to spare the couple’s lives. The request hadn’t been granted. When the Rosenbergs were executed, their sons were playing catch at the home of a family friend. Meanwhile, Robert and Michael were left without parents. (Both brothers have also written extensively about the case and have fought legal battles in an effort to clear the historical record.). But as they reconstructed the evidence on their parents, they came to the agonizing conclusion that their father wasn't innocent after all. The Rosenbergs’ trial began on March 6, 1951. The fictional Isaacson children are not, it should be clearly stated, one and the same as the Meeropols. They were six and ten years old. Three and seven years old at the time, they were first sent to live with their grandmother. sons and their grandmother making a futile appeal to the White House to stop their execution. “After 40 years of research and struggle, we are sharing with President Obama the fruits of that struggle and once again asking for presidential action,” said his brother, Michael. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles.