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NYT: Decades Later, Rosenberg Case Again Ignites Passions

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:55 PM
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NYT: Decades Later, Rosenberg Case Again Ignites Passions
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 11:58 PM by kskiska
The Rosenberg clan - the circle of defenders and sympathizers that has come together for half a century on behalf of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - gathered once again yesterday, but this time the emphasis was as much on family as it was on politics.

A documentary film about the case and its consequences for the Rosenberg family made by a granddaughter of the couple, Ivy Meeropol, was shown at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in Lower Manhattan. The Rosenbergs were convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union and were executed in 1953.

Many of the 200 people in the audience carried placards a half-century ago pleading for clemency for the Rosenbergs. They and others were in tears at seeing the film, titled "Heir to an Execution: A Granddaughter's Story," stung not just by what they consider a miscarriage of justice but also by how it has continued to haunt the family.


The Rosenberg story is like the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, the Alger Hiss spy case and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - one of those events with enough loose threads and charged feelings to inspire passions that have lingered for decades. It also is an emblem of an era when tens of thousands of young people, despairing at the Depression and the persistence of poverty, joined the Communist Party, with some willing to betray their own country. In the film, Miriam Moskowitz, who befriended Ethel in jail, said, "You had to be dead from the neck up not to feel radical."

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