Ethel Rosenberg Innocent? Did She Take Her Brother’s Seat In The Executioner’s Chair?

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple accused of espionage and selling secrets of the atomic bomb to Russia, were executed in 1953 for what was hailed the “crime of the century.” Now, over 60 years later, new evidence has come to light that shows Ethel Rosenberg may have been innocent.

In an article published on June 20, 1953, by the New York Daily News, the Rosenberg couple were said to have fought for two years to appeal the death sentence they received in 1951, to no avail. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg claimed to be innocent until the day they died. The following is an excerpt from the article.

“[Julius and Ethel Rosenberg] died calmly — and silently. There had been some speculation that, near the end, they might crack and take advantage of government offers to save their lives by making a clean breast of their spy operation. There had been some belief, too, that they might die chanting the dreary Communist slogans by which they had lived. But they fooled everybody — and their fellow Commies fooled them. Not one showed up in Ossining to carry on the demonstrations which the Commies have been staging all over the world for the last two years in their behalf. They died very much alone.”

Photos of the Rosenbergs which appeared in the 'New York Daily News' in 1953. Photos of the Rosenbergs which appeared in the ‘New York Daily News’ in 1953.

The Rosenberg couple left behind two innocent little boys, who were just 6 and 10 years of age when their parents were executed. Now those boys, Robert and Michael Meeropol, are trying to prove that Mr. Rosenberg was innocent of atomic espionage, and that Mrs. Rosenberg was innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

The belief that the Rosenbergs were innocent hinges on the recent release of court records from the testimony of Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, which were the last records to be unsealed from the Rosenberg trial after the death of Greenglass. These records could have been released sooner, but David did not want his testimony to be unsealed.

The Rosenberg boys believe that their uncle and his wife, Ruth, were actually the atomic spies who sold government secrets to Russia, and that he framed the Rosenbergs for his own crimes. This was actually the defense used by Emanuel Bloch, the Rosenbergs’ attorney, reports the Recorder.

“David Greenglass lied when he said Ethel did it. It’s kind of like a giant jigsaw puzzle we put together, and an important piece fell into place today. It’s intriguing to me that the longer we’ve gone on, the more accurate [Bloch’s defense] looks. It’s past time for the government to admit the wrong it did.”

In his testimony, Greenwell claimed that on September 25, 1945, Julius Rosenberg accepted a sketch of the atomic bomb, and Ethel Rosenberg typed up notes about the drawing, supposedly in preparation of sending them to KGB agents.

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Robert Meeropol believes this is proof that his parents, and his mother in particular, were innocent.

“When you put all these things together, it becomes glaringly apparent that the Sept. 25 meeting never happened. The Greenglasses pinned what they did on my parents in order to save themselves.”

Robert is on a mission to clear his parents names and prove once and for all that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were innocent of atomic espionage.

[Image via Rare Newspapers]