Friday, September 12, 2008


Today, Sept 12, the Washington Post gives new evidence of perjury used to convict and then execute Ethel Rosenberg some 55 years ago. I was 11 when she was put to death. She was my Mom's age. She and her husband Julius had two sons one of whom later became a college classmate of mine. Her electrocution was ugly, an ugly event at a time when immorally ambitious men put themselves at the head of a mob of frightened citizens not caring what damage they would do to the Constitution and the ideals on which the United States was founded. Our home was only a few miles from Sing Sing Prison. At the time they pulled the switch to kill Ethel Rosenberg we said we could see the lights dim. That is not a literal fact, but -- more powerfully I think -- a metaphorical one.

Here is the citation for the WaPo article:
Witness Changed Her Story During Rosenberg Spy Case
By Holly Watt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 12, 2008; Page A04

Link to the Wikipedia article on the Rosenbergs: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel Rosenberg's mug shot.

Image source: Wikimedia

Web page on a film about the family.
HEIR TO AN EXECUTION: The Rosenbergs’ Granddaughter Makes a Film about Their Legacy

The son my age, Michael, is on the left.

Emanuel “Manny” Block, the Rosenbergs’ attorney, with Michael & Robbie at Sing Sing. After the Rosenbergs were executed, the boys were adopted by Abel & Anne Meeropol. (Associated Press – 1953)

Picasso, untitled lithograph of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, 1952; souce:

The following photos come from

This is Ruth Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's sister in law.

Ethel Rosenberg in 1950

Funeral cortege in Brooklin


Andrew said...

On the Picasso untitled lithograph, the drawing on the left looks like they're related to the subject in this Picasso etching. Do you agree?

Thanks for the post!

Jeff said...

You're welcome. Sure, Picasso makes Ethel Rosenberg look faun-like but still decidedly feminine. Though there's no doubt it's a Picasso, the drawing style reminds me of Matisse.