|Ethel & Julius Rosenberg ~ Excuted 19th June 1953.|
“I was with Ethel in the women’s house of detention. When the van came to take us to court, Ethel and Julius would be in there. It was pitch black. One time a prisoner lit a cigarette, from the flare we could see Ethel and Julius trying to kiss between the gate.” ~ Miriam Moskowitz
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, American Jews convicted of passing nuclear weapons secrets to the Soviet Union, were the first American civilians ever executed for espionage. Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, was an employee of the Los Alamos atomic bomb project. He supposedly passed secrets to Julius and Ethel, who then funneled them to the Soviets according to the 'evidence'. They were executed in the electric chair on June 19th, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in NY State. So, today is their 59th Yahrzheit. We have a duty of Zachor, but let us not only remember the Rosenbergs (the ONLY spies ever executed for Treason in the USA), let us also remember the case of another supposed 'spy', Jonathan Pollard, today incarcerated for 27 years in the United States of America, the longest sentence served there for 'spying', and this despite his plea bargain agreement, reneged upon by the Americans. Is there any similarity to the unjust severity of their treatment, given that they are Jews???
Five months after Senator Joseph McCarthy entered the national spotlight, on Monday, 17th July, 1950, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Julius Rosenberg and charged him with transmitting classified information regarding the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Rosenberg's arrest had been preceded by the arrest of Harry Gold and David Greenglass, Rosenberg's brother-in-law, and was to be followed three and a half weeks later by the arrest of his wife, Ethel. The U.S. government was aware that nuclear secrets had been smuggled to the Soviet Union. Its decoding of Soviet cables, known as the Venona intercepts, led the government to Klaus Fuchs, a German-born scientist who had taken part in the Manhattan Project. Mr. Fuchs, after being arrested by the British authorities in February 1950, confessed to handing over information to a spy later identified as the Philadelphia chemist Harry Gold. Mr. Gold told authorities that he had also received secrets from a soldier based in Los Alamos, in New Mexico, the centre of the Manhattan Project, the euphemism for the 'spy ring'. That soldier, David Greenglass, implicated his wife Ruth and his sister Ethel’s husband, Julius Rosenberg, who was arrested in July 1950.
Unlike others in the case, Mr. Rosenberg refused to confess his guilt or offer any information to authorities. There was little evidence to suggest that Ethel Rosenberg was involved in the 'spy ring', but authorities arrested her to put pressure on Mr. Rosenberg. The Greenglasses, to protect themselves, later implicated Ethel, who was charged with Mr. Rosenberg under the Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibited aiding U.S. enemies during wartime. But the USSR was NOT an enemy state. It was an ally against the third Reich!
The Rosenbergs stood trial with Morton Sobell, a fellow spy, beginning March 6th, 1951. The prosecution’s key witnesses were the Greenglasses and Mr. Gold. The defence called only the Rosenbergs, who denied all involvement in Soviet espionage and frequently invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked about their allegiances to the Communist Party. The jury convicted all three defendants on March 29th, 1951.
As we enter our second decade of the 21st Century, I won't even wonder why the New York City jury that convicted the Rosenbergs did not contain one Jew, even though the city's population was 30 percent Jewish. And it needs to be noted that, even if the Rosenbergs were guilty as charged, their crime had been committed during World War II, when the Soviet Union was not an enemy of the United States. At the worst, the Rosenbergs had provided information to an ally, and this did not warrant the death penalty. The same offence incidentally that has kept Jonathan Pollard incarcerated all these years, as Israel too is considered an ally. Or is it???
At the sentencing of the Rosenbergs, Judge Kaufman remarked ....." I consider your crime worse than murder… In committing the act of murder, the criminal kills only his victim… But in your case, I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the A-bomb years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the bomb has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea, with the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that millions more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason." J. Edgar Hoover called the Rosenbergs' offence "the crime of the century." Hmmmmmm, it seems that euphemism has been applied to Mr. Pollard too in our own 'free' century!!
The question of the Rosenbergs’ guilt has long been debated. Defenders of the Rosenbergs believed that they were victims of the anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era and that they were convicted largely on the self-serving testimony of others implicated for espionage. In the last 20 years, evidence has come to light that confirmed Julius Rosenberg was a spy of sorts, but that Ethel Rosenberg played little or no role.
In 1995, the U.S. government released the Venona intercepts, which made clear that Mr. Rosenberg took part in the recruitment of Mr. Greenglass. Two years later, the former Soviet agent Alexsandr Feklisov revealed that he had been Mr. Rosenberg’s contact and that he had received top-secret electronic information, though little of it was helpful in developing an atomic bomb. In 2001, Mr. Greenglass admitted that he had lied about his sister Ethel’s typing notes about atomic bombs. In 2008, Mr. Sobell, who had long maintained that he and the Rosenbergs were innocent, admitted that he and Mr. Rosenberg had indeed been spies. In an interview with The Times he said of Ms. Rosenberg, “She knew what he was doing, but what was she guilty of? Of being Julius’s wife.”
So, Why were ONLY the Rosenbergs executed????? The Rosenbergs maintained their innocence till the end.
Many people around the world were shocked by the Rosenbergs’ execution, particularly when more important spies received lighter sentences. For instance, Klaus Fuchs, who provided the Soviet Union with information essential to building an atomic weapon, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and served nine. The execution of Ethel Rosenberg in particular is shocking, since there was little evidence against her and it was presumed that the threat of execution was meant to coerce her to testify against her husband or him to testify against others. Both Rosenbergs refused to confess or to name others, a decision that may have led to their deaths. Revelations in the 1980s that the FBI and the prosecuting attorney were in contact with Judge Kaufman prior to his sentencing of the Rosenbergs to death have led to questions regarding the fairness of the trial.
Why were the Rosenbergs punished so much more severely than others whose activities were comparable to theirs? Why is the same true of Jonathan Pollard?
Recent research admits to Julius’s role as a spy ~ but makes clear that Ethel’s involvement was minimal. Over a period of several months, Jonathan Pollard cooperated with the American Government's investigation, and in late May 1986, this Government offered him a plea agreement, which he accepted. (Remember that Pollard was giving information to Eretz Yisrael that their supposed ally the USA was not!!!) Pollard told Wolf Blitzer of the Jerusalem Post about some of the information he provided to Israel .... " reconnaissance satellite photography of Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia, specific capabilities of Libya's air defences, and intelligence about Arab and Islamic conventional and unconventional military activity, from Morocco to Pakistan". How is this even a crime???
In neither case does the terrible punishment inflicted fit the crime. In both cases however they are Jews involved. The world cares nothing for Justice for Jews. The world cares nothing for Jewish blood. We are all guilty. We are all Jews. It is not USA that is the land of the free or the home of the brave, but a little landmass at the centre of the world ...... Eretz Yisrael. Only here may Justice be found for Jews.