Ron Radosh

In Europe, the Rosenbergs are Forever Innocent

In Britain, it seems that the Left is still busy defending the innocence of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Writing in the The Guardian a few weeks ago, columnist Joanna Moorhead accompanied one of the Rosenberg’s children, Robert Meeropol, as he spoke in Berlin on a book tour and a campaign to prove his parents innocence.  It is clear that not only has the younger Meeropol not changed his views of the case despite all the evidence of his parents’ guilt, but neither has Ms. Moorhead.

In her fawning and disingenuous article, Moorhead notes that for years, the two brothers had fought to establish the Rosenbergs’ innocence. But last year, she writes, their “hopes were finally dashed” when new government releases proved that Julius was “involved in espionage.” And then her caveat: “although the secrets he stole weren’t atomic and probably didn’t amount to much in terms of damage to the US.” (my emphasis)

With the above sentence, Moorhead reveals she is spinning the same old lies—seemingly admitting some guilt on Julius’s part, but absolving him at the same time of really having done any harm to anyone, particularly his own country.

She continues, quoting Meeropol, who says that “he is in no doubt that the blame lies with the US government,” whose case “was riddled with holes,” and whose mother was not involved at all, and was only  indicted to pressure her husband to talk. Thus his parents “didn’t deserve to die: they were being used to whip up anti-communist feeling,” pawns in an international chess game, and he and his brother were its victims.

I have written about this many times, and to spare repeating myself, I refer you to the following for details. First, my open letter to Robert Meeropol; second, David Horowitz’s commentary, “Guilt of the Son,”  on it and on Robert Meeropol’s views, and third, my review of Steve Usdin’s important book, Engineering Communism. These articles all establish and cite evidence proving that the Rosenbergs were major spies. Secondly, they reveal that the military material they stole did great harm and major damage to America’s national security.

In one of these articles, I addressed Robert Meeropol and wrote: “For your own sake, I hope you are mentally prepared for the inevitable day when the KGB’s own archives reveal that your parents were guilty. Get ready, because it’s going to be soon.” At that time, I did not know how soon that would be.  That time, thankfully, has now come.

In the forthcoming bombshell of a book by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vasseliev, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB In America (Yale Univ. Press, 2009), the authors prove beyond a shadow of a doubt—-using never before seen actual KGB files—-that the Rosenbergs were indeed atomic spies; that the military data their network stole seriously compromised America’s security, that Ethel Rosenberg was involved with her husband from the start and worked to recruit others to the network; that Julius recruited a previously unknown atomic spy, Russell McNutt, and that their primary loyalty was to the Soviet Union and not to their own country. You will learn the details in their book, and in the review I am preparing for The Weekly Standard .

Knowing the truth, it is revolting and sad to read the words their mother wrote her sons on the last day of her life: “Always remember that we were innocent and could not wrong our conscience.”

In effect, those words reveal that Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were more willing to orphan their own children and die in the cause of serving one of the last century’s greatest monsters, Joseph Stalin. As Theodore Dalrymple writes in The City Journal, “what is clear is that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg supported in theory and aided in practice an ideology and a state that they should have known was responsible for some of the worse oppression and mass murder in history.” Noting that Robert Meeropol extols his parents for not talking to implicate others, he notes that “whether standing firm for one’s convictions is a good or bad thing depends on what those convictions are. A monstrous cause is not any the less monstrous because people are ready to die for it.”

Evidently, this truth is one that neither Mr. Meeropol or the fellow traveling columnist Joanna Moorhead seem able to comprehend.