How the Left Distorts History to Inspire New Generations of Activists

2. The Rosenberg Case

The second long-standing myth is that of the trial for conspiracy to commit espionage of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Suffice it to say, the Rosenbergs were indeed Soviet agents, seeking to provide Stalin’s U.S.S.R. with whatever military and industrial secrets the ring could gather to hand over to the Soviet totalitarian state. When I first wrote about this in the 1983 book Joyce Milton and I co-authored, we were lonely voices intent on telling the true story. By now our conclusions have been widely accepted, and in America, only a dwindling group of old Communists and fellow-travelers believe in their innocence.

This, however, is not the case, evidently, with the French.

On the 61st anniversary of their execution, June 19 of this year, Le Point ran a piece informing its readers that the “conviction of the Rosenbergs is the result of a huge paranoia that grips an entire nation.” It is a result of “fantastic Red-baiting” that existed throughout the United States. The trial was nothing but “a mock trial.” They note that “many organizations worldwide are calling today for review of the Rosenberg case.”

That falsehood is meant to create the impression that they will not be hoodwinked, and that despite everything known about the case, the left knows the “truth” that they were innocent. And readers of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, revised way after the truth of their guilt was known, will find a section of his book on the Rosenberg case where he predictably uses old discredited material to “prove” that they were framed (pp.432-435).