Rosenbergs' sons say new spy revelation clears their parents





To the Editor:

“A Spy’s Path: Iowa to A-Bomb to Kremlin Honor” (front page, Nov. 12), about a Soviet spy who helped steal atomic secrets during World War II, provides powerful evidence that our parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were wrongfully executed.

History students are taught that our father headed a conspiracy that stole “the secret” of the atom bomb (historians are uncertain about the role of our mother). Meanwhile, government officials sat on the story of the spy revealed in your article.

Later in the article, a historian is quoted as saying, “It would have been highly embarrassing for the U.S. government to have had this divulged,” and so they kept it a secret, preferring to make a scapegoat of our father.

For decades we have argued that the evidence presented at the trial, even if it were legitimate, revealed no significant secrets about the theory or construction of the first atom bombs. In fact, the material allegedly passed was full of errors. We have noted that Klaus Fuchs, the British scientist who confessed to spying, had provided much more detailed and accurate information.

Since 1999 the American public has known about the successful spying of another atomic scientist, Theodore Hall. This latest revelation shows there was an even more significant breach of the Manhattan Project.

Furthermore, as early as 1948, two years before our parents’ arrests, the United States government knew about the effective spying of Dr. George Koval. This vindicates our major argument: the charge that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg stole the secret of the atom bomb was a fraud from the moment that the prosecutors, with the connivance of the Atomic Energy Commission, made that case.

Our parents were sacrificed so that United States intelligence agencies could save face and cover up their negligence. Robert Meeropol

Michael Meeropol

Easthampton, Mass., Nov. 15, 2007


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