Sons of Executed Spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Ask Obama to Exonerate Their Mother
On the day Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were scheduled to face the electric chair as convicted spies in June 1953, their sons, Michael and Robert, then 10 and 6, were told to go to a friend’s house and play baseball until dark.
When they walked back in the house that evening, Michael asked family members if his parents’ lives had been spared. When he didn’t get a direct answer, he knew his worst fears had been realized.
It was just days after the two boys had protested at the White House and handed a letter to a security guard asking the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, for clemency. The request hadn’t been granted.
On Thursday morning, the two brothers — who took the last name of their adopted family, Meeropol — returned to the White House. Now 73 and 69, they approached the northwest gate with a letter addressed to President Obama asking that he issue a statement exonerating their mother, who they say was wrongly convicted and sentenced.
“We are giving the United States government the chance to acknowledge the injustice done to our mother,” Robert Meeropol said to a group of reporters and onlookers. “This is a test to see if our government has the courage and commitment to true justice to acknowledge the terrible wrong it did to her and to us.”