The Rosenberg File: An Update

Last week in the New York Times Sam Roberts reported the admission of Rosenberg co-conspirator Morton Sobell that he and Julius Robsenberg were indeed Soviet spies. Toward the end of the article Roberts mentions the capitulation of long-time Rosenberg defender Walter Schneir on this point.

While Roberts mentions Schneir’s capitulation, he fails to mention the vindication of Rosenberg case historian Ronald Radosh. (Roberts acknowledges Radosh as a historian of the case and a plaintiff in the suit to release the grand jury minutes that were released last week.) Radosh is of course the coauthor (with Joyce Milton) of The Rosenberg File, the authoritative history of the Rosenberg case. Originally published in 1983, the book has been republished in a second edition taking advantage of documents subsequently made available in the United States and the Soviet Union.

When I read Roberts’s article last week, I most wanted to see what Radosh would have to say about it. Radosh modestly omits any mention of his own hand in reconstructing the the true story of the Rosenberg case, but his column “Case closed: The Rosenbergs were Soviet spies” is of great interest.

The younger son of the Rosenbergs — Robert Meeropol — is still on the road peddling the old-time religion. He is scheduled to speak at the University of Minnesota on October 6 on literary representations of the Rosenbergs. Meeropol is director of the Roseberg Fund for Children, which attends to “the educational and emotional needs of both targeted activist youth and children in this country whose parents have been harassed, injured, jailed, lost jobs or died in the course of their progressive activities.” I understand that the Rosenberg Fund will be considering grants for children of “activists” suffering adverse consequences of arrests at the Republican convention in St. Paul this month. (Not that there are any such consequences.)

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