Note on the
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in Prison
On June 19, 1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by means of electrocution for the crime of spying for the Soviet Union.1 At the time and later the case generated a great deal of heat and controversy. Many people thought that the Rosenbergs were victims of a government frame up.2 In fact as late as the 1990’s many still thought the Rosenbergs as innocent.3 For example Fred Inglis writes:
Evidence-conscious as we all are now we have to say solemnly at this juncture that we cannot know for sure that Greenglass’s story was all tarradiddle. But Greenglass was a known perjurer who was desperate to climb out of trouble; he was also an extremely low-level lens-grinder for the Los Alamos project. Julius Rosenberg was an honest sap. At the trial Rosenberg doggedly, ingenuously said that he felt the Soviets had made life better for the underdog, had restored the fabric of the country, had helped destroy the “Hitler beast” who destroyed Jewry.
Alger Hiss, like the Rosenbergs, still stands in an obscure position between innocence and guilt in the case history of American law.4