Julius & Ethel’s final day: June 19th, 1953

Despite massive, worldwide protests, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed in Sing Sing Prison. On this 62nd anniversary of that tragic day, their granddaughter, Jenn Meeropol, has this message and shares videos.

On Friday, June 19, 1953, my grandparents were executed at the height of the McCarthy era hysteria that was sweeping through this country.

In the video series posted this week, my father and uncle (who were six and 10 when my grandparents were killed) share personal memories of the last four days of Julius and Ethel’s lives, including their final visit as a family. Angela Davis explains the dramatic legal maneuverings that occurred. And Eve Ensler and Cotter Smith present the letters that Julius and Ethel wrote from June 16th to 19th.

I hope you will join me in remembering their courage and honoring their resistance,

First of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.

Second of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.

Third of four videos depicting the last four days of the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, as told through the letters they wrote to their two young sons on those dates. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.

The last video memorializes the heart-wrenching but defiant words my grandparents’ shared with their boys just hours before their deaths. Featuring Angela Davis, Cotter Smith (as Julius), Eve Ensler (as Ethel), and Rosenberg sons Michael and Robert Meeropol.

Jenn Meeropol is Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. Since its start, the RFC has awarded more than $5.6 million to benefit close to a thousand children in the U.S. whose parents have been targeted because of their involvement in progressive movements including the struggles to preserve civil liberties, wage peace, safeguard the environment, combat racism and homophobia, and organize on behalf of workers, prisoners, immigrants and others whose human rights are under threat.

Image: The iconic 1952 lithograph of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, “por Michael & Bobby,” by Pablo Picasso.

 


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