The Rosenberg Fund for Children.

The 1952 execution of the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, stretches back to the edge of my awareness of American history.  The case took place in the McCarthy Era, one of the most hysterical periods in our country’s history, and touched nerves on the right and left beyond the nation’s borders.

June 11, 2011, Mark Rudd invited me to a fundraiser for the Rosenberg Fund for Children.  The fund, the idea of Robert Meeropol, came into existence 21 years ago.  Robert Meeropol, who took the name of his adoptive parents, is the youngest son of the Rosenbergs.

The event was held in the huge back yard of an elegant home in an older Albuquerque neighborhood.  

Under a forty-foot canopy of cottonwood trees, Mark Rudd introduced Meeropol, a three-year-old when his parents were arrested, orphaned at age four when they were executed.  

What must it be like to be a child, have some understanding that your parents did something so bad they were abruptly taken away forever? Then to be told incomplete stories, be shunned in school, be treated as a pariah by the parents of schoolmates?  Whatever the crimes of parents, children are innocent of them.  Yet their suffering is biblical.

The Rosenberg Fund for Children provides cash in modest increments to children of targeted activists.

I choose to skip a discussion of the meaning and use of the phrase “targeted activist” or to judge on the merits of the Rosenberg case, a balanced report of which appears on Wikipedia at

Providing support for innocent traumatized children seems like a good cause to me.

I stayed over three hours at this two-hour event and bought Meeropol’s book, Execution in the Family.  Once again the stack of books on my nightstand grows tall.

4 Responses to The Rosenberg Fund for Children.

  1. Colleen Rae says:

    Fascinating, Al. I have always been fascinated by the Rosenberg trial, not at all sure that they were guility of treason. In another era, not tainted by McCarthyism, they might not have been indicted.
    Rudd proves to be a continuing important and engrossing character in your travels.

  2. karen wittgraf says:

    I remember my folks talking about the “terrible Rosenbergs” but never understood- and let it go. Thoughts of them have crept into my mind here and there over the years and, with this blog, I now want to know more. The McCarthy era was totally insane and does make one wonder about this family and wonder about truth. I will follow up on this. Thanks.
    My heart goes out to the innocent children that suffer under the hands of “righteousness”.

  3. M. Kaplan says:

    No court today would have treated them alike. Aside from the humanitarian gesture of not leaving 2 small children without a parent, there is no doubt that Ethel Rosenberg’s involvement was far less than her husband’s.

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