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.
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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_and_Ethel_Rosenberg/
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.