Exonerate Ethel!

Background information

My brother and I have embarked on a campaign (run by the Rosenberg Fund for Children), to get President Obama to exonerate our mother, Ethel Rosenberg, before he leaves office.

There is damning new evidence showing the government knew she was not a spy, and executed her anyway. We have a very strong case, and I’m writing to ask for your help.


Last summer, previously secret government material at the heart of the case against my parents, was made public after the National Security Archive successfully sued for its release. This material – the transcript of the sworn, grand jury testimony of David Greenglass (my mother’s brother, and the chief prosecution witness against her) – demonstrates that the government knowingly manufactured the case against my mother, to pressure my father to cooperate.

Last July, the grand jury release made international headlines, with story after story calling my mother’s conviction and execution into question. Shortly thereafter, my brother and I published an Op-Ed in The New York Times calling for her exoneration and got tremendous public support for the idea.

On what would have been my mother’s 100th birthday in September, Members of the City Council in New York issued a proclamation stating my mother’s execution was “wrongful ,” and the Manhattan Borough President declared it “Ethel Rosenberg Day of Justice in the Borough of Manhattan.” These actions by government officials in the largest city in this country – where my parents lived all their lives until their arrests, and where their trial took place – demonstrates the growing recognition that my mother’s conviction was a travesty.

Over the winter, a major national network TV news program began working on a segment expected to air this fall, interviewing my brother and me about the miscarriage of justice in our parents’ case.

And this spring, we launched a petition at www.rfc.org/ethel calling on President Obama to formally exonerate my mother before he leaves office.I’m writing to you now to ask you to help us in this effort.

The time is right to do this not only because of glaring new evidence that the government knew my mother was not a spy and executed her anyway.It’s also essential because we’re witnessing a horrifying resurgence of the same kind of attacks that McCarthy and Hoover engaged in – only now, it’s aimed at Muslims, immigrants, and transgender people; as well as Black Lives Matter organizers, environmental activists, and others challenging our broken system.

We require a government that is just, humane, and accountable…at this moment in history more than ever. 

Please sign the petition at www.rfc.org/ethel .

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