You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share
Blog:
Jewesses with Attitude

Remembering Ethel Rosenberg

Today marks 55 years since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed, convicted of "conspiracy to commit treason." The passage of 55 years - and the release of previously-classified documents - haven't yet succeeded in putting this case to rest.

The figure of Ethel remains particularly haunting. The tiny woman, too small for the electric chair to do its gruesome job quickly and effectively. The stoic woman, cast during the trial as unfeeling and unfeminine. The mother, accused by the press and others of selfishly sacrificing her children to the cause of Communism. The wife, held (and killed) by the government in an attempt to force her husband to reveal information. The sister, turned in by her brother. The daughter, whose own mother did not even attend her funeral.

She is a figure who (to me at any rate) radiates power from her small frame. And yet she is also a cipher of sorts - projected upon, reimagined, but not heard in her own voice. In an excellent documentary - Heir to an Execution - made by her granddaughter, Ivy Meeropol, we hear the words of letters she wrote while in prison. But the questions - and longing to know her more - remain.

May her memory be for a blessing.

More on: Communism, Execution
0 Comments

How to cite this page

Rosenbaum, Judith. "Remembering Ethel Rosenberg." 19 June 2008. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 30, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/ethel>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Poll

What Does America Need Right Now?

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Twitter

5 hr
Interesting reflection from on how Trump's presidency brought one couple closer together. https://t.co/RWdolzVltb
9 hr
Capitalism does not equal feminism, says . Thoughts? https://t.co/52Bfz7tUkE
12 hr
in 2001, food writer Joan Nathan received a lifetime achievement award. Check out her recent interview! https://t.co/Fkz5U0ex7c