Ethel Rosenberg. By Anne Sebba. St Martin's Press; 320 pages; $28.99. Weidenfeld & Nicolson; £20 O N JUNE 19TH 1953, just minutes after the execution of her husband, Julius, for espionage, 37-year-old Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the electric chair in Sing Sing prison in New York. The first three charges of electricity failed to kill her, but after two more she was dead, smoke rising from her head, the only woman executed in America in the 20th century for a crime other than murder. Thousands of people filled the streets around the chapel in Brooklyn where the couple's funeral was held. There were demonstrations across Europe, especially in France. For many on the left, the execution of the Rosenbergs on charges of spying for the Soviet Union—and passing on atomic secrets—was analogous to the Dreyfus affair in France half a century earlier. In the grip of McCarthyite anti-communist hysteria, this interpretation ran, America had sent an idealistic Jewish couple with two young children to their deaths on trumped-up evidence. The doomed pair protested their innocence until the end. In the case of Julius, this was never a convincing narrative. He had recruited his brother-in-law, David Greenglass, who was employed… Read full this story
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Julius Rosenberg was a Soviet spy. Ethel’s case is murkier have 276 words, post on www.economist.com at June 26, 2021. This is cached page on Vietnam Art News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.