A new website on convicted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg provides access to a collection of more than 500 letters between the couple while they were imprisoned.
The website was launched last week by the Howard Gotlieb Archival Center at Boston University.
Maintaining their innocence until the end, the Rosenbergs were executed on conspiracy charges for passing along secret information to the Soviet Union.
The controversial Cold War-era trial of the Jewish couple, and their execution in 1953, sparked worldwide protests and continues to capture the attention of students and scholars of law, history and politics as well as artists, musicians, filmmakers and the general public.
The extensive collection of letters, acquired from the Rosenbergs’ sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, includes more than three dozen letters between the Rosenbergs and their lawyer, Emanuel Bloch, that have never been available to researchers or the public, as well as more contemporary publications from the National Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Case.
Additional material includes pamphlets, newspaper clippings, sheet music of songs about the Rosenbergs and the Rosenbergs’ wills. The letters between the couple are high resolution digitized images.
In the last letter Ethel wrote to her children, on June 19, 1953, she says she is innocent and goes to her death unafraid because she knows she is doing it for a greater cause.
"Eventually, too, you must come to believe that life is worth the living," Ethel wrote.
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