NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
6th April, 1951 : Judge Irving R Kaufman yesterday condemned Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair and told them their crime was “worse than murder”. They still protest their innocence. The death penalty is reserved for wartime spying but in this case the atom secrets were given to the USSR -then an American ally. The key Government witness in New York was Sergeant David Greenglass, Mrs Rosenberg’s brother. Another witness who confessed, Harry Gold, has been jailed for 30 years.
[H. Gold served 15 years. The Rosenbergs became a cause célèbre for the ‘useful idiots’ in the West. Even today some claim that injustice was done. The memoir of Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the USSR from 1953 to 1964, records that he learned from J.V.Stalin and V. Molotov that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg “had provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb.” The memoir adds: “Let this be a worthy tribute to the memory of those people. Let my words serve as an expression of gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives to a great cause of the Soviet state at a time when the United States were using its advantage over our state to blackmail our state and undermine its proletarian cause…”]