The Jewish Victim of Newtown Conspiracy Theorists

Gene Rosen Sheltered Kids — And Finds Himself in Storm's Eye

Blame the Jew: Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist, is distraught as he recounts the reactions of children who survived the Newtown school massacre. Conspiracy theorists call the interview evidence that the mass killing never really happened.
youtube
Blame the Jew: Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist, is distraught as he recounts the reactions of children who survived the Newtown school massacre. Conspiracy theorists call the interview evidence that the mass killing never really happened.

By Anne Cohen

Published January 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Gene Rosen was walking out of his house to get lunch at a diner in his hometown of Newtown, Conn., when he came across six children and an adult sitting in his driveway. Confused, the retired psychologist asked them what they were doing.

The date was December 14, 2012. Less than a mile away, a shooter had just opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The adult was a school bus driver who had just driven the children away from the scene of the violence.

Rosen, 69, who happens to be Jewish, did exactly what any normal person would do, nothing more, nothing less. He took the children into his house and allowed them to stay there until their parents and authorities arrived to pick them up.

The simple act of kindness isn’t really remarkable. But in a startling and disturbing twist, it has somehow landed Rosen in the middle of a storm of hatred. He has now been targeted by hate-fueled conspiracy theorists who claim the Newtown shooting either didn’t actually happen or was somehow concocted for political gain.

Rosen has been harassed by phone and by email. Fake social media accounts have been created in his name. His story has been the subject of dozens of YouTube videos, one of which is mocked as an “audition tape” for his TV debut. The video shows Rosen, distraught and sobbing, explaining to a reporter what happened from the moment he saw the Sandy Hook children in his driveway.

“[The children] said, ‘What are we going to do for a teacher? Our teacher is dead,’” Rosen says in the video, his voice cracking between sentences.

Rosen’s hesitant manner of speech has been flagged by those suspicious of a cover-up as proof that he is an actor attempting to learn his lines.

“I don’t know what to do,” Rosen told Salon.com in an interview on January 15. “I’m getting hang up calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid.’”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.