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!
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • 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.