Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Ethel Rosenberg’s Sons Return to White House With Plea for Clemency — 63 Years Later

The sons of Ethel Rosenberg famously journeyed to the White House in 1953 to deliver a plea for clemency for their mom after she was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union.

The plea fell on deaf ears when Dwight D. Eisenhower was in charge — and she was sent to the electric chair days later.

But 63 years later they returned on December 1 to ask President Obama to posthumously clear Rosenberg.

“We are giving the United States government the chance to acknowledge the injustice done to our mother,” said one son, Robert Meeropol, according to the Wsshington Post. “(It should) acknowledge the terrible wrong it did to her and to us.”

“After 40 years of research and struggle, we are …. again asking for presidential action,” said his brother, Michael.

There was no word on any immediate reaction from the White House.

The boys were 10 and 6 when they famously asked Eisenhower to grant clemency for their mother.

Both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted as spies and executed in one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War and the anti-Communist Red Scare that swept America.

Historians say Julius Rosenberg was a Soviet spy, but decades of revelations cast serious doubts about the guilt of Ethel. Her brother admitted he lied about her involvement to save himself and his wife from prosecution.




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.