In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart. Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother.
"Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy" by Anne Sebba focuses on one half of that couple using new evidence which has surfaced since then. Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement.
Anne Sebba is a prize-winning biographer, lecturer, and former Reuters foreign correspondent who has written several books, including That Woman and American Jennie. Anne is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. We are also joined by Mike Meeropol, son of Ethel Rosenberg who was a valuable source for Sebba.