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In an interview with New York Times reporter Sam Roberts, Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, admitted on Wednesday that “his father deserved to have been convicted of the legal charges that led to his parents’ execution. ‘Yes, he was guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage,’”Meeropol told him.
After decades of denial, and insistence that his father was framed up and was innocent, Robert Meeropol for the first time has admitted that his father — but not his mother — was legally guilty of the charge for which he had been indicted.
Moreover, Meeropol seemed to have been stunned and surprised by the revelation that Steven Usdin and I had in our Weekly Standard article about the case two weeks ago, in which co-defendant Morton Sobell revealed to us that on a July 4th weekend in 1948, he and three other men, including Julius Rosenberg, photographed top secret documents obtained for them by scientist William Perl, which they passed on directly to a KGB officer.
On this, Meeropol wrote: “I’d be less than honest if I did not admit that the latest news that Morton Sobell, my father and two others provided aeronautical information to the Soviet Union in 1948 gives me pause. My parents wrote in their last letter to me and my brother: ‘Always remember that we were innocent and could not wrong our conscience.’ My father, at least, doesn’t seem quite so innocent anymore.”
What he neglected to say is that this story, first outlined decades ago by my co-author Joyce Milton and I inThe Rosenberg File, was sharply attacked by Michael, Robert’s older brother, in the book they co-authored in its second 1986 edition. Michael Meeropol had argued that this entire incident had been fabricated by the FBI in order to frame Perl and to force him to testify against his parents. Now, it seems that at least Robert Meeropol has acknowledged that the incident did take place, and that his father was engaged in very real espionage. [...]