|Collage by Martha Rosler on view at the Jewish Museum, NYC|
The Rosenberg case was nothing, if not complicated, and that’s true for Morton Sobell’s role in it, as well. But a few simple truths stand out:
1) Mort stood in solidarity with Ethel and Julius at their darkest hour, at great personal cost.
Mort and Julius engaged in acts of espionage, but did not “steal” or give to the Soviets what the U.S. government called “the secret of the atomic bomb.”Ethel did not engage in espionage at all, and our government knew that, but prosecuted and executed her anyway.
And we’re also thinking about how our government’s playbook of fearmongering and repression – so much a part of the prosecution of Morton Sobell and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – is once again being embraced and utilized by those in power in our country today.