The Rosenberg Spy Trial (45 minutes), Case Closed (47 minutes)
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused of passing atomic secrets to the Russians in 1951. This “trial of the century” was a demonstration that America would not tolerate communist spies.
One reason Roy Cohn, a Jew, was selected for the prosecution was to counter the accusation of antisemitism. The trial itself was a sham. The death penalty was imposed as an attempt to make the Rosenbergs implicate others. They did not, and they were executed in 1953. They were, and still are, the only people executed by this country during peace time for spying.
Case Closed is largely the reflection of Alexander Feklisov, a former KGB colonel who was involved in recruiting American spies for Russia. His testimony, half a century after the trial, sheds light on the guilt or innocence of the Rosenbergs.
In this four part summer series, facilitator Jack Brin will bring films about the McCarthy era to show and discuss. The first film will focus on the life of Joseph McCarthy, followed by Edward R. Murrow’s career as depicted in the film Good Night and Good Luck, the Rosenberg spy trial and its aftermath, and finally the Paul Robeson story and a film which features commentary by Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, and Joseph Wershba, among others.
Registration is appreciated.