Love - Conscience - Conviction: The Rosenberg Case


This exhibition traces the history of the case of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, two American citizens charged and executed for conspiracy to commit espionage under the Espionage Act of 1917. The centerpiece of this exhibition is newly-released original correspondence between Julius and Ethel written while they were in prison. This material was recently acquired by the Gotlieb Center from the Rosenbergs' two sons, Michael & Robert Meeropol. Julius and Ethel delve into the solitude of prison life, their love for each other and their adamant belief in their eventual exoneration. Also on display are their letters to family, friends and their lawyer, Emanuel Bloch, touching on guardianship of the boys; misrepresentation of the case in the media; the prosecution's brutish tactics at trial; and preparation for their eventual execution.

The exhibition also features holdings from other Gotlieb Center collections of activists and scholars close to the case. The papers of authors, activists and founders of the Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case, David & Emily Alman; the Committee to Secure Justice for Morton Sobell; teacher, songwriter and adoptive father of Michael & Robert Rosenberg, Abel Meeropol; and authors and activists Miriam & Walter Schneir. This rich material reveals an America wrapped in fear of Communism and of government destruction of civil rights. Materials on display include letters and documents both for and against the Rosenbergs, songbooks, manuscripts, flyers, photographs, court documents, Venona Project documents, and newsletters about the case. .

The exhibition also gives a view into the early lives of Michael and Robert Meeropol, the sons of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, and how their lives changed when their parents were imprisoned. Shown are childhood letters and lists, photographs of them learning to play guitar, college papers, and their own activism for justice and civil rights.

To view digital facsimiles of the Rosenberg correspondence, please visit


This exhibition is no longer on view.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg