Film Series

Daniel: Screening and Conversation

October 15, 2011

Daniel is based on the story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple convicted as spies and executed by the U.S. government for selling atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

FOLCS hosted authors, Michael and Robert Meeropol, and journalist, Clyde Haberman, for a screening and discussion.

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Michael Meeropol

Michael Meeropol was born Michael Rosenberg in 1943. When he was seven, his parents were arrested and charged with “stealing the secret of the atom bomb.” When he was ten, they were executed.

After his parents’ execution, he and his brother, Robert, were adopted by Anne and Abel Meeropol.

He went on to graduate from Swarthmore College and Kings College, Cambridge University before completing a doctorate in economic history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught economics and history and interdisciplinary studies since 1970.

He lived in relative anonymity until 1973 when he and his brother publicly claimed their Rosenberg legacy and embarked on a campaign to reopen their parents’ case.

He co-authored with his brother We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He is the author of Surrender: How the Clinton Administration Completed the Reagan Revolution. He is also the editor of The Rosenberg Letters.

He joined Robert in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force the release of close to 300,000 pages of previously secret government documents related to his parents’ case.

Robert Meeropol

Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1953, when he was six years old, the U.S. government executed his parents for “conspiring to steal the secret of the atomic bomb.”

For 40 years he has been a progressive activist, author, and public speaker. In the 1970s he and his brother, Michael, successfully sued the FBI and CIA to force the release of 300,000 previously secret documents about their parents. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from the University of Michigan, graduated law school in 1985, and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

In 1990, after leaving private practice, he founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children and now serves as its Executive Director. The RFC, which is in the midst celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of 20-plus special events across the country, provides for the educational and emotional needs of both targeted activist youth and children in this country whose parents have been harassed, injured, jailed, lost jobs, or died in the course of their progressive activities. In its two decades, the fund has awarded $4 million in grants to benefit hundreds of children.

Robert’s memoir, An Execution in the Family, was published by St. Martin’s Press on the 50th anniversary of his parents’ executions. The book details his odyssey from Rosenberg son to political activist and leader of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

Clyde Haberman

Clyde Haberman has been a Metro columnist for the New York Times since September 1995, when he returned to New York after nearly 13 years as a foreign correspondent. For nearly 16 years, he wrote the NYC column, which came to an end in April 2011. He now writes a four-times-a-week column called ‘The Day’ on the Times’s City Room blog.

During Haberman’s years abroad, he was based in Tokyo, Rome, and Jerusalem.

He was the Times’s Tokyo Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1988, mostly covering Japan and South Korea, but also traveling extensively to other parts of Asia, writing on everything from the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines to pro-democracy uprisings in South Korea.

While based in Rome from 1988 to 1991, he spent much time in Eastern Europe, covering the collapse of Communism, and then in the Middle East, during the Persian Gulf War. Based in Jerusalem from 1991 to 1995, he covered Israel’s breakthrough agreement with the P.L.O. and the rise of militant Islamic terrorism, among other major events.

Before joining the Times’s foreign staff in 1982, Haberman was a Metro reporter, and for several years headed the newspaper’s City Hall Bureau. Earlier, he had been an editor in the Times’s Week in Review section.

He has been with the paper since January 1977. Before that, he worked for the New York Post, covering a wide variety of local and national stories, including the bloody Attica prison rebellion in 1971 and Jimmy Carter’s successful 1976 campaign.