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October 17, 2003 - Image 77

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Left, Robert Meeropol today, and, right, in 1969, on the steps of the Ann Arbor
apartment he shared with his wife, Elli.

than three years. But don't get me
wrong, I oppose the death penalty"
Meeropol feels it was "not unreason-
able" for the government to imprison
Jonathan Pollard for spying on
America for Israel, but he says, the
length of the prison term is "unreason-
able. ... He's been there far too long."
He adds: "Remember, Russia was
our ally during my parents' case, just as
Israel is our ally today. There are just
too many political aspects of these
cases to serve justice properly"

Creating A New Life

In its 273 pages, An Execution in the
Family serves as both a political mem-
oir and an autobiography for
Meeropol.
He writes clearly of missteps and
confusion, and doesn't just relate anec-
dotes that flatter.
"I wrote the book at this time
because I wanted to tell the story of
how I survived my childhood and
made something good of my life, such
as creating the RFC. We provide finan-
cial assistance to children who suffered
the way I did." (Part of the book's pro-
ceeds will go to the RFC.)
Asked about the last chapter of the
book, titled "Constructive Revenge" —
and how any revenge can be construc-
tive — Meeropol said, "It's only natu-
ral in a case like this to seek revenge,
but that alone is destructive. I chan-
neled my revenge into something con-
structive."
Meeropol spends the last page of the
book bashing President George W.
Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft
and Homeland Security Secretary Tom
Ridge for "repressive domestic policies
in the name of eradicating terrorism."
Meeropol writes: "How ironic that
our government and the citizens will-

ing to follow it blindly, not those who
attacked the World Trade Center, have
exposed the fragility of our freedom."
The Meeropol brothers — Robert,
56, and his wife, Elli, and Michael, 60,
and his wife, Ann, live in the relative
seclusion of western Massachusetts.
They each have two children. Michael
is an economics professor at a New
England college.
In their final letter to their sons,
the Rosenbergs wrote: "... We were
comforted in the sure knowledge that
others would carry on after us."
Robert Meeropol believes they
meant "others would carry forth their
political ideals and struggles for peace
and justice."
But, he says, he can't help feeling
they also meant others would forever
"take care of their two sons."

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Robert Meeropol will read from
and discuss An Executiion in the
Family noon Tuesday Oct. 21, at
the Wayne State University Law
School's Spencer M. Partrich
Auditorium, 471 West Palmer,
Detroit, sponsored by the Jewish
Law Students Association and the
Student Board of Governors;
(313) 577-3091. There will be a
private reception for Meeropol at
7:30 p.m. that evening in the
Detroit area, (413) 529-0063.
Meeropol also will speak noon
Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Way
Station, 223 South Washington
Square, Lansing; (517) 853-1336;
and at 8 p.m. that evening at the
Residential College Auditorium,
East Quad, University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor, spon-
sored by Shaman Drum
Bookshop; (734) 662-7407. All
lectures are free to the public.

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10/17

2003

77

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