The end of David Greenglass


Today is my mother’s 92nd birthday; our family has a flock of girl-birthdays in October, which is one reason I’m going to Oregon in about forty-eight hours—to be with the other birthday celebrants.

Reading yesterday’s NYT obituary of David Greenglass made my mother’s birthday the most…poignant. Not because she and Greenglass are the same age (which they are), but because she had to endure the witch-hunt politics of the 1940s and 1950s, for which David Greenglass gets some credit.

This isn’t at all logical: With Ruth Greenglass, the Rosenbergs, and now David Greenglass gone, I have the urge to dust off my hands and say, Well, that’s finally over. Not logical. Read all about David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs in the Times obit.

And if you’re too young to know what I’m talking about, read the many comments that accompany the obit. TBUHB is a blog about writing and reading: read the writing—the comments—to get insight into both sides of the story.


Read 2 comments

  1. Happy birthday to your mother. And to you. (And to me: my birthday is also October 13.)

    I agree that it’s not logical to feel that the story of the Rosenbergs and the Greenglasses is over. Not while their sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, are still alive. I am old enough to remember the evening of the execution, and the hushed, shocked reaction of my parents which, beyond all their talk of guilt or innocence, betrayal or self-preservation, kept coming back to this one thing: “But the children, the children!” That, for me, was the source of nightmares, the embedded memory; that was the story.

    Then again, Sacco and Vanzetti are not over for me, either. They were killed before my time, but the story lives, and will not end for me while my brain can conjure up the word’s of Bartolomeo Vanzetti’s last speech. Good shoemakers and poor fishmongers die; details fade. Stories live.

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