An­other View of Venona

Smithsonian Magazine - - Discussion -

The ar­ti­cle on the Venona code breakers (“Code Name: Venona,” Septem­ber 2018) ref­er­ences my par­ents, Ethel and Julius Rosen­berg: “[Rosen­berg’s] wife, Ethel, was im­pli­cated in two of the [Venona] mes­sages.” I be­lieve Venona ex­on­er­ates—it does not im­pli­cate—my mother. The first mes­sage stated that my father had told his Soviet han­dlers that his wife vouched for a rel­a­tive as “in­tel­li­gent and clever.” The sec­ond ex­plic­itly stated that she “does not work.” Mered­ith Gard­ner, the Rus­sian lin­guist who was the “mas­ter” book breaker, has stated that those words meant Ethel Rosen­berg was not an es­pi­onage agent. Fi­nally, all Soviet agents were given code names. My mother never was given one.

Michael Meeropol | Lo­ca­tion with­held at his re­quest

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