For is an original black and white MOCK PHOTOGRAPH OF ROSENBERG SPIES from the the estate of US AMBASSADOR SAM LEWIS, former Ambassador to Israel. This original 1950s gag photo is signed “WITH REMORSE” and appears to feature a executed US spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were executed in the early 1950s. The photo was obtained from the estate of US Ambassador Sam Lewis who started working for the State Department in 1954. Photo measures 7 inches by 5 inches. A very odd political memorabilia collectible.
Sam Lewis began his career with the US State Department in 1954 and he served as the US Ambassador to Israel between 1977 and 1985. He is most well known for having a major role in negotiating the Camp David peace talks in 1978 that resulted in a historic treaty between Egypt and Israel. He passed away in 2014 and the photo for sale came from Ambassador Lewis’ estate sale. At the time, Sam Lewis started his career as a Foreign Service officer, the 1953 execution of the Rosenberg spies would have been at the forefront of worldwide news. Someone in State Department with a dark sense of humor must have made the mock post mortem photo of the Rosenberg spies as a gag. It’s interesting that this 1950s joke photograph still exists.
Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. The couple provided top-secret information about radar, sonar, jet propulsion engines and valuable nuclear weapon designs (at that time the United States was the only country in the world with nuclear weapons). Convicted of espionage in 1951, they were executed by the federal government of the United States in 1953 in the Sing Sing correctional facility in Ossining, New York, becoming the first American civilians to be executed for such charges and the first to suffer that penalty during peacetime.