98-Year-Old “Spy” Wants Cold War Record Thrown Out

August 13, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Miriam Moskowitz, a 98-year-old woman who was wrongly accused of being a spy more than 60 years ago, has filed papers in Manhattan Federal Court to dismiss the conviction, the Daily News reports. The brief asks “to correct a miscarriage of justice from the McCarthy era, of which Ms. Moskowitz is perhaps the last living victim.”

Moskowitz was arrested in 1950 when she was working as Abraham Brothman’s secretary. Brothman was accused of espionage alongside Harry Gold, who informed on Moskowitz after receiving a death sentence. Moskowitz and the married Brothman were having an affair, and neither of them defended themselves in court in order to avoid revealing it. Moskowitz was convicted of obstruction of justice, and unlike her boss, actually served two years in prison. He got off on a technicality.

The conviction made life miserable for Moskowitz, who says she became very reserved, faced employment issues and never married or had children because of the case.

In 2010, she found unsealed grand jury documents wherein Gold, who would go on to be instrumental in the famous conviction of the Rosenbergs, told investigators that she was innocent. There was evidence that the government purposefully prevented this information from going public. Her suit also alleges that the “government withheld critical and exculpatory evidence for nearly sixty years.”

Moskowitz says that if her conviction was vacated, she “would feel like everybody else. I see people in the street so carefree with no burdens. To be like them, it would be blissful. It would be something very extraordinary to feel like an ordinary person.” (Image via Daily News)