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“...and that government of the people,
by the people, and for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.”


Vol. XXVI, No.2 JUNE 2004


NY Vets Celebrate 68th Reunion with

Patriots Act!
By Anne Taibleson
Paying tribute to 68 years of Appeal to Readers, page 2
political activism, over 800 people Grace Paley, page 3
attended the spring reunion of the
Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln
Teaching the Spanish Civil War, page 4
Brigade at the Skirball Center for the Dispatch from Madrid, page 5
Performing Arts at New York Catalonia’s Teresa Pàmies, page 7
University on May 2. Eleven vets,
some traveling with their families The Sinking of the Ciudad de Barcelona, page 9
from as far away as Arizona and Spanish Aviators Medals, page 10
Wisconsin, received enthusiastic
cheers for standing up against fas-
From the Archives, page 12
cism in Spain and continuing the Book Reviews, page 16
Continued on page 23
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Please continue sending me The Volunteer

An Urgent Message to Our Individual/Family $30.00 ❐
Readers Senior (over 65) and Student $20.00 ❐
Library $40.00 ❐
In recent years, The Volunteer has been keeping
Veterans of the Spanish Civil War No Charge ❐
you informed of the latest news about the Veterans of
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the other brigadis-
tas overseas. It also keeps you abreast of the many I would also like to send a gift subscription $_____
projects and programs sponsored by ALBA and the To
latest books and historical findings related to the Address
Spanish Civil War. Our contributors include eminent
scholars and writers, such as Paul Preston, E. L.
I would like to make an additional contribution to ALBA $_____
Doctorow, Ariel Dorfman, Helen Graham, and
Nicolas Sanchez-Albornos. Enclosed is my check for TOTAL $_____
The Volunteer is now the largest and most success-
ful publication that deals with the broad issues of the Name
Spanish Civil War, and its mailing reaches nearly Mailing address
6,000 homes and educational institutions. It is the tie
that binds the extended Lincoln Brigade family
Telephone number
together, and we take great pride in these pages that
remind us of the importance, and continuing heritage, Email address
of the young men and women who made their way to
Spain to save a democratic republic from fascist sup- ☛Please make checks payable to ALBA.
pression! Send to 799 Broadway, Rm. 227, New York, NY 10003
But publishing The Volunteer is expensive—and
increasingly so. The cost of production continues to
rise, and the publication is now running a deficit that
makes a nominal subscription fee necessary. Rest
assured that we are not about to go out of business or
suspend publication. But if you would like to contin- The Volunteer
ue receiving The Volunteer, we ask that you fill out the Journal of the
subscription form and send it with your check to: Veterans of the
799 Broadway, Room 227
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
New York, NY 10003 an ALBA publication
Or you can subscribe by credit card in a safe and
secure way at our website Click 799 Broadway, Rm. 227
on contributions. New York, NY 10003
Thank you for your continued support in keeping (212) 674-5398
the fine traditions of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade a
vital and living legacy!
Editorial Board
Peter Carroll • Leonard Levenson
Gina Herrmann • Fraser Ottanelli
Letters Abe Smorodin
Book Review Editor
Dear Editor, Shirley Mangini
I’ve just seen a documentary on the History Channel
Design Production
here on the cable T.V. in Spain about the Lincoln Brigade.
Richard Bermack
One third of the volunteers died in this land for the liberty
against the fascism! I’m just shocked. I just want to say that Editorial Assistance
you are for us the best side of the human being. Nancy Van Zwalenburg
Just thank you,
Submission of Manuscripts
Elias Izquierdo
Please send manuscripts by E-mail or on disk.

Letters continued on page 10

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talked about the things that led to her

political activism, almost as if her
writing were secondary. She read
some of her poetry, talked about her
childhood, her family, and memories
of her role as army wife during World
War II. Her lecture was held in the
auditorium of the King Juan Carlos I
Center and was packed, though this
event was more akin to a family get-
together around the dinner table. All
eyes and ears were tuned to the street-
smart charmer, Grace Paley, a
diamond in the literary jewelry box.
Grace Paley was born in the Bronx
in 1922, destined to be an activist. In
addition to her socialist parents, there
were communists, Zionists, and anar-
chists on her family tree. She wasn’t a
particularly happy teenager, and at
that time in her life, even politics
didn’t help. Later politics did help,
and her writing reflects the intense
experiences in her campaign against
war and inhumanity. As an idealistic
teenager demonstrating against
Franco in the mid-thirties or as an
adult visiting embattled North
Vietnam in the late sixties or a
women’s prison in El Salvador, her
visceral observations resonate in her
prose and poetry.
From “In San Salvador,” she recit-
ed: “…We are called The Mothers of
the Disappeared / we are also the
mothers of those who were seen once
more / and then photographed some-
times parts of them / could not be
found / a breast an eye an arm is
She did not specifically mention

Author Grace Paley Presents the current horrors in the Middle East.
She offered us this poem instead, writ-

Susman Lecture ten over 30 years ago and referring to

another horror: “My father said / how
will they get out of it / they’re sorry
By Anne Taibleson ture as well as the high praise and they got in / My father says / how
Grace Paley, this year’s guest plaudits for that writing. We are also will they get out / Nixon Johnson the
speaker in the ALBA-Bill Susman aware of her selfless commitment to whole bunch / they don’t know how
Lecture series, is a writer well-known. the peace movement, of her anti-war /goddamit he says / …greed greed
She is the author of many books, travels to North Vietnam and El time / nothing is happening fast
including The Little Disturbances of Salvador and Nicaragua. Think of the enough.”
Man; Enormous Changes at the Last most fancy superlative, and that has Grace Paley—writer, teacher,
Minute; Later the Same Day; New and also been applied to Grace Paley’s humanitarian—generously brought us
Collected Poems; and the collection of actions and deeds. into her world.
non-fiction, Just as I Thought. What more can I say, except that
Anne Taibleson is a member of the ALBA
Many of us have read her on April 30 Grace Paley came to town,
Board of Governors.
extraordinary contributions to litera- and for a little while she was ours! She
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Teaching the Spanish Civil War

on the Web
By Fraser Ottanelli
As most of us know, the rich his-
tory of the Spanish Civil War, with its
stories of courage and responsibility
of the Spanish people and of the mem-
bers of the International Brigades,
remains unknown by the vast majority
of students and teachers. For this rea-
son, as part of its web-based
educational series “For Your Liberty
and Ours,” ALBA has produced two
new multimedia educational tools
directed specifically at elementary,
middle, and high school teachers.
These programs provide educators
with necessary background informa-
tion and other teaching tools, such as
sample lesson plans and student activ-
ities, as well as access to rich resources
to incorporate the history of the
Spanish Civil War and of the antifas-
cist struggle into their curriculum.
Focusing on ALBA’s exhibit on
children’s drawing during the Spanish For Your Liberty and Ours
Civil War in “They Still Draw Multimedia Educational Programs produced by the Abraham Lincoln
Pictures: Teaching Materials,” co- Brigade Archives. Series Editor: Fraser M. Ottanelli
authors Sheilah Vaughn, Nancy
Wallach, Joan Levenson Cohen, and
Julia Newman illustrate the different Jewish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
ways in which these images of the
experiences of war and peace can be
effectively incorporated into the African Americans in the Spanish Civil War
Elementary and Middle School
Performance Standards for English
They Still Draw Pictures: Teaching Materials
Language Arts (ELA), the New York
State Learning Standards for the
Visual Arts, and the New York State Tools for Teachers and Educators
Social Studies Resource Guide.
In “Tools for Teachers and
Educators,” Howard Lurie shows high
school teachers how to use material risk their lives for others? What kinds ALBA is pleased to acknowledge
relating to the Spanish Civil War to of circumstances compel young men the generous support these projects
confront students with questions of and women to reach out beyond their have received from Alfred Knobler
identity, civic responsibility, and polit- own family and community to help and the Estate of Isabel Johnson Hiss.
ical participation. By placing Spain in those facing brutal repression and even
the broader context of the antifascist death? Why do some people choose to
struggles of the 1920s and 1930s, look the other way, while others take a
Fraser Ottanelli is chief editor of the web-
World War II, and the Holocaust, stu- stand? What does it mean to fight for
site series “For Your Liberty and Ours.”
dents confront the issues that continue your own liberty while also fighting for
to be relevant today: Why do people the liberties of others?
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Dispatch from Madrid:

The Opinion Makers’ Civil War
Inflammatory statements of professional opinion makers
close to Aznar: “We are on the verge of a new civil war.”
By Miguel Ángel Nieto ning the country. The Right has Incredible as it seems, given this
Since the victory of the Socialist announced that it will be a “loyal and state of affairs, Spaniards are more
Party in the March 14 elections, the patriotic Opposition,” while in fact it fearful than ever, and conversations in
daily discourse of the opinion makers has warned that it will “have its eye” homes, cafés and bars no longer run to
of the right (and the left) has risen to a on the new government. More than a the latest movies and soccer scores,
fevered pitch. Carlos Castilla del Pino, warning, it is a threat, and has taken but oddly to trying to understand if it
one of Spain’s most prestigious psy- the form of a mobilization in the is true that the phantom of the Two
chiatrists, points out with alarm: “We streets of rightwing supporters, Spains has returned to haunt us.
must recover harmony within the whipped into a frenzy by the inflam- It is time for peace to reign and for
parameters of our normal disagree- matory statements of professional so many opinion makers to keep their
ments. The last four years have taken opinion makers close to Aznar. “We opinions to themselves. Spain is not
me back to the landscape of the ‘Two are on the verge of a new civil war,” is standing on the threshold of a new
Spains’—an irreconcilable Right and the message they send to spread civil war, and the brigadistas will not
Left—that I experienced before 1936.” hatred and fear among the people, a have to pack their bags and come once
Reading the op-ed pages of
Spain’s dailies has begun to turn my
stomach: columnists insult each other, Incredible as it seems, given this state of affairs, Spaniards
and two of the most important radio
stations in the country, Cadena SER are more fearful than ever, and conversations in homes,
(pro-Socialist) and Cadena COPE
(financed by the Church), spend hours cafés and bars no longer run to the latest movies and soc-
and days working up their listeners in cer scores, but oddly to trying to understand if it is true that
an irresponsible attempt to make them
believe that conditions are ripe for a the phantom of the Two Spains has returned to haunt us.
new civil war.
As Castilla del Pino suggests, this
comes mainly from the arrogant style fear easily fanned now that Spaniards again to the defense of Spanish
with which the right wing has gov- have learned there is a new terrorist democracy. The agitation from right
erned in Spain for the last four years, threat from an enemy, a militant and left notwithstanding, Spain has
systematically ignoring the will of the Islam, previously unknown. shown a political maturity unthink-
people and creating an invisible but The opinion makers on the Left, able 30 years ago, and has always
highly effective control of the media. for their part, have been caught in this shown good judgment at the polls.
But it is equally true that it all came irresponsible trap because, among This time it has done so with convic-
tumbling down in the wake of the other reasons, they have not changed, tion: it was necessary to vote out of
terrorist attacks of March 11 in though 60 years have passed since the power a leader—Aznar—who ruled
Madrid and the subsequent defeat of civil war ended. It’s hard to believe, like Franco’s star student, and vote
José María Aznar in the general elec- but the stable of leaders of opinion in him out they did. A new breeze is
tion, giving victory to José Luis this country has never been renewed. blowing in Spain, and we can breathe
Rodríguez Zapatero. It seems likely that, whether or not easily once more.
The Right fails to understand its they believe we are on the threshold
fiasco at the polls (all indications were of the civil strife their right-wing col-
Miguel Ángel Nieto is one of Spain’s
to the contrary) and has refused to rec- leagues write about, they fear that if
leading investigative journalists.
ognize, and perhaps never will, the they don’t respond they’ll find them-
serious political errors it made run- selves out of work.
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By Anthony Geist
Evacuation and Displacement; 4) civil war decades earlier.
They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Camps and Colonies; and 5) Visions of The drawings will now return to
Art in Wartime from the Spanish Civil Peace (Life After the War). The exhibit UCSD for an evaluation of their condi-
War to Kosovo, ALBA’s third traveling juxtaposes with the Spanish works 22 tion by an art conservator. At the time
art exhibit, ended its run on April 10 drawings done by children in later of this writing there is indication that
at the AXA Gallery in midtown wars, from the Holocaust to Kosovo,
Manhattan, where over 7,500 people showing that this is a current as well
saw these powerful works of art on as an historical problem. It also fea-
display. It showed previously at the tures seven photographs, including
University of California/San Diego, four original prints by Robert Capa.
Lehigh University, Dartmouth The AXA exhibition received broad
College, and Southern Illinois and enthusiastic press coverage, rang-
University, bringing a new vision of ing from reviews in the New Yorker and
the Spanish Civil War to responsive the Village Voice to features articles in
audiences., El Mundo (Spain), and La
The exhibit, curated by ALBA’s Repubblica (Italy), as well as a primetime
Tony Geist and Peter Carroll, features spot on Spanish national television.
77 drawings created by Spanish Nancy Wallach, daughter of vet Hy we may be able to extend the show’s
run to other venues, but that will
depend on a careful inspection of the
drawings and a determination that
they are not deteriorating because of
over-exposure to light.
U.S. foreign policy and world
events have conspired to make They
Still Draw Pictures tragically timely.
We can only hope that after the bombs
fall, there will be enough crayons and
paper for the children of Fallujah,
Tikrit and Baghdad.
Anthony Geist is chair of the Spanish
department at the University of

Two errors appeared in “Spanish
Exiles Pay Homage to Lazaro
Cardenas” (March 2004): First,
Mexico was not the only Latin
Republican children between the ages Wallach, and Joan Cohen, daughter of American government to support
of 5 and 15 in refugee camps and gov- vet Len Levenson, created an extraordi- the Allies during World War II; Brazil
ernment-sponsored Children’s nary K-12 teaching curriculum did also. Second, Mexico’s treaty
Colonies. These little masterpieces are coordinated with New York City’s rig- with France on April 2, 1939, to pro-
organized in a five-part chronological orous public school standards. tect Spanish refugees preceded the
narrative that depicts a child’s experi- Hundreds of school children visited the formation of the Vichy government
ence of the civil war: 1) Memories of exhibit and were able to witness how in 1940.
Peace (Before the War); 2) War; 3) Spanish kids their age experienced the
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Catalonia’s Teresa Pàmies: A Communist Literary Life

By Gina Herrmann
and finally, in 1971, back to Catalonia. gins of Party governance and pursuits.
In 2001, at 81 years of age, the In 1971, Pàmies published her Through her novels’ heroines (most
Catalan writer and Communist mili- master work, Testament a Praga based on her own personal history)
tant Teresa Pàmies became the second [Testament in Prague], a co-authored and as the protagonist in her own life
woman to receive Catalonia’s most memoir that creates a dialogue stories, Pàmies communicates the per-
revered literary prize, the Premi d’ between her dead father’s memoir and spectives of rank-and-file women in a
Honor de les Lletres Catalanes. With this Teresa’s letters written in response. political culture dominated by men.
prize, Pàmies stands in the unusual The book’s publication and enthusias- Such Communist women often carried
position as having won nearly every tic reception coincided with Pàmies’ the brunt of domestic and family work
important Catalan literary honor of return to Catalonia, where she alone while they held down jobs, par-
the last century while being virtually embarked on a career as a writer and ticipated in resistance efforts, and
journalist, in which she remains active supported their male partners who, as
today. As a columnist in the Catalan a function of their political work, were
newspaper Avui and a contributor to either imprisoned or often absent.
the influential leftist magazine Triunfo, It is somewhat ironic that Pàmies
Pàmies initially earned more recogni- should be known for her portrayals of
tion as a journalist than as a novelist conflicts between the private and pub-
or memoirist, despite the fact that she lic lives of political women, since “her
published nearly one book a year marriage and maternal trials,” as
between the mid-1970s and the late Hispanist Janet Perez puts it, “remain
1980s. Today, Pàmies retains her visi- cloaked in privacy.” We know that she
bility as a journalist and political married twice, the second time with
commentator, but as publishing hous- Gregorio López Raimundo, the former
es have reissued her works in new Secretary General of the Catalan
editions, she has attracted a new gen- Communist Party, and that she gave
eration of Catalan readers. birth to five children.
Pàmies’ more than 30 books, most What makes her books relevant
autobiographies or autobiographical beyond their compelling renderings of
novels, touch on the life circumstances the lives of leftist women is the fact
Teresa Pàmies familiar to Party cadre: involvement in that Pàmies witnessed first hand the
Communist youth movements, the key moments in the history of
unknown outside of Catalonia. experiences of socialist activism, war, Western communism. Her writings
A life-long Communist, Pàmies exile, imprisonment, clandestine work embrace events as temporally and
began her career of political militancy in the anti-Fascist or anti-Franco resis- geographically distant as the Spanish
and activist journalism when she was tance, and finally the passing of Civil War, World War II, the Stalinist
a teenager in Lérida. As a young political values from one generation to purges of the 1950s in Eastern Europe,
adult, Pàmies gained recognition for the next. In her portrayals of the Prague Spring of 1968, the Soviet
her work as a youth leader in the Communist families, she exposes how invasion of Czechoslovakia, the events
United Socialist Youth of Catalonia political activity intrudes on and of May 1968 in Paris, and the transi-
(Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas) changes the quality of civilian, domes- tion to democracy in Spain.
and as a spokesperson for the tic, and personal life, but also captures From her humble origins and
Republic on international fundraising the emotional and intellectual intensi- leadership in the Socialist youth dur-
tours during the Spanish Civil War. ty of a life devoted to the ing the Spanish Civil War to her work
The end of the war forced Pàmies into advancement of socialism through the as a radio journalist in Communist
an odyssey of exile that took her from militancy of Communist Party mem- Prague and her continued activism in
France to the Caribbean and México, bers. Pàmies’ work is decidedly the Spanish Communist Party after
to Czechoslovakia, again to France, feminist, not because she questions the death of Franco, Pàmies would
the social structures of her generation, seem to have earned her reputation as
Gina Herrmann is a member of the but rather because her writing is a stalwart “Stalinist.” But this label
Spanish department at the University of always concerned with the experi- fails to capture the political, creative,
Oregon. ences of politically committed women and ideological complexity of a
who inevitably function at the mar- Continued on page 8
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A Communist Literary Life

Continued from page 7

woman who has spent much of her

intellectual energy struggling with the
legacy of Stalinism and searching for a
historically relevant, renewed under-
standing of socialism that is both free
of the weight of the crimes of the past
and in the service of an alternative to
capitalism for the future. Her writings
constitute an example, as she says in
her little epistolary book, Els anys de
lluita: carta a la néta sobre el comunisme
(2001), [The Years of the Struggle: A
Letter to My Granddaughter About
Communism], of how communism is
“not just an ideology, but a way of
life”—a way of life that can and should
be passed on as a family legacy.
Pàmies learned about politics
from her father, Tomás Pàmies Pla, an
eccentric, energetic, and womanizing
character who was a leader in the
fledgling Catalan Communist Party, In 1937, by the time she was 18, Teresa astic, open, even a bit naïve, a repre-
Bloc obrer i camperol (BOC). Observing held the distinction of being a leader sentative of what at that moment had
her father organizing peasant coopera- in the United Socialist Youth in captured the imagination of the whole
tives and worker’s unions, which Catalonia (JSUC) and the co-founder world.”
often led to his periodic incarcera- of the proto-feminist Alianca Nacional The fact that Pàmies began her
tions, Teresa developed a political de la Dona Jove (the Young Women’s career as a writer relatively late in
consciousness as a girl. By the time National Alliance). Her career as a life—at the age of 50—may account
she was 10 years old, she was selling journalist began when she worked as for the deeply reflective and self-criti-
the BOC’s newspaper, La Batalla. Her a war correspondent for the JSUC dur- cal nature of her work. Time and
father’s example of self-sacrifice ing the civil war. As she gained again we find that she interrogates her
served as the political model on which recognition for her journalistic and own unquestioning devotion to the
Pàmies has forged her identity as a rhetorical skill, Pàmies functioned as a Party, while at the same time attempt-
militant. In a letter in Testament in kind of teenage “Pasionaria,” “presid- ing to honor what part of Communist
Prague, she pays homage to the legacy ing at meetings, delivering speeches, idealism was and remains viable and
of progressive values: “If one day in and working in information and pro- humane. As in the memoirs of many
Balaguer there were to be some kind paganda.” Although she did not fight former or de-Stalinized
of official recognition of your life, it on the battlefront, Pàmies and other Communists—such as those by Jorge
would not be with a plaque at the young women in the Socialist youth Semprún, Arthur Koestler, or Artur
entrance of a hotel, but rather on the made periodic “morale-boosting” London—guilt and regret about the
doors of the prison. The prison where trips to the frontlines. But perhaps the extent to which Party cadre acted in
you spent so many nights for having most intriguing work Pàmies under- collusion with the darkest acts and
dared to reclaim the soil for those who took during the war was as a attitudes of Stalinism play prominent-
till it, for demanding the nationaliza- fundraiser for Spain during a propa- ly in Pàmies’s works. From the
tion of church lands and the ganda tour to the US, England and exclusion of Anarchists in the youth
separation of church and state, free lay France in 1938. Although one of many delegations sent to raise money for
education, the emancipation of in the politically diverse Republican Spain to the failure to censure the
women and the rehabilitation of pros- delegation, Pàmies became known in show trials and executions of loyal
titutes, for fighting for free love and so the U.S. media as “the Spanish War’s Party members in the infamous 1952
many other wild ideas.” Girl.” In her memoir, Quan érem capi- Slansky trial, Pàmies’s narratives trace
Pàmies never studied formally tans (1974) [When We Were Captains], a lifetime of conflicting sentiments
beyond elementary school and Pàmies explains “They needed to
Continued on page 11
became a self-educated revolutionary. showcase someone youthful, enthusi-
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T he S ink ing of the C iudad de

B ar c elona , M a y 1937
This article is excerpted from to Barcelona or Valencia, depending distance of approximately a kilometer
Suomalaiset Espanjan sisallissodassa upon whether there had been suc- and a half from shore.
1936-1939, just published in Finland by cess in quieting the rioting that the Suddenly all passengers were
Jyrki Juusela after 10 years of labor. The Anarchists had engaged in recently. ordered below decks, and the only
book contains the Spanish Civil War biog- About 250 volunteers—Americans, way that men could observe the sil-
raphy of each of the 72 Finnish loyalist English, Germans and Italians, and houette of a large Italian battleship
volunteers (as well as of the 14 fascist vol- some men who had come from as was through the portholes. The
unteers) and a study of each battle in far as New Zealand and Australia. London Non-Intervention Committee
which they participated, mostly in the XV One group was composed solely of had ordered that this part of the sea be
Brigade, but in other units, such as parti- French pilots. controlled solely by the Italians. When
sans, motor vehicle drivers, artillerymen Also boarding were the Finns, Spanish waters were reached,
and cooks, as well. The book deals with the Hugo Koski, Valentin Vattulainen, Republican airplanes made trips
political situation prior to and during the and the Lassila brothers, Ahti and greeting the ship from time to time.
war and contains numerous photographs Sauli, as well as the Finnish- One seaplane landed, and the pilot
in its 400 plus pages. This article was Americans—hunting guide, Frank came aboard to warn the captain of
written from Spain to the (Finnish) Daily Arvola; union representative, Martin submarines lurking in nearby waters.
Eteenpain in New York about the sinking Kuusisto; and agricultural page editor, After some time a small motorboat
of the SS Ciudad de Barcelona, near the
port town of Malgrat, by the Finnish-
American, Hjalmar Sankari, who was an A seaplane appeared and its pilot made
editor of that newspaper. He was a victim
of the sinking and was subsequently killed frantic arm movements of warning. But it
after being taken prisoner in the Aragon.
Translated by Matti A. Mattson was too late.
A Submarine Sunk the SS Daily Eteenpain, Hjalmar Sankari. The pulled alongside the Ciudad de
Ciudad de Barcelona off the Finnish brothers related to Sankari, Barcelona and a uniformed officer of
Town of Malgrat—About 60 prior to sailing, that had the Finnish the Coastal Patrol again warned of
Drowned officials known of their intentions for nearby submarines. Later a gunship
this trip, they would have been sum- appeared and patrolled alongside.
A truly dramatic ocean voyage marily imprisoned for a couple of The next day, a Sunday, at about
was made by those volunteers who, years. (They used the quaint phrase, 14 o’clock, the Ciudad de Barcelona had
on Saturday the 29th day of May 1937, “reading the ends of red bricks for a reached a point off shore of the town
boarded the SS Ciudad de Barcelona, a couple of years.”) Now, however, the of Malgrat, about 60 kilometers from
freight and passenger vessel, in men were on their way to strike a Barcelona. Editor Sankari had, along
Marseilles, France. The ship was pre- blow at Franco and, in effect, at the with friends, gone to the top deck,
viously owned by the Falangist’s great same time “batter Finland’s fascist where the men, to pass the time, had
financial supporter and millionaire Lapua’s corporal punishment heroes.” started to play cards. A seaplane
member of the Spanish parliament, When the horizon became dark, appeared and its pilot made frantic arm
Juan March, and had been national- the ship headed for the open sea with movements of warning. But it was too
ized. A day earlier, while in the all of its lights extinguished. The vol- late—all that was heard was a muffled
harbor, the ship’s cargo of flour had unteers had been hidden in small vibration followed by an explosion.
been sabotaged by having had cabins and salons below decks but Weeks earlier a Franco submarine,
kerosene poured upon it. The prepara- were now allowed to go above to get the General Sanjurjo, which had been
tion for boarding the volunteers had some fresh air. They were warned rented from the Italians, had maneu-
been scrutinized from an Italian war- against smoking, as lights can be seen vered in Spanish waters. Now it had
ship that had lain at anchor nearby. over long distances at sea. The voyage left its home port, Soller, in Mallorca,
An effort to sink the Ciudad de began pleasantly. A New Zealander in the night, obviously seeking
Barcelona had already been attempted and an Australian gave a fast-paced revenge for the Germans. A few days
in January, but the Italian torpedo wrestling exhibition, some men were earlier Republican planes had made a
aimed at the ship had malfunctioned. singing and playing instruments. For surprise attack against the German
Now it was intended that the ship go security reasons, the ship sailed only a Continued on page 14
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Spanish Aviators
Honor Lincoln Vets
Thirty-eight years after the this. “But I do remember how much
International Brigades bid farewell to the aviadores accomplished in clearing
the people of Spain, a veteran of the the skies of Madrid from Junkers, Fiats,
Spanish Republican Air Force sent Fokkers and so on,” Wolff said. “We
Milt Wolff a bronze medal with the ought to send them a medal or two.”
following inscription: Long ago someone wrote, “They
Spanish Republic went to Spain as volunteers expecting
International Brigades—Combatant neither pay nor medals, only the
The following letter accompanied opportunity to join in the resistance to
the medal. Fascist aggression.” That medals are
Aviators’ Medal
Dear Friends and Comrades of the forthcoming now is because the leg-
Lincoln Brigade: end of the International Brigades is Spain,” said Wolff. He also recently
We Spaniards will never be able not forgotten. “Forty thousand volun- accepted a medal given by the
to repay the debt of gratitude to the teers from so many countries, the University of Alcalá de Henares,
Brigadistas who came to fight on our living and the dead, and what they Spain, on behalf of all the
side to defend Liberty, and sowed did there, are preserved in the heart of International Brigade volunteers.
the fields of Spain with their blood.
We aviators of the Republic will
never forget your actions. Honor and
Glory to the Lincoln Brigade. Continued from page 2
With a great abrazo from your
friend and comrade, To the Editor: that drove all who fought to save the
Antonio Vilella In 1938, the notable American Spanish Republic. As part of our work
Christmas 2003 sculptor Jo Davidson went to Spain to to keep the memory of this struggle
Wolff accepted the medal on create a series of 10 busts of Spanish alive, it is incumbent on us to find an
behalf of all the international volun- Loyalists. Davidson’s busts of appropriate museum, gallery, or well-
teers who came to the aid of the Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933), Fiorello frequented archive to house them. The
Republic. LaGuardia (1934), Carl Sandburg busts cost $6,000 each or $45,000 for
The organization representing the (1934), Mahatma Gandhi (1931), all nine. Any suggestions that will
veterans of the Spanish Republican Albert Einstein (1934), and George help find a buyer and home are wel-
Aviators is in Barcelona, and they Bernard Shaw (1931) had already won come. Contact VALB or ALBA.
were represented at the festivities held him an international reputation. The Susan Wallis
in Marsa last November by one of National Portrait Gallery in
their members. The medal is intended Washington D.C. owns a large num- Dear Vets,
for all the Brigadistas and may have ber of Davidson’s portraits in bronze, If you are a veteran of World War
been presented to them as they left marble, terra cotta and plaster. II, you may be interested in the fol-
Spain, although Wolff does not recall In Spain, Davidson created busts lowing information: Plans are now
of Manuel Azana, Julio Alvarez del underway to create a memorial in
Vayo, General Jose Miaja, Dolores Washington D.C. for WWII vets. The
Ibarruri (La Pasionaria), Colonel website
Enrique Lister, Constancia de la Mora, will give you information about how
Lt. Colonel Valentin Gonzales, to register your name or that of other
Colonel Juan Modesto, a piece called WWII veterans. As part of this regis-
“The Peasant of Pain, Refugee from tration, they are asking WWII vets to
Palencia, Old Castile,” and Major list their areas of service, rank, etc.
Milton Wolff. It is probable that he Lincoln vets who fought in WWII can
also did one of Negrin. After having take this opportunity to list “Spain”
languished in storage for decades, among the places they served. After
these busts, except for that of Lister, all, we know that Spain was the first
are now available. They are powerful battleground of WWII!
Medal from the University of Alcalá de and evocative works of art that testify Salud,
Henares to the idealism and antifascist spirit Moe Fishman, Exec-Secretary
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Teresa Pàmies
Continued from page 8

about her activism and loyalty. By her from the Magnac Laval refugee camp, example of the Prague Spring—
own admission, her literary produc- recounted in When We Were Refugees, Dubcek’s “Socialism with a Human
tion could be considered “a literature Pàmies made her way to the Dominican Face”—as the socialist model her
of remorse.” But at the same time, Republic, Cuba and, eventually, grandchildren should look to if they
there may be no other writer working Mexico, where she studied journalism. wish to resist the ravages of unbridled
today in Spain more concerned with Longing to be in a Communist capitalism in the age of globalization.
leaving a candid written legacy for country, Pàmies moved to Prague in As an amazingly prolific but incon-
younger generations about the posi- 1947, where she lived for approxi- sistent writer, Pàmies has nonetheless
tive, constructive principles of mately 12 years, employed by Radio created what in my opinion is the most
communism. In her most recent auto- Prague as an editor of their Spanish moving, honest, and thought-provok-
biographical book, The Years of the and Catalan language broadcasts. It ing memoir about the complexities of
Struggle: A Letter to My Granddaughter was then that she witnessed one of the the Spanish Communist experience, the
About Communism—which recounts a most brutal examples of Stalinist ter- Testament a Praga (1971) [Testament in
century of communism as Pàmies ror, the Slansky trials held in Prague Prague]. Teresa’s portion of the memoir,
lived it—she hands a radical baton to in the early 1950s. Like so many composed with great anguish as a
the future, bringing full circle the tes- Communist cadre, Pàmies silenced result of the Soviet occupation of
tament her father wrote to her about her discomfort and fear. The accumu- Czechoslovakia, represents her attempt
his life as a Communist.
The Spanish Civil War as the emo-
tional focus of her lifetime allegiance She purports to expose the realities of
to communism informs all of Pàmies’
writing insofar as her later life experi- Communist conviction for the sake of pass-
ences as a Communist continue her
role as a female youth leader at the ing on an honest legacy.
moment when communism was whol-
ly equated with anti-fascism. The lated effect of so many years of to balance regret and shame with a jus-
allure of communism around the rationalizations in the face of the tification of the constructive ideals of
world during the years of the Spanish errors of the Party led to an eventual socialism. By engaging her father’s
Civil War cannot be emphasized crisis of conscience—sparked by the memories and questioning her own
enough as a factor that especially 1968 Soviet occupation of behavior, she purports to expose the
shaped Spanish Communists’ under- Czechoslovakia—from which Pàmies realities of Communist conviction for
standing of their place on the has never recovered. The years Pàmies the sake of passing on an honest legacy
contemporary ideological and political spent in Czechoslovakia led to a to her grandchildren. Her commentary
landscape. For millions of people, painful rupture with Sovietism, a and corrections of her father’s life story
Spain not only signified the cradle of theme obsessively revisited in most of constitute a coming to terms with her
the struggle against fascism, it addi- her books. By 1959, Pàmies had own ideological blind spots, as well as
tionally served as the meeting place moved to Paris, where she lived until an attempt at reconciliation with her
for those political tendencies sympa- her return to Catalonia in 1971. father, who remained stubbornly faith-
thetic to the Popular Front. For this The end of Pàmies’ more than 30 ful to Stalinism even when faced with
reason, those historical actors whose years of exile were marked by the evidence of its errors and transgres-
lives intersected significantly with the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Paris sions. Happily, selections of this work
Spanish Civil War have retained an May events that year. While the rein- have been translated into English and
aura of authenticity in their militancy vigoration of communism initiated by published in the British journal Granta
that no other event in post-1917 histo- the students gave many disillusioned (volume 27, 1989) under the title
ry of communism can claim. Stalinists a new field of activism and “Letters to My Father, Now Dead.”
When the war ended, Pàmies cause for hope, the Soviet invasion of While Pàmies’s entire oeuvre can be
joined half a million refugees who Czechoslovakia simultaneously and read as a multi-volume autobiography
took refuge in France. Separated from definitively closed the door on the that recounts the forging and the pass-
her family, she was interred in the Stalinist past, leaving little room for ing of a love affair with communism,
infamous French concentration camps. continued allegiance to the USSR. In Testament encapsulates that politico-
Although she was eventually reunited her Letter to My Granddaughter About emotional trajectory in a single
with her father, she never saw her Communism, Pàmies concludes her volume.
mother again. After a daring escape didactic testimony by resuscitating the Continued on page 14
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The Photographs of the 15

Benjamin Katine, and
Anthony Drossel created
this extraordinary photo-
graphic record for the
newsletter Volunteer for
Liberty and for distribu-
tion to news outlets in the
United States, England,
and Canada. The pho-
tographs were intended to
build political support for
the war and to boost the
morale of the volunteers
in Spain.
This collection repre-
sents a portion of the
negatives and prints that Harry Randall
brought back from Spain at the end of
the Civil War. The images taken
between August 1937 and September
1938 capture the daily life of the volun-
teers in combat, in the camps, and in the
towns and villages where the Lincoln
Brigade trained and fought. The collec-
tion depicts major battles, aspects of the
everyday life of the Spanish people,
their interactions with the American
By Michael Nash volunteers, the devastation caused by
As part of a National Endowment fascist aerial bombardment, political
for Humanities funded project to pro- assemblies, and other celebrations.
cess and preserve the Abraham Lincoln There are also portraits of many of the
Brigade Archive, New York volunteers and images of visiting digni-
University’s Tamiment Library is digi- taries and journalists, including
tizing a collection of 1,832 photographs Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway,
taken by the Photographic Unit of the Earl Browder, Alvah Bessie, Edwin
15th International Brigade, which con- Rolfe, and American military attaché
sisted of volunteers from the United Stephen Fuqua.
States, Canada, Great Britain, Cuba, This digitization project will allow
and Yugoslavia. Harry Randall, Jr., the library to preserve these images for
the long term and make them accessible
to the public. The work is scheduled for
completion by December 31, 2004. Next
year the Tamiment Library will mount
a web exhibition drawing on the Harry
Randall photographs.

Michael Nash is Director of Tamiment

Library and a member of the ALBA Board
of Governors.

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5th International Brigade

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C iudad de B ar c elona
Continued from page 9

warship Deutschland in the port of ter and a half. The weather was calm, Among the survivors some were,
Ibiza. The submarine found its target and it was Sunday, so many people already on that evening, being trans-
with relative ease, and it had knowl- were strolling about on the shore. That ported to Barcelona. Others had to
edge from the Italians that the ship was lucky, for many were saved by wait some days. Martin Kuusisto was
was carrying Republican volunteers. fishermen who rushed to the scene in that town for a week, as it was his
The Ciudad de Barcelona began and plucked them from the sea into responsibility to sort out how many
sinking rapidly, and its passengers their boats. were still not accounted for.
attempted hurriedly to save them- Hospital workers rushed to the The Republican government tried
selves. Passageways began to be shore and provided warm blankets to censor news of the sinking of the
congested, and at least one lifeboat and toddies of cognac to the victims. ship that was transporting volunteers,
collapsed immediately as it was low- The President of Catalonia, Lluis apparently so that it would not have a
ered. The ship’s stern was sinking into Companys, came from Barcelona to negative effect on future shipments.
the sea, and the aft cabins were flood- observe and direct the lifesaving Already on the next day the newspa-
ed. That is where the torpedo had effort. That evening an emergency per Ajan Suunta, using the services of
done the greatest amount of damage. meeting was called at the Workers’ an Italian news agency, informed the
Sankari rushed speedily to his cabin to Hall, where it was decided that volun- Finnish people that “a torpedo from a
get life vests (made of cork for buoy- teers who wished to return to their submarine of unknown source” had
ancy), but found that none were left. home countries could do so. Only one sunk the cargo ship Ciudad de Barcelona
Some men began to jump into the sea, person turned his back and left. About and, according to Italian sources, there
some wearing corkvests and others 60 passengers on the Ciudad de had been 110 passengers aboard, of
without them. The ship began slowly Barcelona had drowned. whom 50 lost their lives.
to roll, forcing Sankari to jump into
the water. Still on the deck were some
men, who attempted to inspire a final
dirge—The International. The ship Teresa Pàmies
sunk in five minutes. Continued from page 11
A seaplane that had come to the
scene was dropping depth charges in
an effort to force the submarine to flee. The body of Pàmies’ writing, not had my background, who found
When the depth charges exploded, it unlike that of Jorge Semprún, forms a themselves faced with a civil war at
looked to onlookers as if they were stunning document about the affec- seventeen years old, a war set loose by
tearing the limbs off of those in the tive relationship of the militant to the political and social upheavals like
water. Now those in the water began idea of communism and the eventual those of Spain’s war of 1936-1939, can-
an earnest battle for the alternative: disillusion of that ideal in the wake of not have regrets, like the Edith Piaf
life or death—in the most critical cases the revelations about Stalinism and song, ‘Je ne regrette rien.’ There are
even grabbing the lifejacket from the failures of Sovietism international- many things I would not do again if I
another person’s body. ly. Some of her best works, especially could go back to my seventeen year
A seaplane descended and com- those memoirs, like Va ploure tot el dia old self, but I would join the fight as a
menced lifesaving, but its pontoons [It’s Going to Rain All Day] and Amor Communist militant, with all its illu-
would only hold a few men before it Clandesti [Underground Love], that deal sions and deceptions. That,
was forced to skid along the surface with life in the underground resis- granddaughter, is what I propose to
toward shore. Some succeeded in tance, exile, and political repression, explain to you in this letter. [ . . . ]
gathering flotsam to create crude rafts. explore what it felt like to be a Your grandma’s generation can no
With the assistance of the Canadian, Communist. The inspiration and forti- longer fight the battle against the capi-
Liversedge, and the New Yorker, tude she drew from the Communist talist greed that threatens our planet,
Shosteck, Sankari, weighing nearly ideal, Pàmies aspires to bequeath to but yours can if it sets its mind to it.
one hundred kilos, poorly trained in her grandchildren: With communism or without it, but
swimming, and completely spent of “I have never asked myself how never against it because it is still nec-
energy, managed to climb aboard my life would have been if I had cho- essary for the challenges that await
such a raft sen another path, with a different you. Salud, darling grandchildren,
The havoc took place in a broad ideology, or without one altogether, salud and courage!”
bay, from which point to the sandy like the vast majority of my contem-
shore of Malgrat was about a kilome- poraries have done. Those who have
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Book Reviews

The King as Democrat

figure for a large part of his youth,
despite Franco’s spying on his every
move, controlling all aspects of his
education and free time, and pitting
Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from book, Juan Carlos’ father, Don Juan, him against his father. Somehow Juan
Dictatorship to Democracy was a political opportunist who Carlos was able to compartmentalize
By Paul Preston. New York: W.W. Norton would cast his lot with whomever he his personal and political feelings.
thought could most help him to recov- Despite his semi-paternal feeling
By Teresa Kennedy er his family’s lost throne. During the toward Franco, Juan Carlos accurate-
Civil War, Don Juan attempted to join ly perceived that the Francoist
Paul Preston’s new biography of the Nationalist cause, but Franco government was antiquated, divisive
King Juan Carlos is a welcome arrival. denied his participation, knowing that and cruel.
Until now, there has been very little the pretender to the throne could Preston illustrates how Juan
biographical information in English become a threat to his power. Carlos was consistently underestimat-
on the king of Spain. Preston’s exhaus- Through personal correspondence ed by most everyone—from his
tive (nearly 600 pages) book changes and eyewitness testimony, Preston family, to his government, to his com-
that in one fell swoop. Preston, who is shows how both Don Juan and Franco patriots. An average student and a
the Prince of Asturias chair of contem- used Juan Carlos to further their own silent companion to Franco at many
porary Spanish history at the London ambitions. In a desperate move in the formal occasions, Juan Carlos was
School of Economics and Political political chess match that raged looked on with scorn by both sides of
Science and the author of the defini- between the pretender and Franco, the the political spectrum. For this same
tive history of Franco, as well as ten-year-old prince was definitively reason, both sides found him to be
several books on the Spanish Civil sent off to live with Franco in Madrid. non-threatening. It seems his father’s
War, presents the major formative Don Juan pawned his son to Franco in advice to listen politely to Franco and
moments of Juan Carlos’ life, both per- the hopes of a Borbón restoration in keep his mouth shut was taken to
sonal and political, in this fastidiously Spain and without much thought heart. Nevertheless, Preston makes the
researched and extremely detailed about how it would affect the boy. case that Juan Carlos was the most apt
book. The prolific Preston has dedicat- Franco, for his part, wanted the boy as person to carry the government from
ed the past three years to the task of a token for his pro-monarchist sup- Franco’s dictatorship to a representa-
illuminating how this man—a product porters, all the while knowing he tive democracy.
of a bitter exiled monarch willing to would never allow Don Juan to be The most riveting part of the book
do anything to regain his throne and king. Furthermore, by leaving the and Juan Carlos’ life story is certainly
the protégé of the longest ruling education of the young prince to a the transition period between 1975
Fascist dictator in Europe— was able succession of Falangists and archcon- and 1981 when, as Preston suggests,
to bring democracy to Spain. servative Catholics, Franco ensured the king began to show his true colors.
Preston’s examination of Juan the “proper” training for the boy, who For nearly 40 years, Spain was held in
Carlos’ life covers much of 20th centu- Franco felt might one day be a handy check by a repressive government
ry Spanish history, from the exile of figurehead for the Movimiento. with a brutal military and civil guard
his grandfather Alfonso XIII in 1931 The book reveals that while prone to evoke the spectre of the Civil
through the end of the century. Juan Franco was alive, the prince was War at the slightest hint of opposition.
Carlos was born in Rome in January forced (and seemingly content) to Thus, change was a frightening thing
1938 during the Spanish Civil War. remain in the background and, thanks for many Spaniards. During the tran-
With his parents, the exiled monarchs, to his affable, unprepossessing per- sition, we see evidence that Juan
the young prince would move several sonality, to get people to like and trust Carlos was the only person who could
times around Europe before settling in him. His presence appeased both pro- have placated the major players:
Estoril, Portugal. As we see in this monarchist forces within Spain and Franco’s hard line bunker, the military,
foreign powers hungry for some sem- and the opposition parties. Even
Teresa Kennedy is a freelance writer and blance of progress from the Franco before the February 23, 1981, coup
translator living in Long Beach, government. Preston also reiterates attempt, the country was teetering on
California. that Juan Carlos genuinely cared
about Franco, who became his father Continued on page 19

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Book Reviews

Lorca against the Republican Government

spread throughout Catalonia. “Come
with me to our final rehearsal, we will
make music for ourselves,” Casals
Lorca: A Dream of Life by Leslie
of rugged green land along the coun- invited my father. “We will celebrate
Stainton, Farrar, Straus, Giroux. New
try’s northern coast, Spanish miners our existence and say farewell for the
York. 1999. $17.00.
launched a full-scale working class time being through Beethoven.” My
revolution in opposition to what they father sat and listened entranced, as
By James Schevill regarded as ‘the fascist conquest of Casals conducted Beethoven’s Ninth
power in Madrid.’ The Asturias revolt Symphony straight through. Many
In 1936 at the age of 16 in began on the morning of October 5, years later my father told me, “You
Berkeley, I began to learn about the 1935. Within three days striking min- can imagine how that felt. The sounds
Spanish Civil War. My father, ers controlled much of the and words of Schiller’s poem, ‘All
Rudolph Schevill, was the founder mid-October thirty thousand workers men shall be brothers,’ as the war
and chairman of the Spanish were mobilized for battle, and the raged on outside. I think this was the
Department at the University of Spanish military had imposed martial most passionate musical experience I
California. For many years he had law. The miners’ strike had become an have ever had. Truly, one believed in
been traveling back and forth from undeclared civil war. the universal brotherhood praised by
Spain working as co-editor with “Francisco Franco, a short pallid Beethoven and Schiller in the superb
Adolfo Bonilla on a complete Spanish forty-two year old general in the final movement, but then outside after
edition of Cervantes’ work to be pub- Spanish Army known for his right- the rehearsal the evil of Franco’s fas-
lished in Madrid. The work was wing views and icy demeanor, was cist revolt against the Republican
financed by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, put in charge of all military operations Government asserted itself again.”
the great University patron, and the in Asturias. A vehement nationalist The result of my father’s final trip
mother of William Randolph Hearst. who in time saw himself as a contem- to Spain was that Casals and another
At the beginning of the Civil War, porary El Cid come to vanquish the new friend, none other than Lorca’s
my father was in Madrid being hon- heathen communist hordes, Franco mentor, Fernando de los Rios, who
ored by the Loyalist government for reveled in his powerful new rule as had become ambassador to the United
his work on the Cervantes edition, military and, by virtue of martial law, States, asked my father to create a
which he was now carrying on alone. political commander of Asturias. West Coast committee in defense of
Bonilla had died, and my father kept From his command room in the the Republic against its enemies.
his name on the published volumes of Ministry of War in Madrid, he direct- Whenever de los Rios visited the West
the edition because of their close ed the movement of troops, ships, and Coast to confer with my father, he
friendship. The ironic result was that trains to be used in crushing the min- stayed with us, and in this way I
some jealous Spanish pseudo-scholars ers’ revolution. He shipped Arab heard of Lorca’s murder by Franco’s
claimed that Bonilla had done most of mercenaries from Morocco to fascist forces. At the age of 16, natural-
the work, whereas the opposite was Asturias, ordered the bombing and ly, I became passionate about the
the truth. shelling of working class districts in defense of the Loyalist government.
As Leslie Stainton shows in her Asturian mining towns, and instruct- Alas, I soon became aware of the
fine new biography, the Spanish Civil ed army units to fire on civilians. ‘This many people in the Catholic hierarchy
War really began in the devastating is a frontier war against socialism, who were supporting Franco merely
miner’s strike in Asturias in 1935. communism, and whatever attacks because he was a Catholic. Then, too,
Stainton writes: “The battlelines were civilization in order to replace it with there were the isolationists, who were
clear. Spain had plunged into a bitter barbarism,’ he told a reporter.” attacking my father, who was raising
struggle between Republicans and In 1936, having just been honored money mainly for ambulances and
Nationalists, Left and Right, commu- by the Republican Government in medical aid. The result was that my
nist and fascist. In Asturias, a stretch Madrid for his work on Cervantes, my father was blacklisted by the state
father traveled to Barcelona to visit his Tenney committee, the California ver-
James Schevill, a professor emeritus of friend, the cellist Pablo Casals. Casals sion of the Un-American Activities
Brown University, now lives in Berkeley, had created a remarkable orchestra in Committee that later dominated
California. He is the author of several vol- Barcelona, which he was about to dis- national politics with its witch hunts.
umes of poetry. band as Franco’s military rebellion Also, as I grew increasingly inter-
16 THE VOLUNTEER June 2004
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Book Reviews
ested in poetry, I became aware from science was only to penetrate his poet- plays of the Spanish Golden Age. For
de los Rios of the extraordinary gener- ry later, when for a short time he left the first season he chose three of
ation of poets that the Spanish Civil the translucent world of Granada to Cervantes’ interludes, together with
War was affecting. As Stainton writes, come to New York, ‘the Senegal of Calderón’s famous play, Life is a
“Jiménez, Machado, Guillen, Salinas, steel.’ With ‘Poema del Canto Jondo’ Dream, in which he also acted the part
Cernuda, Altolaguirre, Prados, Lorca realized the new folk power of of “Shadow,” dressed all in black with
Mendez: ‘They all left,’ wrote Vincente his poetic material.” a black veil. According to Stainton,
Alexandre, one of the few poets of the In the summer of 1924, Lorca’s lyri- Lorca demanded 80 rehearsals for Life
Generation of 27 to stay behind, ‘ alto- cal powers reached a peak in a series of is a Dream, and commanded complete
gether at one moment, on very gypsy ballads. Stainton writes, “Years authority over all aspects of the pro-
different paths.” A vital culture was of casual contact with the form had duction.
smashed by Franco’s dictatorship, taught Lorca to relish the ballad’s He was fulfilling his childhood
which lasted for 40 years after his mil- traits: its shortened lines, an elliptical dreams of a puppet theater where he
itary triumph in 1939 until a style, its abrupt beginnings and ends. was the puppet master. But his new
democratic government was restored The third of the ballads, ‘Sleepwalking real theater was a completely demo-
in Spain. Romance,’ suggesting the love and cratic concept. Everyone wore the
In 1944, Edwin Honig’s acute, death of a gypsy smuggler and his same workers’ clothes colored blue;
seminal study of Lorca’s poems and green eyed sweetheart, became one of the women wore blue skirts and
plays, which introduced Lorca’s work Lorca’s most popular poems, and peo- blouses, the men wore one piece cov-
in the United States, was published by ple on the street could be heard reciting eralls. The uniforms also bore the
New Directions. (It is a small flaw in the lines with the famous refrain, company’s new logo. With de los Rios,
Stainton’s biography that she fails to ‘Green, how I love you, green, green Lorca scouted out an appropriate
include Honig’s work in her bibliogra- wind, green branches...’” town for the opening production, the
phy.) Honig’s fine book established In the great lyrical poems of small Castilian village of Burgos de
the development of Lorca from a lyric Lorca, such as the gypsy ballads, one Osma. As a new Populist theater, the
poet to a superb, dramatic poet, who, has to fill in the imaginary characters, opening free productions of La
along with Beckett and Brecht, understand the mood of threatening Barraca were very successful. Only
brought a new sense of poetry into the death that always hovers behind the one performance in the village of San
modern theater. Andalusian scene, and learn to appre- Juan de Duero marred the successful
What does Lorca teach all ciate the abrupt rhythms. debut of the theater, when bad weath-
Americans interested in poetry? He The next step for Lorca was clear- er forced the company to move
teaches us that the unity of experience ly a dramatic one. Two events most indoors to a church. The actors fell
represented in a fine poem, the uni- clearly determined this direction. In apart, burlesquing Calderon’s great
fied display of all senses, vibrates out the late fall of 1931, Fernando de los play with comic results. However, the
of natural sources, particularly the Rios was named minister of education political right wing and the army’s
background of family reflections. In in the Republican cabinet, which impinging dictatorship started strong-
Lorca’s case, gifted with strong musi- assured the funding for La Barraca, a ly to attack Lorca’s homosexuality and
cal interests, he began with “deep traveling theater composed mostly of his sympathies for the Republican
songs” reflecting the tragic moods of students, of which Lorca became artis- government. Lorca’s protest that “the
gypsy life. Honig writes, “From the tic director. La Barraca was supported university theater has no political
gypsies, Lorca gradually learned that by the Spanish Students Union and is simply theater” had no
the fixities, the constance of natural consisted mainly of some two dozen effect against the growing political
law, were the lessons which had carefully chosen students, none of frenzy. His ambitions for a theater of
somehow escaped the modern world. whom were paid, but who were will- “noble purity,” despite his dedication
What was given him as practically a ing to spend long rehearsal hours in to restoring the great Spanish tradi-
gift at birth—the capacity for, the an idealistic endeavor to create a pop- tional theater, had put him high on the
quick discernment of human suffer- ular theater that would tour widely fascist death list.
ing—were precisely those sympathies and play largely for free in town The great achievement of La
which were quickly atrophying in squares that would provide vivid Barraca was to focus Lorca’s dramatic
society’s more heterogeneous than architectural backgrounds in place of talents on the stage. Always interested
that of Andalusia. But the full tragedy sets. As artistic director, Lorca’s pri- Continued on page 19
of such stunting of the modern con- mary aim was to revive the great
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Added to Memory’s Roster

public relations for the Loyalist cause.
Anne Shuldiner She worked with the NYC Board of Frank Richards
Health and later returned to her job at
Goldman Beth Israel. From 1953 to 1980, she (1916-2004)
directed the Practical Nurse Training Frank Richards, a front-line com-
(1915-2004) Program of the New Orleans Public munications specialist with the
Anne Shuldiner Goldman, one of Schools, one of the largest such pro- Lincoln brigade, died May 4 at the age
86 registered nurses from the United of 87. He was born in New York City
States who served in the American in 1916. His mother was from
Medical Bureau, died peacefully on Romania, his father from Italy.
April 1 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Around 1933-34 Richards joined
where she had lived since 1997. the U.S. Army to help with the family
Anne graduated from the Beth finances. On a whim he ended up
Israel School of Nursing in New York being trained for communications; the
in 1936 and headed Out-Patient lark became his lifelong profession. In
Services there until she joined the those days communications meant the
AMB, providing direct medical care Morse code, but during his life it went
and civilian training in Spain. She on to encompass a much wider field
served in Albacete and on the including voice, telex, etc. Following
Cordoba Front in Belalcazar with the training, he was posted to the U.S.
86th mixed brigade, where she Army intercept station in Panama.
worked in both frontline and rear- After his tour in the army,
guard hospitals. She described the Richards returned to N.Y., where his
frontline hospital as “remarkable and social interests caused him to gravitate
fantastic,” the rearguard hospital as toward progressive circles. At one
“modern.” point during this period he was
In a 1990 interview she said, “We employed on a commercial high-
slept in tents. We had round-the-clock speed Morse circuit to Austria. When
duty with the patients after they had his partner on the other end of the cir-
had surgery. The patients were in a PHOTO BY BOB ABRAMSON cuit was replaced by the Nazis,
ward, half sunk into the earth and Richards sent unprintable text regard-
covered with a camouflaged grams in America, educating ing der Fuhrer and was immediately
tarpaulin…the hardest part, I thought, thousands of women and men. Her relieved by the company. Soon after-
was for the people who had to select husband Benjamin, Executive Director ward, he went to Spain, where he
who was to be the next patient. It was of the N.O. Jewish Federation, died in worked with front-line communica-
up to us to evaluate the condition of 1955. Their two children, Robert tions and served with the Mac-Paps.
the patient in terms of whose best Goldman of NYC and Eleanor After Pearl Harbor, Richards
interest would be served by having Hershberg of Pittsburgh, both became joined the Army Air Corps and was
surgical intervention…The process of social workers. in on the landing at Baker Island in
selecting patients came very hard for Anne Goldman completed her the Pacific. After the war, he used his
me. That didn’t mean I didn’t do Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in experience in communications to
it…We worked day and night. We history at age 57 at the University of work around the world—first in
made the most of our supplies. And, it New Orleans. She was active in the Hawaii salvaging surplus military air-
is to our credit that we did what was Urban League, the League of Women craft, later in London, Beirut, and
acceptable for 1937, out in the fields, Voters, the National League for Damascus, in Venzuela for U.S. Steel,
and so many of our patients did not Nursing, the civil rights movement, and finally in Saudi Arabia. He retired
suffer.” She traveled as many as 90 and many organizations in the New in 1976 but kept his hand in the field.
miles to buy drugs. In Belalcazar she Orleans and Florida Jewish communi- As late as the first Gulf War of 1991 (at
trained Spanish civilians to assist in ties. She retired to Deerfield Beach, FL, the age of 75) he volunteered and
operating the hospitals as aides and to be near her two sisters and brother, served as radio officer aboard military
practical nurses. becoming involved in VALB and the sealift ships carrying heavy equip-
On her return to the United States Nuclear Freeze Movement there. ment from Germany to the Persian
in November 1937, Anne embarked on —Eleanor Hershberg Gulf.
a speaking tour to fundraise and do —Jon Richards
18 THE VOLUNTEER June 2004
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Lorca death—5 o’clock in the afternoon—

has been transcended: “I sing his
ing achievement. A master of lyric
poetry, he transformed himself into a
Continued from page 17 elegance in words that moan and dramatic poet and finally into a the-
remember a sad breeze in the olive atrical revolutionary to rival the great
in theater because of its populist roots groves.” The deep song of moaning is 20th Century pioneers Brecht and
and its concern for all of the arts, he transformed into the elegiac sound of Beckett. Like Brecht, Lorca proved
began to foster his playwriting gifts. the wind in the olive trees. that a new kind of epic theater could
However, in August, 1935, the second Lorca’s own death was close at be created from traditional sources, in
crucial event in his life occurred, pro- hand when he was arrested by a fas- his case the great Spanish theater of
ducing his greatest dramatic poem. cist group whose taunts of “queer!” the Golden Age. (One of Lorca’s last
On Monday, August 13, at the age of and accusations that “here we have ventures with La Barraca was a suc-
43, his close friend, the bull fighter the friend of Fernando de los Rios” cessful adaptation of Lope de Vega’s
Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, died from an indicated the trap of hatred into which The Night of Olmedo; in earlier years for
infected wound sustained on his the poet had fallen despite his apoliti- La Barraca he also produced Lope de
return to the ring. With great intu- cal claims. Vega’s most controversial political
ition, Lorca said to a friend, “Ignacio’s The excessive praise that follows play, Fuenteovejuna.) Like Brecht, too,
death is like my own death, an the early deaths of gifted poets is Lorca spoke constantly for a “theater
apprenticeship for my own death.” By always suspect because the praise of social action,” by which he meant
the end of October, Lorca wrote the stems largely from sympathy at the not a theater of political action but a
longest poem he had ever written, his early demise caused by the cruel theater of myth and poetry with deep
“Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías,” specter of death. In Lorca’s case, how- social roots.. . .
“an elegy I never wanted to write.” ever, time and the research of two This is an abridged version of an arti-
The lament opens with a clanging good biographies, by Ian Gibson and cle that originally appeared in Poetry
bell-like repetition of fading time Stainton, have proved Lorca’s endur- Flash (Winter/Spring 2004).
when death arrives:

At five in the afternoon Democrat King

It was exactly five in the afternoon Continued from page 15
Although, actually, Sánchez
Mejías died in the morning in the hos- the edge of a return to a totalitarian evolved into a mainly ceremonial one,
pital, Lorca transforms the hour of the rule with the unrest caused by ETA like that of most other European
death to late afternoon, the time of attacks and military reprisals. monarchs. According to many reports,
fading sun when the hero must face Preston gives a blow-by-blow Juan Carlos seems to have spent the
the menacing extinction of night: account of the plotting of the coup past 20 years recapturing his lost
“Beyond that death and death alone at and the king’s artful handling of the youth with fast moving hobbies such
five in the afternoon.” In the conclud- situation. 23-F (as the coup is known as cars, sailboats, and skis.
ing three sections of the elegy, Lorca in Spain) was the defining moment of Paul Preston’s rather favorable
seeks to establish his belief, as the king’s life, the day he earned the feelings toward the king shine
Stainton notes, that “the bull fight is respect of his country and truly through in this biography. Based on
an authentic religious drama where, became the “King of all Spaniards,” his extensive research, Preston
as in the mass, a god is adored and as he had long hoped. After the demonstrates how Juan Carlos, a vic-
sacrificed.” failed coup, realizing the military tim of circumstances as a child, was
The third section, “presence of the was too powerful and had too much able to get beyond his oppressive
body,” portrays the body’s inevitable time to hatch coups, Juan Carlos upbringing. Preston is able to remove
dissolution into death, and the fact urged the country into joining NATO the royal trappings and look at Juan
that no one can recognize this vanish- to lessen the military’s involvement Carlos as a member of a family (who
ing “because your death is forever.” in domestic issues. basically used him as a pawn); a
But in the last section, Lorca writes: After covering Juan Carlos’ child- young boy forced to study with a
hood, youth, and the transition period cadre of stodgy priests, archconserva-
No one knows you. No one. But I in minute detail, Preston seems to run tives, and military men; a husband; a
sing you- out of steam. Disappointingly, the last father; and a head of state. This book
Sing your profile and your grace, 20 years of Juan Carlos’ reign are cov- goes a long way toward explaining
for later on. ered in about 20 pages. It would have why Juan Carlos was the right man at
been interesting to have a bit more the right time to bring democracy to
The song, in celebration of myth, about this period. It seems that Juan Spain without more bloodshed.
becomes more powerful than the dis- Carlos’ political role since the election
solution of the body. The fatal time of of the Socialists in the 1980s has
THE VOLUNTEER June 2004 19
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IN MEMORY OF A VETERAN Nick Friedman & Ellen Bogolub in memory of
Martha Kransdorf in memory of Saul Wellman Marty Friedman $100
$18 Estelle Wellman, Jeri Wellman, Ronnie Wellman
Fay Grad in memory of Harry Fisher $25 Berish & Nick Bryan in memory of Saul
Wellman $150
Nancy Singham in memory of Saul Wellman
$50 Tobyanne Berenberg & Mario Berenberg in
memory of Fredricka Martin, Sana Goldblatt,
Mark Grunblatt in memory of Jacques Grunblatt Rebecca Shulman & in honor of Moe Fishman
$25 $250
Susan Sainz in memory of Sana Goldblatt $50 Gabriel Jackson in memory of Bill Bailey & Bill
Ruth Papa in memory of Irving Weissman $10 Susman $50
Paulette Nusser Dubetz in memory of Charles Lois Whitman in memory of Anne Shuldiner
Nusser $100 Goldman $50
Suzanne & Alan J. Rom in memory of Sam Robert & Elaine Holberg in memory of Anne
Schiff $50 Shuldiner Goldman $50
Ester S. Rom in memory of Sam Schiff $50 IN MEMORY OF
Tom Pinkston in memory of Irving Soloway $25 Selma & Jose Fortoul in memory of Carl
Dorfman $25
Freda Tanz in memory of Al Tanz $100
Lotti Tobler-Berenson in memory of Mitch
Joseph S. Iseman in memory of Morris Brier $40 Berenson $1,000
Andres & Maria Delgado in memory of Harry John F. Burgoa in memory of Father Joseba
Fisher $50 Zubikarai Burgoa, O.C.D., a Basque priest, who
Felice Ehrlich in memory of Moish Brier $100 fought for the Spanish Republic $500
Bernice Crane in memory of Bill Susman $100 Wendy Amrkein in memory of Leona Beal $10
Wallace Van Alstine, D.D.S. in memory of Saul Avis M. Taylor in memory of James Lerner, a
Wellman $200 photojournalist in Spain $50
Anita Lekic in memory of Danilo Lekic (a Abe Smorodin, Moe Fishman & Sylvia
Yugoslav veteran) $100 Thompson in memory of Edith Tiger $25
Nievees Pousada & Westchester Comrades in AFSCME Retirees Assoc. in memory of Sol
memory of Al & Ann Warren $50 Gorelick $100
Tibby Brooks in memory of Sam Walters & Al Elizabeth Tesh in memory of J. C. Haley, Jr. $25
Finkle $300 Sylvia Spiller in memory of Sherwood Morgan,
who died in Iraq $10
Puffin Foundation Grant
The Volunteer is pleased to acknowledge a CONTRIBUTIONS
grant of $2,000 to support our publication Vivian & Douglas Perry $50
from the New Jersey-based Puffin Berry & Gertrude Lerner $100
Continued on page 23

20 THE VOLUNTEER June 2004

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ALBA’s Planned
Giving Program
Tax Advantages for Gift Annuities
HOW DOES A CHARI - also choose a one-life or two-life
(two people dividing the income)
TABLE GIFT ANNUITY annuity. Cash gifts allow maxi-
WORK? mum tax-free income; gifts of
securities allow you to minimize
A charitable gift annuity is a capital gains taxes.
simple contract between you and
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Archives (ALBA). Under this
arrangement, you make a gift of If you are under 60 years of age,
cash or marketable securities, worth you can still set up an annuity and
a minimum of $5000, to ALBA. In defer the payments until any date
return, ALBA will pay you (or up to after your 60th birthday. This gives
two individuals) an annuity begin- you an immediate tax-deduction for
ning on the date you specify, on or your gift while still guaranteeing
after your sixtieth (60th) birthday. you income payments in the future.
Because you are deferring pay-
ments, your annuity payments will
WHAT ARE THE be larger than if you had waited to
ADVANTAGES OF A set up the annuity until your 60th
For more information on a cus-
ANNUITY? tomized proposal for your Charitable
A charitable gift annuity has Gift Annuity, please contact:
four distinct advantages: Julia Newman
ALBA’s planned giving pro- Income for Life at attractive payout ALBA, room 227
gram provides an extraordinary rates. 799 Broadway
way to make a gift, increase Tax Deduction Savings – A large NY, NY 10003
income and slice the donor’s tax part of what you give is a Ph. (212) 674-5398
bill – all in one transaction! deductible charitable gift.
The charitable gift annuity pro- Tax-Free Income – A large part of
gram was created for our many your annual payments is tax-free
friends who have expressed a desire return of principal.
to make a significant gift, while still Capital Gains Tax Savings – When
retaining income from the principal you contribute securities for a gift
during their lifetime. A charitable annuity, you minimize any taxes on
gift annuity gives the donor addi- your “paper profit.” So gifts of secu-
tional retirement income, while rities save twice!
affording the satisfaction of sup-
porting ALBA’s continuing
educational programs and its tradi-
tions of fighting for social justice You choose how frequently
and against fascism. payments will be made – quarterly,
semi-annually or annually. You can

THE VOLUNTEER December 2003 21

2004-2.qxd 5/21/2004 12:46 PM Page 22



Buy Spanish Civil War books on the WEB.
ALBA members receive a discount!

BOOKS ABOUT THE LINCOLN BRIGADE The Triumph of Democracy in Spain
by Paul Preston
The Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández
edited by Ted Genoways The Lincoln Brigade, a Picture History
by William Katz and Marc Crawford
The Wound and the Dream: Sixty Years of American
Poems about the Spanish Civil War EXHIBIT CATALOGS
by Cary Nelson
They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime
Passing the Torch: The Abraham by Anthony Geist and Peter Carroll
Lincoln Brigade and its Legacy of Hope
by Anthony Geist and Jose Moreno The Aura of the Cause, a photo album
edited by Cary Nelson
Another Hill
by Milton Wolff VIDEOS
Our Fight—Writings by Veterans of the Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil
Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Spain 1936-1939 War
edited by Alvah Bessie & Albert Prago Julia Newman
Spain’s Cause Was Mine Art in the Struggle for Freedom
by Hank Rubin Abe Osheroff
Comrades Dreams and Nightmares
by Harry Fisher Abe Osheroff
The Odyssey of the Abraham The Good Fight
Lincoln Brigade Sills/Dore/Bruckner
by Peter Carroll Forever Activists
Judith Montell

ALBA’s photographic exhibit, “The Aura of the

Cause,” has been shown at the Puffin Room in New ❑ Yes, I wish to become an ALBA
York City, the University of California-San Diego, the Associate, and I enclose a check for $30
Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, the Fonda made out to ALBA. Please send me The
Del Sol Visual Center in Washington DC, and the Volunteer.
University of Illinois. This exhibit, curated by
Name _________________________________________
Professor Cary Nelson of the University of Illinois,
consists of hundreds of photographs of the Lincoln Address _______________________________________
Brigaders, other international volunteers and their
Spanish comrades, in training and at rest, among the City________________ State ___Zip_________
Spanish villages and in battle.
For further information about “The Aura of the ❑ I’ve enclosed an additional donation of
____________. I wish ❑ do not wish ❑ to have this
Cause” exhibit, contact Julia Newman, (212) 674-5398;
donation acknowledged in The Volunteer. The exhibit is available for
museum and art gallery showings. Please mail to: ALBA, 799 Broadway, Room 227, New

22 THE VOLUNTEER June 2004

2004-2.qxd 5/21/2004 12:46 PM Page 23

Continued from page 1

good fight against injustices in the Internet, will protect freedom and
decades since. democracy better than the legacy of
With staunch supporter Henry the veterans of the Abraham Lincoln
Foner at the microphone, the audience Brigade. The message, more than the
also acknowledged ALBA’s 25th medium, is what counts.
anniversary. James Fernandez, ALBA Patriots Act!—an intense and pow-
board member and director of the erful musical review written and
King Juan Carlos I Center at NYU, directed by Peter Glazer and Bruce
presented his highly informative, Barthol—captured the exciting spirit of
imaginative video about ALBA and the day. Blending text taken from let-
the archives, now housed at NYU’s ters written by Lincoln volunteers in
Tamiment Library. With NYU gradu- Spain with other writings of 20th-cen-
ate student Juan Salas, Fernandez tury resistance, interspersed with songs
interviewed students and researchers of patriotic struggle, the show placed
who have used the collection to learn current events in the context of
more about the anti-fascist struggle. America’s dissenting history.
Victor Navasky, the publisher of The Skirball Center is a brand new
The Nation, followed with a moving venue for ALBA’s reunion event, and
keynote address. He observed that this year’s show was particularly Vet Clarence Kailin (seated) surround-
nothing, not even technology and the charged. The band members per- ed by his family.

formed their hearts out, and leg-

Contributions endary folk singer Barbara Dane sang
powerfully, with her smoky, sexy
Continued from page 20
tones ringing through the hall. Bruce
Barthol’s new song, “Cakewalk to
ONLINE CONTRIBUTIONS Baghdad,” provoked both laughter
Katherine Unger, Brooklyn, NY $30 and applause.

George Johnson, Berkeley, CA $100 ALBA Board member Anne Taibleson is

among the coterie of volunteer workers
Pauline Fraser, Ilford, England $50 who made the day’s events successful.
Brian Ferris, Turnbridge Wells, UK $50
More photos of event on back page
John L. Kailin, Bryn Mawr, PA $30
Theron Snell, Racine, WI $25 William Herrick
Yuan Gao, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada $50 (1915-2004)
(For his father, Liang Gao, Beijing, China) William Herrick (aka Horvitz,
Harvey), one of the original Lincoln
Forrest Proper, Cambridge, MA $35
volunteers, died in January. Herrick
Nigel Morgans, Cardiff, Wales, UK $25 was wounded by a spent bullet at
Jarama and spent several months in a
Anita Lekic, The Hague, Netherlands $100 Spanish hospital before returning
home in 1937.
(In memory of Yugoslav veteran Danilo Lekic)
After the announcement of the
Joan & Josep Verdaguer, Mataro, Spain $75 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in
1939, he departed from the VALB,
Jose Maria Garcia Diaz, Bilbao, Spain $50 only to return in 1954 as a key anti-
Communist witness before the
Nieves Pousada, Montrose, NY, $50
Subversive Activities Control Board.
Wendy Lewis, Caerphilly, Wales, UK $25 He later became a novelist, portraying
International Brigaders as villains.
Ilona Mattson, Brooklyn, NY $25
THE VOLUNTEER June 2004 23
2004-2.qxd 5/21/2004 12:47 PM Page 24

The vets take the stage at New York reunion (top);

vet Harry Randall confers with Patriot Act co-
writer Bruce Barthol (left).
Photos by Richard Bermack

The Volunteer
c/o Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives NON PROFIT ORG
799 Broadway, Rm. 227 US POSTAGE
New York, NY 10003 PAID

24 THE VOLUNTEER June 2004