The Volunteer June 2018

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Vol. XXXV, No.2

June 2018


Labor Rights Are Human Rights: Farm Workers Win ALBA/ Puffin Award Tomato picker. Photo Forrest Woodward

Justice in Spain (p. 5) Activist Lessons from the Past (p. 8) New Zealand Surgeon (p. 17)

Dear Friends and Comrades: Founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade 239 W. 14th Street, Suite 2 New York, NY 10011 (212) 674-5398 Editor Print Edition Peter N. Carroll Editor Online Edition Sebastiaan Faber Associate Editor Aaron B. Retish Book Review Editor Joshua Goode Graphic Design Editorial Assistance Phil Kavanaugh Manuscripts, inquiries, and letters to the editor may be sent by email to The editors reserve the right to modify texts for length and style. Books for review may be sent to Joshua Goode Claremont Graduate University Blaisdell House, #5, 143 East 10th Street Claremont, CA 91711 The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

This is no time for pessimism or inaction. The forces of reaction have reemerged out of the shadows in this country as well as elsewhere around the world. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of courageous teenagers who spoke out and organized to stop gun violence following the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We stand in solidarity with the activists fighting for immigrant rights and DACA. We applaud the rank-and-file movement of teachers and school personnel in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona, which is reviving a long-dormant tradition of labor activism. And, finally, we support the worker-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers, with the $100,000 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, in its fight for fair wages, for better working conditions for farm workers, and against human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the US and around the world. At ALBA we never lose sight of the connections between our history and the challenges of the present. We remember and honor the valor of international volunteers like New Zealand born surgeon Doug Jolly (see page 18). We acknowledge the sacrifice of young men like David Lipton (see page 20) and Milt Wolff’s unwavering solidarity with the victims of Franco’s bloody repression at the height of the Cold War (see page 12). We are encouraged when we note, time and again, that their example inspired subsequent generations of activists like Herman Schmidt, whose political awakening began while serving in Vietnam and was then shaped through his contacts with veterans from the Lincoln Brigade (see page 14). Like teacher educator Alan Singer (see page 7) we are convinced that lessons from the past are indispensable for progressives today, young and old, however different the challenges we face may be. We trust that our volunteers would be happy to know that, after all these years, we continue to uphold the values and support the causes they fought for in Spain. And that we continue to stand for the values of social justice, equality and human rights that many of the volunteers who made it back to the United States supported for the remainder of their lives. Thank you for making our work possible.

Fraser Ottanelli Chair of the Board of Governors

IN THIS ISSUE p 3 New York Event p 5 Justice in Spain p 8 HR Column p 10 ALBA Teaching p 12 Two Sample Documents p 14 Civics in Massachusetts p 16 Faces of ALBA p 17 New Zealand Doctor in Spain p 19 Merriman Honored p 20 Book Reviews p 23 Contributions 2 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

Letter by eight-year-old Luca Kaufman at Kolot Chayeinu (Voices of Our Lives, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY), written as part of a school project on Heroes of Jewish Resistance.

Marina Garde Executive Director

Tomato picker. Photo Scott Robertson, 2007.


2018 ALBA/Puffin Award Honors Fight against Abuse and Slavery in the Agricultural Industry How do you convince a multinational corporate buyer not only to pay a bit more, but to force its suppliers to respect human rights, help fight sexual and labor abuse, and give an autonomous voice to the workers they employ? Florida’s Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has cracked the code. The key, they found, is to work through consumers to hit the corporations where it hurts—their brand—and then have those corporations pressure the employers in their supply chain into compliance.


o far,

the CIW has convinced fourteen large corporations— including Walmart, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Trader Joe’s, and Taco Bell—to only buy tomatoes from suppliers that adhere to the CIW’s code of conduct. They have also persuaded them to add an extra penny on the pound to improve farm workers’ paychecks. Founded in 1993 in Immokalee, Florida, the CIW is a worker-based labor organization that has distinguished itself for its creative and tenacious tactics. It began by organizing protests against wage cuts and the use of violence by supervisors against field workers. In 2005—after numerous strikes, marches, a nationwide boycott of Taco Bell and a 30-day hunger strike—the CIW secured major wage increases and the implementation of the Fair Food Program (FFP), a strict code of conduct governing working conditions for farm workers. On May 12, three representatives of the CIW traveled to New York City to accept the 2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. The event program included speeches by ALBA’s Marina Garde, Fraser Ottanelli, and Sebastiaan Faber; the Puffin Foundation’s Neal Rosenstein; and farmworkers and CIW’s members and organizers Julia de la Cruz, Lupe Gonzalo, and Óscar Otzoy, who received a standing ovation. The event closed with a riveting musical performance of Bruce Barthol, Dred Scott, Kenny Kosek, Diego Voglino, Hillary Gardner, and Liberty Elman. The award ceremony was preceded by an hour-long public interview with New York City-based political anchor and reporter Juan Manuel Benítez, De la Cruz, Gonzalo, and Otzoy explained how the CIW’s extensive programs help

prevent and punish all forms of abuse on farms in Florida and a number of other states. Preceding the #MeToo Movement by several years, CIW has worked hard to curb the sexual harassment of female workers that was long common practice in the fields. “Before the Fair Food Program, there were no regulations, no protections, and no reporting mechanisms,” De la Cruz said. “Even if women dared to report abuse, those reports rarely went beyond the supervisors, or had to be made to the harassers themselves. As a result, women often stayed silent. Most cases were met with impunity.” The Fair Food Program has helped institute a zero-tolerance policy for abuses of all kinds. Since its introduction and thanks to the CIW’s 24-hour reporting hotline, cases of abuse are processed swiftly and result in immediate consequences. “Since we introduced

the program, two thousand complaints have been brought to a resolution,” said Gonzalo, “while 35 thousand workers have received training sessions.” The CIW’s programs and materials are made available in English, Spanish, and Creole. Currently, more than 90 percent of Florida tomato farms operate under the FFP. Similar programs have been adopted in Georgia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and New Jersey. Other crops and even dairy farms are increasingly included as well. “By applying pressure directly on the corporations, we are able to bypass legislatures,” said Marley Moynahan, a CIW staff member who helped translate for De la Cruz, Gonzalo, and Otzoy. “This explains the notable fact that a program like ours could emerge in Florida, whose political environment is fairly hostile to labor.” “Has the new administration in Washington D.C. posed new challenges for the CIW?” asked Benítez, the journalist. “In the beginning there was definitely a spike in fear among our workers,” said De la Cruz. “But people quickly came together as they recognized the need for unity. And because we work directly with the buyers, independent from any administration, the Fair Food Program continues to be enforced as usual. While the changed climate around immigration has caused a drop-off in immigrants’ reporting abuse to the police, it’s notable that the reporting rates in the Fair Food Program have not shifted.” “Regardless of what’s said, people still have rights in this country,” Gonzalo added. “And the truth is that the people are gaining in strength. We now have the opportunity to come together and fight for our rights.” June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 3





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1. Political anchor Juan Manuel Benítez with members of the CIW 2. Angela Giral & Jo Labanyi 3. Lupe Gonzalo & Marley Moynahan 4. Neal Rosenstein & Marina Garde 5. CIW 6. Sebastiaan Faber 7, Josie Nelson-Yurek & Fraser Ottanelli 8. Julia de la Cruz receiving the award 9. CIW, Puffin Foundation, ALBA 10. Manuel Moreno & Manus O’Riordan 11. Hillary Gardner & Bruce Barthol 12. CIW, Puffin, ALBA | Photos by Jessie Adler and Pako Domínguez

Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar | María Martín at her mother’s grave. Still from the film.

The Right to Bury One’s Mother

Filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar on Franco’s victims’ quest for justice By Sebastiaan Faber

After seven years of work, a new PBS documentary on the international quest to bring Francoist officials to justice is making the festival rounds. An interview with the filmmakers. “Although the story makes you think, it appeals to the heart first.”


hen I visited Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar in their Madrid apartment last November, they seemed prey to a peculiar mix of exhaustion, expectation, and anticipated nostalgia. After six years of filming and a year of editing, they were putting the final touches on The Silence of Others, their gripping 90-minute documentary on the fate of a group of Spanish citizens whose parents were disappeared by Francoist forces, whose newborn children were taken away from them, or who were imprisoned and tortured by the regime. In 2010, after the Spanish courts refused to take on their cases—citing the 1977 Amnesty Law—the plaintiffs resorted to an Argentine court in an attempt to bring Francoist officials to justice. A veteran Argentine judge, María Servini, decided to take on their case under the umbrella of universal jurisdiction. The “Argentine Lawsuit” (in Spanish, la querella argentina) has been ongoing since. Although the conservative Spanish government has done its best to stymie Servini’s efforts to interrogate and extradite more than a dozen former Francoist officials, the case has seen some important victories. In 2014, Servini ordered the exhumation of a mass grave in Guadalajara, Spain, thought to contain the remains of Timoteo Mendieta, the father of one of the plaintiffs. Mendieta, a union leader, was shot shortly after the Civil War. Although the first exhumation was unsuccessful, a second attempt in 2017 succeeded in recovering Mendieta’s remains. The exhumation process was widely covered by Spanish and international media. It is also the final chapter of Carracedo and Bahar’s film. At the time of my November visit, the filmmakers were nervously awaiting news from the festival circuit. The suspense was hard to bear, they admitted, given the intense competition

for major festivals like Sundance or Berlin. To top things off, they had also begun saying goodbye to their Spanish home of seven years. Whatever happened to this film, the next phase would mean abandoning the sunlit apartment in which they’d raised their young daughter—who is about the same age as this project—and possibly moving back to the United States. (Carracedo is Spanish; Bahar is American.) Their previous project, the Emmy-award-winning Made in L.A., chronicles the organizing efforts of immigrant workers in the Los Angeles garment industry and took five years to film. Both films were produced for PBS’s acclaimed Point of View (POV) documentary series. When we speak again, five months later, Carracedo and Bahar are still in Madrid, and still exhausted—but the suspense has made room for elation. They have just returned from Toronto, where they presented The Silence of Others to an enthusiastic crowd at the Hot Docs festival, the film’s North-American premiere. (It was named one of the Top 10 Audience Favorites.) Toronto was their fourth festival screening in three months. The world premiere, at the Berlinale in February, garnered them no fewer than two prizes: the Peace Film Prize and the Panorama Audience Award. (Ever the team, Bahar and Carracedo regularly finish each other’s replies.) Tell me about the reception of the film so far. Carracedo: “It’s been incredibly moving. We’ve realized our film is an emotional experience even more than an intellectual one. Although the story makes you think, it appeals to the heart first. Young audiences have been especially receptive.” Bahar: “They completely get it. They understand the parallels. One of the things that struck the people at PBS about the film was actually the way our story runs parallel to the debate about the June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 5

“Change finally seems possible in Spain.” confederate monuments in the U.S. South. In that sense, it was quite symbolic that the film had its world premiere in Berlin. Germany, after all, has taken clear steps to address difficult questions from the past—through its education systems, its museums—even in its policies on public speech. Screening this film in Berlin actually helped highlight the complete lack of measures toward truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition in Spain.” What audiences does your film speak to? Bahar: “Beyond people who want to know about Spain specifically, we are getting a lot of interest from other societies that are dealing with legacies of conflict—from Algeria and Lebanon to Sri Lanka, Colombia, and the Balkans. What this reflects, I think, is the fact that this story—tragically—is not unique. In the end, the questions that conflict leaves society with are similar everywhere: What do we remember? What do we forget? Who is entitled to justice? Who isn’t?” Carracedo: “In fact, we initially thought we were going to have to make two different versions of the film: one for Spain, and one for non-Spanish audiences. At one point we realized we could do with one version. Now that we’re screening the film, this has become crystal clear. For one thing, in Spain, too, people know very little about this history. We go deep into things that still have not really been discussed widely.” Bahar: “At Hot Docs in Toronto, an audience member identified herself as the daughter of a member of the International Brigades. One of the main characters in our film, Chato Galante, was there, too. (A student in the last years of the Franco regime, Galante was arrested and tortured by the Spanish police. His torturer, who was nicknamed ‘Billy the Kid,’ was never tried and continues to live in Madrid, not far from Chato. The Argentine court has requested his extradition for interrogation, but the Spanish authorities have refused to grant that request—SF.) When Chato met the daughter at the screening, he teared up and publicly thanked the Brigades.” Carracedo: “He said: ‘The International Brigades are the best that humankind has given the world.’” Have audience reactions surprised you? Carracedo: “Yes. We expected positive reactions from people who are politically aligned with the cause. But we also worked very hard to edit the film so that it would appeal to anyone, whether they knew about the issues or not, and whatever their political leanings, especially in Spain. That seems to have worked. I’ve had Spanish people come up to me after the screening, saying: ‘You have changed me.’ That’s amazing to hear, of course. Another surprising thing is that audiences are finding the film hopeful. And that’s not artificial. We do believe that things are changing, and we wanted the film to be positioned exactly in this cultural moment in Spain, where change finally seems possible.” You followed the Spaniards who filed the Argentine Lawsuit over six years’ time. Did you think about the way in which your long-term presence in their lives helped shape their experience, or even change the story itself? Of course, now that the film is being screened, it’s even more likely to be a catalyst… Carracedo: “Our previous film, Made in L.A., took five years to film. And there, too, we had to ask ourselves what it means to give a voice to people who would otherwise remain voiceless. In the Spanish case, this was actually a less complicated question. After all, we were filming people who had already decided to break the silence and become agents instead of mere victims. Still, when 6 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

you appear with a camera you give people a sense of value. That’s incredibly beautiful. One of the elderly women we follow in the film, María Martín, whose mother was disappeared during the Civil War and left in an unmarked mass grave, has a daughter who wasn’t initially too interested in the cause. It took her a long time to understand what her role might be. In the end, she took over for her mother—and our filming played a role in that process. Another one of our characters, who was present at the premiere in Berlin, told us: ‘Finally, we exist. We exist for the whole world to see.’” Bahar: “Think about the objectives of the victims, who have become organizers and plaintiffs. What they are fighting for is truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition. All of these goals imply breaking the silence. Being in the film also helps accomplish some of those objectives. For one, it helps get the truth out. And to the extent that recognition is a form of reparation— recognition of one’s status as a victim, recognition that a crime took place—the act of making a film is a piece of a justice process as well. Of course we hope that the film—as it’s seen by wider audiences, including lawmakers—eventually will help catalyze some of the other pieces, too.” Remarkably, your film has been reviewed positively in Spain across the political spectrum—even by right-of-center newspapers like El País and El Mundo. This may show that public opinion on the issue of historical memory is continuing to shift or normalize. But I think these reviews are also a testimony to the careful way in which your film tells its story. It doesn’t immediately push buttons in a politically conservative audience. What’s remarkable is that you manage to walk this line without depoliticizing your film. Carracedo: “We made an effort to include some of the narratives in Spain that argue against revisiting the past. For example, in one scene the son of one of our protagonists says he is not in favor of changing street names that remember Francoist officials.” I noticed that in the brief interludes where you give the historical background, the voice-over is Almudena speaking in the firstperson plural, as “we” Spaniards… Carracedo: “Writing that text in the first person plural was very difficult. I wanted to say enough for people to understand the story, without having some audience members shut down. We were totally aware of the fact that Spanish history is a battlefield. We realized that the best way to tell the story was through individuals. That’s why we decided to limit the voice-over sections and to humanize the characters as much as possible—convincing the audience that this is not about taking sides, or about the narratives that you’ve learned in school or through your family. This is about real human beings. After you sit down with someone like María Martín, who visits her mother’s unmarked grave at the side of a highway every day, will you be able to tell her that she does not have the right to bury her mother? Because once you meet someone and get to know their story, the whole master narrative collapses.” Bahar: “There’s another important point here. The decision to make a film about the Argentine Lawsuit is a decision to make a film about something that happens in the present day. This is not a film about something that should have happened in 1938, or about decisions that should have been made differently in the Spanish Transition. No, it’s a film that fundamentally focuses on one question. It is 2018. The victims are in this situation—” Carracedo: “—So what do we do?” Bahar: “Yeah.”

“Spanish history is a battlefield.” Carracedo: “Staying in the present was very useful to escape the cliché of the Spanish historical memory film. Our film is not historical. It merely uses history to understand the present.” Bahar: “This is also a bold way to sweep aside the arguments that are often used to throw up obstacles in this road to justice. Because when you take away those historical arguments, and say—” Carracedo: “—Okay, fine, that’s what happened—” Bahar: “—History was what it was—” Carracedo: “—But what do we do today?” The Silence of Others will screen in both New York and Washington, D.C. in June. It will have two screenings at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City, with characters and filmmakers in

attendance at both: Tuesday, June 19th at 18:30h (Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center); Wednesday, June 20th at 21:00 (IFC Center). Details are available at film/silence-others?city=New%20York It will also have two screenings at the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington, D.C. with one of the filmmakers in attendance: Saturday, June 16 at 12noon at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD and Sunday, June 17 at the E-Street Cinema in Washington, D.C. Details are available at TheSilenceofOthers The film will also be part of the lineup for Impugning Impunity, ALBA’s Human Rights Film Festival. (New York City, September 2123.)

The Silence of Others

A film by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar The Silence of Others reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, the film follows the survivors as they organize the groundbreaking “Argentine Lawsuit” and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, and explores a country still divided four decades into democracy. Seven years in the making, The Silence of Others is the second documentary feature by Emmy-winning filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar (Made in L.A.). It is being Executive Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar, and Esther García. Festival selections: Berlin International Film Festival; International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights of Geneva; Moscow International Film Festival; Hot Docs: Canadian International Documentary Festival; Millennium Docs against Gravity Film Festival; Transilvania International Film Festival (Romania); Oslo Pix (Norway); Sheffield Doc/Fest Sheffield International Documentary Festival; Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York; AFI Docs (Washington, DC.) More information at

La Querella Argentina / The Argentine Lawsuit In 2010 a group of Spanish citizens, organized in several groups, decided to press charges against former representatives of the Franco regime before an Argentine court. Judge María Servini de Cubría is overseeing a trial looking into the imprisonments, tortures, murders, and disappearances—classifiable as crimes against humanity—that took place during the Spanish Civil War and resulting dictatorship. Those bringing the lawsuit had tried to seek justice in the Spanish courts, but ran into the 1977 Amnesty Law; the same law that the Spanish government has been brandishing in its multiple refusals to grant Servini’s requests for extradition of the suspects. International pressure on Spain to repeal the Amnesty Law has been increasing. For several years now, the UN Committee on Human Rights has been criticizing the Spanish State for failing to comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Spain ratified forty years ago. The Amnesty Law “hinders the investigation of past human rights violations, particularly crimes of torture, enforced disappearance and summary execution,” the UN Committee stated in the summer of 2015. In the Committee’s mind, the responsibilities of the Spanish State are clear. It should “actively encourage investigations into all past human rights violations”; ensure that “the perpetrators are identified, prosecuted, and punished in a manner commensurate with the gravity of the crimes committed”; and “implement the recommendations of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances.” This latter body recommended in December 2013 that Spain investigate all cases of enforced disappearance “regardless of the time that has elapsed since they took place,” prosecute any suspected perpetrators, and provide reparations for the victims— revoking or changing the Amnesty Law to make that possible.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Matthew Ahmann at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Photo Rowland Scherman. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public domain.



By Alan Singer

Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, a number of action-based movements in the United States have emerged Can these largely single-issue movements coalesce into a more unified progressive and democratic movement? There are important lessons from the past that can help progressives today build a successful movement for social change.


ince the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, a number of action-based movements in the United States have emerged. In opposition to both Trump’s policies and the behavior and attitudes he represents. Each outrageous “Trumpian” tweet intended to energize his rightwing base enflames the anti-Trump majority and crowds at anti-Trump protests and marches continue to grow. All of the protests reflect a commitment to human rights and social change.

The Women’s movement inspired a counter-inauguration march in Washington DC that drew far more participants 8 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

than Trump’s actual inauguration. Since then the Women’s movement has expanded with intensified opposition to sexual harassment through #MeToo campaigns. Pro-immigrant, proDACA, activists organize protests and “sanctuary” safe havens to protect undocumented immigrants targeted by the Trump Administration. Black Lives Matter picked up steam as activists protested against statues and public places that commemorate racists and fictionalized history that absolves the Confederacy and segregationists of responsibility for the Civil War and post-war terrorism against Black people. Unfortunately, the

Student lie-in at the White House to protest gun laws. Feb. 19, 2018. Photo Lorie Shaull. CC-BY-S.A. 2.0.

To be successful, social movements have to move beyond mass protest protests were also fueled by continued police violence against young Black men. After the gun massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killed seventeen students and staff members, students from the school launched a massive anti-gun violence, pro-gun control campaign that continues to sweep through the country with the slogan “Enough is Enough.” Yet questions for progressives remain. Can these largely singleissue movements coalesce into a more unified progressive and democratic movement? Will they demand more fundamental political change in the United States, perhaps take over the Democratic Party? Or will they be coopted by the party’s mildly reformist technocratic wing? And will they be strong enough to counter powerful ethno-nationalists (perhaps crypto-fascists) financed by superwealthy rightwing capitalists—a Republican Party coalition that currently controls all three branches of the federal government as well as most state governments in the United States and is committed to systematically suppressing voting by African Americans, immigrants, and college students? There were a number of positive signs for progressives at the rallies held on March 24 against gun violence and for gun control. The movement galvanized young people, as well as parents and teachers, across the social and economic spectrum. At the Washington rally, speakers included suburban survivors of mass school shootings as well as survivors of inner-city gun violence. Student leaders and adult supporters recognized the importance of ongoing political organizing. In fact, the students are flying around the country speaking with local groups and stressing voter registration and voting into office pro-gun control candidates in the 2018 mid-term elections. At the same time, mainstream Democrats are looking to recruit conservative “Blue-dog” candidates to run in primaries and elections in swing districts, hoping to take control of the House of Representatives and put a brake on the Trump agenda. But they are promising little substantive change. As a historian, I write about American social movements, including the pre-Civil War abolitionist movement, the labor movement between the wars, the African American Civil Rights movement, and anti-Vietnam protests. There are important lessons from the past that can help progressives today build a successful movement for social change: 1. After long periods of marginalization and infighting, social movements can rapidly move from the political margins to the center. This happened with abolitionists who were politically isolated in the 1830s, 1840s, and for much of the 1850s, but whose anti-slavery position came to the center of national attention when a panicked South attempted to secede from the Union.

2. Successful social movements have to move beyond mass protest to establish organizations and institutions that carry on struggles for change and sustain activists during lulls between the storms. Looking at the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, we see a time gap between the campaign to desegregate the Montgomery, Alabama buses that first brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to national prominence and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama actions that precipitated the March on Washington and led to federal civil rights legislation. During that period, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SNCC, the Urban League, and CORE kept up constant pressure for legislative and social change. If a progressive movement is going to succeed today, it will have to build similar organizations. 3. Young people frequently play an important role in social movements. At Birmingham, Alabama the Children’s Crusade drew national attention to the Civil Rights campaign. High school and college students were the shock troops—and often the leaders—of the anti-Vietnam War and women’s rights movement. High school students also helped bring down apartheid in South Africa, starting with the 1976 Soweto protests against mandatory school instruction in Afrikaans. 4. Successful movements combine the personal and the political. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1851 meant that Northerners who thought they had no connection to Southern slavery had to decide whether they would report, capture, and help return to slavery neighbors, coworkers, and members of their church congregation. The threat of the military draft contributed to the rapid growth of the anti-war movement in the 1960s. Reproductive freedom was a crucial component of women’s rights campaigns. 5. There is a difficult balancing act between factionalism and cooptation. As the American labor movement expanded in the 1930s and 1940s, leftists often suppressed more radical demands in order to be part of organizing drives. Business unionists remained in charge of most international unions and drove leftists out of union roles during the Cold War, retaining control of union bureaucracies and acting as junior partners—as it turned out, temporarily—in expansive American capitalism. 6. Every social movement needs catchy songs and slogans. At the March 24 Washington DC rally, Jennifer Hudson and a DC choir sang an updated version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changing.” Let’s hope they are and that “Enough is Enough.” Alan Singer is a historian and Professor of Education at Hofstra University.


ALBA’s on the Road Again

The first five months of 2018 see a record number of teaching institutes Ten years after launching ALBA’s Teach-the-Teachers professional development program, the number of school districts we partner with continues to multiply. At the same time, the content of our resources has deepened and expanded as secondary school teachers and their students around the country increasingly see connections between historical questions and current events.


INCE FEBRUARY 2018, ALBA’s teaching faculty has presented one-, two- and three-day Teaching Institutes in Pittsburgh PA, Plymouth MA, New York City, and Seattle WA, reaching more than two hundred teachers. Several more institutes are in the works for after the summer in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, among other locations. Although most of our workshops still begin with the origins of the Spanish Civil War and the role of the American volunteers who joined the International Brigades, increasingly the syllabus has stretched into larger worldhistorical questions. These include global fascism, the impact of World War II and the Holocaust on civilians, the judgments at Nuremburg, the consolidation of international human-rights law, and the difficult ethical questions that nations and citizens face today. The basis of ALBA’s workshops—and of the lessons that participants create—is always primary sources, many of which come from the rich Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives housed at NYU’s Tamiment Library. These documents are not only compelling and accessible, but often prove unexpectedly timely. The word “fascism” has been, for the past couple of years, among the most frequently looked-up words in online dictionaries. But rather than resort to textbook definitions, in our workshops we look at primary documents in which Lincoln volunteers, or politicians such as Henry Wallace, defined fascism as they saw it rise around them. The documents also explain what antifascist activists did to raise awareness about fascism’s dangers—or stop it in its tracks. All these sources invite comparisons with other struggles in recent times. How and why, we ask the teachers, did anti-fascism give way to anti-communism during the Cold War? How did anti-communism affect the lives of those who began fighting fascism years before the United States joined World War II, such as the African Americans who had fought in Spain?

In the end, the workshops always circle back to what we call the essential questions: Why should we care about events that happen far away, or that happened a long time ago? How do we decide who is on the right side of an armed conflict? When do we stand up for what we believe in? What are our obligations in the face of injustice? How do we resolve competing loyalties? When is it right, or necessary, for a powerful country like the United States to intervene in a conflict going on elsewhere? How do images and texts shape our view of the world—and how can we use them to shape others’ views? How can we understand people and events of the past in their context? When—and how—is it appropriate to judge people and events in the past? When do historical analogies apply? And what does fascism look like today? Peter Carroll with two teachers in Plymouth, Mass. Photo Sebastiaan Faber.

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Teachers Comment on Their Experience in ALBA’s Institutes “I will definitely incorporate [into my teaching] several of the primary souces and posters. […] (Cleveland, OH, 2017) “I love the way [the workshop] framed essential questions relevant to these issues. They are so easily connected to student lives today this way.” –High school teacher of Spanish language and culture, 13 years experience (Bowling Green, OH, 2017) “This was by far one of the best professional workshops I have attended. It was well organized and the information invaluable to my teaching. The presenters were very knowledgeable and obviously very enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and information. Thank you.” –High school teacher of Spanish language and culture, 20 years experience (Bowling Green, OH, 2017) “This is a highly unusual opportunity to have such a respectful, historical organization take interest in improving areas of our education that otherwise may not be addressed with such resourcefulness and knowledge” –High School Teacher of Spanish Language and Culture, 40 years teaching experience (New York City, 2017) “ALBA will be incorporated to the Humanities curriculum of the Sección Internacional Española (SIE) at UNIS (Grade 10) […] Please, spread your work to Spain!!! Thank you for your generosity and for keeping all of this alive. ¡Salud y República!” – High School Teacher of Humanities in Spanish, 12 years teaching experience (New York City, 2017) “The training you have offered has influenced directly a significant amount of what I do in an 1112th grade European History elective. The archive enables me to link American history with European history, allows the students to engage in authentic research with primary sources, and introduces students to normal people influencing the course of history. I cannot praise this program as much as it deserves.” –NYC High School Teacher of History, 41 years teaching experience (New York City, 2017)

“I really appreciate that the materials provided traced fascism and anti-fascism from the 20s and 30s all the way to today, touching on the many fascinating casestudies along the way –NYC High School Teacher of Spanish Language and Culture, 6 years experience (New York City, 2017) “I feel as though this seminar has been very fulfilling, not only as a great source of knowledge, but very inspiring. It has provided me with energy and inspiration to fight, at many levels and in many struggles. I can’t stop talking about it, and I definitely think that it is not only one of the lesser known episodes of American history, but for me, it is the most heroic, unselfish and beautiful one. Everyone should learn about the Lincoln Brigade!” –Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the New School, 19 years teaching experience “Please do not stop propagating this extremely valuable information that every day is becoming more and more relevant.” –High School Teacher of Spanish Language and Culture, 30 years teaching experience (New York City, 2017) “Whereas the Spanish Civil War previously had not found a place in my curriculum, I now find it very relevant and necessary for exploring important US History topics.” —AP World History teacher (Massachusetts, 2018) “Thank you very much for exposing us to your passion on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War. We are now aware despite its absence from mainstream curriculum. The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath has repercussions to the present day.” (New York City, 2017) “The tag-team of presenters was collaboration at its best -- Good to experience.” —World History and Civics teacher (Pittsburgh, 2018) “The materials you present us make our teaching easier because the selections are accessible and alive for students.” (New York City, 2017)

June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 11

Milt Wolff in Spain, December 1937. (Tamiment Library, NYU, 15th IB Photo Collection, Photo #11_0631)

The United States and World Fascism: Two Sample Documents

Editors’ Note: Among the dozens of primary source documents in the resource binder distributed to the teachers who participate in ALBA’s teaching institutes are a letter that President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the U.S. ambassador in Madrid in March 1945, and the transcript of a conversation four years later between Milt Wolff, the last commander of the Lincoln Brigade in Spain, and an official from the State Department. The two documents help illustrate the profound shift in U.S. policy toward Franco Spain between the last months of World War II and the first years of the Cold War.

“We do not forget Spain’s our Axis enemies”

assistance to

March 1945: FDR Writes to the U.S. Ambassador in Spain “My Dear Mr. Armour: In connection with your new assignment as ambassador to Madrid I want you to have a frank statement of my views with regard to our relations with Spain. Having been helped to power by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, and having patterned itself along totalitarian lines, the present regime in Spain is naturally the subject of distrust by a great many American citizens who find it difficult to see the justification for this country to continue to maintain relations with such a regime. Most certainly we do not forget Spain’s official position with and assistance to our Axis enemies at 12 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

a time when the fortunes of war were less favorable to us, nor can we disregard the activities, aims, organizations, and public utterances of the Falange, both past and present. These memories cannot be wiped out by actions more favorable to us now that we are about to achieve our goal of complete victory over those enemies of ours with whom the present Spanish regime identified itself in the past spiritually and by its public expressions and acts. The fact that our government maintains formal diplomatic relations with the present Spanish regime should not be interpreted by anyone to imply approval of that regime and its sole party, the Falange, which has been openly hostile to the United States and which has tried to spread its fascist party ideas in the Western Hemisphere. Our victory over Germany will carry with it the extermination of Nazi and similar ideologies.”

Norman Armour, December 1944. Library of Congress. Public Domain | Franklin D. Roosevelt. Photo FDR Library. Public Domain.

“We cannot and will not intervene” March 1949: State Department to Milt Wolff

On March 10, 1949, the anguished Milton Wolff paid a call on William C. Dunham, chief of the Spanish desk at the State Department in Washington, D.C. The Franco government had recently sentenced nine Spaniards to death for leading protests against the regime, and Wolff had come to plead for U.S. intervention to save their lives. A transcription of their conversation survives.

Dunham: “Of course! We were against withdrawing the ambassadors in the first place. . . . Never helped any, this withdrawal.” . . . Wolff: “The withdrawal of Ambassadors was a weak move, but it was better than the nothing you all proposed. . . . The thing we want is not a retreat from this weak action, but more positive action—a break in relations.” . . . Dunham: “Positively not! We are not going to break relations with Spain. . . .There is no support for such action! . . .No, I don’t mean there isn’t any anti-Franco feeling . . . but no support for a break. No, I am not sure how much anti-Franco feeling there is in America. Sure I know about the protests . . . mere form letters and cards.”

Dunham: “Of course, we do not make representations in the cases of avowed communists. You wouldn’t expect us to. would you? Wolff: “After all. we have a certain responsibility for the actions of these men. State Department releases . . . and the United States position at the United Nations, all call for a change in the Franco government. That is what these men are trying to bring about. We should support their efforts by more than just words.” Dunham: “All our statements specify ‘by peaceful and orderly means.’” Wolff: “They cannot make a change without organizing and belonging to a trade union, a nationalist group, or a banned political party, and belonging to such a group, or party, is considered an act of violence against the government by Franco.” Dunham: “Nevertheless, we cannot and will not intervene except in rare cases.” Wolff: “Not even in the name of justice? Not even if the die case is an obvious frameup and the death sentence is handed down in a summary court martial?” Dunham: “That is right. But come, they are not summary courts martial. They are military trials and they are not adequately defended, that is true, but they are permitted to make long harangues in their own behalf before being sentenced. Not half so many are being executed these last months as were executed before. [At this point Wolff apparently made an unrecorded comment.] Ha, ha, ha, yes. . . . Maybe there aren’t as many left to be shot . . . hah. hah, hah. Yes I will send a wire to Culbertson in Madrid inquiring about these names. . . If the men are not communists and haven’t blown a bridge or killed anyone, we might make representations in their behalf.” Wolff then turned to the question of the Latin American countries reopening their embassies in Spain, with the approval and encouragement of the United States.

Wolff: “A signed postcard is a better gauge of public opinion than a Gallup poll . . . After all, people don’t sit down and write letters . . .They should be paid more attention to.” Dunham: “That is interesting, the wav you put it I mean. But . . .” Wolff: “You mean that is the way it is officially considered?” No reply. Dunham then expressed uncertainly about the U.S. position regarding the admission of Franco into the United Nations. Wolff: “Well, you are getting everything worked out the way you want it. You blocked, parried and delayed all actions against Franco since 1945 when there was the best possibility to restore the Spanish republic . . .with just this idea in mind. To sweep another tinhorn dictator into the basement along with the other dictators, kings, etc., that you have already collected.” Dunham: “You credit us with too much foresight. I am sure that that was not the original plan.” Wolff: “You couldn’t have planned it better.” From: Peter N. Carroll, The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War. Stanford University Press, 1994.

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Rich Cairn at an ALBA workshop in 2014. Photo Sebastiaan Faber

“If there ever was a time to do a better job teaching civics, it is now.” Educator Rich Cairn on the New Massachusetts Social Studies Standards By Sebastiaan Faber

ALBA’s teaching partner in Massachusetts will be in charge of training the state’s teachers for the new social studies standards—which include a return to civics education and an explicit mention of the Spanish Civil War


Cairn is the gentlest of souls—but he knows from experience what it takes to get busy teachers’ attention. His instructions to his workshop participants are clear, to the point, and specific. And he’s not afraid to use allcaps (“READ THIS ENTIRE EMAIL RIGHT AWAY AND CAREFULLY”; “BE ON TIME!”). ich

For many years, Cairn has been educating teachers in Massachusetts through the Collaborative for 14 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

Educational Services. Founded in 1974, the Collaborative is a publicly funded resource center that broadly supports teaching and learning in 36 public school districts in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The Collaborative often works with community, foundation, and business partners across Massachusetts and beyond, including the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. There’s no aspect of education that it doesn’t cover, from early childhood and K-12 to special

education, after-school programs, and programs for vulnerable youth. Since 2014, ALBA has partnered with Cairn, the Collaborative, and master teacher Kelley Brown, teaching an annual workshop at different Massachusetts locations. Recently, the Collaborative was charged by the Massachusetts Department of Education with helping introduce the new statewide standards for social studies, which had not been updated since 2003. A good moment for a conversation with Cairn.

“The 2016 election sparked lawmakers’ concern about civic awareness.” How are the new standards different from those established in 2003? The old standards included more than 700 separate facts and dates that students were expected to know. The new standards include at least as much content—but they come with much clearer directions about the concepts and themes that students need to understand and be able to work with actively. They also place a heavier emphasis on inquiry and they grant a much more central place to civics education. In fact, they mandate an entirely new civics course at the eighthgrade level. Civics? Isn’t that something of a return to the past? Yes, in a way it is. Thirty or forty years ago, many states had civics courses. Massachusetts hasn’t for a long time. What is driving the new standards? For one, the State Board wants to bring social studies standards in line those of other subjects, such as Math or English, which are already more inquiry-based. In Massachusetts, there’s also long been a strong push from bipartisan coalition—including teachers, legislators, local superintendents, local government officials, and a lot of active citizens—for a stronger civics piece in our schools. In fact, the state legislature has proposed a new civic engagement bill, S.2375, which has already passed the Senate. Why this interest in beefing up civics education now? To be honest—and they have admitted this when I have spoken with them—among the House and Senate leadership, it was the 2016 election specifically that sparked concern about civic awareness and engagement in America. Not coincidentally, one of the other pieces in the new standards is a specific component on the First Amendment, media literacy, and digital citizenship. Our lawmakers want to make sure that our students are well prepared for the world they live in. And if there ever was a time to do a better job in these areas, that time is now.

What role does the Collaborative get to play in this process? We won the contract to conduct a three-day civics education institute for the eighth-grade teachers who will have to teach the new civics course. And we’re also building a website, the Massachusetts Civics and Social Science Education Network, in partnership with Project Citizen, a national civic engagement organization, and with the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education. What will the new civics class entail beyond, say, “how a bill becomes a law”? It will include a specific component on media literacy, in addition to philosophy and history as well. Another key pieces are the… (pauses). Let me look this up, I have to make sure this stuff trips off my tongue come July! Here: the seven standards for social science and history practice. These standards cross across all grades, preKindergarten to twelfth grade. The first of these general standards is to demonstrate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Two through six are about the process of inquiry. Seven—and this is the key one—is Determine next steps and take informed action as appropriate. In a way, this aligns with the national social studies standards—but here in Massachusetts, it’s new. Do the new standards mention Human Rights? Yes. The concept is mentioned in the overarching principles; and in World History, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of the primary sources that every student needs to be familiar with. Will these new standards create more opportunities for the kind of workshops ALBA and the Collaborative have been doing on the Spanish Civil War, the United States, and World Fascism? Yes, for at least three reasons. Within the emphasis on civics, on understanding how governments work, the analysis of ideologies is

central. And the Spanish Civil War is an excellent way to delve into those. Second, in World History there is a specific standard that reads: “Analyze the aggression of Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 1930s and the lack of response from the League of Nations and Western democracies.” Among the four topics suggested here are the invasion of Ethiopia, the Spanish Civil War, Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and Germany’s annexation of Austria. Third is the fact that the new standards privilege the understanding of concepts over facts. In this case, it’s more important to understand the concept of fascist aggression and the lack of response to it, than to know who Neville Chamberlain was as a fact on its own. That, too, aligns perfectly with the approach we’ve been taking in the ALBA workshops. How did you personally get to be interested in the Spanish Civil War? (Laughs.) I first ran across it in the early 1960s, through “Folk Song Army,” in which Tom Lehrer sings: Remember the war against Franco? That’s the kind where each of us belongs. Through he may have won all the battles, We had all the good songs! I didn’t really learn about the Spanish Civil War till I got to college. In the 1980s, I worked in the co-op movement in Boston. This drew me to the Mondragón Cooperative, and from there I got interested in Spanish anarchism. You’ve worked with ALBA for several years now. Has your work with us changed how you think about the Spanish Civil War? Absolutely. For one thing, my depth of understanding is enormously greater now. I’ve learned so so much from the primary sources we share with the teachers—the letters, the posters, the music, and the films. And I cherish the opportunity to discuss the complexities of the war and its aftermath with Peter, you, and the teachers. I come away with new insights every single time.

June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 15

Faces of ALBA-VALB

Herman Schmidt By Aaron Retish

Herman Schmidt of Charlotte Court House, Virginia, talks about how he learned about ALBA and how the lessons of the Lincoln Brigade have informed his politics. He is pictured here with his Triumph motorcycle. Herman rides, camps and hikes across Virginia and as far away as Utah.

“Some of the Lincoln vets, like Bill Bailey, have become heroes of mine.” Where did you grow up? I was born in 1943 in a Quonset hut on a military base in Georgia. I spent my childhood in Plum Branch, South Carolina and in 1951 moved to Prescott, Arizona where I spent my teenage years. I was a Boy Scout and grew up watching John Wayne movies. My father’s ancestors were from East Prussia and emigrated to avoid being drafted into the Franco-Prussian war, but my father fought in the Second World War for the US and lost his left leg at the beachhead at Anzio. He was awarded a silver star and purple heart for his service. He worked as a barber at a retired soldiers’ center in Prescott where I met veterans of the First World War and even some who searched for Pancho Villa in Mexico and fought with Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba. We later moved to Virginia and I joined the Marine Corps right after high school—to fight the Communists like my father had fought the Fascists. I was in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 as a radio operator and I saw action. I’m grateful to say that I did not participate in any atrocities, except that the whole thing was an atrocity. The thing about Vietnam was that it became obvious early on that we were not going to liberate anyone or win their hearts and minds. We were there to prop up a two-bit corrupt government and it was obvious that it was a debacle and that we weren’t accomplishing anything worthwhile. When one of our guys was killed in action we began to say he was “wasted.” That pretty much sums up how many of us were feeling. I began to realize that I wasn’t going to feel about my experience in Vietnam the same way my father’s generation did about World War II. In short, it wasn’t “The Good Fight” like the Spanish Civil War! Vietnam was a turning point for me. I was discharged and I met my wife at Virginia Commonwealth University as a student on the GI Bill. While there, I helped to organize and I spoke at the very first anti-war demonstration in Richmond. I was also in the organization of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. How did you first learn of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade? I went to a big anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC in 1969 or so with a delegation from Richmond and saw some older guys in World War II-era uniforms carrying an American flag and a banner with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade logo. I had never heard of them before and was intrigued and talked to some of them. A year later, I picked up Alvah Bessie’s Men in Battle: A Story of Americans in Spain and since then I’ve read several books on the Spanish Civil War and the Lincoln Brigade. Some of those 16 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

guys, like Bill Bailey, have become heroes of mine. I had several conversations with Abe Osheroff before he passed away. I told him that I was inspired by his activism and he called back and we talked a bit about his wartime experiences. I own a copy of the movie The Good Fight and showed it at the local American Legion post, where I am a member. Almost none of the guys had heard about the Spanish Civil War or the Lincoln Brigade and they were quite impressed. We had a lot of discussion about what was going on in the country at the time of the Spanish Civil War and why many people joined the Communist Party and veered to the Left. I study history and I realize that you need to understand the conditions of the time and way of thinking at the time—the historical context—to get the full idea of events. I’ve told many people about the movie and the Lincoln Brigade and have had good reactions. It is frightening how few people know about the Spanish Civil War and the history of our country. What does the Spanish Civil War and ALBA mean to you today? I am interested in the history of the Lincoln Brigade and I’m in line with the politics and values of the Lincoln Brigaders. I don’t consider myself to be a radical leftist, but left of center and I would readily fight for my country but I won’t fight for Exxon. I’m against militarism and the sloganeering of “God, guts and glory” that Trump is promoting. I’m 74 years old now and I don’t take myself too seriously. I like to say that it is ok to be childlike, but not ok to be childish. This part of the state, southern Virginia, is very poor and there is a lot of adult illiteracy. I volunteer twice a week with a reading program at an adult learning center and I throw in a lot of history. Nobody has heard of the Spanish Civil War. Living here and working as a foreman trimming trees, I’ve learned a lot about the working class. While they might not be as interested in intellectual pursuits they are engaged in heroics and bravery—like trimming branches 65 feet up in an ice storm. There are guys barely scraping by driving log trucks and they are 100% behind Donald Trump because they buy into his slogans. For me, Trump has disturbing similarities to Mussolini or Franco. He plays to fear and hate. Aaron Retish teaches at Wayne State University.


Doug Jolly, a New Zealand-born surgeon who served with the Spanish Republican Army’s medical services during the civil war has been posthumously honored in his home town.


n March 2018 a quiet and moving ceremony took place on the shores of Lake Dunstan in Central Otago, New Zealand. Overlooking the lake is Jolly’s Grain and Feed Store, built in 1870 by David Jolly to serve the goldrush settlement of Cromwell. The handsome stone building now bears a plaque honoring Jolly’s grandson Doug, the outstanding battlefield surgeon. Many of the innovations he helped introduce to the Republican Army’s medical services remained in use in modified form during World War II, and in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Doug Jolly gained a medical degree at Otago University, left for London to qualify as a surgeon, and shortly before graduating, went to Spain as part of a British universities’ medical unit. In December 1936, during the Battle of Madrid, he was given the rank of lieutenant in the Republican Army and instructed to form a 50-bed surgical unit, the first international medical unit to go into action in the civil war. His earliest field hospitals were located in vacant farmhouses close to the front line, but

Hospital in a cave near the Ebro river, August 1938

out of range of heavy artillery. As enemy air raids increased, the hospitals were based in camouflaged tents, and later in railway tunnels and natural caves.

remember once, waiting an order to leave for the front, all of us nervous and tense, fearful that planes would arrive… Dr Jolly began to tell jokes and, seeing that the Spaniards did not understand him, began to dance and sing in the style of the Maoris… all were smiling and the tension went down.”

Jolly and his multinational, polyglot team were posted to wherever the fighting was fiercest. British nurse Penny Feiwel considered him “one of the best surgeons I had ever worked with – and certainly one of the quickest… Jolly worked the whole afternoon, right through the night, the next day, and most of the following night as well, practically without a break. He never seemed to tire or lose his concentration.”

Among Jolly’s US colleagues were assistant surgeon Franklin Bissell, nurse Irene Goldin, autochir driver Joe Coomes (who died of carbon monoxide poisoning when he slept inside his vehicle one very cold night), and Coomes’ replacement driver Robert Webster. Jolly later recalled “an American (merchant seaman I think) who was with me at Guadalajara in early 1937 and elsewhere. The only name I remember was Topsy. He looked after our (emergency) electric generator and helped with motor transport. He was indefatigable and well-beloved by us all. I have no idea what became of him. Brave as a lion.”

Another nurse said of him that “a man more ‘Jolly’ would be difficult to find. I

Jolly’s US patients included Robert Colodny, whom he treated for a gunshot June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 17

Jolly’s US patients included Robert Colodny, whom he treated for a gunshot wound to the head. wound to the head, and who lived to become a distinguished professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. During the retreat across the Ebro River, Jolly and his team spent a night in a villa on the Reus Road with Ernest Hemingway. In his two years in Spain Doug Jolly performed more than 2,000 abdominal operations, and greatly contributed to developing techniques and systems for treating the victims of an entirely new form of mechanized warfare. These included the treatment of fractures with extensive plaster of paris, the introduction of field blood transfusion units, and the use of mobile surgical units known as autochirs. He was later described by his British colleague Dr. Archie Cochrane as “the most valuable volunteer to come from the British Commonwealth.” Along with all other foreign volunteers, Jolly was withdrawn from the conflict in late 1938. He campaigned for the Republican cause in both Britain and New Zealand, and on the outbreak of World War II returned to the UK. At lightning speed he wrote a medical manual, Field Surgery in Total War, which summarized many of the lessons he and his medical colleagues had learned in Spain. It remained influential for the next 25 years. Jolly served as a lieutenant-colonel with the Royal Army Medical Corps, earning a military OBE for his services in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. A 1945 letter from his commanding officer indicates his contributions to battlefield surgery during the war: You have: Developed the two-stage concept of wound treatment to a truly astonishing level of success Perfected the use of penicillin and established its role in the treatment of war wounds Reduced mortality and morbidity for most types of war wounds to a level 18 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

rarely equaled and never surpassed in any campaign in history… It will of course be for the historian to assess the worth of your contributions in relation to advances in all theatres of war but I am confident… that the record of your fine work will find a prominent and permanent place in the archives of war surgery. That final prediction proved greatly premature. In the postwar period Jolly ceased practicing surgery and his innovations in trauma treatment and rehabilitation were largely forgotten. He remained working in England, eventually

as chief medical officer of Britain’s largest limb-fitting hospital, and died there in 1983. Twenty years later, several factors contributed to the restoration of his status as an internationally significant medical pioneer and humanitarian. A retired New Zealand orthopaedic surgeon, Patrick Medlicott, began promoting the idea of a memorial to Jolly in his home town. Another New Zealand doctor, intensive care specialist David Lowe, discovered an extraordinary cache of Jolly’s personal papers in the possession of his step-grand-daughter, Bidda Jones, in Canberra, Australia. In April 2018, Dr. Lowe visited the Tamiment Library, NY University, to search the archive on Spanish Civil War medical services created by US nurse Fredericka Martin. During the 1960s and 70s she contacted many civil war veterans, including Doug Jolly, and established what Lowe describes as “an amazing resource due to the efforts of one person.”

together and resulted in the project to install the plaque in Cromwell in March of this year. This was unveiled at a ceremony attended by local mayor Tim Cadogan, acting Spanish Ambassador to NZ Sr. Vicente Mas Taladriz, and many of Jolly’s relatives from around the country. His niece, Barbara Jolly, recalled the warmhearted, hospitable and unassuming man she often visited in London. She credited her uncle’s example for her decision to become an operating theatre nurse, a profession she followed for half a century. With the placing of this plaque, Doug Jolly has in some sense returned permanently to the home he left in the 1930s. However, work continues to ensure that his contribution to military medicine and civilian trauma care is fully recorded and recognized. A full-length biography, commissioned by the University of Nebraska Press, will draw on the lifelong personal archive preserved by Bidda Jones, supplemented by archival research in several countries. Several speakers at the unveiling noted disturbing similarities between presentday geopolitical conditions and those which led to the civil war and urged those present to follow Doug Jolly’s example. Although a dedicated and humane physician who insisted on treating enemy wounded on the same terms as his own troops and allies, he was also a committed antifascist and told a New Zealand newspaper, “My sympathies were completely with the [Spanish Republican] Government; that was why I went to Spain, and I saw nothing there which altered my mind.” Mark Derby is a New Zealand historian, and the author of several books on New Zealanders in the Spanish Civil War. Information and contacts for Doug Jolly’s biography are welcomed and should be sent to David Lowe - David.Lowe@svha.

These independent efforts came Jolly’s relatives

Plaque Honors Robert Merriman By Xavier Hernàndez Cardona In recent years, investigators of the research group DIDPATRI (Didactics of Heritage) at the University of Barcelona have tried to locate the remains of Robert Hale Merriman, Commander of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion and Chief of Staff of the XV International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, as yet we have not been able to find the grave. As you know, Merriman was educated at the University of California, Berkeley and joined the International Brigades to defend the Spanish Republic. It is likely that Merriman was executed by the forces of General Franco on April 2, 1938 in Corbera d’Ebre (Tarragona). To pay homage to this fighter for freedom, and in acknowledgment of all the Americans who fought for freedom in the Spanish Civil War, the researchers from the University of Barcelona placed a commemorative plaque by the sculptor Mar H. Pongiluppi in the old village of Corbera d’Ebre, in the area where Merriman was probably killed. The ceremony took place on April 7, 2018. We are happy to make available the mold of the plaque to anyone who is interesting in making a copy. Xavier Hernàndez teaches at the University of Barcelona.

THANK YOU, LISA McGURRIN, FOR JOINING THE JARAMA SOCIETY! Born in 1902 amid the pogroms of eastern Europe, BILL LAZARRE dedicated his life to working for economic equality, racial justice, workers’ rights, while raising his daughters as a single father. Weaving memory with documentary materials – such as his massive FBI file, his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee – Jane Lazarre tells her father’s fascinating history through periods of heroism and despair, as a Communist, a Jewish immigrant, a volunteer and Commissar in the Spanish Civil War, a father and grandfather. This is also the story of the daughter as she grew, married an African American civil rights activist, and became a mother and a writer. Available at bookstores or from

As a daughter of Lincoln volunteer Vincent Lossowski, Lisa knows that her support to ALBA will continue beyond her lifetime.

The Communist and the Communist’s Daughter ••

A Memoir

Jane Lazarre “In these beautifully written pages, Lazarre invites readers to join her on a difficult journey through memory, history, family and self-discovery.” —Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of Harlem Nocturne

CONTINUE YOUR SUPPORT OF ALBA WITH A GIFT IN YOUR WILL OR ESTATE PLAN. If you, like Lisa, would like to leave a legacy, please contact executive director Marina Garde at or 212 674 5398 to learn more about your options.

June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 19

Book review

Eunice Lipton, A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family’s Secrets. University of New Mexico Press 2016, 176pp. Reviewed by Gina Herrmann

Dave Lipton died by sniper bullet near Gandesa, on Hill 666, at the end of the Ebro offensive. His niece explores the enigma her uncle’s passage to Spain, her father’s role in keeping Dave’s voyage secret, and the silence that fell over her family after his death. A story of fraternal betrayal.


Lipton saunters toward a Parisian Bistro. From my table I watch her slide across the pavement and pause on the threshold of the terrace, a panama hat perched over her short straw-grey hair. Lipton moves like a danseuse, snappy and sinuous at once. An art historian, Lipton has published on Degas, famous for his depictions of ballerinas and women workers. In both her scholarly and her autobiographical writings, the intertwining of the gendered body, ideology, and emotion figure prominently. Perhaps this attention to the body in motion emerged from her family of great dancers, and the furtive, sinister dance of political commitment, adoration, and betrayal among her Jewish immigrant relatives that is the subject of her memoir A Distant Heartbeat: A War, A Disappearance, and A Family’s Secrets. unice

I have been largely alone in Paris, working in archives by day and eating each night with the delicious companion of French Seduction, Lipton’s 2007 memoir about her family history and her connection with France, which includes a moving analysis of her troubled relationship with Louis Lipton—her narcissistic, charming, Francophile father whose relationship with his daughter hovered at the edge of sexual creepiness. 20 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

She also explores the legacies and realities of anti-Semitism in France and the intersections of love affairs, ideological dreams and the challenges of acculturation of New York émigré Jews. Our Paris lunch takes place during election season back in the USA. We spend our meal wringing our hands over the Trump candidacy, which has provoked in Lipton an intense unease. I try to part with words of reassurance that November will bring the first woman to the White House. Lipton, a feminist with a keen eye for misogyny, seems to know better. As I watch her depart, I observe in her posture, at the confident juncture of her back at her hips, the reverberations of the “heartbeat” that gives title to her wrenching memoir about her uncle, Dave Lipton, whose secret participation in the Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War would hold agonizing consequences for more than one generation of his family. A Distant Heartbeat is, on one hand, the account of the prelude and the aftermath of a soldier’s death in combat: Dave Lipton died by sniper bullet near Gandesa, on Hill 666, at the end of the Ebro offensive. The book, however, covers vast emotional, cultural and geographical territory moving from the Latvian Jewish immigrant world of 1930s New York to the barren hills of Sierra Pandols to the last great gatherings of surviving veterans of the International Brigades at the end of the twentieth century. Lipton captures the intimacies of Bronx immigrant kitchens and the neuroses of entangled Jewish family relations, while imagining the how volunteer fighters foreign to Spain lived moments of powerful camaraderie interspersed with periods of boredom and misery. The book includes two intertwined novelistic memoirs of suspense, the first of which features Eunice in the role of sleuth. Undeterred over more than two decades, she pieces together the story that comprises the second story: the enigma of Uncle Dave’s passage to Spain to join the International Brigades, her father Louis’s role in keeping Dave’s voyage secret, and the silence that fell over her family after his death. Uncle Dave came at first to young Eunice, her brother and cousins as a phantom, trapped in an old box of photos, curiosities and letters, squirreled away in a drawer at her grandparents’ home. Decades later, through extensive archival research and tracking Dave’s friends and former comrades Eunice Lipton reconstructed some of his past—the loving son, the sexually ambiguous young man nevertheless adored by women, an active member of the Young Communist League in New York, and the volunteer with the Lincoln Brigade. Fashioning Dave’s history through often sparse and contradictory clues, she creates an important and complex composite of a Lincoln volunteer, one who lived the 1930s and Spanish Civil War as an opportunity to act in accordance with his communist convictions. She also presents the Spanish Civil War for Dave as an almost carnal experience of the emotional and bodily desire to meld with one’s comrades in the struggle against fascism. A Distant Heartbeat likewise concerns itself with the Lincolns as a source of inspiration for later generations of progressives. In the process of her investigation, Eunice presses her father for information:

Lipton’s secret participation in the Lincoln Brigade would hold agonizing consequences for more than one generation of his family. ’Why do you care about all this?’ he asks quietly. … Why do I care? Because my uncle was brave? Because his decision enthralls me, the journey intrigues me, the optimism amazes me?” Through the recovery of the life story of this one volunteer, the memoir rehearses the many reasons why the history of the Lincolns never gets stale; it evinces a tight, intense narrative energy and antifascist ethos that continually inspires and enchants. Why had Dave Lipton’s death in Spain remained an open wound, a taboo subject that left Eunice’s grandmother sobbing at night behind closed doors? Why was her father Louis so defensive when Eunice asked to know more about the uncle she had always intuited was like her? She tells a story of fraternal betrayal. In the spring of 1938, Dave Lipton (born Lifshitz) told his parents he was taking a job in the Catskills. Instead, he boarded the SS Manhattan destined for Le Havre. Passing through Paris, Dave and a group of other volunteers eventually made it to the Franco-Spanish border, taking the perilous trek across the Pyrenees by foot. In the early summer of 1938 an important, if ill-fated, Republican offensive was about to begin, including the famous Battle of the Ebro. Hill 666 would be one of the final sites of this battle—and the last place Dave Lipton touched the earth still with life. Before his comrade Bill Wheeler could shout to him to keep his “head and fanny” low, a sniper took Dave down. Eunice, his postmortem autobiographical voice, strives to imagine what Spain meant to Dave: “Until the sniper gets Dave, he may never have felt as whole before, absorbed in this world of fear and ecstasy and unreflective action . . . all in the interest of saving people from their appalling destinies as he reaches for his own.” Once in Spain, Dave had decided to confess the truth of his whereabouts to his parents. He penned letters asking for their forgiveness, beseeching them to write to him, requesting packages of chocolate. Dave also wrote to his parents about the reasons why he left: “If you would see the hundreds of children povertystricken. Hundreds of mothers grieving… You would understand why I came here to help them.”

other than to confess the truth to his parents. The purloined letters ended up in that shoebox, buried in the back of a drawer. Years later, they would become Louis’s revered object, one he would bend over “like a mother over a cradle, the sorrow and the emotional display, but also the contempt.” Eunice writes that this “overworked choreography… got under [her] skin.” Nevertheless, it was the overwrought contemplation of that mysterious crucible of letters that set Eunice on her path as family detective. One question never fully disclosed by the book is why. Why did Louis interrupt the correspondence between a beloved boy and his parents? Might Louis, the boxer, have felt his masculinity threatened by the “soft boy,” the marshmallow brother who was actually brave enough to go off to battle? Was Louis partially responsible for Dave’s death on Hill 666? “It’s possible that if Dave had heard from his parents,” Lipton writes, “he might have been more alert. .. He might have taken fewer chances.” These are among the many questions that the memoir posits for the reader’s consideration. Like the dangerous reliquary of Dave’s letters, the memoir itself becomes a repository of trauma and mystery that can only be partially untangled, a pas de trois in which Eunice, her father and her uncle continue to circle around one another, each seeking in the reflection of the others a nod of remorse, a confirmation, an expression of pride. At the very of end of the memoir, Eunice describes the intense “sorrow, desperation, shame” that Louis felt after Dave’s death. But the daughter and the niece of these men, having unraveled the web of intrigues around her uncle’s abbreviated life, stands elated and energized alongside the memories of such terrible heartache: “As for me, well, sitting there, I am so proud of Dave, so very proud that he was one of us, my family. I know how much his young life gave me. Without him and his friends, people like me never would have poured out onto the streets against the war in Vietnam, ridden the buses and marched for civil rights, created the women’s movement and the gay liberation movement.” Gina Hermann is the Vice-Chair of ALBA and an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon.

Back in New York, his brother Louis would be forging his own appalling destiny by intentionally keeping Dave’s battlefront letters from reaching his parents. Louis, the frenetic, egotistical, competitive son, never allowed his parents to see the letters, missives that increasingly expressed Dave’s desperation to hear from his mother and father. As the months wore on, the Liptons went on believing their son was in bucolic upstate New York, waiting tables. In December 1938 Louis received word that Dave had fallen in Spain. He thought contemptuously that Dave “threw his life away.” His game was up, though, and Louis had no alternative June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 21

Book review

Katherine O. Stafford, Narrating War in Peace: The Spanish Civil War in the Transition and Today. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. 197 pp. Reviewed by Evelyn Scaramella

Katherine Stafford’s Narrating War in Peace: The Spanish Civil War in the Transition and Today presents a refreshing contribution to the debates about the historical memory of Spain’s twentieth-century history. Studying a variety of texts and images over a long period of time, Stafford explores how the Spanish Civil War has been “reconceptualized, renarrated, and reconsidered to accommodate a variety of identities and to respond to various historical, political, and social realities.” How has the changing narrative of the Spanish Civil War responded to “changes in ethical, ideological, and aesthetic values”? Stafford answers this question through four case studies from the transition to democracy (1975-1981) and the first decade of the twenty-first century (2000-2012). Central in Stafford’s approach is the notion of “lieux de mémoire,” or “sites of memory,” developed in the 1980s by the French historian Pierre Nora, who argued that historic monuments become symbols of collective memory. Opening up Nora’s definition, Stafford analyzes her four cases as “sites” or “spaces” through which Spaniards remembered the war. They are Agustí Centelles’s war photography, which was recovered in a series of exhibits starting in the late 1970s; Picasso’s Guernica, which was painted in 1937 but wasn’t shown in Spain until 1981; Jaime Camino’s documentary films La vieja memoria (1977) and Los niños de Rusia (2001); and the Civil War novels of Antonio Muñoz Molina, including his recent The Dark Night of Time (2009). Rather than focusing on the symbolism or archetypes of each case, Stafford analyzes the reciprocal changes in multiple narratives of culture and 22 THE VOLUNTEER June 2018

Stafford analyzes the reciprocal changes in multiple narratives of culture and conflict. conflict, tracking how these texts and images communicate the “desires and values of different generations and social groups.” Stafford identifies three major shifts between the years of the transition and the first twelve years of the twenty-first century. First, a shift from heroes to victims. While the narratives composed during and immediately after the dictatorship tended to center on the heroism of the defeated Republicans, recent years have focused on the individuals who suffered Franco’s crimes. Stafford argues that this shift was an attempt to grapple with and compensate for the lack of retribution for the perpetrators. A second shift is from “ideology to affect.” Spain’s transition to democracy, Stafford argues, tended to produce “sweeping metanarratives” that tried to vindicate the Republican cause but that were low on sadness or emotion, as they did not mourn the victims of the war and the dictatorship. In the twenty-first century, on the other hand, emotions are put front and center. The third shift is from “trauma to identification,” evident, for example, in the way that works like Guernica and Centelles’s photographs are viewed today. The depth and breadth of Stafford’s work combined with her multi-media analysis in each of the four case studies paves new ground for Spanish cultural studies. Stafford investigates the “evolving generational, ethical, philosophical, and political concerns” that the war has inscribed into cultural practices in Spain. She notes in her conclusion that the Civil War continues to be a fundamental, defining element of Spanish identity. Her book advocates for ethical awareness and social justice in Spain today through “active and reflective thinking about the changes in values.” Stafford reminds us that within the “hypermodern ethics” in the new millennium we must continue to question romanticized narratives about the past that may have caused “cultural and generational biases.” To actively participate in contemporary politics we should continue to engage with the complexities of representations of war and trauma. Evelyn Scaramella is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Manhattan College. Her book in progress, Translating the Spanish Civil War: The Avant-Garde, Antifascism, and Literary History, examines the literary collaborations and translations between English- and Spanish-speaking writers during the Spanish Civil War.

CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM 02/1/2018 TO 4/30/2018 Benefactor ($5,000 and above) Henry Jarecki • NYC Department of Cultural Affairs • Puffin Foundation, Ltd. Sponsor ($1,000-$4,999) Jeffrey Heisler in honor of the Resistance – venceremos! Supporter ($250-$999) Robert Alvarado • Carpenters Local 46, Northern California Counties Conference Board • Anthony Carreño in honor of Mike Muñoz, recent appointee to ALBA’s Board • Peter Carroll in memory of Archie & Hon Brown, Bay Area VALB • Lisa Clemmer • Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation • James Fernández • Andrew Griffin in memory of Eugene Poling • Local Union No. 34, Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge Wharf & Dock Builders • Paulina K. Marks • Michael Muñoz • Michael J. Organek • Pfizer Foundation Matching Gifts Program Contributor ($100-$249) Susana Aikin in memory of James Neugass • Jay Bradshaw • Shelley Broderick • Betsy Brown • Stuart Carlson in memory of Carl Joseph Carlson • Wendy Chavkin • Robert Cherney • Adrienne Epstein • Claire Feder • Virginia Franco • Andres A. Gonzales • Shane Hunt • Bob Kantola • David S. Klein • Jim Kuhn • Dennis Mar • Bill Mayer • Gerald Meyer • Bea Moulton • Robert Nelson in memory of Steve Nelson • Fraser Ottanelli • Paypal Charitable Giving Fund • Bonnee Price-Linden • Steven Rosen • William Rosen • Patricia Sawin in honor of Archie Green • Denny Scott • Linda Stamm in memory of Morris Stamm • William D. Strong in memory of Ted Strong • Sara & William Tattam • Venable in memory of Carol Owens • Ada Wallach in memory of Harry Wallach • Lucy Weinstein Friend ($1-$99) Everett Aison in memory of Irving Fajans • Mark Alper • AmazonSmile Foundation • Anonymous • Louis Armmand • John August • Elaine Babian • David Bacon • Oscar Ballester • Frankland Banks • Mara & Enzo Bard • Eugene Baron in memory of Saul Wellman • Charles Barrett • Judith & Cyrus Berlowitz in memory of Clara Philipsborn • Joe Berry • Nancy Blaustein in memory of Samual Nahman, aka Manny Harriman, and Arthur Landis • Kate Bronfenbrenner • Linda Brooks • Tibby Brooks • Paul Bundy • Vinie Burrows • Roger Butler • Chris Castañeda • Kevin Cathcart & Mayo Schreiber, Jr. • Darlene Ceremello • Jules Chametzky • Rachel Clare • Joan & Barry Cohen • Lincoln Cushing • Barbara Dane • Kevin & Nancy Devine • S. Leonard DiDonato • Javier Diaz Aranguren • Larry Drake • Andrew Drysdale • Fanshen Faber in memory of George Watt and Laura Faber • Anne Feeney • Al & Mary Fenske • Montse Feu • Noel & Cathy Folsom in memory of David Smith • Roberta Friedman • Victor Fuentes • Michael Funke • Alex Gabriles • Edward Garcia • Renee Gateley • Gretchen Gibbs • Francisca Gonzalez-Arias • Deborah Green • Robert Greene • Gerald Greenwood • Gerhard Grieb • Kenneth Habeeb • Andrew Haimowitz • Oleine Hedeen • Philip Heft • Kendra Heisler in memory of Robert Thompson • Ted Hernandez • Gina Herrmann • Kevin Hill • Richard Horvitz • Jay G. Hutchinson • Joan Intrator • Gabriel Jackson • Anne Katz Jacobson in memory of Max Katz • Randy Johnese • John L. Kailin • Doris Katzen in memory of Beverly Bookman • Marlin R. Keshishian • John Kyper • Alex Lantsberg • Donna Levitt • Marjorie Lewis • Cathy Campo & Kevin Lindemann in memory of Manny Hochberg • Gail Long in honor of members of the ILWU who served in the Brigade • Irma Lupo • Nik Makhno • David Manning • Paul Marks • Harold Martin • Andrew W. McKibben • Paul Michabofsky • Nancy B. Mikelsons in memory of Charles Hall, ALBA – prisoner in Spain during the Spanish Civil War • Ruth Misheloff • Laura S. Murra • Masaru Edmund Nakawatase in memory of John Tisa • Susie Naye • Geraldine Nichols & Andres Avellaneda • Ann M. Niederkorn • Michael O’Connor • Ignacio Olmos • Nicholas Orchard • Ann & Vittorio Ottanelli • Joseph Palen • James & Barbara Pandaru in memory of Harry Bridges • Louise Popkin • Michael Quigley • Peter Rachleff • Laura Randall • Bella Reeves in memory of Saul Birnbaum • Jules Rensch • Fariborz Rezakhanlou • Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera • Suzanne & Alan Jay Rom in memory of Samuel S. Schiff, a VALB • Constancia Romilly • Miki Rosen • Judith Rosenbaum in memory of all the vets • Naomi Rosenblum • Sue Rosenthal • Song H. Rosi • Gail & Lewis Rubman • Jose Ramon Ruiz Ojeda • Blas Ruiz • Aracelly A. Santana • Earl Scheelar • Herman Schmidt • Saul Schniderman • Harvey Schwartz • Sylvia Scofield • Anne Scott • Herbert B. Shore • Fred Siegel in memory of Joseph Siegel • John Skipper • Harvey L. Smith • Kate A. Stolpman • Esther Surovell • Carlyn Syvanen • Kieran Taylor • Joedy Tracey • Ana Varela • Jonathan & Edith Weil • Lisa Mary Wichowski • Thomas Wineholt • Bruce Wolf • Frank Woodman • Leonard & Ellen Zablow

June 2018 THE VOLUNTEER 23

WE ARE OPENING! Come celebrate our 150th anniversary with the opening of the new restaurant. A new dining concept in a historic institution.


Salvador Burguera

Francisco Javier Parreño

Gracia Sales