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Vol. XXXII, No. 3

September 2015

Pierre Daura, Self-Portrait in Militia Uniform, ca. 1938.

PUBLISHED BY THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN BRIGADE ARCHIVES

Pierre Daura’s Spanish Civil War The Republic’s Women Pilots Tim Johnson’s Tamiment Meet Velina Brown


Dear Friends, Founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade 799 Broadway, Suite 341 New York, NY 10003 (212) 674-5398 www.alba-valb.org Editor Print Edition Peter N. Carroll Editor Online Edition www.albavolunteer.org Sebastiaan Faber Associate Editor Aaron B. Retish Book Review Editor Joshua Goode Graphic Design www.eyestormonline.com Editorial Assistance Phil Kavanaugh Manuscripts, inquiries, and letters to the editor may be sent by email to info@alba-valb.org 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

www.albavolunteer.org IN THIS ISSUE

“There is no smooth easy road in the direction of progress,” wrote Evelyn Hutchins, the Brigadista truck driver who made countless trips across dusty furrows during the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by Evelyn and her comrades, ALBA does its part to further ideals of social justice and human rights, past and present. While our road is certainly much smoother than the one “our people” tread in Spain almost 70 years ago, it still leads us in many directions. The road takes us to high schools across the country as we continue to work with educators to bring history and issues of human rights alive in the classroom. This fall, we will host institutes for high school teachers in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. As our outreach expands, you can read about the first teachers’ institute held in Detroit in July (page 3). Moving from the Midwest to California, the 79th Annual Bay Area event will be held in Berkeley at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse on November 8th. The matinee event will feature songs and celebration with Velina Brown (page 9) and Emilio Silva, founder of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain and winner of the 2015 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. For you, our natural constituency, this issue of the Volunteer features an article about the women who flew planes for the Spanish Republic and a story about the pathbreaking composer Conlon Nancarrow, who also was a Lincoln veteran. We cannot but look to the future with optimism. With your continued financial support—and here we paraphrase the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—while the road ahead will always be bumpy “it bends towards justice.” Mil gracias,

p 3 Detroit Teachers p 5 Tim Johnson’s Tamiment

Fraser Ottanelli Chair of the Board of Governors

p 8 Spanish Exhumations p 9 Velina Brown

Marina Garde Executive Director

Letter to the Editor:

p 10 Bay Area Event

Dear ALBA,

p 11 Conlon Nancarrow

Julian Bond died on August 14.  A few days later, Democracy Now! aired a tribute to him and I was struck by one of the comments by Benjamin Jealous, who was CEO of the NAACP while Julian Bond was President. Jealous recounted how the Sierra Club had asked him to join them in an action in which they'd be chained to the White House gates. He wasn't sure whether he should participate because the NAACP hadn't taken a position on the issue. Jealous recalled, "I asked Julian what I should do and he immediately said, 'I'll go.'" That willingness to identify himself with a progressive cause reminded me of his immediate endorsement of ALBA and the Human Rights Award, when he was asked to participate. For the last two years, Julian Bond has been a member of the honorary committee for our annual event. —Joy Portugal

p 12 Pierre Daura’s Spanish Civil War p 14 The Republic’s Women Pilots p 18 Book Review: Laurie Lee p 22 Poem p 23 Contributions

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Photo credit: Eduardo Montes-Bradley, 2012, CC BY-SA 4.0.


Detroit Teachers Reflect on Spanish Civil War and Human Rights By the editors

When do we stand up for what we believe in? What are our obligations in the face of injustice? In July ALBA worked with a dozen public school teachers from Detroit.

Aaron Retish (l) and Lois Lofton-Doniver (r). Photos Sebastiaan Faber.

“The teachers are so engaged! You guys have really struck a chord,” said Lois Lofton-Doniver, who coordinates the professional development program for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Detroit. On July 1, ALBA’s Aaron Retish and Sebastiaan Faber spent a full day working along with LoftonDoniver to help a dozen public school teachers develop lessons about human rights inspired by the legacy of the Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War. ALBA’s institutes for teachers are framed around a series of essential questions that are as pertinent today as they were in the 1930s: 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 U.S. 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? And, finally, what does fascism look like today? After a general introduction to the Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War, the group screened the first 35 minutes of the documentary The Good Fight. In the discussion that followed, connections with the present promptly suggested themselves. One teacher pointed out the remarkable parallel between Lincoln vet Bill Bailey’s successful attempt to rip the swastika

flag off the S.S. Bremen when it was docked at the New York harbor in July 1935, and the way in which activist Bree Newsome managed to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol in late June this year. Aaron Retish pointed to the many local links. “If you consult ALBA’s online database of the 2,800 U.S. volunteers who went to Spain, you’ll see the hundreds who had a connection with Detroit,” he said. “They came from the same neighborhoods where many of your students live. You might have taken your classes to see Diego Rivera’s murals of the Ford plant at the Detroit Institute of Arts. When you think about it, it was the very same workers depicted there who not much later joined the Lincoln Brigade.” In the second half of the workshop, teachers worked in groups to develop their own curriculum inspired by the more than 20 ready-made lesson plans that ALBA has posted on its teacher’s website, with topics ranging from children’s drawing of the war to propaganda posters and the Nuremberg Trials. One group built a compelling lesson around the letter that Canute Frankson, a Jamaican-born autoworker from Detroit, wrote from Spain to his friend. “I’m sure,” he writes, “that by this time you are still waiting for a detailed explanation of what has this international struggle to do with my being here”: Since this is a war between whites who for centuries have held us in slavery, and have heaped every kind of insult September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 3


ALBA has organized dozens of institutes for public school teachers since 2008. This fall, ALBA teaching institute activities are planned for the following locations: • ALBA’s online database of the 2,800 U.S. volunteers who went to Spain lists hundreds who had a connection with Detroit.

• • • •

and abuse upon us, segregated and jim-crowed us; why I, a Negro who have fought through these years for the rights of my people, am here in Spain today? Because we are no longer an isolated minority group fighting hopelessly against an immense giant. Because, my dear, we have joined with, and become an active part of, a great progressive force on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of saving human civilization from the planned destruction of a small group of degenerates gone mad in their lust for power. Because if we crush Fascism here we’ll save our people in America, and in other parts of the world from the vicious persecution, wholesale imprisonment, and slaughter which the Jewish people suffered and are suffering under Hitler’s Fascist heels. All we have to do is to think of the lynching of our people. We can but look back at the pages of American history stained with the blood of Negroes; stink with the burning bodies of our people hanging from trees; bitter with the groans of our tortured loved ones from whose living bodies ears, fingers, toes have been cut for souvenirs—living bodies into which red-hot pokers have been thrust. All because of a hate created in the minds of men and women by their masters who keep us all under their heels while they suck our blood, while they live in their bed of ease by exploiting us.... ...We will crush them. We will build us a new society - a society of peace and plenty. There will be no color line, no jim-crow trains, no lynching. That is why, my dear, I’m here in Spain. “Excellent training,” one teacher wrote in their feedback form. “The true life situations aroused my emotions,” wrote another; yet another said: “I enjoyed every moment and learned a lot I can use in my classroom.”

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New York City (November 3, Social Studies and Spanish) Bergen County, New Jersey (November 4, Social Studies and Spanish) Hampstead, Long Island (TBA, Social Studies and Spanish) Ohio Council for the Social Studies (OCSS) conference, Columbus, Ohio (October 5-6, Social Studies) Boston, Massachusetts (October 24, Spanish)

The institutes are generously funded by the Puffin Foundation and individual ALBA donors. If you are interested in attending or helping sponsor one of our institutes, contact Marina Garde at mgarde@alba-valb.org.


Tamiment’s New Leadership: The Next Chapter By Sebastiaan Faber

Tim Johnson. Photo: Elena Olivo. Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau.

Timothy Johnson takes over this month as Head of Tamiment Library, whose outstanding holdings include the ever-expanding ALBA collection. Johnson will be working with Assistant Curator and Public Services Librarian Kate Donovan. A conversation about plans, challenges, and legacies.

L

ongtime NYU librarian and archivist

Timothy Johnson takes over this month as Head of Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, one of the country’s richest archival troves of labor and civil rights activism—and, for the past 15 years, home to the everexpanding ALBA collection. Johnson, who joined NYU in 2005 as a subject

librarian in Africana Studies, is a specialist in African-American history and longtime political activist. In 2007, he helped arrange for the transfer of the archives of the Communist Party of the United States, which are now also at Tamiment. Johnson succeeds Timothy Naftali, and the late Michael Nash and Deborah Bernhardt. The history of the ALBA collection is

closely connected with the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and ALBA’s mission as an educational non-profit. The collection—which includes letters, books, posters, manuscripts, photographs, film, audio, and various other artifacts related to the lives and work of the volunteers of the Lincoln Brigade—was initially held at Brandeis University in Boston. In September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 5


Archival shelves in Tamiment, photo courtesy NYU.

The ALBA collection was about 300 linear feet when it arrived from Brandeis. More than 200 linear feet have been added since then.

Kate Donovan and Tim Johnson

2000, ALBA was instrumental in moving it to New York University. This was a major undertaking. “The collection had outgrown Brandeis’s meager resources,” recalls ALBA chairman emeritus Peter N. Carroll, “and NYU was willing to devote the energy to fully organize and index a great multitude of archival material.” This summer, I spoke with Tim Johnson and NYU’s Kate Donovan, who since 2013 has served as Assistant Curator and Public Services and Instruction Librarian. Why is NYU, and Tamiment in particular, a good place for an archive like the ALBA collection? Johnson: Tamiment has a world-wide identification with labor, peace, progressive, and left-wing movements. Since the history of the Lincoln Brigade cuts through all of those movements, Tamiment is a logical place for this archive. We have on our faculty at NYU several scholars who study the Lincoln Brigade and/or the Spanish Civil War. And since ALBA is also in New York, there’s a substantial local base of support for, and use of, the collections. Donovan: The collections have grown substantially since they first arrived at Tamiment. There are approximately 300 6 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015

Labor and the left have been at the center of my scholarly, journalistic, and political activity for nearly 50 years. separate collections that make up the “ALBA Collection.” According to the records we have, the collection was about 300 linear feet when it arrived from Brandeis. More than 200 linear feet have been added since then. A rough estimate suggests that there are approximately 514 linear feet of materials, along with posters. Our usage statistics, which we started recording in 2008, show that the ALBA collections have been requested approximately 2,600 times. They're regularly used for classroom instruction and student projects as well.

What have the milestones been for the collection since it arrived at NYU? Donovan: In addition to the collection’s growth and usage, there are a few other things that are worth highlighting. In 2006, for example, Tamiment completed an NEH grant that resulted in the preservation, arrangement, description, and cataloging of approximately 320 linear feet of collection materials, including oral histories, photographs, film, and posters. Another milestone was the large-scale digitization of a number of the photograph collections, including the Harry Randall Fifteenth International Brigade Films and Photographs and selected images from the International Brigades Archive in Moscow. We also did a largescale digitization of many of the posters in the collection. What are the main challenges for Tamiment in the years ahead? Johnson: I think the main challenge is the one that faces most archives: How do we bring our collections out of the archive so they are more accessible to the public? The central avenue through which this can be accomplished is by the digitization of the collection and making it accessible through the web. Unfortunately, digitiza-


tion is very costly, which is one barrier. But we also need to begin developing our web presence. So we need to expand our fundraising abilities and develop the technical and graphic expertise needed to accomplish these tasks. Tim, how do you see this position at Tamiment in light of your trajectory thus far? Johnson: Well, labor and the left have been at the center of my scholarly, journalistic, and political activity for nearly 50 years. So in that sense, it seems a natural fit and a logical culmination to my 40-year professional career as a librarian. I’ve been at NYU Libraries for nearly 10 years as a subject librarian in Africana Studies. When I would tell people who know me that I work at NYU Libraries, their automatic response was, “Oh, so you work at Tamiment.” Of course that necessitated an explanation that Tamiment is a separate archive within NYU Libraries, and so on. Now, I can just say, “Yeah.” What excites you most about this position? Johnson: The most exciting aspect is the opportunity to work with such a dedicated core staff at Tamiment and NYU Libraries. Kate is a wonderful teacher, who has developed a keen sense of the collections in just a few years. It takes a rare ability to make a collection come alive to a group of students brought in by their professor. We recently had a visit from a family who has supported the ALBA collection. They were in from California and asked for a short tour of Tamiment. On very short notice Kate pulled together a small exhibit, which the visitors later described as a “fascinating, moving review of wellchosen Tamiment/ALBA materials.” This ability reflects a certain sensitivity and understanding of the collection. Is there anything that has you worried? My biggest “worry” is the challenge to live up to the standards set by Mike Nash. Mike was a good friend and mentor to me who, shortly after my arrival at NYU, brought me into the work of Tamiment. His foresight on how to build on existing collections, while expanding the purview of the collections, will be difficult to match. Do you have any personal history with the veterans of the Lincoln Brigade? Johnson: As I said, I’ve been politically active on the left for all of my adult life and very early on had read things refer-

encing the Spanish Civil War, but had not done any significant reading. In the early 1980s, in Chicago, I joined the Communist Party and I noticed that “Lincoln vets” were treated with a certain deference and sometimes even reverence. That intrigued me. I moved to Los Angeles in the mid ‘80s and at my first L.A. Party club meeting there was a discussion of Gorbachev’s notion that some ideas,

Our main challenge is the one that faces most archives: How do we bring our collections out of the archive so they are more accessible to the public? such as peace, were not based on class interests, but were rather human interests. This was quite controversial as it went against most understandings of Marxist philosophy and historical materialism. The discussion in the club was at a rather low theoretical level, but near the end an older guy, dressed in sneakers and a leisure suit—old folk’s wear in Southern Cal at the time—spoke. I don’t remember what he said but I was impressed with his level of philosophical understanding. After the discussion I introduced myself and he said his name was Irv Goff—which meant nothing to me at the time. One week later I picked up a cheap paperback novel entitled “Comrades,” by Paul Leaf. It was centered on fictional characters who fought in the ALB and later became famous in Hollywood. In the first chapter they introduced a character named “Irv Goff” and went into detail about his background. This character had a major presence throughout the novel. I remembered thinking, “This can’t be a coincidence.” I asked around and discovered that the Irv I met was a Lincoln vet. The next time I saw him we discussed his experiences. About a year later I was working as the Southern California correspondent for the People’s Daily World and wrote a one-page feature story on Irv. I spent several hours in his apartment and he went into great detail about his life and experiences. I found Irv’s story so interesting that I began doing further reading on the ALB and the Spanish Civil war. Later in New York, I met Len Levenson, who was a real nice guy. He was the

editor of Political Affairs, for which I wrote fairly frequently. How do you see the partnership between Tamiment and ALBA as an educational 501(c)3? Johnson: We look forward to discussing ways we can strengthen our partnership. We have similar/compatible missions and should be working more closely—perhaps by co-sponsoring book talks and discussions. We would also like to have a display table of some of our materials at your annual event. Given the logistics of security it would mostly be digital surrogates, but even those would help get the word out. In fact, I would encourage all to come in to view our collection. You can locate finding aids on our website. If anyone has material to donate, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If there are things you want to keep during your lifetime, we can help compose a legal document so that the material will come to Tamiment upon your passing. We have first-rate preservation facilities and the material you donate – papers, letters, artifacts, etc. – will be kept safe and secure so that future generations will understand the importance of the ALB in the fight against fascism. Tamiment Library is at 70 Washington Square South. An overview of the ALBA Collection, including finding aids and digitized collections, is online at http:// www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/ tam/collections.html#alba. Sebastiaan Faber teaches at Oberlin College.

September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 7


ALBA/Puffin Award Funds Exhumations Thanks to the funds provided by the 2015 ALBA/Puffin Award, Spain’s Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) has been able to continue its much-needed work locating and exhuming mass graves from the Spanish Civil War, identifying the remains, and returning them to their families. The photographs here are from an exhumation near Alcalá del Valle (in the Cádiz province) that took place this August. The exhumation team located the remains of four civilians—two men and two women— who were killed in September 1936. They were Remedios Partida Morilla (43), her son José Rodríguez Partida (20), and his girlfried, Rosa, who was seven months pregnant. The identity of the fourth victim is unknown. The photographs show close-ups of the one of women’s earring, as well as René Pacheco, an archaeologist working with the ARMH, explaining the Association’s work to a group of some hundred locals. (Photo credit: ARMH.)

Spanish Exhumations

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Faces of ALBA-VALB

Meet the members of the ALBA community | By Sebastiaan Faber

Velina Brown

Velina Brown at ALBA’s New York event in May 2015. Photo Tony Graves

For the past 15 years, Velina Brown has been singing at Lincoln Brigade reunions, most recently at ALBA’s New York celebration in May. “The vibe in the room is often lush with emotion, a sense of connectedness and passion.”

A

director, award-winning actor, and columnist, Velina Brown is a veteran of the American Conservatory Theater and a longtime member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Her television and film credits also include supporting roles in Trauma, Milk (2008), Bee Season (2005), and Playing It Cool (2014). She’s a two-time winner of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critic's Circle award.

Tell me a bit about your own background and career. I am primarily a theater artist. My artistic home base for 23 years has been the Tony- and Obie-award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. For 56 years the troupe has created political satire that addresses the issues of the day either locally, nationally or internationally from the perspective of the working class. We show the non-FOX news perspective of history, culture and current events. I also work with many other theater companies, as well as in film and television. September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 9


Velina Brown at ALBA’s Bay Area event in October 2014. Photo Jeannette Ferrary.

Velina Brown at ALBA’s New York event in May 2015. Photo Len Tsou.

“In 2000 I was not familiar with the history of the Spanish Civil War. I got a big crash course. I hadn’t learned about any of it in school. There’s so much we’re not taught in school.”

When's the first time you heard about the veterans of the Lincoln Brigade? I think it was back in 2000. Bruce Barthol and I were working together at the Mime Troupe. He asked if I was available to be one of the performers for a VALB reunion that was coming up in the Bay Area. Several of us from the troupe were participating: Arthur Holden, Eduardo Robledo, Michael Gene Sullivan. I said yes. At that time I was not familiar with the history of the Spanish Civil War. I got a big crash course. I hadn't learned about any of it in school. There’s so much we’re not taught in school.  What has it been like to sing these songs at the ALBA events? Is the vibe of the room different than with other shows you've done? ALBA events feel very much like family reunions where most of the people know the stories, know the songs and are related to at least one of the vets in some way and are dedicated to keeping the memory of their bravery alive. The ‘vibe in the room’ is often lush with emotion, a sense of connectedness and passion for continuing to tell the story so that we may all know and remember.  Does this repertoire have any particular challenges for a singer? I guess for me personally the challenge stems from the fact that the Lincoln Brigade was part of the International Brigades.

Therefore, the songs are in different languages. So, in addition to English, we sing in Spanish, of course, and also French and German. I did study French and Spanish some in school but not German. Switching back and forth between the different languages and focusing on keeping the words as crisp and clear as I can is a bit challenging but it's a worthwhile challenge. The words are important.  Do you feel you connect with the music on a personal level? I connect with the music firstly because it's so beautiful. I also connect with it because what is being discussed is just as potent to me as We Shall Over Come, Lift Every Voice and Sing or Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech and many other examples of a few, brave, visionaries who at great personal sacrifice actually live their values and not just talk about them.  What's your favorite Spanish Civil War-related tune? Bruce Barthol wrote a beautiful song called Taste of Ashes for a Mime Troupe show called Spain 36. It was written about the era but is not of the era. Audiences love to hear it and I enjoy singing it.  Though it is a challenge not to choke up on the opening lyric, ‘Taste of ashes, wounded hearts. We leave our best in this bloodied earth.’ My favorite of the era is ¡Viva la Quince Brigada! It's actually not easy to pick just one!

NEWS AND EVENTS WEST COAST: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015

EAST COAST: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015

79th Annual Celebration honoring the Abraham Lincoln Brigade—Bay Area 1 pm to 3 pm

End of Year Benefit Brunch—New York

Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse 2020 Addison Street Berkeley, California 94704 For tickets and information: www.thefreight.org Tel. (510) 644 2020

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Spanish Benevolent Society 239 West 14th Street, 2nd floor New York, NY 10011 For information: www.alba-valb.org Tel. (212) 674 5398


Lincoln Vet Nancarrow Gains Museum Triumph

Conlon Nancarrow, June 1987. Photo Irene de Groot. CC BY-SA 3.0/GFDL

By Dominic Murcott

Lincoln vet and path-breaking composer Conlon Nancarrow was among the dozens of American leftists who no longer felt at home in the United States. After moving to Mexico he began a 40-year career of composing for the player piano. In June, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art celebrated his work with a 10-day festival. Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) was a composer whose unique compositional ideas are as fascinating as his single-minded approach to life. On returning to the United States after serving in the Lincoln Brigade, he was dismayed to be refused a passport thanks to an earlier Communist party membership. In 1940 he emigrated to Mexico City. There, as before in Boston, he found the musical community unable, or unwilling, to play his rhythmically complex compositions. By 1948 he had turned his back on human performers as well as his country, and began a 40-year career of composing for the player piano, punching holes by hand into paper piano rolls. Freed from the limitations of players, he was able to pursue his interests in complex timing relationships, and became the greatest exponent of the “tempo canon”: a technique where two or more similar lines of music play at different speeds. Working in near isolation from a custom-built studio, designed by the celebrated architect Juan O'Gorman, he created some of the most mathematically complex and dramatically exhilarating music ever written. His studio also housed his vast private library, in which he amassed a collection of books on a broad range of subjects that any small college would be proud to have in its library. Recordings made on his antique player pianos gradually caught the attention of well-known composers who championed his work, among them John Cage and Gyorgi Ligeti. Commercial releases

Working in near isolation from a custom-built studio, Nancarrow created some of the most mathematically complex and dramatically exhilarating music ever written. rapidly gained cult status and in his seventies he found considerable fame and modest fortune, winning a MacArthur Genius Award in 1982. Today his name is mentioned in every history of 20th-century classical music, while jazz, classical and electronic composers continue to cite him as a key point of reference. The recordings of his player piano works are easily obtained but the instruments they were created for are becoming rare. However, two recent high-profile festivals have valued the work sufficiently to acquire and restore such instruments: in 2012 at London's Southbank Centre, and a 10-day celebration in June this year at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art. This is not the first time his work has been recognized. In fact, the best known recordings were made by American producers and record companies. However, for the Whitney to make such a bold statement of support could be seen as a poignant and quietly triumphant homecoming. Dominic Murcott is Head of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. He co-curated “Anywhere in Time: A Conlon Nancarrow Festival” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in June 2015.

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Pierre Daura’s Spanish Civil War

Self-portrait in Militia Uniform. ca 1938. Oil on wood, 66 x 54 cm. Museu Diocesà de Menorca, Ciutadella. Photograph: Cisco Moll.

Civil War. Carboneras. June 1937. Pencil on paper, 23 x 32 cm. MNCA, Barcelona. Photograph: Calveras, Mérida, Sagristà.

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Dear Editors, What a surprise, a few minutes ago, to open the June issue of The Volunteer and to see on page 14 the article about my father, Pierre Daura, with reproductions of two of his paintings. I would like to mention that my father, being a Catalan from Barcelona, was not a member of the International Brigade but of the 59 Brigada Mixta, who served at the Teruel front from February to September 1937, when he was badly wounded and was sent back to St. Cirq-Lapopie, the French village where we had been living since 1930, to recuperate.  In the Daura Archive at the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia, there is an envelope, containing bone fragments, with my father’s notation “bone fragments I removed from my arm during the retreat.” On his return to France he did several self-portraits, one of which (at the Georgia Museum of Art) shows him in a cap with the letters S-V (for the Sacco-Vanzetti Brigade). He also did a series of engravings about the war which Rockwell Kent was going to sell in the U.S. for the benefit of the cause, but by the time he finished them, the war was essentially over. They are now in museums in Barcelona and the U.S. After his return to France, my father spent as much time as possible helping Spanish refugees, especially to get them out of the French concentration camps such as Argelès. We came to the U.S. in July 1939. Father and I were on a Nansen passport since Father’s Spanish citizenship (and mine, as a minor) had been revoked. We became U.S. citizens in 1943.    Sincerely, Martha R. Daura Medford, OR

Civil War. Civilisation, La cultura del odio. 1937. Etching, 25 x 18 cm. MNCA, Barcelona. Photograph: Calveras, Mérida, Sagristà.


Civil War. Teruel. March 1937. Pencil on paper, 32 x 23 cm. MNCA, Barcelona. Photograph: Calveras, Mérida, Sagristà.

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The Wings of the Republic: Spain’s First Women Pilots By Miguel de Lucas

Mari Pepa Colomer and Dolors Vives were the first two women in Spain to earn their pilot’s license, working as flight instructors for the Republican Army. Both led lives of legend and enjoyed an uncommon longevity—yet a decade after their deaths, most Spaniards have never heard of them.

From left to right: Dolors Vives, Josep Canudas, Mari Pepa Colomer and Adolf Azoy. Carreras-Colomer Archive.

Mari Pepa Colomer on the cover of La Vanguardia. Photo Josep Maria Sagarra.

T

he history of the Spanish Republican airforce is not well known. Even less remembered are the Republic’s two women pilots. Mari Pepa Colomer, who passed away in 2004, had earned her pilot’s license in 1931 at age 17. Dolors Vives, who died in 2005 at age 96, was the second woman to become a pilot in the Republican air force, in 1934. During the Civil War, Mari Pepa and Dolors worked as flight instructors for the Republican Army. Both survived the war and the defeat. Both led lives of legend and enjoyed an uncommon longevity. Yet a decade 14 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015

after their deaths, these women remain unknown to most Spaniards. On August 2, 1936, just a few weeks after the rising of military rebels against the Republican government, 23-year-old Mari Pepa doesn’t hesitate to pilot her

plane from Barcelona to drop anti-fascist leaflets supporting the Catalan autonomous government, the Generalitat. A few months later, her friend Dolors reaches the rank of second lieutenant. In the next three years Mari Pepa and Dolors conduct hundreds of inspection flights, patrolling the coasts looking for ships, aircraft, and the movement of enemy troops. In the spring of 1939, after the war is desperately lost, they perform final liaison missions to help militiamen and civilians escape to France. Everything began in May 1930. Mari Pepa Colomer, daughter of a textile


Mari Pepa Colomer with Josep Maria Carreras, 1975. Photo Carreras-Colomer Archive.

Josep Maria Carreras in 1927. Photo Carreras-Colomer Archive.

It’s said that Mari Pepa first took flight at the age of seven when, like Mary Poppins, she jumped from a second-story window holding an umbrella. wholesaler from the Catalan town of Sabadell, began flying lessons in the aerodrome of El Prat. A (probably exaggerated) tale is told that she had first taken “flight” at the age of seven when, like Mary Poppins, she jumped from a second-story window holding an umbrella. Raised in a wealthy family, from an early age she felt great admiration for Amelia Earhart, the American aviation pioneer. Her father, Josep Colomer, financed the course fees, and after carrying out the statutory 60 hours of flight, Mari Pepa became the first officially licensed woman pilot in Catalonia. Two days later, the news hit the headlines and the cover of La Vanguardia, the most important newspaper in Barcelona. It is difficult to look at the photo in La Vanguardia without a pang of nostalgia. The image encapsulates a spirit of optimism. In peacetime, aviation was a public spectacle. It was also an essentially bourgeois activity. Only those belonging to a privileged class would join flying clubs. During the 1930s, when in many parts of Spain cars caused astonishment, airplanes fascinated people to no end. They symbolized the future, showcased in flying competitions and displays. Pilots embodied the world to come and their deadly stunts mesmerized spectators. Mari Pepa Colomer became a popular figure. Shortly after the Republic was proclaimed, she flew over Barcelona carrying a three-colored Republican flag. Among her first passengers was Lluís Companys, president of the Generalitat. The pilot José Carreras, whom she met during her training period, and who years later would become her husband, was a celebrity. The press hailed his exploits, which included a solo flight across the Sahara Desert and a successful return to the Canary Islands. Mari Pepa also amazed the public. In October 1932, the same year her heroine Amelia Earhart completed a solo trip over the Atlantic, the Catalan aviator landed a Zeppelin in Barcelona. It was a big social event. Among those attending was Dolors Vives Rodon, a 23-year old

from Valls. Soon, she would follow the same path. In one of her last interviews, she stated that she was lucky twice. First, because her family encouraged her to follow her dreams. Second, because she won one of the few scholarships offered by the Flight Club. “My father, a lawyer,

was a man of democratic ideas, very interested in social issues and concerned about living conditions,” she said. “So, when the club Aeropopular was created to popularize aviation (until then basically a military activity) we became members. It wasn’t very usual to see a woman in a plane, even more unusual when she was the pilot. People found it strange.” A brilliant pilot, Dolors learned quickly. On May 31, 1935 she got her license, number 217, from the National Airport Authority. She went even further

than Mari Pepa, when one year later she became the first woman to earn a license for flying planes without engines. This license never reached her. Like many other things in Spain, the bureaucratic process stopped dramatically on July 17, 1936, when the military rebels rose up against the government. The Spanish Civil War had begun. Like a sudden nightmare, from one day to the next aviation changed. Many pilots who not long before had amazed crowds with innocent tricks became the horsemen of death, willing, in the name of “God and Spain,” to unleash hell on public streets and squares. During the war, Spain would be the first country in Europe to discover the dark side of aviation: the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. When war erupted, Mari Pepa and Dolors were called to join the army and assigned to work as flight instructors. Their task was almost impossible. They were expected to establish, in a few months’ time, an air force regiment made up of volunteers and militiamen. They trained young soldiers, many of whom were seeing an airplane for the first time in their lives. In this way, with just a few old light aircraft, the future pilots of the Republican air force were born. In one photograph, we see Dolors Vives in her cabin, inside one of the biplanes in which she taught new pilots to fly. Those who passed the basic course went on to the military base of San Javier, in Murcia. Another group, usually made up of the best pilots, was sent to Kirovabad to continue their training in the Soviet Union. From the USSR came the famous I-15 and I-16 Polikarpov air fighters, which Spaniards nicknamed Chatos [pugnosed] and Moscas [flies]. These planes changed the course of the war during the siege of Madrid, in one of the few military triumphs of the Republic. In November 1936, after the Republican government moved to Valencia, concerned that the Nationalists would take September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 15


Dolors Vives and Mari Pepa Colomer in 2003.

Madrid, the Republican pilots, helped by the Soviets, were able for the first time to hold their own against the Italian air fighters (Aviazione Legionaria) and the German Condor Legion, saving Madrid from invasion. As far as we know, neither Dolors nor Mari Pepa took part in combat missions. Still, their role during the war stands in sharp contrast with the subordinate position of women on the Nationalist side. In Franco’s Spain, the place of women was not in trenches, barricades, or the cockpit of a plane. If we look back to the military propaganda posters, we appreciate a huge difference between the warring sides. The posters illustrate not only a political conflict, but a war of ideas. A famous image drawn by Cristóbal Arteche urges women to take up arms. Les milicies us necessiten (The Militias Need You), reads the text in Catalan, with a background that combines the Catalan flag, the red and black flag of the Anarchist CNT, and the red flag of the Marxists. From the other side, an image from the Falange’s Social Aid instructs women to take care of the family while the husband goes to fight: Por la madre y por el hijo, por una España mejor (For mother and son, for a better Spain). Kinder, Küche, Kirche (House, kitchen, church). Hitler’s “3 Ks” had its equivalent in the slogans issued by La Sección Femenina (Women’s Section). This branch of the Falange, led by Pilar Primo de Rivera, proclaimed devotion to “women’s mission in life” and the “sacred warmth of the family.” The new Fascist woman should engage in “purely feminine” tasks: providing clothes, working in workshops or in stores, caring for returning wounded soldiers, sewing and washing. Still, the retrograde future that Franco reserved for Spanish women doesn’t automatically turn the Republic into a paradise of gender equality. In the Republican rearguard, women had to win a lot of battles. The emblematic figure of the militant woman, dressed in a uniform of worker’s overalls and armed with a rifle, had been prominent in propaganda. And there was, indeed, a spectacular enlistment of women in the first months after the military coup. Rosario Sánchez, la dinamitera (the dynamite girl), immor16 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015

“The Militias Need You”: Republican propaganda poster.

In the spring of 1939, after the war is desperately lost, Dolors and Pepa perform final liaison missions to help militiamen and civilians escape to France.

talized in a poem by Miguel Hernández, or the mythic Lina Odena, immediately enlisted as volunteers. So did Mari Pepa Colomer and Dolors Vives. But most of the photos we have of women fighters were taken in a relatively short period of time. The iconic images of dozens of anarchist woman in improvised combat vehicles, for example, are from the first months after the Fascist insurrection failed in Madrid and Barcelona. It was a time of spontaneous recruitment, a stage in which the war was experienced as a

fiesta, a prelude to social revolution. Throughout Civil War, however, Republican and anarchist women maintained a double fight: a struggle to transform society and a struggle to change their place in it. Many feminist organizations endorsed the slogan: “Men to the battlefront, women to work.” Quite the opposite of surrender, the slogan claimed that women could maintain production in the factories while their partners stopped the enemy. During this time, even work was understood in military terms, so that women participated in the “trenches” of factories, as part of “work brigades” to be the “vanguard of production.” Obstacles arose from the very beginning. Antifascist women criticized the lack of cooperation in factories. Frequently, there was distrust when men saw women doing their jobs. On the battlefield, things regressed. Although women fought alongside men in the early battles, the initial revolutionary impetus slowed, and the situation changed. By November 1936, there were some militiawomen still in the front lines, but their numbers were few. Attitudes toward women changed when the Republican professional army was formed. Traditional command structure came back, and also a distinctly male military hierarchy. Now women were found more commonly in the role of orderlies, cooking and washing behind the front lines. Yet it is important not to lose sight of the big picture. On the Republican side there could be difficulties, lack of companionship, even hostility from some comrades. All that was part of an open, intensely lived debate. It was an everyday struggle that was unimaginable on the opposite front. In Fascist Spain, certain thoughts could lead directly to prison, if not the firing squad. This was the case of Amparo Barayón, the wife of novelist Ramón J. Sender, who was executed in October 1936. Her short hair and her modern lifestyle made Barayón an expression of “sin” that went against the conventional gender rules. A lesser known case is that of Pilar Espinosa, in Avila, who was shot to death by a Falange squad. Her crime: having a subscription to El Socialista and being a woman “of ideas.”


Dolors Vives.

Nationalist propaganda poster.

From one day to the next, pilots who not long before had amazed crowds with innocent tricks became the horsemen of death.

Antifascist women knew what they stood and fought for. During the years of the Republic they had known a Constitution in which basic rights were guaranteed. Article 36 dealt with women's suffrage: equal voting rights for all men and women older than 23. The left-wing government introduced civil marriage and divorce. In December 1936, the Catalan autonomous government, in one of the most advanced regulations in Europe, legalized abortion. For this reason, in their conquest of the skies Mari Pepa Colomer and Dolors Vives were not just two exceptional women during an exceptional moment. They were part of a larger historical process, a sign of deep

and rapid social change, when women fought and managed to reach spaces previously closed to them in Spain. As we know, the story doesn’t have a happy ending. When the war was lost, Mari Pepa crossed the Pyrenees. “All fliers left Spain by plane, of course. From the air we could see long lines of people walking toward France,” she said in an interview in El País from 1984. At first she thought about finding a ticket to Montevideo and joining her father, exiled in Uruguay. Instead, once in Toulouse she married José Carreras, the man who taught her to fly. Together, they would live a last adventure. From France they moved to Great Britain. World War II

started and Carreras served in the British RAF, fighting for the second time against air strikes of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Dolors Vives, meanwhile, decided to remain in Catalonia. Under Francoism, the time of women fliers was over. Dolors lived a quiet life away from politics, bringing up a family of 10 children. Until her last days, she worked as a piano teacher. After the dictatorship, Mari Pepa would return to Spain several times from her home in Surrey. Those who knew her describe Mari Pepa as a person of great vitality who never lost her adventurous spirit. Some of her last words, however, show an echo of sadness. “I will never move back to Spain, even though Franco is gone. I do not care. Almost all my friends have died and those who haven’t, live somewhere else in the world.” Dolors, in her last interviews, nostalgically remembered a time when she went, literally, further and higher than anyone: “After the Civil War flying ended, but my memory of that time remains in books and photos. A couple of years”, she said, “I wouldn’t change for anything.” Miguel Ángel de Lucas is a journalist and working on his Ph.D. in Contemporary Spanish Literature at the University of Sevilla. September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 17


Book reviews

P. D. Murphy, As I Walked Out Through Spain in Search of Laurie Lee (Bristol: Silverwood Books, 2014). Reviewed by Rebecca Bender

S

ome literary and cultural critics have suggested in recent years that, for the majority of Spaniards, the brutal Civil War (1936-39) is the most significant event in the history of their country, an event which must be confronted and revisited in order to understand presentday Spain. While celebrated Spanish authors like Javier Cercas, Isaac Rosa, and Lorenzo Silva have penned narratives that address the complexities of the nation’s collective and personal histories, British author P. D. Murphy’s novel As I Walked Out Though Spain in Search of Laurie Lee reveals the perspective of a non-Spaniard—an outsider, so-to-speak—who nevertheless has deep personal connections to Spain. In this novel, Murphy’s desire to follow in the footsteps of his literary hero, English writer Laurie Lee (1914-1997), not only sends him on a personal journey through the history, culture, and geography of Spain, but also forces him to explore his own personal history and identity. According to Murphy, his novel is a story of two journeys, on two levels: “Laurie Lee’s through Spain in 1935 and how it profoundly shaped the way his life unfolded; [and] my journey following in his footsteps across Spain in 2012 and how it has given me a second chance in life.” Indeed, Murphy is the first person to retrace the path across Spain blazed by Lee just prior to the onset of the Spanish Civil War. While Lee’s walk from northern Galicia to southern Andalusia would form the basis for one his most successful novels, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969)— a coming-of-age tale of a young man’s journey across an unfamiliar country that would enchant and inspire him— Murphy’s modern-day route culminates in the publication of this curious narrative that blurs the boundaries between 18 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015

Murphy is the first person to retrace the path across Spain blazed by Lee just prior to the onset of the Spanish Civil War. fiction and non-fiction; among biography, hagiography, and autobiography; and between past and present. Though Murphy’s path is recorded chronologically, he mixes past and present interspersing his account with dated entries from Lee’s account. This technique provides a rich narrative for Murphy’s recreation of Lee’s experiences for modernday readers. Murphy is often prompted by his arriving at the same place as Lee had, observing the same buildings Lee detailed, or breathing in the same colored landscape so poetically captured by his literary idol. By following in the path of his own literary hero, Murphy embarks on a journey that will not only connect him to Lee and his history, but also afford him clarity and acceptance with regards to his own personal history, identity, and experiences of loss. He confronts his rocky relationship with his father and learns to accept the dissolution of his marriage and his present relationship with his daughter. Yet to achieve this solace Murphy, like Lee before him, must set out from his familiar surroundings, navigate the unexpected roadblocks or detours of the foreign land through which he travels, and finally return home transformed, where he will reintegrate into the society he had left behind. I found the sense of place to be the strongest aspect of Murphy’s book. A map of the similar routes both Lee and Murphy took across Spain, in 1935 and 2012 respectively, is included among the novel’s foreword and introduction. On this single map the reader can compare the two pilgrimages and use the visual as a point of reference. A perhaps selfconscious observation confirming the pertinence of place appears in Murphy’s musings during the second half of his narrative: “The essence of a place is made up of the people who live there and their stories.” Surely reflective of Murphy’s own philosophy, this line is fitting for a journey that includes a solemn visit to the Valley of the Fallen, Toledo’s Alcazar that houses the National Museum of the Army, and a stop in a small local bar in Cádiz that resulted in an intimate conversation with a young gypsy musician. While place is crucial to capturing the spirit of the Spanish nation (its duende, as Murphy accurately refers to it) and the protean Spanish countryside that both writers so dearly love(d), the role of History is equally important. For a nation whose transition from dictatorship to democracy was marked by a philosophy of “forgetting the past” in order to look towards the future, the notion of recovering and acknowledging a traumatic history is a heavy cross to bear. Murphy’s book captures the complexities of Spanish attitudes towards the nation’s history by recounting interactions with Spaniards. Late in the book a Spaniard and his


American-born wife reveal their opposing views regarding the exhumation of bodies from sites purportedly containing mass graves. His is representative of the conservative viewpoint: the war is over and Spaniards should attempt to live in peace by not meddling with the past or disturbing the dead. His wife is of the opposite opinion, generally supported by those with Republican ties or members of younger generations of the international community: the dead deserve justice, respect, and honorable burials, just as the victors who supported the Francoist cause received upon the war’s end. Murphy refrains from engaging passionately in such discussions, though a careful reader will notice that his views most closely align with those in favor of recognizing Spain’s past sins. As I Walked Out Through Spain in Search of Laurie Lee is an enjoyable and informative read for anyone interested in the life or writings of Laurie Lee, the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War that still haunt Spain’s psyche, or the geography, history, art, and people of Spain. Rebecca Bender is an Assistant Professor of Spanish Language and Literature at Kansas State University. She blogs at rebeccambender.wordpress.com.

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ALBA BOARD OF GOVERNORS

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Fraser Ottanelli, Chair James D. Fernández, Vice-Chair Gina Herrmann, Vice-Chair Ellyn Polshek, Vice-Chair Aaron Retish, Secretary Joan Levenson-Cohen, Treasurer Peter N. Carroll, Chairman Emeritus Sebastiaan Faber, Chairman Emeritus Kevin Dyer Anthony L. Geist Jo Labanyi Nancy Yanofsky

BOARD

Christopher Brooks Mónica Cantero Robert Coale Burton Cohen Dan Czitrom Peter Glazer Jeanne Houck Josephine Nelson-Yurek Julia Newman Nancy Wallach

HONORARY BOARD Larry Cox Henry Foner Meyer Gunther Gabriel Jackson Robin D.G. Kelley Howard Lurie Judith Montell Antonio Muñoz Molina Cary Nelson Michael Ratner John Sayles James Skillman

If you have questions please call 212 674 5398 or email info@alba-valb. org September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 19


Las fosas comunes

Mass Graves

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Aunque reviven a cada momento el día aciago de su ejecución.

Corpses have no memory. Though each moment they relive the fateful day of their execution.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Aunque a ratos lleguen a observar la terrible cara de su verdugo.

Corpses have no memory. Though they get an occasional, terrifying glimpse of the face of their executioner.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Aun así, de una manera eterna, rememoran el dedo apretando el gatillo.

Corpses have no memory. And yet, over and over again, they remember a finger on the trigger.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Pero tal vez puedan percibir todavía el fogonazo de la bala saliendo del fusil.

Corpses have no memory. But perhaps they still see a bullet flash leaving the barrel of a gun.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Sin embargo, aún se escucha la detonación quebrando el silencio de los campos.

Corpses have no memory. But you can still hear gunshots shattering the silence of the fields.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Pero acaso puedan sentir a deshora el impacto lujurioso contra el músculo.

Corpses have no memory. But even today they may feel the obscene impact against their body.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Pero quizá aún puedan ser conscientes de su última exhalación sobre la arena.

Corpses have no memory. Yet they might still be aware of their last breath on the sand.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Y nadie recordará el rostro aterrado, contra el suelo, ante la muerte joven.

Corpses have no memory. And no one remembers the terrified face, smashed into the ground, of young death.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. La soledad, el dolor, la injusticia, son destellos fríos que brillan en sus ojos.

Corpses have no memory. Solitude, sorrow, injustice are cold sparks that shine from their eyes.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. No llegarán a sentir la mano del amor recorriendo el cuerpo arrebatado.

Corpses have no memory. They will never feel the hand of love caress their crumpled body.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Sobre un manto de olvido reciente se van pudriendo lentos bajo la tierra.

Corpses have no memory. A cloak of oblivion shrouds them as they lie slowly rotting under the earth.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Y desde la tribuna nos hacen saber —y antes, siempre— que aquí nunca pasó nada.

Corpses have no memory. And from the chambers of justice they tell us —before and always—that nothing happened here.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Los hijos de los hijos de los hijos no quieren Perturbar la fingida paz de sus ancestros.

Corpses have no memory. The children of the children of their children choose not to disturb the false peace in which their ancestors lie.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. Ellos ya nunca podrán confundir la venganza con la humanidad.

Corpses have no memory. They will never mistake vengeance for humanity.

Los cadáveres no tienen memoria. No tienen memoria. No tienen memoria.

Corpses have no memory. No memory. No memory.

—Víctor Jiménez Jódar

—Víctor Jiménez Jódar

(Translation by Anthony L. Geist)

Víctor Jiménez Jódar teaches high school in a gypsy ghetto in Motril (Granada), Spain. He worked his way through college as a fisherman. He has written several books of poetry that remain unpublished. “Mass Graves” is based on an execution of Republican sympathizers that took place in Motril in 1949. The bodies buried in the mass grave outside the town on the coast of Granada are part of the 114,000 victims of Franco regime repression that still lie unidentified in Spain today. 20 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015


Yolanda “Bobby” Hall (1922-2015)

P

rogressive organizer Yolanda “Bobby” Hall, a lifelong political activist, social justice advocate and educator who served on ALBA’s Board of Governors, died on June 19 at her home in Oak Park, Illinois. She was 93. Bobby, together with her husband, Chuck, a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, founded the community-based group Chicago Friends of the Lincoln Brigade following the 60th anniversary reunion of the International Brigades in Spain in 1996. She was instrumental in creating numerous public events surrounding the Spanish Civil War. Bobby developed her political consciousness early on. As a teenager growing up in the close-knit Hungarian community on Chicago’s Northwest side, she responded to the calamities of the Great Depression by supporting workers’ rights. As a teenager she went door-to-door collecting food for families during the Chicago taxi drivers strike--the strike later made famous in Clifford Odets’ play, “Waiting for Lefty.” In 1940, when she was 18 years old, she married Charles “Chuck” Hall, her husband of 64 years until his death in 2005. The two met and fell in love in 1939, soon after Chuck’s return from Spain. Chuck also served in World War II—the newly married couple had his gold band engraved with the inscription, “To Victory and Our Reunion.” On the home front, Bobby worked at the Bendix aviation plant as a tool grinder. She was the only woman in the allmale domain and at first it was tough going. As she recalled in a 1999 radio interview, “We were making carburetors

for aircraft. Tools were hidden on me and blueprints were changed.” Over time, she earned support and respect of her co-workers. She organized the first union at her shop and was elected president of UAW Local 330 in 1944. After the war, she was often blacklisted from shop jobs. She eventually embarked on a new career in public health. In the 1960’s Hall, along with research cardiologist Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, after being subpoenaed by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, initiated a landmark and successful court case challenging its constitutionality on First Amendment grounds. Their efforts contributed decisively to the demise of the infamous congressional committee. Hall joined the faculty of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University as an assistant professor in 1980 where she taught until 1989. She became a founding member of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. HMPRG honored her in 2011 for her lifelong commitment to social justice and the elimination of health inequities by creating the “Bobby Hall Social Justice Internship.” In 1995 she founded the Working Women’s History Project, whose mission was to promote education on the role of women and labor in Chicago’s history. She received their Mother Jones award in 2002. “The fabric of our family,” says her daughter Toni Henle, “was that people stood up for the underdog, that everybody was the same no matter what color their skin, that working people had many things about them that were not appreciated by the larger society. Those were the family values…it was part of the air you breathed.”

September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 21


What you leave to friends and loved one--and the causes you champion-are ways of expressing your hopes and dreams for the future and perpetuate your part in the story of the Lincoln Brigade. As you make your plans, please consider including ALBA in your will or living trust, or naming us as a beneficiary of your state. ALBA can accept legacy gifts in any amount, large or small. Please help us to continue to expand our horizons, and your beliefs, and help us to carry our shared legacy to the next generation and beyond.

“I’m not fully familiar with the story of Spain, so I was completely unaware of the meaning of wearing this t-shirt in your country” Portuguese soccer player Nuno Silva wears Franco t-shirt as he joins Spain’s Real Jaén team

If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your choices, please call 212 674 5398 or email info@alba-valb.org. Special welcome to our new Jarama Society Members Joan Balter from California and Chris McFail from Michigan. Thank you for designating ALBA in your will.

22 THE VOLUNTEER September 2015

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September 2015 THE VOLUNTEER 23


NEWS AND EVENTS WEST COAST: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015

79TH Annual Celebration honoring the Abraham Lincoln Brigade—Bay Area 1 pm to 3 pm

Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse 2020 Addison Street Berkeley, California 94704 For tickets and information: www.thefreight.org Tel. (510) 644 2020

EAST COAST: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015

End of Year Benefit Brunch—New York

Spanish Benevolent Society 239 West 14th Street, 2nd floor New York, NY 10011 For information: www.alba-valb.org Tel. (212) 674 5398

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ALBA MAILING LIST TO STAY INFORMED ABOUT THESE AND OTHER EVENTS: info@alba-valb.org Read The Volunteer and the ALBA blog at www.albavolunteer.org

The Volunteer | September 2015  

The September 2015 issue of The Volunteer, a quarterly magazine published by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.

The Volunteer | September 2015  

The September 2015 issue of The Volunteer, a quarterly magazine published by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.

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