Topics

Lincoln Brigade and Spanish Civil War #usa

Shelly Crane
 

Hello
 
Does anyone have genealogical information about North Americans who were in the Lincoln Brigade and fought in the Spanish Civil war?  One of my relatives, Jacob Shiffman son of Isador, (born NY 1915 and later lived in Detroit, Michigan) was part of this organization and went to Spain.  He was killed the first day on the front.  Isador was born in Belopol'ye, Vinnytsya, Ukraine
 
 
Thank you   
 
Shelly Levin
Northern California
 SHIFMAN and SHAPIRO families from Belopol'ye, Vinnytsya, Ukraine.

Kenneth Ryesky
 

Have you checked out the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives at New York University's Tamiment Library?
 
 
Physical access is now closed on account of this WuFlu epidemic and is now strictly online, but way back about 20 years ago when I wanted to access it, I was told that access was limited to NYU students and faculty, OR to students and faculty from other institutions by special arrangement with their own institution's library.  Fortunately, I was part-time faculty at Queens College CUNY and was friendly with some of the people in the library there, so I did get access.
 
It is noted that many Lincoln Brigade volunteers fought under a nom de guerre and/or had already been using names other than their birth names (a common ploy on the part of Communist Party apparatchiks in the USA).  These included my grandfather's cousin, Arnold Reid (ne Reisky), who was killed in Spain.
 
-- Ken Ryesky
Petach Tikva, ISRAEL
 
 

--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@...

Rose Feldman
 

The Israel Genealogy Research Association has in its collection the list of volunteers fighting in the Spanish Civil War.  Martin Sugarman in the UK  -  Archivist at the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) Military Museum compiled list and very generously allowed us to add it to our collection. It is searchable by name only.

Rose Feldman
Israel Genealogy Research Association
Winner of 2017 IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year  
http://genealogy.org.il
http:/facebook.com/israelgenealogy

Help us index more records at http://igra.csindexing.com

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--
Rose Feldman
Israel Genealogy Research Association
Winner of 2017 IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year  
http://genealogy.org.il
http:/facebook.com/israelgenealogy

rroth@...
 

I don't think there is any specifically genealogical organization analogous to the Daughters of the American Revolution, but maybe now is the time to start one in memory of these brave souls.  Meanwhile you could check with the Abraham Lincoln Brigage Archives https://alba-valb.org/  re this specific person. Otherwise it is an exercise in US Jewish genealogy.

Judith Berlowitz
 

This is an important topic, owing to the high number of Jews who volunteered in the International Brigades.  I don't know of a genealogical study of the Jewish Lincolns, though Sugarman's list can be useful, despite some small errors. I initiated a project on Geni.com which I hope will interest people.  Of course not all those profiled are Jewish. 

One issue to consider is that since volunteers signed up through the Comintern, they went to Spain in defiance of US policy and on return many were victims of blacklisting and other types of persecution.  For this reason, some descendants may not be willing to have their relatives' names or noms de guerre publicized. 

Shelly, here is your relative, listed among the volunteers on the ALBA website.

Judith Berlowitz
San Francisco

rroth@...
 

On the link that Judith Berlowitz sent there is a photo of a number of the volunteers. As if to illustrate the point, one of them is reading a Yiddish newspaper, the Freiheit.

Robert Murowchick
 

Jack Shiffman and many others in the International Brigade are listed and discussed in a number of reports of the Congressional Hearings of Un-American Activities (1938), Investigation of un-American Propaganda Activities (1944), and Scope of Soviet Activity in the U.S. : Hearings before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee To Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (1956-1959). These are long reports, but if anyone is interested I'll be happy to make the full pdf documents available online through my GoogleDrive for a few months. Contact me directly by e-mail.

Lots of excellent resources on the International Brigades have already been provided by other respondents above--thanks! A few others include the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam https://search.iisg.amsterdam/  which holds a lot of photographs of the Int'l Brigades and related material; Polish, Austrian, and Hungarian participants in the International Brigades can be found in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University in Budapest https://catalog.osaarchivum.org/ , and Martin Sugarman's "Against Fascism – Jews who served in The International Brigade in The Spanish Civil War" https://www.marxists.org/subject/jewish/spanjews.pdf (Sugarman is Archivist of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, Jewish Military Museum).
--

Robert Murowchick    <robertmurowchick AT gmail.com>
Needham, MA

Researching these family links:
MUROWCHICK/MURAWCHICK/MURAWCZYK etc (David-Gorodok, Belarus, New Jersey, Chicago)
KUNECK/KONIK/KYONIK (Kozhan-Gorodok, Belarus)
EPSTEIN/EPSTINE (Gavish/Gavieze, Liepaja, Latvia)
SEGAL/SIEGEL (Tilsit, Koenigsburg, Germany; Baltimore; Chicago)

Eli Brauner
 

Me and my team have created a database for the Eretz Israel volunteers to the International Brigades.
Not only names but all personal details. We have doubled the known data and have more than 500 volunteers.
For some we have unknown details. We also are doing to locate and return home the remains of MEIR LEWI the 
only volunteer from Eretz Israel that his burial place was know - in the monastery and former prison San Pedro de Cardena.
We excavated the all graveyard but the 72 remains of the IB volunteers that were buried there where not located.
We initiate now a research to find what happened.  You can see photos in the Facebook page The International Brigades Remembered. 
Eli Brauner
Israel   

Judith Berlowitz
 

erikagottfried53@...
 

Not sure why Ken Ryesky had trouble getting access to the ALBA Archives. The vast ALBA collections at the Tamiment Library at New York University are, and always have been, open to everybody, but one needs to register and make an appointment in advance and also request the materials wanted in advance.  These materials can be pinpointed by consulting the online guides to the collections (here is a link to a list, although it may not be absolutely conclusive:  https://specialcollections.library.nyu.edu/search/catalog?utf8=✓&f%5Brepository_sim%5D%5B%5D=tamwag&op=AND&all_fields=&unittitle_teim=&unitid_teim=ALBA&collection_teim=&f_inclusive%5Brepository_sim%5D%5B%5D=tamwag&sort=score+desc&search_field=advanced&commit=Search , as well as the overall description of the collections (https://guides.nyu.edu/c.php?g=276867&p=5445937 ) mentioned by Ken.  
 
The records are very rich and include the files on individuals from the Comintern Archives in Moscow (on microfilm). In addition to the ALBA collections themselves, the Library holds myriad additional related collections and materials, so it’s a good idea to also get in touch with Shannon O’Neill (smo224@...), the current Curator for the Tamiment Library (and also for the Robert F. Wagner Labort Archives), before visiting so that she can help guide you to these materials. 

ALBA the organization (which, confusingly, is not the same as the actual Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives that reside at Tamiment) has a searchable database (  https://alba-valb.org/volunteer-database/ ) of North American volunteers. 

Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Kenneth Ryesky
 


This was in 2006; perhaps I spoke with the wrong bureaucrat at the library.  Oftentimes, bureaucrats (library or otherwise) at academic institutions are students who are pleased to get some sort of paltry income from an institution that is pleased to be able to find someone to accept substandard wages.

[During my undergrad years I myself was employed as a "student assistant" shelving books at the university's library.  On my income tax returns, I entered "Bibliotechnician" as my occupation.].

Sometimes, asking someone else after the first bureaucrat says "no" can get you to a "yes," but for me it never came to that because I did a workaround through the good offices of my contacts at my own institution's library.


Thanks for the clarification, Erika.

-- KHR

--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@...

sacharoff@...
 

I have three relatives/family connections who were active in the Spanish civil war. Helen North, my father's first cousin, served. Her husband Joe was a war correspondent and volunteer, and my father's first cousin Lydia's husband Dave Mates also served, and later had to testify before the HUAC. In his testimony, he was asked about my father's aunt Jenya and her husband Morris, and their Communist affiliations( they were among the founders of the US Communist party in 1919.)

Judith Berlowitz
 

Here's Dave Mates: https://alba-valb.org/volunteers/dave-mates/.
I'll see if he's profiled on the Geni tree and will list him if not. (just done.)
Very small bit about Helen North on ALBA-VALB, nothing on husband Joe.
If anyone would like to send me information on relatives who volunteered, I'd be happy to include them i the Lincoln Brigade project on Geni.com.