Support ALBA! A letter from the Chair

June 17, 2011

For me, as for so many others throughout the world, the volunteers of the Lincoln Brigade are an example of courage and solidarity… They were the kind of people who fight against the worst cancer of humanity: indifference.  It is our duty to carry this idea of solidarity forward.

—Judge Baltasar Garzón, on receiving the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism

Dear friend of ALBA,

I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to present Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón with the first ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism last month in New York City.

In his acceptance speech, Garzón honored the courage and sacrifice of the 2,800 Americans who stood by the Spanish Republic when it was being threatened by fascist oppression. So did our other distinguished speakers, Perry Rosenstein, Michael Ratner and Larry Cox.

The gradual disappearance of the veterans of the Lincoln Brigade puts a weighty burden on all of us to keep their legacy of commitment and internationalism alive.  Their service in Spain was exemplary, as was their lifelong dedication to progressive causes and human rights.

I believe that the best way to keep their legacy alive is to honor, recognize and support those who are at the forefront of those struggles today.  That is ALBA’s mission.  And that is why Judge Baltasar Garzón— a world-famous champion of the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that individuals suspected of grave crimes may be tried anywhere in the world—was the perfect first recipient of the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism.

In the months to come, ALBA will be incorporating Garzón’s work on international justice into film series, exhibits, and lectures, as well as into our ever-expanding work with high-school teachers.

Our ongoing teaching institutes in New York, Florida, and Ohio have proven to be very successful in bringing the lessons of the Spanish Civil war into the high-school curriculum.  We are now preparing to introduce our institutes to teachers in New Jersey and Illinois.  Your support is needed.

“Judge Garzón has not only challenged the powers that be,” Amnesty International’s Larry Cox said at the ALBA event, “but he challenges each one of us not to be afraid, and to do even more than we think we can.”   ALBA is ready to do its part—but we can only do that with your help.

We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade lives on.

I thank you in advance for your support as we continue to make history come alive. Please click here to donate online.

¡No pasarán!

Sebastiaan Faber

Chair, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives


2 Responses to “ Support ALBA! A letter from the Chair ”

  1. Patrick Gallagher on June 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Hello Alba,

    When I first went to Spain in 1984, I met briefly an older man, US citizen, while standing in line waiting to change dollars to pesetas. He mentioned to me that the last time he had been in Spain was to participate in the alternative Olympic games (the Popular Olympics I think they were called) in Barcelona. Of course, readers of ALBA will know that those games were cancelled since they were scheduled to begin on July 19, 1936. Anyway, I didn’t know anything about the Civil War or the Popular Olympics back then. I greatly regret missing my chance to talk to such a veteran. I am pretty sure he stayed and fought in the war, but I am not sure.

    Does anybody know if there are any survivors of those almost celebrated Olympic Games? I would love to have that chance back, but I presume it is too late.

    Best wishes all, pat gallagher (Kent State University)

  2. John Sorrel Weakland on July 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    What a terrible shame to have missed that opportunity! What that man must have seen!