An interview with Ulrich Kolbe on the Life and Work of ALB Veteran Harry Fisher

July 26, 2012

Harry Fisher, 92, at NYC anti-war rally in 2003

Though Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran Harry Fisher died in 2003, In Defense of Marxism journalist Karl Belin recently interviewed Fisher’s late-life friend and translator Ulrich Kolbe about Fisher’s childhood and the ways in which his service with the ALB shaped his life.

While traveling from one corner of Germany to the other, visiting thirteen cities on his 2001 reading tour, Harry told me quite a number of personal stories, some of which are in his second book Legacy, and some of which are not.   The ones I remember most vividly were about his becoming a non-believer and actually interested in the ideas of socialism as a result of the beatings and his pedophile and sadistic supervisors at the orphanage.  Contrary to many others, he did not grow to be bitter, disillusioned, or frustrated – not even after his subsequent experiences in Spain.  His humanism was deeply rooted and came with a unique, good-natured humor.   Time and again he explained why after Spain he would never again say he was hungry or thirsty – for it was there that he had experienced these feelings for real.

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