Letter to the Editor

November 19, 2017

To the Volunteer:

Reading “Forgotten Fighters: American Anarchist Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War,” I noted that at least one prominent American who volunteered for service in the Anarchist Durruti Column remains forgotten. I mean, of course, Carl Marzani. Herein, I borrow freely from Carl’s memoir, “The Education of a Reluctant Radical,” Vol. 3, pp. 11-36.


Carl Marzani ca 1958

Carl had been awarded a fellowship to study at Oxford. By the time he arrived, early in October 1936, Germany and Italy had both invaded Spain and savage fighting was underway. He knew he couldn’t stay away so he persuaded the Daily Herald to take him on as its foreign correspondent in Spain. Early in December, he went to Spain by way of Paris where he boarded a train carrying nearly a thousand, mostly French, volunteers for the international Brigades. Carl was the only American. The mood on the train was somber.

Robert A. Murtha, Jr.

Editors’ note: Carl Marzani is a signifcant omission from the ranks of the anarchists who fought on behalf of the Spanish Republic, but our author was writing about anarchists who served with the 15th International Brigade. Carl served with the Anarchist group that was not connected to the Communist-led IBs.