Catalan Government Names Program After Alvah Bessie

February 11, 2022
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Alvah Bessie (Tamiment Library, NYU, 15th IB Photo Collection, Photo # 11-0176)

The regional government of Catalonia has instituted a new program as part of its ongoing efforts to locate and exhume mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and use DNA technology to identify the remains. The new program, which will be named after Lincoln Brigade veteran Alvah Bessie, will focus specifically on exhuming and identifying the remains of International Brigade volunteers who died and were buried in Catalonia. The program combines historical research to pinpoint the potential location of the remains and the search for the victims’ relatives, with the aim of informing them and offering them the opportunity to help in the genetic identification process. Bessie, a well-known author and Hollywood scriptwriter, returned to Spain after Franco’s death to shoot the film Spain Again, based on his memoir, and to search for the burial site of his friend and fellow Lincoln volunteer Aaron Lopoff.

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One Response to “ Catalan Government Names Program After Alvah Bessie ”

  1. Alan Warren on March 17, 2022 at 4:01 am

    Alvah Bessie thought that Aaron was buried at Santa Coloma de Farners hospital (“Spain again”), but there is no record of him being buried there. He was treated at Sabinosa hospital at Tarragona and is likely buried in the old cemetery there.

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