ALBA’s Fall Events: The Susman Lecture, WWII Escape Routes, Teacher Workshop

November 18, 2023

A map of the routes used by the Comet Line, the Pat Line, and the Shelbourne escape lines to smuggle downed allied airmen out of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. National Museum of the United States Air Force. Public Domain.

Susman Lecture Features Karen Nussbaum

On November 14, the legendary labor activist Karen Nussbaum was featured as part of ALBA’s annual Susman Lecture in an online event moderated by longtime ALBA friend Margo Feinberg. A co-founder of 9to5 and Working America, Nussbaum has dedicated her life to organizing. See page 16 for an in-depth interview with Nussbaum and her father, the actor Mike Nussbaum—a longtime reader of this magazine. Ms. Nussbaum has agreed to join ALBA´s honorary board, serving alongside Jeff Chang, Joyce Horman, Robin D.G. Kelley, Vikas Saini, Bryan Stevenson, and others. For a recording of the entire event, visit ALBA’s event calendar or YouTube channel.

Workshop for Teachers

On November 7, close to 25 teachers from the United States, the UK, and Spain gathered online for a full-day workshop on the US and World Fascism, working on lesson plans based on the wealth of primary sources available in the ALBA Collection at NYU’s Tamiment Library. ALBA’s educational resources, including a carefully curated set of primary sources and dozens of lesson plans, are available for free at

Workshop on World War II Escape Routes

On October 11, an audience of hundreds joined an online roundtable and workshop about the escape routes across the Pyrenees that were used by allied soldiers during World War II—among them, Lincoln vet George Watt. Organized by Gina Herrmann and presented by Sebastiaan Faber, the workshop featured two experts, Meg Ostrum and John Morgan, with George Watt’s sons, Dan and Steve, as special guests. For a recording of the entire event, visit ALBA’s event calendar or YouTube channel.

Award-Winning Play on the Lincoln Brigade at the Center for Brooklyn History 

By Nancy Wallach

Iago Macknik-Conde.

On September 19, Iago Macknik-Conde, the high school student from New York who has been featured in previous issues of this magazine, gave an inspired performance at the Center for Brooklyn History of the play for which he won National History Day awards at the NYC and State competitions, making it to the national finals.

The play stages a conversation between an African American volunteer and another Lincoln, sandwiched between the opening and closing staccato news delivery of a period journalist. All parts were interpreted with authenticity by Iago himself.

Iago’s passion was obvious. Asked what advice he would give to future National History Day participants, Iago said that it is most helpful to bring conviction and belief in the relevance of one’s research topic.

NYC History Day is a program where students in grades 6-12 create projects based on original historical research and analysis. The CBH’s inclusive policy of free entry and support for all expenses incurred in research and presentation allow for a broad diversity of entries that, like Iago’s play, extend the boundaries of US history and the stories of the people who make it. I was honored to be asked to judge next year’s competition, to which Iago has been encouraged to once more submit an entry.

Nancy Wallach is a member of the ALBA Board.