Features

Jan Kurzke’s Spanish Civil War Memoir: A Soldier’s Tale

August 14, 2021
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Jan Kurzke’s Spanish Civil War Memoir: A Soldier’s Tale

Kurzke's memoir The Good Comrade was published this past May by the Clapton Press, after having been tucked away for years, known only to a small number of specialist historians. In this new introduction to the book, Richard Baxell explains why it's so valuable.
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Salud y Shalom: American Jewish Volunteers in Spain

August 14, 2021
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<em>Salud y Shalom:</em> American Jewish Volunteers in Spain

Thirty years ago, I traveled around the United States equipped with a cheap tape recorder I spoke to 39 Jewish-American veterans of the Spanish Civil War. When they went to Spain in 1937, very few of the people I spoke to would have invoked their Jewishness for putting their lives on the line.
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Exhuming Injustice: A Mass Grave in Manzanares

August 14, 2021
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Exhuming Injustice: A Mass Grave in Manzanares

When people think about mass graves in Spain, most relate them to the war years. Yet an estimated 50,000 victims were executed after the war. This summer, I visited a cemetery where the ARMH are exhuming the remains of some of these victims.
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The International Brigades in Color

August 14, 2021
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The International Brigades in Color

When a friend first pointed me to Tina Paterson’s colorized portraits of International Brigade volunteers, I was skeptical. Yet the images are disturbing and strangely powerful. Throwing time out of joint, they undermine the idea that the Civil War is a remote historical occurrence.
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Aking Chan, a Chinese Volunteer in the Basque Army

May 13, 2021
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Aking Chan, a Chinese Volunteer in the Basque Army

A found manuscript in the Basque Country leads to a surprising correspondence.
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Posted in Features, Memory's Roster | 1 Comment »

Remembering in a Time of Lockdown

May 11, 2021
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Remembering in a Time of Lockdown

In July last year a small group gathered—socially distanced—at the memorial to the International Brigades in London. As Jeremy Corbyn spoke of the “incredible sense of solidarity with people around the world” to a camera in a near-deserted Jubilee Gardens, I uploaded a short video as a personal act of remembrance on the International...
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What Do We Know About Salaria Kea’s Irish Husband?

May 11, 2021
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What Do We Know About Salaria Kea’s Irish Husband?

Salaria Kea, the only woman among the close to 100 African American volunteers who left for Spain from the United States, married an Irish ambulance driver. Who was John O’Reilly?
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Sydney Harris, UK-born Lincoln Vet

May 11, 2021
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Sydney Harris, UK-born Lincoln Vet

Born in Leeds, England, Syd Harris ended up in a Chicago orphanage when he was five. Fifteen years later, he volunteered for the Lincoln Battalion. After the war, as a well-known labor photographer and journalist, he was targeted by the FBI. A former boxer, he also acted as Paul Robeson’s personal bodyguard when the...
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What Happened to Maurice Wolf?

May 11, 2021
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What Happened to Maurice Wolf?

Colleen Darby never met her uncle, who died in Spain five years before she was born. A reconstruction of his life and the circumstances of his death.
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“There’s a Solid Bedrock of Violent Racism in the US”—Richard Sennett, Sociologist

May 11, 2021
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“There’s a Solid Bedrock of Violent Racism in the US”—Richard Sennett, Sociologist

Richard Sennett was in his late twenties when he found out his father had served in the International Brigades defending the Spanish Republic. So, it turned out, had his uncle.
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