Posts Tagged ‘ Notes from the Biographical Dictionary Project ’

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Passport Project

February 16, 2020
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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Passport Project

On Monday March 2, 2020, we will request passport files for the last set of 26 volunteers in Phase One of the Freedom of Information Act Project. The project started in May 2018 with a request to Office of Legal Affairs and Law Enforcement Liaison, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services, United States Department...
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John Ramatowski Letters From Spain

February 1, 2020
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John Ramatowski Letters From Spain

Volunteer John Augustus Ramatowski was only 21-years old when he went missing in action during The Retreats in April 1938. Six of the numerous letters he wrote home were saved and passed down through the family. His letters were addressed to his older brother Adam and his family disclose his observations about France, Spain,...
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A Disturbing Trend in Recruitment

January 10, 2020
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A Disturbing Trend in Recruitment

  Most American volunteers demonstrated a high level of commitment during their voyage to Spain. While only a few turned back voluntarily, some were sent back.  Of those who were sent back, medical conditions were the most common reason, though some were sent back for political reasons.  Only three are known to have turned...
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What did it cost to send a volunteer to Spain?

November 22, 2019
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What did it cost to send a volunteer to Spain?

                    An undated report listed the costs for sending a volunteer:   Passport, birth certificate, picture, fare tot County seat etc. $15.00   Average fare (West Coast, Middle West, New York) $30.00 (from the West Coast $60.00 to come to N. Y. by bus.)  ...
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Lloyd Edward Johnson (1896-1938) Volunteer

October 4, 2019
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Lloyd Edward Johnson (1896-1938) Volunteer

Lloyd Edward Johnson was 41-years old when he arrived in Spain in April 1937.  He was the oldest of four sons born to Norwegian immigrants Seavert and Nesina Johnson. Johnson was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He applied for a position as an apprentice electrician with the Northern Pacific Railway Company when...
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The Unusual Case of Alexander Sauermilch, Volunteer and Survivor of The Ciudad de Barcelona

May 25, 2018
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The Unusual Case of Alexander Sauermilch, Volunteer and Survivor of The Ciudad de Barcelona

Alexander Sauermilch was one of more than seventy American volunteers who boarded the Ciudad de Barcelona (City of Barcelona) docked in port of Marseille, France on the night of May 30, 1937. The following afternoon as the Ciudad de Barcelona, hugged the coast approaching Malaga she was sighted by a Nationalist submarine. The General...
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Fred Williams in Spain

May 10, 2018
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Fred Williams in Spain

  Fred Williams in Spain Twenty-one-year old Fred Williams was living in St. Louis Missouri when he volunteered to serve in the International Brigades.  He sailed for France on October 23, 1937 aboard the SS Champlain and crossed into Spain arriving in Figueres on November 5, 1937.  Williams arrived in Tarazona the American training...
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The Hofmann Twins

September 27, 2017
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The Hofmann Twins

                  Shortly after the publication of the blog post Seven American Volunteers Refused Permission to Land in France, Paul Hofmann the son of volunteer Albert Hofmann, sent an email correcting and clarifying some of the information in the article. The most important correction was to the...
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An Analysis of American and Canadian Volunteers Compiled by the International Brigades in Spain

September 26, 2017
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An Analysis of American and Canadian Volunteers Compiled by the International Brigades in Spain

The Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History records on U.S. and Canadian volunteers deepens the available insight into the organization and employment of the International Brigades (IB) during the Spanish Civil War.  From these records, it is evident that the IB Command was interested in documenting the background of the volunteers. Two documents prepared...
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Seven American Volunteers Refused Permission to Land in France

July 9, 2017
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Seven American Volunteers Refused Permission to Land in France

The flow of American volunteers to Spain during the first months of 1937, prompted the United States State Department (State Department) to request the assistance of the French government in dissuading American volunteers from crossing France and entering Spain.  French efforts were somewhat half-hearted with officials often turning a blind eye to American travelers...
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