Volunteers

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About the Database

This online database is a work in progress. It was assembled by ALBA board member Chris Brooks, based on earlier lists compiled by Lincoln Brigade veteran Adolph “Buster” Ross. The main goal of this project is simple: to provide a complete list of the more than 2,800 individuals who left from U.S. territory to fight with the Spanish Republic, to include as much accurate information as is available on each of them, and to point users to related materials in the ALBA archives.

The database can be browsed by alphabet, or searched by keyword and category. Each volunteer has his or her own page, which includes a biographical narrative; a cross-referenced link that automatically searches the ALB archives at NYU’s Tamiment Library; cross-references to ALBA’s online collection of video, audio, and images; a list of works published by the volunteer; a list of the main reference sources; and finally the volunteer’s full database record, including, among many other descriptors, party affiliation, ethnicity, education, date and place of birth and death, and battle action details.

ALBA invites you to contribute to the database with new or corrected information, photos, or other materials that you may have access to. Please use the Submit Information link on the left for that purpose. (Once the information is reviewed you will be contacted; please be advised that not all information submitted will be posted to the website.)

 

Organization of biographical information:

Last Name, First Name and Middle Name/Initial, (Alternate name(s)/nickname), Date of Birth, Place of Birth (naturalization information), Ethnicity, Special Category/Group, Education, Prior Military Service, Marital Status, Vocation, Party, Passport # date of issue, address listed or Domicile (return address if different from passport), Sail Date to Europe, Date arrival in Spain or Date arrived in Albaceate, Units served with, Death in Spain date, Death in Spain place, Special Note; or Return (certificate number if applicable), WWII Service, Date of Death, Place of Death, Special Note.

 

Organization of source information:

 

SOURCE: Sail (under name), SACB (under name), //LISTS FROM RA//Cadre, Americans (Complete List of Americans to April 13, 1937), Lincoln (Lincoln BN Roster), Mac-Pap (Historical Commission of the IB Mac-Pap BN August 1937 questionnaire), Americans and Canadians (Americans and Canadians Killed in Spain Complete list to November 15, 1937), Pay List (Data from XV BDE pay lists compiled June-September 1938), XV BDE (XV BDE Feb 1938), BN 58 Retreats (BN 58 Losses in Retreats)//ARCHIVES// RA (Russian Archive copies of file ALBA Collection NYU), USSDA, ALBA (Papers), other Archive(s), //BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES & DATA// African American, Anarchist (Zimmer), Canadian [Momryk], Canadian II [Petrou], Finnish [Juusela], Greek I [Select data from two Greek books], Greek II [Hellenic list]; Iowa research, Italian [Ottanelli), Pacific NW [Reed], POW [Steck & Geiser], Aviators [R.S. Allen], South Slav (Kraljic) //ORAL HISTORY//Good Fight, Harriman, other //PRINTED PUBLICATIONS//Books, Newspaper, Magazine Articles [includes clipping collection]//DATA BASES// Ancestry: Ancestry.com (Return information from ship logs, US Military documents, Death certificates, Grave location, SSN), SSN (SSN Death Index).

Annotated Sources:

Sail- Compiler unknown, includes data on volunteers sailing beginning December 26, 1936 and running through early 1938, Most likely compiled by the U. S. government utilizing loists of passengers on group tickets booked by Intertourist ticket purchase along with additional information. The list includes the volunteer’s name, vessel and date of sailing. The list includes a number of Canadians and Latin Americans who traveled to the U. S. in order to sail to Europe. Several names on the list remain unconfirmed.

SACB – Compiled by the Subversive Activities Control Board from lists of volunteers seized in raids on the Detroit office of the VALB, passport records, repatriation requests and State Department information along with open source records. List includes volunteer’s name, age, passport number, date of issue, address on the passport, whether the passport was reported lost, and in some instances additional information about whether the volunteer was killed. Several names on the list remain unconfirmed.

Cadre – List of member of the communist party or affiliated organizations. Copies were released to the American Communist part in the 1980s.  Complete file is part of the RA ALBA collection.

//Lists from the RA//

Americans – Complete list of American Volunteers on File April 13, 1937 – This incomplete list was most likely put together by the American cadre office in Albacete.  The list includes the volunteer’s name, unit. This list comes from the RA.

Americans and Canadians - Americans and Canadians Killed in Spain Complete list to November 15, 1937

BN 58 Retreats – Lists volunteers missing or killed during the Retreats who served in the Lincoln-Washington BN.. BN 58 untitled report on losses in the Retreats (undated), RA Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 51, pp. 26-33.

Cadre- Compiled by the IB, Includes volunteer’s name, party affiliation and date of affiliation. This list was released to the American Communist Party in the early 1980s.

Lincoln - BN Roster dated June 1, 1937. Compiled by the BN.

Mac-Pap - Historical Commission of the International Brigades - Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion August 1937 Questionnaire.

XV BDE – This list of volunteers assigned to the XV BDE is incomplete.  It lists only the name of the soldier and the unit they served with.  This list is generally believed to have been compiled in January or February 1938. This list comes from the RA.

//Archival Sources//

USSDA – United States State Department Archives.  Most data is drawn from the record group 852.2221. In 1986 Lexis Nexis microfilmed the collection and prepared a guide.  Reels 2 (purport list) and 47-62 are the primary reels with information related to American volunteers. The number before the colon indicates the reel, while the number following the colon refers to the frame number at which a particular subject begins. The guide is available on line at http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/academic/upa_cis/2867_CFSpainIntAff1930-1939Pt1.pdf

RA – Records of the American Volunteers in the International Brigades, Comintern Archives, Russian Center for the Preservation and Study of Recent History (RGASPI), Moscow, American Personnel Files make up Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 855-1019.   Copies of many of these documents are in the ALBA collection.

ACS - Ministero dell'Interno, Direzione Generale di Pubblica Sicurezza, Archivio centrale dello Stato, Rome (Minister of the Interior, Director General of Public Records, Central State Archive, Rome.) Italian volunteers

CPC- Casellario Politico Centrale (Archivio centrale dello stato, Roma (Central police records, National State Archives, Rome), Italian volunteers.

PS Archives of police, (Archivio centrale dello stato, Roma (Central police records, National State Archives, Rome), Italian volunteers.

//Biographical Sketches or Research Files//

Asian – Len and Nancy Tsou’s biographical sketches prepared for their history Ganlan Guiguan de Zhaohuan: Canjia Sibanya Neizhan de Zhongguoren, 1936-1939, (The Call of Spain, 1936-1939) Taipei: Renjian 2004.; and “The Asian Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War,” Science and Society, 68 (3), pp. 350-355.

Aviators – Richard Sanders Allen biographical sketches of aviators.

Canadians – Micheal Petrou’s list of Canadians published in Renegades, utilizing Myron Momrick’s unpublished biographical dictionary of Canadian volunteers.

FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation Summary Memorandum.

Filipino – Biographical Sketches prepared by Jim Richardson. Published in The Volunteer.

Finnish Volunteers – Jyrki Juusela’s biographical sketches prepared for his history of Finnish volunteers Suomalaiset Espanjan sisällissodassa (The Finns in the Spanish Civil War), Atena, 2003, translated by Matti Matson.

Greek I -Hellenic List compiled for the book Spanish Thermopylæ Cypriot Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39, list published online at Alternative Perth http://www.alternative-perth.co.uk/hellenic%20volunteers.htm

Greek II – data from various Greek sources.

Iowa Research – research on volunteers from Iowa.

Italian Americans – Dr. Fraser Ottenelli’s biographical data prepared for his paper “Radicalism and the Shaping of Ethnic Identity: Italian”

Maryland Research

Military Intelligence List

Pacific NW Volunteers – Veteran Robert Lee Reed initiated the project with fellow veterans  Oiva Halonen, and Max Farrar, The project gathered information on volunteers who lived in the Pacific North West (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) either before or after the SCW.  Many have full biographical sketches, other volunteers have notes.  Collection includes numerous photographs and copies of primary source material. University of  Washington and ALBA

POW – Biographical sketches written by veteran Robert Steck for fellow veteran Carl Geiser’s book Prisoners of the Good Fight.  Due to space limitations these were not included in the book. Steck also contributed a significant amount of research for the book. ALBA

South Slav Volunteers – John Peter Kraljic’s biographical sketches prepared for his MA thesis.

Brooks– Research on African American volunteers.

//Oral History Interviews//

Gerassi – Interviews conducted by John Gerassi for his book The Premature Antifascists. ALBA AUDIO 018 – John Gerassi Oral History Collection, transcriptions of many of these interviews are in ALBA 018 John Gerassi Papers.

Good Fight – pre-production interviews conducted by Noel Buckner, Mary Dore, and Sam Sills for the documentary The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984); these interviews make up ALBA AUDIO 216 – The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War: Audiotapes (currently the collection is not cataloged, citations used are those that were utilized when the collection was housed at Brandeis University.)

Harriman – Veteran Manny Harriman’s collection of interviews of veterans and family members. ALBA VIDEO 048 Manny Harriman: Oral History Video Project.

Landis – Interviews conducted by veteran Arthur Landis for his book The Lincoln Brigade. ALBA AUDIO 066 – Arthur H. Landis Oral History Collection.

Media Entertainment, inc. – Interviews conducted for use in a television program. ALBA VIDEO 074 and ALBA 074.

Miller – Interviews conducted by veteran David Miller. ALBA AUDIO 071 David Miller Audio Collection.

Patai – Frances Patai collection includes 36 audio cassettes for her unpublished book on American Medical Personnel. ALBA AUDIO 131.

Solovy – Interviews conducted by Jonathan Solovy for “Jewish American Volunteers and the Spanish Civil War. ALBA AUDIO 101.

VALB – Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Audio Collection ALBA AUDIO 001.

//Books, Magazines and Newspaper Articles//

AICVAS- La Spagna nel nostro cuore, 1936-1939: Tre anni di storia da non dimenticare, Rome: Associazione italiana volontari antifascisti Spagna (AICVAS), 1996.  Biography of Italian volunteers published by the Associazione italiana volontari antifascisti Spagna. Rome.

I nostri volontari in Spagna-Naši Španjolski Dobrovoljci.  I nostri volontari in Spagna. Naši Španski Prostovoljci, Centar Za Historiju Radničkog Pokreta I Nor Istre, Hrvatskog Primorja I Gorskog Kotara, Rijeka, Centro di ricerche storiche, Rovigno, 1988.

Italiani Caduti in Spagna - “Italiani caduti in Spagna combattendo contro il Fascismo,” in Quaderni Italiani, (New York: 1943). Magazine publication with names of Italians who died in Spain published in Paris.

La Spagna nel nostro cuore

The Volunteer – The Volunteer for Liberty has three editions, the first edition was published in Spain as a paper for the volunteers a collection of these issues was published in 1939; The name was carried over to the the veterans newsletter; the newsletter was rebooted in the early 1980s.

L’Unità Operaia-Italian-language weekly of the Communist Party of the United States.

//Data Base – Online Resource//

Ancestry – Ancestry.com houses a collection of documents including:  Passenger lists of incoming passengers to the US. Some of these documents provide Passport#, age, naturalization information, and address as well as the arrival date.; SSN information; Census data; and yearbooks.

 

SSN Social Security Death Index, normally provides month of death.