White House Protest Corps

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: June 2010
Email Newsletter
June 2010
In this issue:
June 2010 Issue of the Volunteer is Now Online
The Good Fight (Noel Buckner, Mary Dore, Sam Sills, 1984) / With the Lincoln Brigade (Henri Cartier Bresson, 1937), July 25 at Delancey Street Theater-Buy Tickets Now!

Photographs from Randall Collection and the Moscow IB Archive Now Digitized at Tamiment
ALBA Summer Teachers Institute in June and July
ALBA Volunteer Biographical Database (www.alba-valb.org)
FFALB Trip to Spain!
Buy Books and Support ALBA!

Dear ALBA community,

We have exciting news and announcements to share with you this month.

In addition to June’s e-newsletter, you can now link to the June 2010 issue of our quarterly magazine,
the ALBA
Online Volunteer , with newly published articles and daily updates on anything related to the Spanish Civil War, the Lincoln Brigade, or progressive struggles that honor the legacy of the brigadistas.

Just click on the headlines to the left to go directly to newsletter items.

Also visit the ALBA Blog or join ALBA’s listserv for queries and scholarly debates.

As always, thanks! We can’t do this without your generous support.


Jeanne Houck, Executive Director


Copyright ALBA www.alba-valb.org
June 2010 Issue of the Volunteer is Now Online
The June 2010 issue of the Volunteer is now online at www.albavolunteer.org.
(Note that the June 2010 issue will appear online only. The September
2010 issue will appear in print as well as online . The September print version will include the next list of current ALBA supporters)

In this issue:

Reports on the New York and San Francisco reunion events, including video

The Osheroff Human Rights Award

The death of Oliver Law

Book Review: The Spanish Right and the Jews

John Murra’s War

Esther “Hon” Brown Obit

Voluntarios argentinos en la XV Brigada

Two Poems by Jack Hirschman

Don’t forget to check out the ALBA Blog, with news on the Garzón case, exhibits, new books, & more.

(Note that the June 2010 issue will appear online only. The September
2010 issue will appear in print as well as online.)

The Good Fight (Noel Buckner, Mary Dore, Sam Sills, 1984) / With the Lincoln Brigade (Henri Cartier Bresson, 1937), July 25 at Delancey Street Theater-Buy Tickets Now!

Jaques Lemare, Henri-Cartier-Bresson and Herbert Kline (Tamiment  Library, NYU, 15th IB Collection, Photo 11 0818)
Jaques Lemare, Henri-Cartier-Bresson and Herbert Kline (Tamiment Library, NYU, 15th IB Collection, Photo 11 0818)

Screening: Sunday July 25, 2010, 2:00pm
The Delancey Street Screening Room

(600 Embarcadero, San Francisco)

Buy Tickets Now!
Tickets $10 (seniors/students $8). Tickets sold at the door and through ALBA’s On-line Ticket Purchase.

The classic 90-minute documentary on the Lincoln Brigade that first premiered at the Surf Theater in San Francisco in 1984 and contains moving interviews with beloved local heroes Bill Bailey (ILWU, NMU), Ruth Davidow, Evelyn Hutchins, Abe Osheroff, and Milt Wolff. Paired with the recently recovered 18-minute Spanish Civil War documentary by famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, featuring Lincoln Brigaders in the trenches and behind the scenes in Spain. Seen together, the two films are an intimate portrait of young labor activists and progressives—both in the midst of battle and as they reflect on their past—as well as some of the most significant events of the 1930s.

Sponsored by The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) and Laborfest

Tickets $10 (seniors/students $8). Tickets sold at the door and through ALBA’s On-line Ticket Purchase.


Photographs from Randall Collection and the Moscow IB Archive Now Digitized at Tamiment
Harry Randall 15th IB Photo Collection, MacKenzie-Papineau  Battalion, Teruel, Jan 1938
Harry Randall 15th IB Photo Collection, MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion, Teruel, Jan 1938

Two important collections of photographic images, the Harry Randall 15th IB Photograph Collection (ALBA Photo 11) and the International Brigades Archive Photograph Collection (ALBA Photo 177) have now been fully digitized and will be available as part of on-line guides on the Tamiment Library web site.

The Moscow archive contains administrative records of the IB that were shipped to the USSR from Spain in 1938 to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Franco forces. In the 1990’s, after extensive negotiations with the International Brigades Archive in Moscow on behalf of ALBA, current Board of Governor Chair Emeritus Peter Carroll embarked on a major ALBA fundraising effort to bring copies of selected material from this archive to the U.S.

As a result of ALBA’s negotiations and fundraising efforts, New York University’s Tamiment Library now houses a large number of microfilmed records and copies of photographs relating to the role of North American and other volunteers in Spain. A complete guide to the IB Archive is available on the Tamiment Library web site; as indicated in the guide, NYU holds copies of records of U.S., British, Cuban and Italian volunteers, as well as a selection of general IB records and copies of selected photos from the Moscow collection. A closely related photograph collection was donated to the ALBA archive by Harry Randall, who headed the 15th IB Photo Unit in Spain.

The digitization of more than 4,000 images was funded in part by a grant from Rickard and Carol-Jeanette Jorgensen in honor of Harry and Doreen Randall. The goal of this generous donation is to make the valuable ALBA Photographic collections accessible to international scholars via the World Wide Web. The Tamiment Library’s digitization project has been overseen by Michael Nash and Gail Malmgreen.

ALBA Summer Teachers Institute in June and July
After holding successful week-long institutes for high-school teachers in New York City and Tampa, Florida, last year, ALBA is proud to announce its first institute in the Midwest, entitled “Ohio and the Spanish Civil War” (June 13-18). The Institute is co-sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council, Oberlin College, and the Puffin Foundation. Professor Sebastiaan Faber (ALBA Board Chair) is its director.

With support from the Puffin Foundation and the School District of Hillsborough County, the 2010 Tampa Teachers Institute will be hosted again this year at the University of South Florida under the direction of ALBA board member Professor Fraser Ottanelli (July 19-23). The New York City Summer Institute will be on hiatus in 2010 as we prepare for our fall NYC development day for teachers. This past April, the Tampa Insititute launched its first teacher development day.

ALBA Volunteer Biographical Database (www.alba-valb.org)
Please Contribute to the ALBA Volunteer biographical database (www.alba-valb.org).

Many of the volunteers still need more information and we are counting on you to help us fill in the gaps.

Over the next few months, we will be rounding out the records and adding more information as it becomes available. Many of you have been responding to board member Nancy Wallach’s phone call or mailing asking for information on individual volunteers. We will be working through the summer to update entries on the on-line database. Thank you!

View the database here.

FFALB Trip to Spain!
SPAIN 1936 to 1939 ~

The memories and the places of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade…..
Thursday October 28th to Thursday November 11th 2010

Following on the successful tour in October 2008 of the Ebro and Belchite conducted for members of FFALB (Friends and Family of the ALB) which included the Homenage in Barcelona and Sitges to the Leaving of the International Brigades, this trip will be an intensive but fascinating journey to places where the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were present in areas rarely visited by tourists. The tour is being organized and conducted by publisher and historian Alan Warren. He can be contacted at: Alan Warren,Carrer Sant Roc 50, 1,5, 08901, Hospitalet de Llobregat,, Barcelona. SPAIN, e mail hill705@gmail.com

Buy Books and Support ALBA!
Did you know that 7% of your total purchase at Powell’s is donated back to ALBA?
Buy books from Powell’s and visit ALBA’s bookstore, too.

Many of our programs are free to the public. Please consider an on-line donation to ALBA to support free or low cost events. Thank you to ALL who have been supporting ALBA with their generous donations.

ALBA relies on friends like you. Donate now!

799 Broadway, Suite 341
New York, NY 10003


Jeanne Houck, Executive Director, Jhouck@alba-valb.org

ALBA Board of Governors

This e-mail has been created using PatronMail... the innovative  e-marketing tool for the arts.)

Judge Baltasar Garzón suspended for investigating Franco’s crimes

Judge Baltasar Garzón suspended for investigating Franco’s crimes


By Vicky Short
29 May 2010

The internationally renowned Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón, was suspended from his post on May 14, accused of perverting the course of justice by the body that oversees the judiciary, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). His suspension shows the millions that have sought justice for the victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship the power and influence still wielded by the extreme right 30 years after the so-called “transition to democracy”.

Garzón goes on trial in the Supreme Court later this year. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years suspension, which will effectively end his career as one of the world’s most celebrated investigative judges.

He faces three charges. The main charge involves his 2008 investigation into the crimes of the dictatorship. Judge Garzón accused Franco and 44 former generals and ministers, plus 10 members of the fascist Falange party, of crimes against humanity and ordered the opening of mass graves where over 100,000 of their victims were buried.

Emilio Silva, president of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, stated, “Those who are going to put Garzón in the dock for investigating Francoism are those who killed 98 percent of the exhumed victims”.

Amnesty International says it is “unheard of that a magistrate can be tried for searching truth, justice and reparation”.

The second charge against Garzón is linked to his investigation of alleged corruption, popularly known as the “Gürtel case”, involving local government officials and businessmen, many of whom are linked to the right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP). For over a decade, businessman Francisco Correa is alleged to have bribed PP officials in governing regions and cities to give him lucrative contracts. PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, as well as several mayors, a regional senior official and a European legislator have resigned over the case. Garzón is accused of illegally listening to conversations in prison between the accused and their lawyers.

The third charge involves allegations that Garzón dropped charges against Santander Bank President Emilio Botín a few months after the bank sponsored a series of seminars at the University of New York, beginning in 2005. Although the National Court originally accepted Garzón’s claims of innocence, the case was reopened in 2009.

Garzón’s suspension was a result of a private prosecution brought by two extreme right-wing organizations—the small public employees trade union Clean Hands (Manos Limpias) formed in 1995 by the leader of the National Front, Miguel Bernard, and Freedom and Identity (Libertad e Identidad). More recently, the Falange also added its name to the writ.

On April 7 this year, Supreme Court magistrate Luciano Varela, agreeing with the litigants, charged Garzón with knowingly acting beyond his jurisdiction when he launched his investigation. Such was the outcry that Varela was later forced to remove the Falange from the writ.

The main charge against Garzón is that he ignored the Law of Amnesty that was passed in 1977, after the death of Franco. The amnesty was one of several measures that comprised the framework agreed by sections of the old regime with the Communist and Socialist Parties to prevent revolution during the “transition to democracy”. The ruling elite, many of whose members have never renounced their loyalty to Franco, fear that an investigation into Spain’s past will bring to an end the agreement that covered up the crimes of the fascists.

Garzón has been ruthlessly pursued despite having capitulated to pressure from the right wing, the Church and the majority of the judiciary and curtailing his activities. Four weeks after he initiated the Franco investigation, he passed responsibility for exhuming mass graves on to local councils, which he knows have limited resources to carry them out or are controlled by the PP.

A few days before his suspension, Garzón asked the CGPJ to allow him to take up an offer of work in “special services” at the International Criminal Court as a representative of the CGPJ, which would have taken him out of the Spanish judicial system and possibly seen his case shelved. But the CGPJ only allowed him to go to the Hague for a period of seven months as a consultant and advisor to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Four days after his suspension, on receiving the “Libertad y Democracia René Cassin” prize awarded to him by the French association “Young Republic”, Garzón reassured his opponents by denying that his investigation was “an attempt against political stability”. He was, rather, carrying out a “democratic necessity” so that “wounds are not reopened”.

Many people in Spain are understandably disgusted about Garzón’s prosecution and the way his investigation has been blocked. In his support there have been several demonstrations and a petition that has attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Scores of artists and intellectuals have sent letters of protest including international figures like film director Pedro Almodóvar, actors Javier Bardem, Juan Diego Botto and Alberto San Juan, singer Pedro Guerra and authors Luis García Montero and Almudena Grandes.

However, the opposition movement is being led by organisations that are responsible for creating the political set-up that prevented a reckoning with Franco’s crimes.

The trade union Comisiones Obreras (CC OO), set up by the Communist Party (PCE), and the Socialist Party (PSOE) controlled General Workers Union (UGT) played a vital role in diverting workers’ political struggles following the death of Franco in 1975 and agreeing to the amnesty for the fascists that is now being used against Garzón.

Their declarations of support for Garzón are carefully worded. The UGT says, “An action that arouses too many suspicions has been transformed into what UGT considers an unjust prosecution, a lamentable suspension of an upright judge, and a judicial action that will be difficult to be understood in the international sphere, and which will be detrimental to the image of our country”.

The CC OO takes an ostensibly more radical stance, calling for “full reparations to the relatives and the victims of the crimes committed during Francoism, as well as punishment for those responsible”, that is, it adds, “in the cases where any of them is still alive”.

As far as the PSOE government is concerned, its statements have centred on defending itself from attacks by the PP that a PSOE minister took part in a demonstration in support of Garzón. Several PSOE party federations have issued mealy-mouthed statements of support to Garzón, with one reassuring the ruling elite that, “In opposition to what the PP says, these processes do not reopen old wounds but serve to close those wounds that still remain open by impunity and injustice”.

The right has no reason to accept such reassurances. They know that an investigation into the crimes of the Franco regime, of even a limited character, threatens the sordid political compromise that allowed the Spanish bourgeoisie to maintain power. It would also expose the counterrevolutionary role of the Socialist Party and, above all, the Communist Party and its general secretary, Santiago Carrillo, in mediating the transition after the death of Franco.

Spain’s New Civil War ( Scott Horton in Harper’s Magazine)
May 17, 2010, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Scott Horton

Spain’s judicial oversight body suspended Judge Baltasar Garzón as he prepares to stand trial on charges of disregarding the amnesty law shielding crimes of the Franco era from investigation. The Los Angeles Times offers a perfectly balanced assessment of the situation:

For years, conservatives in Spain bristled as their most famous magistrate, Baltasar Garzon, pushed the boundaries of international law against former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet and human rights abusers in other countries, but they were powerless to stop him. When Spain’s star judge turned his sights on Spanish Civil War atrocities, however, they joined forces with his many personal enemies and went after him, accusing him of opening old wounds and violating the country’s 1977 amnesty law. Last week, a Supreme Court judge decided to bring the case to trial, and the General Council of the Judiciary voted in an emergency session to suspend Garzon.

From the beginning, the case against Garzon has seemed to be motivated by political and personal vendettas, and the timing of these decisions is no exception. Early in the week, Garzon had asked Spanish authorities for a seven-month leave to work as a consultant to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, presumably as a face-saving measure to avoid the humiliation of a suspension. But on Wednesday, an investigating magistrate for the Supreme Court (and one of Garzon’s detractors) suddenly ordered Garzon to face trial for proceeding without jurisdiction on the Spanish Civil War cases, and the suspension followed on Friday. Such haste in a case that had been moving normally through the system since February has the whiff of malice; the decision was made even though the Spanish attorney general’s office still had questions about the case.

They conclude:

The vehemence with which Garzon’s inquiry was rejected is not surprising given the bloody history of the period, yet the legal action against Garzon is; it’s one thing for his superiors to disagree with his judgment in bringing the case or to determine that he is overreaching, but it is quite another to charge him with breaking the law for doing so. Whatever happens in the case against Garzon, it seems that Spain is going to have to probe that past and provide the families with answers. The political divisions that marked that dark chapter of Spanish history still seem to be in play.

The ironies of this case are enormous. Garzón is accused of disregarding his duties as a judge by investigating matters that for purely political reasons cannot be investigated. A judicial oversight body moves against him, showing at every turn a disdain for proper procedure and a desire to manipulate the process for political purposes. In the end, it is not Garzón but rather the judicial oversight body that emerges with its reputation in a tatters. Moreover, the entire affair serves to put the spotlight just where it belongs. The assumption that the horrors of Spain’s fascist past must remain forever covered up serves the interest of some political figures with a compromised past. But it is radically false and a grave contravention of the most fundamental precepts of justice. The truth must ultimately be known, and Garzón deserves credit for pressing the issue.

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
April 30, 2010, 3:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,
Discussion of the newly discovered Henri Cartier-Bresson Film on the Brigade, and the 74th ALBA Reunion honoring Amy Goodman this weekend!
Scholar and Filmmaker Juan Salas and ALBA ED on Leonard Lopate today! 12:40 pm ET today (4/30) on WNYC 93.9FM
Leonard Lopate Show: Scholar Juan Salas and ALBA ED Jeanne Houck will be talking about the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the newley discovered Cartier Bresson Film and the Reunion on the Leonard Lopate show at 12:40 pm ET today (4/30) on WNYC 93.9FM and 820AM, or streaming at WNYC.org. Please listen – and remember that ALBA’s 74th Volunteers for Liberty Reunion is this Sunday at Museo del Barrio. Come to our facebook event page. ALBA 74th Re union of the Volunteers of Liberty (1936-2010)
Brigadistas & Activists: A Legacy Without Borders
For details visit www.alba-valb.org
Ticket Price: $40. Tickets at the door and for online ticket purchases click here.

With Amy Goodman, recipient of the ALBA Activist Award. Includes Reception and Book signing for Breaking the Sound Barrier!

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010, 4:30pm
Program, 6:00pm Reception and book signing with Amy Goodman

Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street
(at 104th Street and 5th Avenue)
New York, N.Y. 10029

Ticket Price: $40. For online ticket purchases go to http://www.alba-valb.org or click here.
You can also email Jhouck@alba-valb.org or call the ALBA office (212 674-5398). Tickets will be held at the door at the day of the event.

This year’s reunion celebrates the Lincoln Brigade’s legacy of internationalist activism, featuring:

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman’s news coverage as an award winning journalist, nationally syndicated columnist, author,and host of Democracy Now! embodies the Lincolns’ internationalism and resourceful activism.

Matti Mattson, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Volunteer

A front-line ambulance driver in Spain and indefatigable champion of the good fight, Matti was awarded honorary Spanish citizenship in August of last year.

Archives Without Borders: How the Search for One Soldier’s Identity Changed the Lincolns’ Story As We Know It

Who is the young black soldier in doughboy gear whose portrait the Spanish government hoped to give to Barack Obama? James Fernández and Sebastiaan Faber take us on an archival adventure.

Bruce Barthol and Friends
Dred Scott, Lisa Asher, Jamie Fox, Andy Teirson

Songs of the Spanish Civil War

A songwriter, musician (Country Joe and the Fish, San Francisco Mime Troupe) and long time associate of the Bay Area Post, Bruce returns with Dred Scott, Liberty Ellman and Andy Tierstien to play songs of and about the Spanish Civil War.

With projections by Richard Bermack.

*** Reception & Amy Goodman book signing to follow ***

Read The Volunteer, founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade:

For online ticket purchases click here.

ALBA relies on friends like you. Donate now !

799 Broadway, Suite 341
New York, NY 10003

¡Venceréis, pero no convenceréis! Miguel de Unamuno
March 17, 2010, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

from the Wikipedia

Miguel de Unamuno

Miguel de Unamuno

On 12 October 1936 the celebration of the Dia de la Raza had brought together a politically diverse crowd at the University of Salamanca, including Enrique Pla y Deniel, the Archbishop of Salamanca, and Carmen Polo Martínez-Valdés, the wife of Franco, Falangist General José Millán Astray and Unamuno himself. According to the British historian Hugh Thomas in his magnum opus The Spanish Civil War (1961), the evening began with an impassioned speech by the Falangist writer José María Pemán. After this, Professor Francisco Maldonado decried Catalonia and the Basque Country as “cancers on the body of the nation,” adding that Fascism, the healer of Spain, will know how to exterminate them, cutting into the live flesh, like a determined surgeon free from false sentimentalism.”

From somewhere in the auditorium, someone cried out the motto “¡Viva la Muerte!” As was his habit, Millán-Astray responded with “¡España!”; the crowd replied with “¡Una!” He repeated “¡España!”; the crowd then replied “¡Grande!” A third time, Millán-Astray shouted “¡España!”; the crowd responded “Libre!” This was a common Falangist cheer. Later, a group of uniformed Falangists entered, saluting the portrait of Franco that hung on the wall.

Unamuno, who was presiding over the meeting, rose up slowly and addressed the crowd: “You are waiting for my words. You know me well, and know I cannot remain silent for long. Sometimes, to remain silent is to lie, since silence can be interpreted as assent. I want to comment on the so-called speech of Professor Maldonado, who is with us here. I will ignore the personal offence to the Basques and Catalonians. I myself, as you know, was born in Bilbao. The Bishop,” Unamuno gestured to the Archbishop of Salamanca, “whether you like it or not, is Catalan, born in Barcelona. But now I have heard this insensible and necrophilous oath, “¡Viva la Muerte!”, and I, having spent my life writing paradoxes that have provoked the ire of those who do not understand what I have written, and being an expert in this matter, find this ridiculous paradox repellent. General Millán-Astray is an invalid. There is no need for us to say this with whispered tones. He is an invalid of war. So was Cervantes. But unfortunately, Spain today has too many invalids. And, if God does not help us, soon it will have very many more. It torments me to think that General Millán-Astray could dictate the norms of the psychology of the masses. An invalid, who lacks the spiritual greatness of Cervantes, hopes to find relief by adding to the number of invalids around him.”

Irritated, Millán-Astray responded: “¡Muera la inteligencia! ¡Viva la Muerte!” (“Death to intelligence! Long live death!”), provoking applause from the Falangists. Pemán, in an effort to calm the crowd, exclaimed “¡No! ¡Viva la inteligencia! ¡Mueran los malos intelectuales!” (“No! Long live intelligence! Death to the bad intellectuals!”)

Unamuno, unfazed, continued: “This is the temple of intelligence, and I am its high priest. You are profaning its sacred domain. You will win[venceréis], because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince [pero no convenceréis]. In order to convince it is necessary to persuade, and to persuade you will need something that you lack: reason and right in the struggle. I see it is useless to ask you to think of Spain. I have spoken.” Millán-Astray, controlling himself, shouted “Take the lady’s arm!” Unamuno took Carmen Polo by the arm and left in her protection.