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Abraham Lincoln Brigade

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  • Alvah Cecil Bessie (1904 - 1985)
    Alvah Cecil Bessie (June 4, 1904 – July 21, 1985) was an American novelist, journalist and screenwriter who was imprisoned for ten months and blacklisted by the movie studio bosses for being one of the...
  • Irving Rifkin, executed during the Spanish Civil War (1917 - 1938)
    Irving was a pre-medical student in New York. Politically, he was a Communist; he joined the Communist Party in 1935. He decided to go to Spain and fight against the Fascists. Irving was a soldier in C...
  • Bernard Entin (1915 - 1937)
    From k-Entin, Bernard (Butch); b. March 1, 1915; Single; Department Store Union member and Organizer; CP and YCL 1937 (1933); Received Passport# 373253 on March 10, 1937 which listed his address as 1...
    Thomas Balvage (1908 - 1937)
    One of about 2800 Americans who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
    Joseph Isaac Siegel (1916 - 1972)
    Siegel, Joseph Isaac. (Siegel, Joseph Jacob); b. January 20, 1916, Boston, Massachusetts; Jewish; 3 years college; Single; Student and Clerk; YCL 1933, lit. agent; Received Passport# 4395 Boston seri...

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), almost forty thousand men and women from fifty-two countries, including 2,800 Americans, traveled to Spain to join the International Brigades to help fight fascism. The U.S. volunteers served in various units (medical, combat and transportation) and came to be known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Battalion.

"The Spanish Civil War claimed an estimated 500,000 dead; of the American volunteers about one third (estimated: 800) died in Spain. Many of the remaining veterans continued their fight against fascism during World War II, as did thousands of Republican exiles. With their help, fascism was finally defeated in 1945. Ironically, the outbreak of the Cold War helped secure Franco’s position as Spain’s anti-Communist dictator. When, after his death in 1975, Spain finally became a democracy, the Spanish government made honorary citizens of the international volunteers. Many of them remained life-long activists." (2)

  • This project celebrates and salutes their courage. Their war didn't end with this stance against fascism; some of those who served were infamously called before the HUAC Committee to testify against their comrades in arms.

Please add profiles to the project (must be set to public). Collaborators, feel free to update this project overview.

American "Notables" associated with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the cause of the Spanish Republicans include


  1. Abraham Lincoln Brigade members - Wikipedia list
  2. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War
  3. Abraham Lincoln Brigade Volunteer Database
  4. The Front Lines of Social Change: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  5. The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War by Peter N. Carroll. 1994.