Query From: Ian Halpern Ian.Halpern@fedfil.com 08 Oct 1998
Cross-posted from H-MINERVA
I am a journalist based in Washington, DC working on an article on North American women who participated in the Spanish Civil War. The article, which will appear in Lilith Magazine this Spring, will focus on the contributions that women, particularly Jewish women, made as nurses, soldiers, journalists, political activists during the Spanish Civil War.
To my knowledge about 80 women served as volunteers through the International Brigades. Several dozen more participated in the conflict as journalists, spouses and in other capacities. I have contacted the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades and received a couple of good interview sources.
Of course, if any of you have these kinds of contacts -- women of this generation who served in the Spanish Civil War -- I'd like to find out about them. What was it like to work, serve and fight and save lives in Spain? How did the Civil War experience of the female veterans shape their political/social views when they returned to the States?
Also, how did the legacy of Spanish Civil War participants influence the next generation of activists/feminists who heard about these experiences through the returning veterans? I'm interested in how the experience of the veterans/participants of the War contributed to the development of the progressive politics in America.Thanks so much.
Davis, Francis _My Shadow in the Sun_ and _A Fearful Innocence_
Nash, Mary _Defying Male Civilization_
Wachtel, Marion Title unknown
If you are in touch w/ALBA you are on the right track. You might consider contacting Suni Paz, the folksinger who performed at a Brigade reunion in NYC in 1978...not certain of her whereabouts. I doubt if you can reach her quickly, but Peggy Seeger strikes me as as someone worth speaking with...
...Brandeis University has a rather substantial archive on the International Brigades and a wealth of material on the Spanish Civil War. You might want to contact the archivist at 781-736-2000...
....Dorothy Healy, if she is still alive...last I knew she was in Santa Monica, CA.
...Also many International Brigade volunteers brought their partners with them (Orwell Homage to Catalonia...) my guess is that many volunteers from the US did as well, but the women went 'unnoticed.'
...There is also a literature developing on individuals (Simone Weil from France) and on Spanish women that is worth looking at...
...I believe that many African-Americans who fought in Spain came from the Baltimore docks..yet there is no study of them, male or female, to the best of my knowledge.
...And of course, Martha Gellhorn was in Spain, as were other female newspaper correspondents.