Author Archive for Chris Brooks

Reuben Barr: A Fighting Mensch –By Rob Waters

November 2, 2017
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Reuben Barr: A Fighting Mensch –By Rob Waters

Rob Waters kindly allowed The Volunteer blog to reprint his interview with Reuben Barr, originally published in The Tenderloin Times, June 1984, v. 8, no. 5, pp. 4 and 8. When Reuben Barr was, as he says, “pinched” last summer blockading outside the Lawrence Livermore Lab, it was not his first brush with the...
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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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Arrests of Volunteers in France

September 2, 2017
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Arrests of Volunteers in France

                      On April 4, 1937, French authorities arrested American John William Tylus, along with thirteen volunteers of various nationalities, near Prats de Mollo, Pyrénées, Orientales.  The group was described as being “in poor shape” after being lost in the Pyrenees mountains for several days....
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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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George Zoul’s Data Base Entry

June 24, 2017
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Zoul, George. (Zoule); b. November 27, 1908, NYC, Czechoslovakian American; Father Vincent Zoul, Mother Mary Zoul; Divorced; Received passport# 355923 on December 4, 1936,  address listed as 420 East 18th Street, NYC; Sailed December 26, 1936 aboard the Normandie; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln BN, Served at Jarama (May have transferred into the...
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George Zoul: Reconstructing the Life of a Volunteer

June 24, 2017
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George Zoul: Reconstructing the Life of a Volunteer

Compiling a biographical entry for a volunteer often involves a complicated process of locating data points from a wide variety of sources and assembling them into a coherent structure.  George Zoul’s entry took several years to assemble.   In 2012, I ran an internet query on George Zoul a volunteer on whom I had very...
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Biographical Project: Raleigh Frohman

May 21, 2017
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<em>Biographical Project:</em> Raleigh Frohman

Saul Friedberg’s short piece on Raleigh Frohman provides crucial information regarding his fate.  It figures prominently in Charles Antin’s search to understand his cousin’s disappearance. Together the two articles shed light on Frohman’s service in Spain. Chris Brooks, Notes from the Biographical Dictionary Project, 2017.   Raleigh Frohman, by Saul Friedberg April 22, 1996...
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Blast from the Past: The Quest for a Missing American Volunteer

May 21, 2017
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<em>Blast from the Past:</em> The Quest for a Missing American Volunteer

A brief article in the March 24, 1939 student paper, The Cornell Daily Sun, with the title “ASU Spring Dance Will Be Tonight” mentioned that the dance was “in honor of Cornell men who fought in the war in Spain.”  The American Student Union noted that volunteers Victor Tiship and John Shulman from the...
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Biographical Project: John V. Murra

April 21, 2017
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<em>Biographical Project:</em> John V. Murra

Notes from the Biographical Dictionary Project.  Saul Freidberg provided several short biographical sketches on fellow veterans.  The sketches provide insight into Friedberg as well. Murra is mentioned several time in Rolfe’s book The Lincoln Battalion and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the references. I would however like to supplement what...
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