Features

Heroes of the Pen: Alvah Bessie on Murdered Writers, 1943

August 30, 2017
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Heroes of the Pen: Alvah Bessie on Murdered Writers, 1943

Gabriel Peri and Lucien Sampaix, two veteran writers of the Parisian pre-war Communist newspaper Humanité, were among the 100 hostages shot in late 1941 at Mont Valerien Fortress just north of Paris as one of the three “punishments” inflicted on the Parisian population by General Otto von Stuelpnagel in reprisal for the repeated bombings....
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HR Column: Identitaries: The New Fascist Menace

August 30, 2017
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<em>HR Column</em>: <i>Identitaries:</i> The New Fascist Menace

Europe is seeing a resurgence of hatred and intolerance. While the direct heirs to the Fascist and Nazi legacies have changed their rhetoric, extreme right-wing organizations formed mainly by young people are gaining ground. But they no longer make overt racist or supremacist claims. Instead, they call themselves identitaires.
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Forgotten Fighters: American Anarchist Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

August 30, 2017
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Forgotten Fighters: American Anarchist Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

Among the almost 3,000 foreign anarchists who fought in the Spanish Civil War, more than one hundred came from the United States. Their story has been almost entirely overlooked.
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Jewish Volunteers in the International Brigades: What Drove Them?

August 30, 2017
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Jewish Volunteers in the International Brigades: What Drove Them?

The tens of thousands of volunteers who joined the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War included a relatively high percentage of men and women of Jewish descent. But can we say that these volunteers were driven by a specifically Jewish motivation to fight fascism in Spain? Or did their presence simply reflect the...
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Kitchen Table History: In Search of Ben Barsky

August 30, 2017
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Kitchen Table History: In Search of Ben Barsky

Ben Barsky had volunteered for Spain in 1937 and never returned. Why and how did he go? Why did the family never receive any notice of his death? And—perhaps most importantly and painfully—why has Ben’s life and sacrifice been such a taboo subject in the family for so many years? Daniel Czitrom explores the...
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Faces of ALBA: George Snook, Brooklyn History Teacher

August 30, 2017
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Faces of ALBA: George Snook, Brooklyn History Teacher

George Snook is an award-winning history teacher at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. For over 25 years he has inspired his students to engage history by doing their own research. The Spanish Civil War and the experiences of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade play a central role in his classes. An alum...
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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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Hostages of Appeasement: Jay Allen on Refugees

June 14, 2017
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Hostages of Appeasement: Jay Allen on Refugees

Do refugees have rights? If so, who is responsible to protect them? These contemporary questions are not new. Indeed, they were raised eloquently by the American journalist Jay Allen in November 1939 in Survey Graphic, a monthly magazine edited by Paul Kellogg, illustrated with images by Ione Robinson (1910-1989), an American photographer and artist....
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Hemingway in the Martyred City: April, 1937

June 14, 2017
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Hemingway in the Martyred City: April, 1937

In April 1937, Ernest Hemingway filed a series of dispatches from Madrid on the atrocious Nationalist bombing campaigns. Curiously, he failed to mention the attack on Guernica.  The legion of international observers – journalists, photographers, writers and “celebrities” of all kinds – passing through Spain during the Spanish Civil War undoubtedly shaped how that...
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Human Rights Column: Angels of the Sea

June 14, 2017
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<em>Human Rights Column</em>: Angels of the Sea

Amy Rao, a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, gave the introductory address at the presentation of the seventh ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to Òscar Camps and Gerard Canals, the founders of Proactiva Open Arms, at the award ceremony held at the Museum of the City of New...
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