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Singing Songs of Resistance

AN INTERVIEW WITH DAN KAUFMAN ON THE NEW ALBUM, FOR THOSE WHO CAME AFTER: SONGS OF RESISTANCE FROM THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR by Jacob L. Perl   JUST BEFORE ROSH HASHANAH in Madison, Wisconsin, someone spray-painted swastikas on a monument to the Wisconsin volunteers of of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. The battalion was one of the international […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Jewish Radicalism, Worldwide

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Revolutionary Yiddishland, by Alain Brissat and Sylvie Klingberg. Verso Books, 2016, 304 pages, indexed. VERSO’S PRAISEWORTHY publication of Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg’s engaging, well-informed, and at times moving Revolutionary Yiddishland comes to us thirty-three years after its initial publication in French, and seven years after its reprinting […]

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Premature Anti-Fascism

LOOKING BACK AT THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR by Bennett Muraskin Published in the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1938, by Adam Hochschild. Princeton University Press, 2016, 288 pages. FOR THE AMERICAN LEFT, the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, was a noble […]

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May 23: Trying to Liberalize the Communist Party

John Gates (Solomon Regenstreif), a Communist journalist and activist who led an unsuccessful attempt to liberalize the American Communist Party (CPUSA) after Nikita Khrushchev took power and denounced Stalinism, died at 78 on this date in 1992. Gates was the son of candy-store owners in the Bronx and was employed by the WPA during the […]

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October 20: The Hollywood Ten

The House Committee on UnAmerican Activities (HUAC) began its investigation into Communist influence in Hollywood on this date in 1947. Among the “Hollywood Ten,” blacklisted and jailed for refusing to testify, were Alvah Bessie, a screenwriter who had been a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain; Herbert Biberman, who went on to direct […]

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October 6: The Last Casualty

The last fallen member of the International Brigades in Spain, Haskel Honigstern, was given a state funeral in Barcelona on this date in 1938. The first casualty among these international volunteers who defended the government of Spain against Franco’s fascist uprising was also Jewish, Leon Baum, from Paris, killed in 1936. Jews comprised a quarter […]

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July 5: Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Moe Fishman, general secretary of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) from 1950 until his death in 2007 at age 92, was severely wounded by a sniper on this date in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War’s Battle of Brunete. Fishman took three years to recover and was left with a lifelong limp. […]

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In Memoriam

Abie Nathan April 29, 1927 – August 27, 2008 Abraham Jacob Nathan was a free spirit and a visionary. In 1966, as tensions mounted between Israel and Egypt, he flew a small plane named “Shalom One” to Egypt to discuss peace with Egyptian President Gamel Abdul Nasser. Nathan attempted to repeat the deed in early […]

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