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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1940 05 (Page 2)

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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1940 05

It is now two years since Bob Merriman and
Dave Doran, trapped on the retreat from
Gandesa, met their death. For- almost nine
months prior to this they had together given
leadership to the XVth Brigade--Bob, as Chief-
of Staff and Dave, as Commissar.

Their united leadership played a major part in
the Brigade's splendid history. In the case of
Merriman and Doran their unity was truly one
of opposites.

Despite a career which had embraced a lot of
hard manual work, Bob Merriman was
characterized by the intellectual background
clearly shown in his appearance and speech.
Graduate of the University of Nevada,
sometime instructor at the University of
California, he came to Spain Prom the Soviet
Union where he had been engaged in a study of
collective-farm economics. Prior to this, his
most important contribution to the class
struggle was as I.L.D. organizer in San
Francisco during the great general strike.

Doran, on the other hand, was essentially the
worker, marked by hard, tough labor. His
experiences, which ran from sailoring to
organizing steel workers, ma-
tured him for the difficult political role he
played in Spain. At home he had risen to the
National Committee of the Y.C.L.

With these varying backgrounds, both men
brought to their work in Spain a high degree of
personal courage and intense devotion to the
cause for which they fought. Their worth was
proven by the exploits of the Brigade. They are
truly with the Lincoln men, of whom Ed Rolfe
has written, "Deeds were their final words."

The outbreak of the European war further
aggravated the conditions of the Spanish
refugees . While the attitude of the French
Government towards them has never been a
friendly one, the ruling clique of France are
now showing more open animosity. They are
using the refugees as barter in exchange for
Franco's assistance in the war against Germany.

The decision of the French Government to
oust all the refugees within its borders and hand
them over to Franco -;as prompted by this
consideration. It was not surprising that
elements in the U. S., who are openly aiding
the Allies, applauded this inhuman policy. No
one suspected, however, that individuals who
were leading the work to aid the refugees
would come out in defense of the French
Government and would denounce all sincere
elements who protested against the Menard and
similar orders.

The 11 members of the Spanish Refugee
Relief Campaign Committee who voted against
protests, acting counter to the decisions of the
Pan American Conference, can no longer claim
to represent the interests of the Spanish
refugees in this country. Rev. H. F. Reissig
who headed this group is guilty of betrayal of
the refugee cause. Jay Allen, who lined up with
Reissig and is now serving in the capacity of
his field organizer, is more friendly to the
French Government than to the Spanish
refugees. They dug up Ralph Batas, whom the
Veterans long ago recognized and repudiated as
an enemy of the Spanish people. Ralph Bates
was given a platform from which he is again
spouting his customary red-baiting lies. The
Reissig group is now flirting with the
discredited leaders of the Spanish Confederated
Societies, mho invited Jose Miaja betrayer of
Madrid, and Umberto Galliani, a Dies
Committee stoolpigeon to speak at one of their
mass meetings. The line up then is very clear;
Rev. H. F. Reissig Jay Allen, Ralph Bates,
Umberto Galliani and the Dies Committee.

The Spanish refugees can expect only
betrayal, imprisonment and death from these
defenders of British and French Imperialism.
The Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
and all honest and sincere friends of Spanish
democracy support the newly organized North
American Spanish Aid Committee.
With the utmost sorrow, the
Veterans of the Lincoln Brigade
extend their sympathy to Comrade
George Watt on the death of his
wife Ruth.

Ruth was an outstanding example of
that splendid group of women who
worked bank home with the same
self-sacrifice and high purpose as
their men displayed in Spain.

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