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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 23 4 dec 2001 (Page 2)

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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 23 4 dec 2001
Leetttteerrss ttoo tthhee VVoolluunntteeeerr
Dear Volunteer,
Sorry about the lapse in time since I last wrote from
Paris in July where, as you will remember, I read from
Another Hill at the Shakespeare & Company Book Store for
an outdoor audience of some 50 persons, and signed and
sold all the soft cover copies I had with me at the time, plus
the hard cover copies they now have on their shelves. Kind
of nice being in the shop Sylvia Beach established, the shop
that first sponsored the works of James Joyce, Ezra Pound,
Thomas Wolfe and other literary notables.
Well, there wasn't much for me to do after I returned,
the Bay Area Post being occupied with a monument project
that seems to be going very well. The site for the monu-
ment has been set aside on the Embarcadero's Harry
Bridges Plaza, artists working out the design, and so on.
There was, of course, the San Francisco July 25 Lincoln
Brigade Day, but all that was taken care of without much
involvement on my part.
And then came the phone call from Rick Coittam in
Amsterdam that set in motion plans for September lectures
at the University in Leiden, the Institute for International
Studies and the Residencia in Madrid, and the University
at Alcala de Henares. I understand that the Madrid talks
were set up in conjunction with NYU's sponsorship and
funding and participation, along with the National
Endowment of the Arts, here in the States. Professors from
the history departments delivered papers at all the events:
two at the Residencia, one at the Institute and the one at
Henares, as well as at Leiden in Holland.
Oh, before I forget, the Institute's student body made
the overnight trip to the Aragon, where we fought the bat-
tles of Quinto, Belchite, Caspe and so on over again for
their benefit, crossing the Ebro and winding up in
Gandesa, where there is a great museum displaying,
among other weapons, the very machine gun, the Maxim I
cut my teeth on in `37. Tom Entwistle, who is something of
an authority on the IB's military role, guided us and spoke
as we went from Quinto to Hill 666, where there is a mark-
er for Merriman, Doran and Joe Bianca. I have to tell you
that Tom and I failed to agree on what units were where,
when, and why on and around 666, let alone where the hell
the Moors were on these solid rock peaks when we faced
To sum it up, I spoke to a class of 29, one of 28, and at
Alcala de Henares a class of 78 students plus faculty mem-
bers, including the head of the Institute and the heads of
the history departments. There was a showing of the film
Extranjero, which features participants from both sides in
the war. Present at the showing was a man who had been a
soldado in Franco's ill-fated Blue Division, WWII, on the
Moscow Front. He and I were supposed to take questions
from the audience, quite a large audience at that, but he left
with his consort immediately after the end of the film, and
I soon followed him out as I saw no point in a one-sided
reaction to the film, or for any questions that may have
been asked. Nevertheless, I was besieged outside by peo-
ple, mostly young kids, who threw questions at me by the
fistful. And then there were the reporters, one from the
Christian Science Monitor, of all things. One of the articles
about the event, which was open to the public, reported
that there were 200 plus in attendance.
J.J. Byrrne, a transplant from England, ran the whole
show rather well, even somehow getting an "instant"
translator and the equipment for the kids to tune in from
the American Embassy. I was impressed.
I cut my Holland trip short after Leiden for I was
bushed--forgive the pun--out, and was home on the 28th,
and while not yet recovered, made the flight to NY to do
the Puffin Gallery exhibit for ALBA. According to Carl
Rosenstein, who set this one up, only about half the expect-
ed number of people showed, the other half being at one
peace demonstration or another, Moe among them, coming
late along with four or five others. They showed The Good
. I spoke and answered questions, of which there were
many well-informed ones. Always a delight for me.
And then Peter and Susan took me up to Connecticut
to celebrate my 86th year among a horde of grand, and
great-grandchildren. Back home and recovered, and how
goes it with you all?
Milt Wolff
2 THE VOLUNTEER, December 2001
Journal of the
Veterans of the
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
an ALBA publication
799 Broadway, Rm. 227
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-5552
Editorial Board
Peter Carroll · Leonard Levenson
Fraser Ottanelli · Abe Smorodin
Design Production
Richard Bermack
Editorial Assistance
Nancy Van Zwalenburg
Submission of Manuscripts
Please send manuscripts by E-mail or on disk.
More Letters
Continued on page 16

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