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30Lincoln's Underground Railroad Brigade

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  • KGC4Dixie
    Nov 10 3:32 AM
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      Lincoln's Underground Railroad Brigade
      Bernhard Thuersam <bernhard1848@...>

      It is well-known that FDR’s Democratic administration by 1936 had
      absorbed many American communists; soon many sailed for Spain in a
      brigade named for a previous American revolutionary in the White
      House. The communist international’s (Comintern) goal was exporting
      revolution and undermining capitalism, today the US government exports
      this revolution to all regions of the globe. Bernhard Thuersam

      Lincoln’s Underground Railroad Brigade

      “in 1936 . . . the Spanish Civil War catalyzed the battle against
      fascism worldwide, many in the (American Communist] Party [CPUSA]
      decided that more was required of them than just raising money,
      picketing consulates or, as in the case of communist seamen, smuggling
      literature into fascist countries. Steve Nelson, who left the
      Pennsylvania anthracite fields to become political commissar of the XV
      Brigade, recalled in his memoirs:

      “When Franco, Hitler and Mussolini attacked Spain, the die was cast.
      No longer could our campaigns be confined to agitation. Many in the
      United States knew we had to move beyond passing resolutions that
      urged our government to aid Spain.”

      In the late fall of 1936, the CPUSA began its own recruiting drive for
      the International Brigades. The first organized group of volunteers
      from the United States sailed from New York on the Normandie on
      Christmas Day, 1936. There was a high percentage of communists among
      them (in higher command positions), but the Brigade’s variety of
      ideologies demonstrated how pervasive anti-fascism had become. Most
      of the Americans volunteers were in their early twenties.

      Because of the extension of the Neutrality law to the Spanish war,
      they traveled as tourists or students on their way to Europe, not
      declaring their real destination. Once in France, an underground
      railroad took them to Spain.

      In the Jarama Valley in February 1937, the Lincoln’s, as they were
      soon called, underwent their trial of fire . . . Out of 450 that went
      into battle, 120 were killed and 175 were wounded. The Lincoln’s, who
      [were] disparagingly referred to as “premature anti-fascists,” paid a
      very heavy price for their commitment . . . fewer than half of all the
      Americans who had gone to Spain [survived].”

      (The Communist Party of the United States, Fraser M. Ottanelli,
      Rutgers University Press, 1991, pp. 175-177)

      "We believed we were right and have not changed our minds."