Content and Scope
The items in the ALBA Digital Library represent four collections that are historically significant and lend themselves to be easily used in a classroom setting.
The records contained in this digital collection were selected from four separate collections: the James Lardner Papers, the Herman Greenfield Papers, the Miriam Sigel Papers, and the Marjorie Polon Papers. All four collections are housed in New York University’s Tamiment Library.
James Lardner (1914-1938) was a journalist who enlisted in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight against Franco’s rebel forces in Spain. In March of 1938 Lardner traveled to Barcelona and after observing the war first hand, resolved to enlist in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. He was killed in action in September 1938. The collection consist chiefly of correspondence; most of it produced by Lardner during his time in Paris and Spain and addressed to his mother Ellis and his brother Ring.
Herman ‘Hy’ Greenfield (1915-1938) was a native New Yorker.
View Hy Greenfield’s online digital library collection here.
The Miriam Sigel Friedlander Papers consist of letters written by three individuals who fought and died in the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Arion, Harold Malofsky (Melofsky) and Miriam’s brother, Paul Sigel were acquaintances in New York City before traveling to Spain in 1937. Arion and Malofsky were involved in cultural and political activities with the International Workers Order and Sigel was politically active while studying Engineering at New York University. All three wrote detailed letters to Miriam Sigel (later Friedlander) about their travels to Spain, their social activities and military duties, and their experiences fighting in the battles of the Spanish Civil War.
Marjorie Polon (1924-1977) a native of New York City, was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. The Marjorie Polon Papers consist chiefly of letters from six American Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteers (Bill “Mike” Bailey, Nathan Gross, Harry Hakam, George Kaye, Sydney Levine and William Van Felix) who fought together in the Spanish Civil War. Although Polon’s correspondents were strangers to her, the letters she wrote were clearly important to the men who received them and several of them responded in detail to her. The bulk of the letters were written in 1938 and provide descriptions of battles, bombardments, and the relationship between the international volunteers and the Spanish citizenry as well as commentary on the political situation in the United States.