Bruzzichesi, Avelino.

Biography

(Ave); b. January 3, 1913, Bloomfield, New Jersey; Italian American; AMB; Nurse Training, City Hospital, Newark, New Jersey; Single; Nurse; No party affiliation; Received Passport# 482778 on October 30, 1937 which listed her address as 319 West 11th Street, NYC; Sailed November 4, 1937 aboard the Queen Mary; Traveled with the 10th AMB Group also known as the West Coast Medical Unit under Dr. Leo Eloesser; Served with the Republican Medical Service, Institute de Neurologia October- November 1937, Teruel December 1937-January 1938, Barcelona January 1938 until repatriation; Returned to the US on February 21, 1938 aboard the Ile de France; Married name Wolfman; d. January 23, 1999. [Alt sail date Sailed October 17, 1937]
Source: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; "Jersey nurse joins UN organization after hectic battle experience," in Sunday Star Ledger (Newark, NJ) November 10, 1946; "I was a Catholic nurse in Loyalist Spain," typewritten manuscript Frances Patai Papers, Frances Patai Collection, Biographical File, box 1, ALBA; "Résumé of itinerary and services of Ave Bruzzichesi, Spanish War," typewritten document, Frances Patai papers; and Arthur H. Landis, The Abraham Lincoln Brigade (New York, 1967), 339 and 363. See also her letters in Cary Nelson and Jefferson Hendricks, eds., Madrid 1937: Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War (New York, 1996), 363–368, 433–434. The other Italian American woman to go to Spain was Germina Galleani. A teacher by profession, she worked as a secretary for the brigades' medical services. "Germina Galleani," ALBA Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 496, ll. 18. Code A
Biography: Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, in 1913 and raised in a religious Catholic family, Bruzzichesi had no history of political activism. After completing nurse's training at Newark's City Hospital in 1936, she worked for a year at Metropolitan Hospital in New York. In the spring of 1937 she heard Father Michael O'Flanagan, the Irish Republican priest and ardent socialist who was touring the United States in support of the Spanish Republic, speak at the Hippodrome in New York. O'Flanagan's Christian egalitarianism and ardent anti-Fascism made him an articulate advocate of the Spanish cause, and his call for volunteers for medical aid to Spain influenced Bruzzichesi's decision to join the West Coast Medical Unit led by Dr. Leo Eloesser, professor of surgery at Stanford University Medical School. Together with the rest of the American medical personnel, Bruzzichesi arrived at the border town of Port Bou shortly after it had been bombed by Fascist airplanes; within days she helped set up a 200-bed mobile hospital to receive the first wounded from the Battle of Teruel. Taken from: Fraser Ottanelli, "Anti-Fascism and the Shaping of National and Ethnic Identity: Italian American Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War," Journal of American Ethnic History Fall 2007 <http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/jaeh/27.1/ottanelli.html> (7 Aug. 2009).
Photograph: Ave Bruzzichesi, VALB/ALBA.