Gerlach, John.

Biography

Gerlach, John (Ivan Rujevcic; Ben Gerlack); b. June 21, 1915, Vurota, Croatia, to the US in 1927 (1928); Croatian-American; Attended Moscow's University of the National Minorities of the West (KUNMZ) from 1934 to 1936; Tool and Die Maker; Union Organizer and Party Functionary; CP 1936 and YCL 1930, FWIU; Received Passport# 362988 on January 22, 1937 which listed his address as 236 West 19th Street, NYC (11- 29, 31st Drive, Astoria, Long Island, New York); Arrived in Spain on February 10, 1937; After graduation from OTS he served in the XV BDE, Estado Mayor, SIM; Rank Teniente; Served at the Retreats and the Ebro Offensive; Returned to the US on December 20, 1938 aboard the Ausonia; d. August 12, 2008 Camarillo, California; Headed the VALB’s Detroit and Los Angeles Posts.
Sources: Scope of Soviet Activity; Cadre (under Rujevcic, Ivan); XV BDE; RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 977, ll. 45-46 (under Rujevicic); South Slav; Spisak, in Spanija, 5 : 560; (obituary) People's World, August 15, 2008 (online); (obituary) Quentin Guerlain, “John Rujevcic Gerlach, 1915-2008,” The Volunteer, Vol. 25, No. 4, December 2008, p. 22; L-W Tree Ancestry; Find-a-Grave# 29417166.
Photograph: John Gerlach. VALB/ALBA.