BiographyBarr, Reuben (Stojewa/Stowjewa, Stojeiva, Conrad Henry [used a false passport obtained from a friend with this name]; Hendricks, Conrad; Backofsky, Rueben [real name]); b. August 5, 1902, San Franciso, California (July 6, 1902 under Backofsky; July 2, 1902, Brooklyn, NYC) (September 7, 1902, Kiev, Russia); Russian American; POW; High School education; Divorced (Widower); Driver and Laundry Worker; IWW and CP 1932; Domicile 3504 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, New York; In his early teens worked as an IWW organizer in the Agricultural Worker's Organization in Kansas and the mid-west. 1920's returned to NYC and worked in father's laundry business; Arrived in Spain via Setcases on June 30, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Mackenzie-Papineau BN in training; Lincoln-Washington BN, Co.4 Political Commissar?; Captured January 4, 1938, Teruel; Taken to Saragossa, tried and sentenced to death; Freed March 24, 1940; Returned to the US on April 7, 1940 aboard the Exford; Married with two children, Retired and divorced shortly afterwards, Living in San Francisco and became involved in the anti-nuclear movement; d. May 25, 1993.
Source: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Americans; Cadre (under Stojewa);; XV BDE; RGASPI Opis 6, Delo 993, ll. 21-22 (under Stojewy/Stojewa) Letter from Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Dave White to Sol Rose dated February 26, 1938 (indicates missing between December and February 1938, informed captured through letter home.; USSDA (under Stownja) 2:0962, 60:0700; Harriman Video, ALBA V 48-11, June 10, 1985; POW; Anna Marti and Francisco Cabrera, “Escape from death row: Three Lincoln POWs on trial,” The Volunteer, December 19, 2013; Rob Waters, “A Fighting Mensch,” The Tenderloin Times, June 1984, v. 8, no. 5, pp. 4, 8.
Reuben Barr Interview, ALBA V 48-011 (Mixed Materials) June 10, 1985, Manny Harriman Video Oral History Collection; ALBA VIDEO 048; box number1; folder number 23; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Reuben Barr: A Fighting Mensch –by Rob Waters; , originally published in The Tenderloin Times, June 1984, v. 8, no. 5, pp. 4 and 8; Rob Waters kindly allowed The Volunteer Blog to reprint his interview with Reuben Barr; posted November 2, 2017.
Photographs: Reuben Barr and Alf Anderson on their return from Spain, Sunday Worker, April 7, 1940 and Barr in 1985, Harriman Video.