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Finding Aid to the Lisette and Sam Kutnick Abraham Lincoln Brigade Collection
larc.ms.0229  
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Collection Details
 
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  • Administrative Information
  • Indexing Terms
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: Lisette and Sam Kutnick Abraham Lincoln Brigade collection
    Creator: Kutnick, Sam
    Creator: Lisette, Kutnick
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1995
    Date (bulk): 1937-1938
    Collection number: larc.ms.0229
    Accession number: 2007/033
    Extent: 0.75 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.
    Abstract: The bulk of the collection consists of typed transcripts of letters (circa 130) written by members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War to family and friends in the Bay Area, collected by Lisette (Lee) Kutnick when she served as secretary of the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in San Francisco. Kutnick gathered and typed copies of letters received by friends, as well as many addressed to her and her husband Sam. The letters span the period when the Americans arrived in Spain in early 1937 and continued to the end of 1938 when most of the American volunteers returned home. Also contains copies of poetry and songs; two newsletters; meeting minutes of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 1993-1995; a document on Sam and Lee Kutnick; and a list of voters including the Kutnick’s in their precinct from 1943.
    Location: Materials are available onsite.

    Administrative Information

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lisette and Sam Kutnick Abraham Lincoln Brigade Collection, larc.ms.0229, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Separated Materials

    The following books and pamphlets have been relocated to LARC's ephemera and book collections: "The Yanks Are Not Coming" stickers; pamphlet, "Story of the Imperial Valley," by Frank Spector, Int’l Labor Defense Pamphlet No. 3; Migratory Labor in California, State Relief Administration of California, 1936; Early Master Teachers, W.P.A., 1940

    Acquisition

    This collection was donated to the Labor Archives by Esther Kutnick, daughter of Lee and Sam Kutnick; accession number 2007/033.

    Indexing Terms

    Spain--History--Civil War, 1936-1939--Participation, American.
    Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Abraham Lincoln Battalion.

    Biography

    Sam and Lisette ("Lee") Kutnick (née Levy) were supporters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, volunteers who went to Spain to fight with the Spanish Republic (Loyalists) against the insurrection led by Generalissimo Franco and supported by the armies of Germany and Italy.

    Scope and Contents

    The bulk of the collection consists of typed transcripts of letters (circa 130) written by members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War to family and friends in the Bay Area, collected by Lisette (Lee) Kutnick when she served as secretary of the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in San Francisco. Kutnick gathered and typed copies of letters received by friends, as well as many addressed to her and her husband Sam. The letters span the period when the Americans arrived in Spain in early 1937 and continued to the end of 1938 when most of the American volunteers returned home. Also contains copies of poetry and songs; two newsletters; meeting minutes of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 1993-1995; a document on Sam and Lee Kutnick; and a list of voters including the Kutnick’s in their precinct from 1943.
    The letters document daily life behind the lines and in the trenches, including their food, training, learning Spanish, recreation, and interactions with Loyalist soldiers. Many are told with humor as well as the affirming the righteousness of their cause. The political dogma of the Communist Party can be seen in many letters. Undoubtedly some of the hardships were edited out for families and friends and some letters were censored. Among the prolific writers are Maurice Hawkins and Boleslau Slivan whose letters cover a one-year period. Also notable is a handwritten letters from Fritz Orton to "Paul," most likely Paul Ryan better known by his pseudonym Mike Quin. Quin writes about Fritz Orton in the collection of his articles in On the Drumhead (page 84).