Finding Aid to the Lisette and Sam Kutnick Abraham Lincoln Brigade Collection

Finding aid prepared by Labor Archives and Research Center staff.
Labor Archives and Research Center
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94132-1722
(415) 405-5571
larc@sfsu.edu
2002, revised 2014


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).

 

Letters

Box 1, Folder 1

Andell, Evelyn 1938 March

Box 1, Folder 2

Bailey, Bill, to Edna 1937-1938, undated

Box 1, Folder 3

Bailey, Mike [1937] September 13

Box 1, Folder 3

Bell, Hilda 1937 December 9

Box 1, Folder 3

Bridges, E. W. 1937 September 20

Box 1, Folder 4

Brown, "Bimbo" to Archie 1937 June-September

Box 1, Folder 5

Cullinen, George to Bob Dagley 1937 August 4

Box 1, Folder 6

Flanner, John to Justin Vanderlaan undated

Box 1, Folder 7

Gomez, Antonio Lopez to Mother 1938 March 4

Box 1, Folder 8

Hawkins, Maurice H., to his wife from Paris and from Spain 1937-1938

Box 1, Folder 9

Larsen, Leonard H. M.D. to Louise 1937-1938

Box 1, Folder 10

Male, Douglas "Dud" to Sam, Esther, Lee, Sis, Mom 1937 November-1938 February, undated

Box 1, Folder 11

Marques, A. J. 1938 May 18

Box 1, Folder 11

Masterson, Louis J. to friends, Applestein, D. 1937 October 1

Box 1, Folder 11

McDaniel, Eluard Luchell undated

Box 1, Folder 11

Merriman, Marion to John C. Ross 1937 July-1938 February

Box 1, Folder 12

Nitzburg, Leo to Edna 1937 October 15

Box 1, Folder 13

Orton, Fritz to Paul 1937 September-October

Box 1, Folder 13

Payne, Perley [1937] April-July

Box 1, Folder 14

Prowell, Alphaeus to Harry 1937 September-November, undated

Box 1, Folder 15

Silverstein, Esther to children 1937

Box 1, Folder 16

Slivan, Boleslaw (Slipp, Slippery) to Archie, Samuel, Ednaita, Lee 1937-1938

Box 1, Folder 17

Sansone, Joe to Edna 1938 February

Box 1, Folder 18

Smith, "Junior" to Mike, Joe, Canales, etc. 1937 May-October, undated

Box 1, Folder 19

Thompson, Frederick to Miss Schneider 1938 June 2

Box 1, Folder 19

Yeager, N.T. to Henry 1937 September 14

Box 1, Folder 20

Unidentified, or no surname 1937-1938

Contents

Including: Ken to My darling Sis (Sigrid Parmalie) DM to Ethel DM to E. D....to Mom Jack to L...S...& M... Bob 3/26/38 Evelyn to Mildred Fred to Ann (handwritten) Wade to Mario Caseroli
Box 1, Folder 21

Second set of photocopy of letters - A - P 1937-1938

Box 1, Folder 22

Second set of photocopy of letters - S - Z

Box 1, Folder 23

Second set of photocopy of letters with little identification and documents other than letters 1937-1938

Box 2, Folder 1

Abraham Lincoln Brigade poems, songs undated

Box 2, Folder 2

International Brigade publications 1937-1938

Box 2, Folder 3

Abraham Lincoln Brigade clippings, ephemera undated

Box 2, Folder 4

Seamen, Longshoremen & Maritime Workers of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion in Spain to The National Unity Convention of Maritime Unions, San Francisco 1937 December 27

Description

Statement with list of signers included; pages 2-3 of untitled essay upholding the battle to support a constitutional government.
Box 2, Folder 5

Minutes of Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade 1993-1995

Box 2, Folder 6

Precinct 11, Assembly District 19 Index to Register 1943