Materials collected by Lisette (Lee) and Sam Kutnick over the course of their political work in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The collection contains typed transcripts of letters (circa 1937-1938) 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. The collection also contains materials
from Sam Kutnick's work on the County Personnel Committee of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) in
the late 1940s and early 1950s. This committee was charged with investigating CPUSA members for political and personal transgressions,
recommending names to County Leadership for expulsion from the Party. There are handwritten notes with lists of names for
further research, correspondence with other County or District Committees to share information on members, correspondence
from Party members recommending others for investigation, and files related to the investigation of specific local Party members.
Lee Kutnick (1914-2010), born Lisette Levy, was a community and union organizer who supported a variety of leftist causes,
including the Communist Party of the United States of America. In the early 1930s, she moved to San Francisco and married
Sam Kutnick. From 1937 to 1938, Lee served as the Secretary of the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALB). She received,
transcribed, and circulated letters sent from ALB members including those written by her cousin, Douglas "Dud" Wayne Male,
who fought and died as part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Lee worked as an office worker for more than 50 years as a member
of OPEIU Local 3 and served on the executive board of Local 3 from 1983 to 1986. Lee Kutnick worked until the age of 87 in
the office of Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) began when a Nationalist faction supported by the military, Catholic church, and conservative
groups instigated a coup d'etat against the left-leaning Popular Front government which had won electoral control of the Spanish
Republic. This insurrection was met with armed resistance by the Loyalists, a coalition of leftist groups including the Confederación
Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), a confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions.The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was formed in 1919 after splitting from the Socialist Party of
America. CPUSA was centered around the belief that workers were united as a social class under capitalism and entitled to
control the industries in which they labored. CPUSA was known for opposing white supremacy and advocating for racial integration
and civil rights for Black people. The Party and its members were deeply involved in the labor movement in the United States
in the early 20th century, organizing and supporting trade unions, worker organizations, and strikes. As anti-capitalist sentiments
surged during the Great Depression, the organizing successes of the Communist Party in the United States were followed with
intense State repression.
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