More Sad News

Delmer Berg, the last known living US veteran of the Spanish Civil War, died on 28 Feb 2016.  He was 100. 


I have had a long interest in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the 2,800 American volunteers who fought for the elected Spanish government against the fascist insurrection led by General Franco backed by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.  In fact, a friend and I used to attend the annual reunion of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in New York City for many years.  A fun day.


Our last trip to Barcelona was partly planned around a theme of the Spanish Civil War.  Sherron and I followed in the footsteps of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as they marched down the Diagonal in a departure parade witnessed by 300K citizens of Barcelona.  When Franco’s troops “liberated” Barcelona about 30 days later, the same streets were empty.  Delmer Berg, according to his obituary, served in the Battle of Ebro River.  The Ebro ran red as Republican soldiers attempted to swim across it to safety.  On our vacation we drove along the Ebro for miles and may have passed the ground that Berg was defending.  We also tipped a glass of Cava to Ernest Hemmingway in the Hotel Majestique (still standing in Barcelona ) where he lived during the latter stages of the civil war.


Volunteers like Delmer Berg fought alongside Spanish Republicans.  Their cause was reported by Hemingway, Robert Capa, Martha Gellhorn, Eric Blair (George Orwell), and others.  The book, Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War, is a well written story about the devastation of the Spanish Civil War.  The Hotel Florida which was in Madrid was demolished. 


I feel sad because I lost a friend.  The world has lost a good man – Delmer Berg.



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