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Moses Fishman

Biography

Moe Fishman at Parade with VALB

Fishman, Moses. (Moe), b. September 28, 1915, NY; Jewish, Single, Truck driver and Laundry worker, YCL (CP) 1934 and Spanish CP, received passport# 383528 on April 2, 1937 which listed his address as 2909 Broadway, Long Island City, Astoria, Long Island, New York and NYC, Sailed April 7, 1937 aboard the Lafayette, Arrived in Spain on April 29, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Washington BN, Co. 1, runner.  WIA July 5, 1937, Brunete, Various hospitals for the next year, worked as a driver in rear areas until repatriated, Returned to the US on July 20, 1938 aboard the Champlain, WWII Merchant Marine, d. August 6, 2007, NYC.

Sources: Sail, SACB, Cadre, RA, ALBA 224 Moe Fishman Papers; Ancestry; Douglas Martin, “Moe Fishman Dies at 92” New York Times, August 30, 2007; (obituary) Peter Carroll, “Mosess ‘Moe’ Fishman, 1915-2007,” The Volunteer, Volume 24, No. 3, September 2007, pp. 21-22.

 

Biography

 Born in New York on September 28, 1915, Moses Fishman had left school during the Depression and became a laundry worker and truck driver. He participated in unionizing his fellow workers and found a commitment to social justice issues as a member of the Young Communist League.

When the Spanish war began, he volunteered to fight, but was rejected for lack of military experience. However, his skill as a truck driver was needed and a second application for service was "accepted”with the proviso that he recruit ten other volunteers. Fishman quickly found the men, though none actually showed up. The recruiters took him anyway. He arrived in Spain in April 1937 and was shot in his left leg during his first action. During his lengthy recuperation from war injuries, Fishman stayed in touch with New York humanitarian aid organizations providing assistance for the civilian refugees of the Spanish Civil War. He eventually worked in the warehouse of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, while studying to become a licensed radio operator.

When the United States entered World War II, Fishman's skills enabled him to serve in the Merchant Marines. After his second war, Fishman continued to work with the refugee aid committee, even after it was targeted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for alleged subversive activities in 1946. Indeed, it was Fishman's proximity to that case that changed his life when HUAC set its sights on the VALB and President Harry Truman's Attorney General listed the group as a subversive organization in 1947 as part of the postwar anti-Communist crusade.

When Congress passed the McCarran Act in 1950, obliging all designated subversive organizations to register with the federal government and creating heavy penalties for leaders who refused to cooperate, the entire executive committee of the VALB resigned in 1950. In its place, two Lincoln veterans stepped forward: Milton Wolff became the National Commander; Moe Fishman became the Executive Secretary/Treasurer and served the organization in an executive capacity for the rest of his life.

The seemingly indestructible Moe Fishman, the public face of the Americas' Spanish Civil War Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) for more than half a century, died of pancreatic cancer on August 6, 2007 in New York. He was 92.

- Peter Carroll, “Mosess ‘Moe’ Fishman, 1915-2007,” The Volunteer, Volume 24, No. 3, September 2007, pp. 21-22.

 

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Images

Moe at parade with Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Photo courtesy of Georgia Wever.

Photo courtesy of Georgia Wever.

Milton Wolff (left) and Moe Fishman (right). Photo courtesy of Georgia Wever.

Moe Fishman (left) and George Sossenko (far right) at peace demonstration, April 29, 2006. Photo courtesy of Georgia Wever.

Full Database Record

Last Name Fishman
First/Middle Name Moses
Ethnicity
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
Religion
POW
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
DOB
City
State
Foreign Nation
Foreign Nation City
Alt Pob State, City
Family: Name
Family: Relationship
Family: Begin Date
Family: End Date
Family: Comments
Education HS
Education College / Univ 1
Education College/Univ Notes
Education College/Univ 2
Graduate or Doctoral Work
Graduate or Doctoral Work Notes
Prior Military Service
Passport #
Passport Series
Passport Reported Lost in Spain
Passport Age
Passport Date
PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
PP or Known Address State
ALT City
Alt State
Sail Date
Ship
Marital Status
Marital Notes
Vocation 1
Vocation 2
Vocation 3
Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
ALT Affiliation
ALT date
ALT affiliation 2
Arrival (in Spain) Date
Units served with
Battle action
Rank
Returned Date
Returned other
WWII Service
DOD
Cause
Place Died City
KIA/MIA/Died other
KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
Additional Notes