Person - Shafran, Jacob Joseph (1917-2008)

Shafran, Jacob Joseph (1917-2008)




Preferred form:

Shafran, Jacob Joseph (1917-2008)Other forms

Fechas de existencia:

1917-12-25 - Connecticut (Estados Unidos)  2008-11-15


Shafran, Jacob Joseph was born on the 25th of December 1917. During Shafran's early childhood the family moved from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Union County, New Jersey, before settling on the Lower East Side of New York City. The young Shafran receive his earliest political education walking picket lines with his mother, who was an active union member, and through his aunt Eva, an Eastern European immigrant with strong ties to the Communist Party. He became a member of the Young Pioneers (a children's Communist Party organization), and advanced through the Young Communist League, before joining the Communist Party in 1933. After attending James Monroe High School, Shafran labored as a sheet metal worker and a carpenter, and was an organizer for the Department Store Employees Union.

With the outbreak of the war in Spain, Shafran volunteered to join the International Brigades to fight for the Spanish Republic. Shafran departed for Spain on the "Berengaria" on the 3rd of July 1937. On his arrival, he trained as a new recruit with the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion before transferring to the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. He served in Spain from July 1937 until October 1938 participating in the battles of Quinto, Belchite, Fuentes de Ebro, and the Ebro offensive. He was hospitalized on two occasions, once with typhoid late in 1937 and again in August 1938 after sustaining an injury to his hand while carrying a stretcher in the sierra of Pandols during the International Brigades' final month of combat. With the withdrawal of the International Brigades from Spain, the 21-year-old Shafran returned to New York on the "Paris" on the 15th of December 1938.

Financial assistance from the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade enabled Shafran to have reconstructive surgery on his wounded hand. For the next year Shafran worked as chauffeur and handyman to the legendary burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army, and stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and later served in Europe. He was discharged in October 1945 and found work in construction. He returned to Spain for the first time in 1986, returned again in 1987 for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the International Brigades, and ten years later for the 60th anniversary. In 2003, the 86-year-old Shafran traveled to the barren hills of Pàndols in the company of his grandchildren to mark the 65th anniversary of the Lincoln Brigade's final offensive. Shafran died in Connecticut on the 15th of November 2008.

Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date of the event: 1936 - 1939






Lugar de Residencia:

Estados Unidos

Lugar de Defunción:

Connecticut (Estados Unidos) in 2008-11-15


Martínez Reverte, Jorge (2014), Martínez Reverte, Jorge, Guerrilleros y traidores. De la guerra de España a la guerra fría. Madrid, Círculo de Lectores, 2014

External Links

Catálogo Archivístico:


Catálogo Bibliotecario:

NYU Libraries

Recurso web:

Richard Bermack

Recurso web:

The New York Times

Recurso web:

The Volunteer

Recurso web:

The volunteer


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