Person - Brandt, Joseph (1907-1997)

Brandt, Joseph (1907-1997)




Preferred form:

Brandt, Joseph (1907-1997)Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

Polonia  1907-12-24 - 1997-07-31


Joseph Brandt was born Sam Brustein in Zambraw, Poland on December 24, 1907. He immigrated to New York City at the age of fifteen and joined the Young Communist League (YCL) two or three years later. He was working in Ohio as an organizer for the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) in 1937, but soon joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in response to the Communist International's appeal for volunteers.

He sailed on November 17, 1937 aboard the “Queen Mary” and arrived in Spain on December 1, 1937. He took part in several well-known engagements during the Spanish Civil War serving with the Lincoln-Washington Battalion of the 15th International Brigade as Private, including the attempt to warn Loyalist troops of the Gandesa-Batea fascist offensive in March of 1938 and the late-night covert operation in which Robert Merriman and David Doran lost their lives. Brandt was wounded by enemy fire twice, during the retreat from Gandesa and then in an offensive around the area of “Cuatro Caminos”.

He returned to US on December 20, 1938 aboard of “Ausonia”. He married Sylvia Opper, whom he had met during a Works Progress Administration (WPA) strike in Cleveland. He continued to organize for the Communist Party's District 6 in Ohio. During World War II, he served as a paratrooper under command of the United States Fifth Army, Canadian Special Forces unit known as the "Devils Brigade". After the war, he remained active in the Communist Party and was forced to go underground to avoid prosecution, but was eventually arrested by the FBI and served six months in jail.

Brandt was especially concerned with documenting and publicizing the contributions of the African-Americans who fought in the International Brigades. In 1979, with the help of a group of Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) members and New Outlook Publishers editorial, he produced a pamphlet titled “Black Americans in the Spanish People's War against Fascism, 1936-1939”. Brandt served on the national committee of the CPUSA for many years and remained an active member until his death in July, 1997.

Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date of the event: 1936 - 1939







United States

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Polonia in 1907-12-24



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

Related Authorities

Brigadas Internacionales (España)

Associative relations :

Abraham Lincoln Battalion  ( He/She is a member of )

Friends of Abraham Lincoln Battalion  ( He/She is a member of )

External Links

Catálogo Bibliotecario:

NYU Libraries

Recurso web:

The volunteer

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