Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive


The Abraham Lincoln Brigade took place during the time of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. The United States was faced with the question, to intervene or to not intervene? During the 1930’s isolationism was the popular sentiment, so the U.S. passed laws to stay neutral during this war. However, 2,800 Americans were drawn to the cause so they disobeyed the laws and fought against the Fascists. Not only were they making a statement by aiding a foreign country, they were making a statement on the home front by being the first fully integrated army. Men and women assumed traditional gender roles, men volunteered for combat and women volunteered as nurses.
The Frances Patai Photograph Collection focused on these women. The photographs from her collection are all from the research she conducted for a book about women medical personnel that was never published. It included photographs of the Medical Bureau, the North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy and their mobile hospital.

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