19-20 Abril Merriman Continues his Russian Practice

19-20 April

Robert Merriman’s Diary for the 19th and 20th of April 1937

These two days were rather routine for Merriman.  Instruction continued at the OTS in Pozo Rubio.  He makes a comment about a “radio” but it could be one of two interpretations.  If the word were “radio trans” or “radio truck”, it would be that he finally got news about when the 800 peseta radio discussed previously would arrive. An alternative interpretation of that last word is “talk”.  In May, Robert Merriman will be invited to Madrid to make a speech on radio to the American audience.  This could be a notification that he will be giving that speech.

Gabriel Fort of the French Battalion and Miklos Szalway ("Chapayev", right) PHOTO 177_196106 taken at Ambite in June 1937.  Tamiment Library, NYU

Gabriel Fort of the French Battalion and Miklos Szalway (“Chapayev”, right) PHOTO 177_196106 taken at Ambite in June 1937. Tamiment Library, NYU

Merriman is spending considerable time with the Russians who are in the area and dining with them.  Vidal has taken an active interest in the “Slav” group and it is likely that this is the 13th Dombrowski Battalion.   A regularly photographed man in that unit got the nickname Chapayev.  He is Miklos Szalway, a Hungarian in the photo on the right.  Szalway and British Commissar Fred Copeman have the same “Marlboro Man” square jaw and can be easily confused in photos.

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