23-24 Marzo Burying Robert Wolk in Murcia

March 23-24
Robert Merriman’s Diary for the pages of the 23rd and 24th of March. This was completed on March 25 in Murcia’s Radio Hospital.

Merriman continues with the description of Robert Wolk’s death and funeral.  Wolk was shot on the 14th of March in the surprise flanking attack at Jarama.   Merriman notes that there was a funeral outside of the hotel and Wolk was buried in Murcia’s graveyard in a “Special Circle” for the international brigade.  James Harris represented the Internationales by speaking at the funeral and Merriman could make a similar homage in the hospital.   There is a photograph (found in NYU’s Tamiment Library and presented here for purposes of continuing this discussion) of the Pasionaria Hospital in Murcia.

Pasionaria Hospital
Pasionaria Hospital in Murcia in 1937. Photograph taken by Fredericka Martin as part of her collection.  Source: ALBA Photo 1:5:3:2, Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries

The hospital building itself has not changed significantly and here is a Google Maps™ street view of the same building today.

Pasionaria Hospital Today
The Pasionaria Hospital today. It is on the Paseo Teniente Flomista.   Source: Google Streetview.

It is now a high school.

Instituto de Educación Secundaria Ies Licenciado Francisco Cascales, Paseo Teniente Flomesta, Murcia. Spain Source: Google Streetview

The “Greenspan” in the diary is Marion Greenspan ¹ who really was George Marion and was married to Celia Greenspan.  George Marion was a newspaper reporter for the Daily Worker.  His papers are archived in the Tamiment Library along with boxes of his photos.

A difficult name to read in today’s diary entry was Dr. Cachin.   Dr. Cachin was one of four French surgeons who also included Dr. Catalette, Chrétien and Cordière.²   Cachin apparently became the lead doctor at Pasionaria Hospital.


¹ Anders Greenspan, Sacrifice and Commitment: American Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, The Arts Journal, Vol. 2, No 5, 2013 (http://www.theartsjournal.org/index.php/site/article/view/181)

² Nicholas Coni, Medicine and Warfare: Spain, 1936-1939, Routledge, 2008.