1-2 Abril “Hello Albacete Again”

April 1-2

Robert Merriman’s diary for April 1 and 2 as he returns to Albacete with Marion

Robert and Marion Merriman returned to Albacete from Murcia after an overnight train ride.  They arrived before businesses opened and had to wait for the café to open and he says they ate with Pierre Lamotte at the Intendencia.   Merriman  had already met Pierre Lamotte who ran the Armory in Albacete and Merriman will misspell Lamotte’s name multiple times over the next few diary pages.

We have met the people that Merriman contacts and links will be given to the posts where they showed up previously.  “Newman”, Stember, and Brodsky all were in the Brigade leadership at this point and Merriman had to check in with them and Vidal to get his next assignment.   It is believed that Neumann (or Newman) is Dr. Rudolf Neumann who was said to have co-founded the International Brigades with Andre Marty.¹

James Harris pops up again briefly in this diary segment and the woman Polish doctor is clearly a friend of Harris, who is Polish.  She is in Albacete.

In the afternoon, Merriman learns that he is to lead the Officers School in Pozo Rubio.  He mentions speaking again with Brodsky and Stember and then speaking to a Sam Winkelman.  Winkelman does not appear to be an American or Canadian.  He could be British or German.

Significant socializing took place on April 2 and Merriman notes that he landed a vehicle.  Marion, who had been about the town with James Harris, joined up with Robert and they met Wally Tapsell, who had taken over after Peter Kerrigan was wounded at Jarama.

Later they meet with Andre Marty and “Rodman and Mike from Moscow”.  It is not known who Rodman is.  Mike is likely to be the reporter Mikhail Koltsov.  He appears to have known the Merrimans in Moscow, since Marion chatted with Mike for some time and, as we will find out on the next page, was likely being interrogated.

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¹  Sugarman, Against Fascism – Jews who served in The International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, ibid. Accessed January 2014 at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/spanjews.pdf