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Guide to the Harry Fisher Papers ALBA.039

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Jessica Weglein and Elizabeth Compa

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 20, 2017
Description is in English.

Historical/Biographical Note

Harry Fisher was born in New York City on March 12, 1911. Following his father's death at 28 of tuberculosis, Fisher's widowed mother placed the young Harry for a time in the Hebrew National Orphan Home while she found work in the garment industry and struggled to support two younger children. As a young adult Fisher worked as an office clerk for the Henry Rose Stores, the women's wear division of Sears Roebuck. He joined the Young Communist League and became a member of the Department Store Employees Union, Local 1250, participating in strikes and political rallies.

Early in 1937 he left New York and traveled to Spain to join the International Brigades. He served in Spain from March 1937 until September 1938. He participated in most of the major campaigns of the war including the battle at the Jarama front from April to June 1937; the offensive at Brunete from July to August 1937; the taking of Belchite in September 1937; and later the Teruel offensive in the winter of 1938, and the battle of the Ebro from July to September 1938. In Brunete, he served as a runner for Commander Oliver Law, the first African-American to command an integrated military unit.

Fisher returned to the United States in September of 1938. In 1939 he married Ruth Goldstein, an organizer and business agent for Local 1250, and together they had two children. Fisher served as a B-26 turret gunner. Following the war he worker for 50 years in the communications department of the TASS news agency. In 1998 he published Comrades, a memoir about his experiences in Spain, which was translated into German and Spanish. He remained politically engaged throughout his life, participating in civil-rights marches and anti-war protests. On March 22, 2003 Fisher collapsed and died during an anti-Iraqi War demonstration in New York City. He was 92 years old.

Sources:

  • Fisher, Harry. Comrades(Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.)