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Guide to the Toby Jensky and Philip Schachter Papers ALBA.055

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 Rebecca Russell

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

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jensky, Toby, 1911-1995
Creator: Schachter, Philip, 1915-1937
Title: Toby Jensky and Philip Schachter Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1930-1995
Abstract: Toby Jensky (1911-1995) was a nurse at New York City's Beth Israel Hospital in the 1930s. She went to Spain with the American Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy and worked as a nurse and administrator in the American hospital in Villa Paz and on the Teruel Front. Philip Schachter (1915-1937) was a machinist in New York City before he volunteered to fight on behalf of the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He was lost in action in the Battle of Brunete in July 1937. This collection consists in part of letters written by Jensky to her sister Ida (who was married to Philip Schachter's brother Max) describing her experiences in Spain. It also contains letters written by Schachter to his family from Spain and correspondence between Schachter's family members and various governmental and institutional officials attempting to determine Schachter's whereabouts or the facts of his death after they lost contact with him in July of 1937.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: ALBA.055

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Historical/Biographical Note

Toby Jensky (1911-1995) was a nurse at New York City's Beth Israel Hospital in 1930s. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, the hospital became a center for the Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy. In 1937, Jensky went to Spain as a volunteer nurse and administrator with the American Medical Bureau. Jensky was not a member of any political party nor did she subscribe to any particular political belief. It appears that she went to Spain because the opportunity arose to join friends and colleagues in the medical unit being organized by Dr. Edward Barsky out of Beth Israel Hospital. Jensky worked at the American hospital in Villa Paz from April to December 1937 and on the Teruel Front in January and February of 1938. She worked in Villa Paz again in March 1938 before returning to the United States in April of that year. Upon her return Jensky resumed work at Beth Israel Hospital.

Philip (a.k.a. Paul) Schachter (1915-1937) was a machinist in New York City before he volunteered to fight on behalf of the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War. He was a member of the Washington Battalion until it merged with the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. Schachter joined the Washington Battalion without his parents' knowledge or approval. While Schachter attempted to conceal his involvement in the war from his parents, letters to his brother Max include details of his military actions. After not hearing from Schachter for several months, his family became concerned and enlisted help, first from his sister-in-law Toby Jensky, then from various organizations and governmental officials in locating him. Although he was initially reported to have been taken prisoner by Franco's forces, it eventually became apparent that Schachter had been lost in action in the Battle of Brunete in July of 1937.

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Scope and Content Note

Series I: Jensky, Toby: Correspondence and Memorabilia. The bulk of this series consists of letters from Toby Jensky (signed Till, Gwendolyn, and Mabel) written to her sister Ida (Jenks) Schachter from Spain in 1937 and 1938. Jensky wrote frequent, detailed letters describing working conditions in the hospitals, the landscape, and personal relations among nurses, doctors, and soldiers. These letters provide a rich account of the life of American medical volunteers during the Spanish Civil War.

Series II: Schachter, Philip: Correspondence and Memorabilia. This series contains a small collection of letters written by Philip Schachter to his parents and siblings between April and July 1937. The bulk of this series consists of correspondence between Schachter's family members and various governmental and institutional officials (including the U.S. Department of State, the International Red Cross, the Spanish Embassy, and Senator Robert F. Wagner) attempting to establish Schachter's whereabouts or the facts of his death. The letters in this series tell the story of a young man's first encounter with war, the conflicts in his family surrounding his decision to go to Spain, his disappearance in battle, and his family's subsequent attempts to locate him.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically alphabetically by correspondent within each series. Memorabilia files follow the correspondence in each series.

The files are grouped into two series:

Missing Title

  1. I, Toby Jensky: Correspondence and Memorabilia
  2. II, Philip Schachter: Correspondence and Memorabilia

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Schachter, Ida Jensky.
  • Jensky, Toby, 1911-1995
  • Schachter, Philip, 1915-1937
  • Schachter, Max
  • Abramovitch, Raphael, b. 1880 -- Assassination
  • Wagner, Robert F. (Robert Ferdinand), 1877-1953

Document Type

  • Correspondence.

Subject Organizations

  • Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy
  • Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  • Spain. Ejercito Popular de la Republica. Abraham Lincoln Battalion
  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives

Subject Topics

  • Brunete, Battle of, Brunete, Spain, 1937.
  • Teruel, Battle of, Teruel, Spain, 1937-1938.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939.

Subject Places

  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Participation, American.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Women.
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Personal narratives.
  • Madrid (Spain)
  • Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 -- Hospitals.
  • Spain |x History |y Civil War, 1936-1939 |v Sources.
  • Villa Paz (Spain)

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The Toby Jensky and Philip Schachter Papers were donated to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives in 1996 by Max Schachter. This collection came to New York University in January 2001 as part of the original acquisition of ALBA collections, formerly housed at Brandeis University.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives for more information and to schedule an appointment, tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or 212-998-2630.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), were transferred to New York University in November 2000 by the ALBA Board of Governors. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. For more information, contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or 212-998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

ALBA collections at the Tamiment Library.

Fredericka Martin Papers, ALBA #1

Frances Patai Papers, ALBA #131

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Container List

Series I: Jensky, Toby: Correspondence and Memorabilia

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Jensky, Toby to Jenks Schachter
Feb 1937-Jul 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Jensky, Toby to Jenks Schachter
Aug 1937-Nov 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Jensky, Toby to Jenks Schachter
Dec 1937-Apr 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Jensky, Toby to Unidentified Correspondents
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Martin, Fredericka to I.J.R.
1975
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Patai, Frances to Jenks Schachter
1995
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Smith, Randall to Enrique Moral Sandoval
1980
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Unidentified Correspondent to Toby Jensky (Postcard, Spain)
1937
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Invitation and Letter
1987 , 1995

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Series II: Schachter, Philip: Correspondence and Memorabilia

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Davis, Nathaniel P.: United States Department of State
Apr 1938-May 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Geiser, Carl to Harry Schachter
May 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 12 International Red Cross and Max Schachter
Jan 1938-May 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Jensky, Toby to Jenks Schachter
Sep 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Schachter, Max
Jan 1938-Aug 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Schachter, Philip
Apr 1937-May 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Schachter, Philip
Jun 1937-Jul 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Schachter, Rose
Sep 1938-Apr 1941
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Schachter, ? (Father of Philip Schachter) to Unidentified Correspondent
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Unidentified Correspondent to Jenks Schachter
Sep 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Wagner, Robert F. and Max Schachter
Feb 1938-Mar 1938
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Memorabilia Relating to Trade School
1930 , 1933 , 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Souvenir Booklet
undated

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