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Guide to the Ely J. Sack Papers ALBA.094

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 Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Rebecca Russell

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 08, 2017
Description is in English.

Historical/Biographical Note

Ely Joseph Sack was born September 19, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. After graduating from New Utrecht High School in 1931, Sack worked at low-paying day jobs while attending night classes in accounting at the City College of New York School of Commerce.

Sack left the United States aboard the M/V Georgic to England on May 15, 1937. From England he traveled through France and over the Pyrenees to Spain to fight for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. Sack trained at Tarazona de la Mancha between June and September 1937. In September 1937 his unit of the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion served a reserve unit, then went into combat at Fuentes del Ebro in October, 1937. Sack spent some time in Officer's Training School in November, 1937 but returned to fighting with his unit after about a month.

In March, 1938 Sack was wounded in his left leg and was disabled for the remainder of his time in Spain. Sack was first treated in Tortosa then in Benacasim where he had an operation to remove shrapnel from his left leg and tetanus from his right leg. He spent time healing in Murcia. He was later moved to Mataro where his left leg was operated on twice more in May, 1938. Sack was discharged and repatriated in July, 1938.

Sack returned to the United States via France on the S.S. De Grasse in August, 1938. Upon his return, Sack married Edith Berk, whom he had met in 1935. In 1939 the couple moved to Jacksonville, Florida where they raised five children while Sack worked as an accountant. In 1972 they moved to Miami, and they also lived for a short time in the early 1980s in Birmingham, Alabama. Sack continued to work in accounting well into his seventies.