Ely J. Sack Papers
Language of Materials
Ely Sack left New York to fight in the Spanish Civil War with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in 1937. Sack trained and fought with the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion before being injured in March, 1938. Sack underwent three operations to his left leg before returning to the United States in August, 1938. This collection consists of letters and postcards written by Sack while he was in Spain. This brief but frequent correspondence describes Sack's activities in training camp, in reserve, and in action. The collection also contains medical and military documents and a membership card to the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Finally, the collection contains a memoir written by Sack in 1992 that describes some of his activities in Spain and after his return to the United States.
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.
Folders are arranged alphabetically.
The files are grouped into one series:
- I, Correspondence and Documents
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of letters and postcards written by Ely J. Sack to his parents and friends while he was in Spain. This brief but frequent correspondence describes Sack's activities in training camp, in reserve, and in action. The collection also contains medical and military documents and a membership card to the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Finally, the collection contains a memoir written by Sack in 1992 that describes some of his activities in Spain and after his return to the United States.
Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives for more information and to schedule an appointment, email@example.com or 212-998-2630.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-998-2630.
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.
The Ely J. Sack Papers were donated to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives in 1992 by his daughter Luise S. Stone. This collection came to New York University in January 2001 as part of the original acquisition of ALBA collections, formerly housed at Brandeis University.
Photographs from the Ely J. Sack Papers have been transferred to the non-print section of the ALBA collection in the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.